When You Can't Score the First Time...

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Foil Basics

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Inquartata
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When You Can't Score The First Time...

Feints
Feint Direct
Feint-disengage
Feint by Glide
Ripostes with Feints
Counter Disengagement
Feint in Time

Misc. Considerations

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Resources/Further Reading
       

Feints -

Feints, along with tempo, are the basis for modern competitive foil.  They are actions which resemble an attack so closely that the opponent reacts as if they were.   However, your feint is not followed immediately by a lunge.  By dictating your opponents reaction, you gain the upper hand in what move will be played next (hopefully resulting in a touch for you).   However, do not waste feints, and always wait for the opponent to attempta parry before you attack.

Feint direct – A feint with a pause between the feint and lunge.  The attack happens in the same line as the feint.  Useful against fencers who freeze to feints in certain lines, or fencers who parry by distance (easy to advance, double advance lunge to a point)

Feint-Disengage – Probably the most common feint combination.  This relies on provoking your opponents parry, and, right before contact is made, disengaging (although it’s not a true engagement, the assumption of an engagement is made when your opponents blade is reacting to yours as such, hence the name) and finishing the attack to another line.  It is crucial that the parry not be successful, or else right of way is lost.  In addition, the lunge does not begin until the disengagement does.  Although the most basic combination, any number of these two moves can be built upon each other: feint-disengage-disengage, feint-disengage-feint-disengage-feint, ad infinitum.


A proper feint-disengage.  

Feint by Glide – Done from engagement, you simulate a glide, then disengage when your opponent goes to parry.  Effective against physical, contact centered foilists. 

Ripostes with Feints – Ripostes with feints are no different than attacks with feints, although care should be taken to maintain proper distance due to the opponent being in parry and/or lunge position. 

Counter Disegnagement – As your opponent disengages, disengage as well, and, while doing so, lunge toward the opposite line.  Useful in deceiving a circular parry.

Feint in Time – A feint which is designed to induce a counter attack from the opponent (usually an arrest), upon which an attack or parry-riposte can be made