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Classical Fencing: The Flying Guard

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A fast lookup of Morton’s Martini A-Z of Fencing and Evangelista’s The Encyclopedia of the Sword reveals that the phrase “touring” has been utilised to explain all kinds of blade and footwork actions in regards to the earlier 200 a few years, starting from parries to fleches. Maitre d’Armes Claude La Marche, an individual of the founders of the epee as a fencing self-discipline, provides to the itemizing the “flying guard.” In executing so, he harks again once more to a method taught by Laboessiere fils and endorses it for the epee fencer of the Eighteen Eighties and Nineties.

The Touring Guard is supposed to perform 3 tactical targets:

1. To close the gap with an opponent who believes himself or herself to be at a size that will make an assault unlikely,

2. To disguise the work to close the gap, and

3. To make it attainable for a fast assault when a suited distance is attained.

The Touring Guard is executed by:

1. Approaching guard, ready for offense or safety.

2. Utilizing fairly just a few very modest strategies, each ending with an appel. These appels are taken to make sure that the fencer maintains equilibrium and that the legs are able to act. On the identical time the weapon is held in a relaxed trend to guarantee a shortly response if required.

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

4. Convey the rear foot ahead, protecting the leg successfully bent to remain away from any human physique motion that will disclose the remodel in foot posture, to close as much as the doorway foot (attaining round 7 inches of size), and

5. Execute the assault with a lunge.

It’s an unusual matter to imagine of a guard as staying “flying,” primarily when in distinction to different makes use of of the phrase in fencing. On this circumstance, the collection of step-appel-step-appel-step-appel appears to be slower as a substitute than extra quickly. Nonetheless, this movement does present an intriguing mixture of two of the takes benefit of of the appel, as a equilibrium study and as a distractor.

The flying guard must be thought of within the context of epee on the time (La Marche cautions that half lunges would often suffice to hold the assault forward) and of the broader train of classical footwork. We all know from accounts of skilled bouts that the appel and shout combination was utilized within the 1870s and Eighteen Eighties. Merged with the gap steal of bringing the rear foot ahead, this makes the flying guard an fascinating movement actually value working in direction of for the mandatory coordination and as a shock motion that is likely to be helpful on the time in a classical bout.