A fencer’s footwork during a bout with his opponent determines his advantage. Whether advancing or retreating, he changes the speed and tempo of the contest with his feet. His every move has a countermove. Good strategy requires that fencers recover from and make good use of any maneuver. Fencers crisscross the floor laterally and linearly just as they crisscross blades. All footwork coordinates with blade work; there may be two or three blade actions per move. Fencers are so well-trained; their fluid, efficient, and instantaneous footwork becomes second nature.
Stance: When ready to attack, the feet form an L-shape. The front foot points at opponent; the back foot is perpendicular with heels touching. When defending, the feet are in identically reverse position. The fencer can deceive his opponent by having feet in the offensive stance and then twist his upper body into a defensive position.
Advance: The attacking foot moves forward so that its heel replaces the toe’s position. The knee of leading leg is over the toe. Feet are shoulder width apart. Body weight is evenly balanced over feet.
Retreat: Feeling with the toe, the hind heel lifts slightly reaching backward and landing slightly upon the toe and ball before planting the heel of the foot. The forward foot toe then lifts and reverses a foot-length, landing softly on the heel. Feeling with the toe produces an even flow and sure footing.
Lunge: Simultaneously, the attacking toe lifts and pulls the attacking heel slightly off of the floor, moving slightly forward in a kicking motion. Propelling with his rear leg, the fencer lands with his attacking knee bent directly over his toe.
[These footwork descriptions are simple, out of necessity. To give you a sense of how much more detailed the fencer’s footwork is, consider the names of Lunge variations:
- Assisted Lunge
- Breaking Lunge
- Jump Lunge
- Advance Lunge
- Retreat Lunge
- Front Foot Withdrawal Lunge
- Front Foot Withdrawal Reverse Lunge
- Advance Crossover Lunge
- Retreat Crossover Lunge
- Advance Check Step Lunge
- Retreat Check Step Lunge.]
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM