Most of you will already know this game, but an advanced version appears below, so I thought it would be good to cover the basic glove game first.
The object of the game is to use footwork and distance control to be able to hit your opponent in the chest with the glove with an advance-lunge attack. While it uses the chest as the main target, this game is good for all 3 weapons as it teaches distance as well as tempo and direction changes.
- Fencers take turns being the attacker.
- On the attack, you are allowed one advance and one lunge.
- On defense, you can use any footwork that you want.
- No parries are allowed.
- (And play nice )
- Fencers begin in advance-lunge distance.
- Fencer ‘A’ begins with advance-lunge.
- As soon as Fencer ‘A’s lunge is complete, Fencer ‘B’ may begin their advance-lunge.
- Attack/Defense roles switch until a fencer hits their opponent on the attack.
- Loser is the first attacker for the next point.
- We generally play it as a bout (5 points.)
Advanced: If you are an advanced fencer, look to do the following:
- Begin with a slow advance, then a ‘power-lunge’. Often a fencer sees a slow advance and expects a slow, short lunge. They will often be taken by surprise by a faster lunge.
- Use false attacks. Most fencers start the game by using their best/fastest/longest advance-lunges. This gives their opponent all the data they need to avoid the attacks and never get hit. You will find that your beginners will get frustrated because nobody is hitting. In order to avoid this, use a short advance and short lunge as your first attack. When your opponent makes their attack, get them to fall about 1-2 inches short of your target. If you can “turn the corner” (change direction) fast enough, you should have an easy hit.
- Play with your footwork size. Long advance, short lunge. Short advance, long lunge. The fist sets up the distance that the defender will use, the second makes the actual hit.
Game #2: Distance Control with full equipment.
This works the same as the glove game, but with full equipment for non-electric (dry) bouting. For this game, you still use one advance and one lunge for the attack and any footwork for defense. Coaches should encourage good form by demonstration and the (optional) imposition of penalties for leaning, losing balance, etc.
Again, no parries are allowed. (If you parry, opponent gets a point – this is to encourage controlled vs. reactive responses.)
Targets are as follows:
Foil and Epee – Torso (ideally chest in 4)
Sabre – Head Cut
Advanced Epee – Wrist/forearm, but the defender cannot actively block.