Modern Rapier – Dry Fencing

One of Modern Rapiers most important and distinctive rules is the Stopping Hit. According to Lancet Fencings Modern Rapier Rules, a stopping hit is a hit that is the Marker hit in a Subsequent Refrain.  It is designed, among other things, to integrate aspects of Olympic sport Epee into Modern Rapier but it is ideologically included to represent and make an allusion to the stopping power of an unyielding steel blade.  A stopping hit is that hit that forestalls the forward progress of the point or edge of the opponents blade. In Modern Rapier Sport, the electric epee blades we use, often yield/flex, allowing a subsequent hit through; therefore the rule to disallow subsequent hits if the Marker Hit (the first hit) lands on stopping target.
The best way to understand the concept of the stopping hit is to put away your electric epee blades and pick up a blade like a ZWA Musketeer blade or the Del Tin FISAS triangular blade. The FISAS blade is quite long like some long Rapiers and the Musketeer blade comes in 2 lengths 35” and 40” depending on how you would like to fence. Immediately you’ll notice the weight difference but the most important factor is the blades unyielding qualities. These blades are extremely durable and, though flexible enough to fence safely, they are firm enough to demonstrate the way a well-placed point can forestall an opponents’ aggression.
Affixing an archery blunt to the front of a blade makes it more difficult to place a point firmly on the arm but once one does and the line is maintained, allowing the opponents momentum to make the blade flex, one will notice that once the opponent experiences the resistive impulse (or opposing force) of your blade, they will find it difficult, if not impossible, to deliver a subsequent hit. Hits like this, utilizing techniques with or without opposition truly are the subject of Moliere’s’ famous quotation “The essence of fencing is to give, but by no means to receive.” This effect is so evident that one might easily come to the conclusion that all of fencing is held within the proper application of it.



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