Fencing techniques

The three main fencing moves explained

Fencing is a great sport for getting your body healthy and active through mentally tough exercise. However, before you start out in this rewarding sport, it’s best to know the main fencing moves and the correct fencing stance. Here’s our guide to fencing moves and positioning.

There are three main moves used in fencing:

Fencing techniques

Lunge — the basic attacking move. The sword arm is extended fully, while the back leg remains stationary as the front leg moves forward.

Parry a defensive action where the fencer blocks the opponent’s lunge. When parrying, only the blade should move, while the arm should be kept as straight as possible.

Riposte a counterattack by the fencer who has blocked the opponent with a parry.

The correct fencing stance is as follows:

  • The correct position involves pointing the front foot straight forward, with the back foot at a 90 degree angle to it. The feet should be around 91cm (3ft)  apart.
  • Both legs should be bent, to enable the fencer to readily move speedily to make an attack or defend.
  • The sword arm should be bent at a 45 degree angle in front of the fencer, and the other arm should be kept behind the fencer.
  • When moving forward in fencing, the front foot should move first, and then be followed by the back foot.
  • When moving backward, the back foot should move first and then be followed by the front foot.

There are four types of fencing attack on an opponent:

  • High outside an attack to the top of the opponent, going to the outside of the blade between the opponent’s weapon and shoulder.
  • Low outside the same area as high outside but made closer to the waist.
  • High inside going inside of the blade, in the middle of the chest to the shoulder.
  • Low inside the same as high inside but lower.

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