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Classical Fencing: The Epee Straight Arm Guard

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In classical epee there are 4 doable guards a fencer can undertake as the muse for assault and safety. These embody issues just like the straight arm or extended guard, the medium or bent-arm guard, the shorter guard, and the precise primary guard as prevalent in foil. Of those, 3 (medium, shorter, and foil) survive in current day fencing. This could make the straight arm guard a distinctly classical technique to the important combating place of the fencer who fences with a French grip. It’s defined by Castello (1933), Grave (1934), Vince (1937), Lidstone (1952), and illustrations in Faire, Fildes, and Grey’s background of The Epee Membership (2000) current the guard in use as early as 1901, typically with the hand positioned towards the pommel cease of the grip.

The fencer assumes the straight arm guard from a traditional place of guard with the legs and torso. The weapon arm is extended utterly, constructing a straight line involving the ahead shoulder and the problem of the weapon within the line of sixth. The purpose frequently threatens the opponent’s closest goal area, conceptually the hand and forearm. The muscle tissue of the shoulder and arm have to be relaxed to make it doable for quick, clean motion of the blade. In safety parries are executed presumably with the blade or the bell.

The straight arm guard presents appreciable optimistic facets:

• Like the problem in line in foil or sabre, the straight arm guard presents an immediate menace to any ahead motion by the opponent.

• The forward state of affairs of the stage cuts down the size to deal with, growing the efficient tactical pace of an assault or counterattack from the guard.

• The ahead state of affairs of the arm and bell could make it attainable for moderately tiny blade and bell actions to chop off angles to the deal with and intercept attacking blades, elevating the safety it gives.

There are, even so, disadvantages to the guard:

• The fencer using the straight arm guard must be accustomed to the guard in purchase to reliably unwind the hand, arm, and shoulder – in any other case motion is slower and is likely to be irregular.

• The completely prolonged blade is susceptible to assaults on the blade and takings of the blade. The fencer has to maintain steady vigilance to be succesful to deceive these actions.

• The totally extended arm is inclined to digs from below (assaults with angulation directed upwards), and any error in place exposes the hand as a deal with.

The straight arm guard is a extensively classical guard – we will doc its use as early as 1901 and by the Fifties its was disappearing from fencing texts. It provides to the epee fencer’s machine package deal the ability to enhance guards, complicating opponent’s offensive difficulties. To a diploma unmatched by the opposite guards, it presents a effectively balanced capability for offense and protection, defending a ahead hazard and occupying a place that cuts down opponents’ entry to the fencer’s focus on. Any classical epee fencer ought to actually know the methods for its employment, and, for individuals faculties which embraced the straight arm guard, be competent in its software.