>I don't mean to open up the proverbial can of worms, but my zeal for the
>concept of right of way prevents me from being silent.
>The so-called flick attack is not an attack at all, if you look at the
>definition of right of way. An attacker gets right of way by either
>threatening the opponent, or by a parry (or blade contact). The USFA defines a
>threat as the extension of the arm point to valid target area. Generally, the
O.K. First off, let me say that I do not profess to being an ultimate
authority on presiding ( I do have, however, some minor officiating
certification ). It has, though, been my understanding that the right of
attack is defined by the straightening of the arm. Although the flick
does start from a bent arm, it does involve a straightening of the arm.
It also evidently threatens the opponent's target area, otherwise
it would have no hope of hitting. The FIE rules have never been applied
to dispute the validity of a flick attack because they cannot. They are
perfectly legal attacks and fully within the FIE definition of an attack
( if they were not, I suspect the entire German foil team would fence
much differently ).
>flick attack is begun with the arm bent and the point facing the ceiling. THAT
This, to reitterate, does not invalidate the attack. As long as, from
this bent arm the attack procedes with a straightening of the arm and
a threat with the point ( although if someone is hit before the arm is
straightened, you would be fully justified in calling that an attack
into the preperation - the "flick" itself is not a preperation, but
there is a preperation involved with it's execution ).
>is NOT an attack, it is a preparation. It is easy to defend against, just make
>an attack. If the director is worth his/her title, they will know that this
>flick thing is just a preparation, and you will be given right of way. In my
Wrong.I have seen bouts mediated by our own internationally certified
level A president ( last count there was one A in Canada, several B's
and many C's - out of curiosity, what's the situation in the U.S.? )
and they have no problem with the flick; neither did the Olympic
judges this past summer ( again, good thing for thecompetitors,
especially, and I don't know how many people saw this bout, but the
Women's Foil gold match between an Italian and a Chinesefencer.
Third bout, 5-5 tie, and the bout is won with a wide flick to the back
- all one motion, so the attempted stop hit, although a good 4/10th
or so of a second aheadof the good hit, is out of time.
Pissed the Chinese fencer off big time, but you could see her coach
motioning to her something to the effect "Calm down. It WASN'T your
>experience, however, there are very few directors that understand
>Historically, the art of foil fencing was developed to help people practice
>for duelling. Obviously, a flick in a duel is not going to be quite as deadly
>as a good solid attack to the chest area. In order to help duellists avoid bad
>habits, right of way was taught to them, because in there case, bad habits
>could be fatal. Fencing, however, isn't a stagnant sport. It does change. So
>it could be argued that the flick is a method of attack whose time has come. I
>would never recommend to a student to use such an attack for another reason.
>If not executed tactfully, it can be painful. It will leave large strips of
I definitely must concede on two points: it is not a realistic attack
( duel wise ) and it is a perfectly awful attack for a beginner to
attempt ( I'm not all that comfortable doing it after fencing for
coming on to five years; I can, in a pinch, do one and, man, it feels
great ).I am glad you concede the evolution of the sport to allow for
this kind of thing. It was a natural thing that came out of the advent
of electric foil. Back when there was no electric scoring for foil
( the 40's-50's ? ), a corner judge would likely call such an attack
plaque ( sp? Well, FLAT ). Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't sabre
started to change with the advent of electric scoring. I say accept it,
adapt, and maybe even learn to execute the flick ( get really good at
defending against it ). It is, in my opinion, a beautiful attack when
properly executed and I think fencing is all the more an interesting
challenge because of it's existance.
>black and blue (maybe even slightly red and yellow) marks all over the area
>near the intended target are for the attack. I've taken my share of direct
>epee shots to the chest and the under-arm area, but nothing is worse than
>getting slapped with a foil blade.
>I'm not saying there's no place for such an attack. It is a good tactic to use
>against people who have fast reposts. Start the flick attack as a first
>attack. When the defender attempts to parry and riposte (if he doesn't riposte
>, it is easier), parry the riposte and counter-riposte. It works pretty well.
>The Absentee Fencer
Again, your final concession to the flick is welcome; your contention
that it is not a valid attack, however, is groundless.
Marc A. MacKenzie.
P.S. Hope to see some American fencers at some of the upcoming Canadian
Elite Circuit events ( for those who live close enough ); I know that
those whom I spoke with who went to the NAC # 2 ( Washington, D.C. -
Baltimore ) tournament had a great time.