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Please click on the each exercise to see the movie clip.

Exercise 1

Getting Ready for the En Garde

(for the right handed fencer, the right foot is your front foot) Please place your front foot at a 90 degree angle to the back foot - heels together. The front foot must be facing straight ahead and the back foot facing sideways. Go down in a squat and rise again (you must raise the heels of the feet) - without moving the feet. Fix the initial and final position. When sitting in the squat - the front knee must be in line with the front foot and the back knee must be in line with the back foot. You must be facing straight ahead in line with the front foot. It is important that you feel the correct position - without looking down to determine what is wrong. Using a mirror is the best way of doing this. Repeat the exercise by squatting and recovering. During this exercise the arms must be relaxed at the sides.

 

Common Mistakes  

 - the heels are not at a 90 degree angle to one another

- the front leg does not face forward

- the legs are not in line with the toes

- the head is not upright and facing forward

Exercise 2 

Getting Ready for the En Garde Position (continued)

Place the feet about 20 cm apart. The feet must still remain at a 90 degree angle to eachother. Repeat the process of squatting down and recovering. Always keeping the knees in line with the feet. The hips must also remain at a 90 degree angle to the front foot. Your weight must be equally distributed between the legs. The back heel must be slightly raised. It is once again important that you do not look down when correcting the stance. Fix the initial and final position.

 

Exercise 3

En Garde

The feet must be apart (about 1,5 feet lengths) with the legs slightly bent. The front arm must be raised and bent slightly, pointing forward in line with the front leg. The arm must be parallel to the ground with a hand width between the front arm’s elbow and the body. The elbow must be tucked in – not pointing   outwards –and with the palm of the hand facing upwards. The elbow and the fingers must be in line and parallel to the floor. The back arm must also be parallel to the floor with the hand raised and the forearm vertical. The hand and fingers must be relaxed.

Exercise 4 

Step Forward   

Raise the front foot and place it one step forward - follow it with the back foot. It is important to take the same size step with the front and back foot. Be aware to not roll the feet. The weight of the fencer must be carried by the balls of the feet (not on the heels). The feet must thus be tense with the weight carried by the front part of the foot. The distance between the feet must remain constant under all circumstances. With a step backward - the back foot must move first and on the same principles as when moving forward.

 

Common Mistakes
- the centre of gravity of the body is not constantly parallel to the floor
 - it must remain vertically centred.
- the body must remain straight and not turn
- the angle between the feet is more or less than 90 degrees. It is acceptable if the back foot is slightly forward BUT the toes and knee must still be in line. The knee must not drop forward since this can cause instability and injuries.
- never turn the front foot in - it is important that the front foot face right ahead. If the front foot does not face forward it can cause various injuries.
- do not drag your feet on the ground
NOTE You must always start moving with the foot in which direction you intend to move

Exercise 5

Lunge

Initial position “en garde”

 

The lunge is an active forward movement of the front leg combined with pushing the body forward with the back leg. Make a short lunge by swiftly pushing the hips forward and using the back leg as a spring. In the final position the front leg must form a 90 degree angle with the front thigh. There must also be a 90 degree angle between the foot and the front leg. The back leg must be straight and both feet must be flat on the ground.