Right of Way
|Grip - There are two
widely used categories of grips, French and Pistol
(ergonomic). You gain more control with a French grip, but gain
greater range of motion with a pistol. In modern foil, the
choice is pistol. Both grips should be held with the pad of the
thumb and the side of the tip of the index finger. In the case
of French, the remaining three fingers should be wrapped for support,
in the case of pistol, there are dedicate notches for these fingers to
French grip (left) vs. pistol (center and right)
Guard Position - Feet start shoulder width apart,
dominant foot pointing straight ahead. The non-dominant foot is
perpendicular to the dominant, or slightly angled towards the opponent
(NEVER angle this foot backwards). The fencinge arm
is bent so a straight line forms from the tip of the foil to the
elbow, and is aimed at the opponents chest. The elbow should be
approximately a handspan away from the torso. As for the other
arm, ask your instructor. I don't care where you put it
(although, do not rest it on the back hip) but many maestros smarter
than I care deeply.
Footwork - The single most important element in all of fencing. You can win with good footwork, and lose with bad.
Advance - The basics of the advance are: pick your dominant foot up, carry it about one foot length forward, and set it down, heel first. The non-dominant foot follows, but lands ball first. Think of it more of a carry, and less as a push.
Retreat - Simply reverse the advance. In both maneuvers, make sure to maintain probably weight distribution and balance, in addition to keeping a shoulder's width of distance between the feet. Your head should remain at the same height throughout all footwork.
Cross-over/cross step - From the en garde position, carry the non-dominant foot across the line of the dominant foot, setting it down a little less than shoulder width in front of the dominant foot. Carry the dominant foot forward to return to proper en garde. Reverse to go backwards.
Extension/Lunge - A proper extension elongates toward
the target at constant speed, with the arm finishing at shoulder
height, and the torso learning slightly. Soon after the extension
starts, lift the dominant foot, propel it forward by pushing off and
straightening the left leg. While this thrust is happening,
extend the left arm backwards to maintain balance.