Art of Fencing, Art of Life

New innovative epee defense technique comes to life

New fencing shoes enable new defensive technique

New fencing shoes enable new defensive technique

As fencers know, epee fencing is different from foil and sabre fencing because the whole body is target – if you are hit, it is a point in your opponent’s favor.   Every touch counts toward the final score.  Therefore, it is important for the fencer to be able to react quickly and maintain a strong defense.  Since it is difficult to defend the forward foot, fencers may strike an unexpected hit there.

Epee fencers have been forced to use their usual defensive repertoire (parry, counter-attack), against these painful toe touches — which doesn’t really provide an adequate defense.  There is no specific protection against the foot touch.

Until now.

Leveraging his vast experience Coach Alexandr has developed the “Parry-11,” a new defense designed to specifically block toe strikes.   If executed properly, it is 100% effective in thwarting toe touches.  We will begin incorporating instruction on this new defensive move in all our fencing classes and upcoming summer fencing camps.

“This parry is difficult to master,” says Coach Alexandr, “but those who put in the effort to learn this new technique will benefit tremendously by preventing foot touches.”

When I asked the coach to elaborate more on Parry-11, he went on to explain:

“The technique is simple, yet powerful.  We use the clause in the FIE and USFA regulations that do not put any restrictions on fencing shoes.  With this loophole, fencers who want to execute the Parry-11 can elect to fence in 5-toe shoes.”

Here’s how the Parry-11 works:

As the opponent begins to execute the toe touch, the defensive fencer (wearing the toe shoes) will spread his/her toes and catch the blade between them.  With the opponent’s blade immobilized, they will be vulnerable and the defensive fencer can thrust his or her blade in the direction of the opponent.  The defensive fencer is sure to score a point since the opponent will be unable to move their weapon.  It may sound simple, and it is, but as Coach Alexandr explains:

“There are many nuances in the technique which makes the Parry-11 very difficult to master.  For example, one must ensure that the blade is not caught on the tip so that it does not register as a touch for the opponent.  This means that the defensive fencer must catch the weapon by the barrel or the blade.  Also, it is very important to deliver a counter-attacking touch and release the blade instantly without disarming an opponent.”

We will teach the proper form and technique during the lessons and summer fencing camps.  Our coaches and staff are working round the clock to prepare specialty clinics to help fencers develop the skills needed to master the Parry-11.  There will be several one-day sessions devoted to this new defense during the Summer National Championship preparations.

While we take the sport of fencing very seriously, we believe that a sense of humor is healthy for the soul.

[Reposted from the original AFM Press Release]


Bronze to Taly Yukelson at Bay Cup Senior Women’s Epee


Congratulations to Anya and Taly

1 Comment

  1. Dear Sir,

    We would like to inform you that we George and Shalva Kokochashvili, from Tbilisi, Georgia, fencers (epee) from 1972 year. On 2016 we published book “Innovations and Inventions in Fencing” (English version).

    The work (about 400 pages, English 1, 2 volume) is a encyclopedia, compilation of various pieces of information and contains a wealth of graphical material (some of which is being published for the first time), about fencing history, fencing weapons, fencing for disabled people, Georgian and other historical fencing; a description and explanation of existing fencing equipment and its evolution and innovations up to the present; fencing training devices; various worldwide inventions, including devices by the us-Kokochashvili brothers (specifically, new fencing handle designs and several training devices that can be used not only by fencers but in other kind of sport and by disabled or blind people; fencing equipment suppliers and other interesting and unusual information about famous people engaged in fencing, and much more besides.

    Below we are attaching information about our book, which was printed in the British magazine “The Sword” and also some references from the fencing experts: Giancarlo Toran (Italy), Malkolm Fare, Richard Cohen (UK). We also gave our book to FIE representatives, also to Thomas Bach (President of IOC), when he visited Georgia. Our aim is to publish our work as a book and popularization. A short information about our book was printed in British magazine ‘The sword” (January, 2006 and April, 2017

    Authors are looking to find a sponsor or donor to realize their project. Is there any possibility, to make a shorts article about our book on your page.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.


    Giorgi Kokochashvili

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