Lancet and the Persistent Defense:


One of the improvements we have made to the fencing scoring system is the concept of a persistent defense. In Modern Rapier hits are viewed as a part of what we call a Refrain….

Refrain: A sequence of hits beginning with the marker (The first hit) and ending when the director calls halt.

That is to say that action does not stop with the first hit but continues and it is up to the fencer to make sure by body movement and distance that he/she is not hit “Subsequently”

Subsequent: A hit occurring in the second beat/tempo of a Refrain.

For example lets look at the fencing “attack parry riposte remise” scenario. Using fencers A & B We’ll use the foil term “attack” to break down some of the logic of the following instance. We are not in the habit of officially using the word attack in the way a foil director may since Modern Rapier does not try to determine what is an attack prior to any hit occurring.

Director: “Fence”
A: Fencer [A] makes an attack.
B: Fencer [B] parries the attack.
A: [A] has the option to counter parry or remise.
There are many tactical reasons why a fencer may remise and many reasons to take the counter parry but in this instance let us assume that fencer [A] is the brutish insensate sort of fencer that doesn’t know when he/she has been parried and insists on striking the opponent at all costs.
B: Let us also assume that fencer [B], out of the many options available to him performs a simple reposte. And strikes fencer [A] square in the chest. (Marker)
A: Remarkably, fencer [A] subsequently (1 tempo later) manages to put his/her point back in line and hit fencer [B] Smack in the flank.
Director: “Halt” The subsequent window of opportunity has passed so the Director calls Halt.

In foil, Fencer [B] would be awarded a touch. (If you don’t know why you should not be fencing foil.)

In Epee, fencer [A] will be locked out and so fencer [B] will still be rewarded with a touch.

In Modern Rapier both fencers are considered negligent of their self-defense. And as such neither fencer is awarded a touch. This is called “Subsequent hits to equal target”

The purpose of this is not to reward a fencer for a stylistic preference and/or negligent action. Fencer A completely ignored his/her opponents’ blade after having been parried and so was struck in the chest.
Fencer B must not have parried at the right distance at the right moment and with sufficient force to put A’s blade far enough out of line. Nor did he/she take steps by interposing /displacing his or her body to ensure the failure of A’s remise. The success in having done so is called “Persistent defense” and is valuable, not only in terms of the game but also teaches an excellent lesson in defense.

The allowance of post first strike hits educates the fencer to be aware of all events and dangers around them instead of letting the attacker mindlessly remise after having been parried hoping that the opponent has missed the riposte or mindlessly reposting being protected by right of way. Lancet places the responsibility on both fencers.

Right now, the human brain does the best job at differentiating tempo but in the future we envision a scoring box without a cut off time so that the director may make the call as to what was in time or out of it.

Lancet Fencing™


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