Some more cool content from Mr. Georgy_K_Zhukov (once again, the reddit user, not the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Soviet army in zombie form).
Beats, Parries, and Actions on the Blade.
Actions on the blade when defensive are considered parries, and when offensive are considered beats or engagements. For the purposes of this post we’ll just consider how the blade contact is made and not make a strong distinction between parry, beat and other engagements.
There are a lot of instances where both fencers make an attacking action at the same time and are looking for priority.
So you’ve never seen fencing before, you’ve just found out about foil fencing, and you want to know how it’s scored.
Advance / Retreat
In fencing, fencers don’t normally cross their feet when moving. Instead they make sort of shuffle steps where the lead foot stays in the front, and the trailing foot stays behind. Forward steps are sometimes called advances, and backward steps are sometimes called retreats.
What is a Point in Line
Let’s let Mr. Imboden demonstrate for us.
To a laymen, I think that fencing can seem really daunting. If you look up glossaries of terms, such as the one on wikipedia you’ll find a list of dozens of terms in French, Italian and English pertaining to various ways fencers can move, or their equipment or the rules of the sport etc. Fencer’s tend to really like cryptic terminology and technical definitions – I think it makes us feel smart! But really, it’s not all that complicated.
Priority is a comparison of both fencers.
Just because someone has a bent arm, or is not super direct doesn’t mean that the other fencer automatically gets priority.