Classical Fencing: The Traveling Guard

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A fast search of Morton’s Martini A-Z of Fencing and Evangelista’s The Encyclopedia of the Sword reveals that the word “flying” has been used to explain a selection of blade and footwork steps above the final 200 years, ranging from parries to fleches. Maitre d’Armes Claude La Marche, 1 of the founders of the epee as a fencing self-control, provides to the checklist the “traveling guard.” In executing so, he harks back to a approach taught by Laboessiere fils and endorses it for the epee fencer of the 1880s and 1890s.

The Flying Guard is supposed to reach three tactical ambitions:

1. To near the length with an opponent who thinks himself or herself to be at a distance that can make an assault not likely,

2. To disguise the exertion to near the length, and

3. To allow for a rapidly attack when a acceptable length is achieved.

The Flying Guard is executed by:

1. Coming on guard, ready for offense or defense.

2. Getting various very smaller steps, each individual ending with an appel. These appels are taken to assure that the fencer maintains equilibrium and that the legs are completely ready to act. At the exact time the weapon is held in a comfortable method to assure a quickly response if necessary.

3. Then make a loud appel combined with a shout to distract the opponent, as you

4. Carry the rear foot forward, trying to keep the leg effectively bent to stay clear of any physique motion that would disclose the modify in foot position, to close up to the front foot (getting around 7 inches of distance), and

5. Execute the attack with a lunge.

It is an uncommon issue to assume of a guard as being “flying,” specially when compared to other utilizes of the expression in fencing. In this scenario, the sequence of stage-appel-step-appel-stage-appel looks to be slower rather than a lot quicker. On the other hand, this motion does supply an exciting mix of two of the uses of the appel, as a balance check and as a distractor.

The flying guard must be seen in the context of epee at the time (La Marche cautions that 50 % lunges would typically suffice to carry the assault forward) and of the broader practice of classical footwork. We know from accounts of professional bouts that the appel and shout mixture was applied in the 1870s and 1880s. Combined with the length steal of bringing the rear foot forward, this will make the flying guard an exciting motion value practicing for the required coordination and as a shock motion that could be practical when in a classical bout.

Resource by Walter Green