Monday, December 16, 2013

This Week in Five Minutes - Parry 2nd

The technique of the week for the 5 Minute Lesson is the parry in second. Like all parries, Seconde has two objectives - to keep yourself from being hit and to set up the riposte. The parry in foil and epee is a pronated low line parry that covers the outside line, much as 8th does. However, the big difference comes in the execution with the riposte in mind. Eighth gives you a clean riposte up the blade to hit the flank target. Seconde gains an advantage if it is executed quickly, carrying the hand more to the outside, allowing the riposte to the front of the target. The result is a hit more perpendicular to the abdomen and less like to graze without arresting. When delivered with a step forward the parry is powerful, grabbing the blade in the forte up to the guard.

The parry in sabre is different. When I learned Seconde as a sabre fencer, it was executed with the arm extended at shoulder height as a flank parry. Today, the parry is executed from the normal guard by a quick rotation of the hand to swing the blade from high line semi-circularly to low outside to protect the underside of the advanced target (the forearm). From here it is theoretically possible to riposte with the point in opposition, with a rising cut to the arm or cheek with or without opposition to control the opponent's blade, or with a rising cut to the head.

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