Right of Way
|Simple Attacks - There are four. Know them well.
If executed perfectly, you can win most bouts simply by using them.
Straight Thrust - An extend-lunge. See "Foil Basics" for explanation. Ingrain it in your muscles. Do it in your sleep. Dream about it. It is critical that aiming the weapon occurs during the extension, and not the lunge.
Disengagement - If your opponent engages your weapon, a disengagement is a spiral motion generated by the wrist, which, when coupled by an extension (which happens during the disengagement) and a lunge, attacks to the an exposed target area. It is important to send the point of the weapon on a "crow's flight" to minimize the time between initiation and completion of the attack.
Glide - This is not really used extensively in foil, nor do I
recommend its use beyond a surprise attack. However, the
principles of it are: Hook the opponents blade with the forte of
your blade, and either lunge or advance toward the target while, arm unextended, your weapon glides down the opponents to the target.
An attack highly resistant to simple parries, but weak in regards to
distance, the glide should never be a primary method of attack, but
always in reserve.
Secondary Simple Attacks -
Beat Attack - As Maestro Gaugler termed beats, they are indeed "a measured blow of violence." To execute, the median of your blade must contact the opponents weak. It is critical that this movement be a surprise, with no "wind up" taking place. Furthermore, the extension takes place as a fluid motion forward from the beat, to the point where they are two distinct movements, but streamline. This takes a bit of practice, but once mastered, the beat, followed by a lunge, is an effective tool in your fencing arsenal.
Beat Disengage - A beat, followed by a disengage attack. It is critical the extension happen on the disengage, and not on the beat.
Change Beat - A disengage, followed by a beat attack. Here, the extension occurs after the beat.
Graze - A graze is an action designed to provoke a response (ideally an over reaction) from your opponent. It is significantly lighter than beat, and occurs with a downward motion, starting at the opponents weak, and ending near their median.
Expulsion -A graze, but much harder, and designed to force an opening for a straight thrust.
Using Pressure - Pressure and blade engagement are, when not overused, potent weapons. Feel them out. See what each individual opponent does to pressure. If he/she overreacts, a disengage is usually the best next action. If he/she underreacts, play with tempo, follow it up with a beat or expulsion. Explore the concept, and you'll figure out what works.