View Full Version : Chaning from foil to epee

-6th February 2004, 18:02
My coach wants me to change to epee because he says i could be a "great epeeist". I was wondering how hard is the change over from foil to epee, allready i notice your hand hurts alot more.


Noah, soon to be great epeeist ...i wish

-6th February 2004, 22:53
It takes a while, esp. to build up the strength. The changeover will be quicker if you stop fencing foil entirely. (Although it may be easier if you're youn and talented).

-8th February 2004, 00:03
As a guy whose made the journey all I can really say is to work on your reaction time and angulation and finally to keep your point down enough that your arm is covered otherwise a bunch of nasty underhanded unscrupulous Epeeists who worryingly resemble sabreurs will make the underside of your wrist into a horrible big bruise which doesn't stop aching for 14 days after the event:( :( but thats my personal issues coming through, either way I can recomend spending a couple of weeks at the beggining just seriously concentrating on learning to protect your wrist and keep your arm covered, unless your fencing me when you can feel as free as you like to leave your arm uncovered. a)because I would probably miss anyway and b)because at least then I have a fluke chance at getting the hit.:)

just out of curiosity How tall are you?

-8th February 2004, 02:05
Im like 5 feet 6 inches thats umm 167.64 cm tall. And im 14, with 4 more years to college =p


-9th February 2004, 12:49
Sound's like a good idea.

Your coach has seen you fight and is probably right.

Your hand is probably sore because your epee weighs more, thats all. Should only last a couple of months at most. That or someone there likes using your hand as a target to help you learn to cover it properly :)

-9th February 2004, 17:52
If your coach is any good, he may have a valid point.

The change can be made easier by;

a) Developing cr*p footwork until you resemble a passing mallard.
b) Totally ignore the conventions of foil while claiming a thorough knowledge of them.
C) Have a frontal labotomy.

This should ensure your success as an epeeist.


-9th February 2004, 19:07
I trust my couch a olympic epee fencer heeh.

I went to a A-2 tornament this weekend and got 27 out of 37 not bad I say.

A guy there reconmended i put 5 pound weights on my epee.
DOse anyone know where i could get some weights to put on my weapon and other exersises to help me get used to epee.

-9th February 2004, 21:34
Kind and encouraging words from JohnL, I'm sure. I believe he has misread your post and offered you advice on how to become a mid-ranked British epeeist, which I'm sure is not your intention.

Not convinced about adding weights to your epee - if you're finding the weight difference between foil and epee a problem then the answer seems simple - fence epee more.

Like others here I switched from foil to epee and it went pretty well. The speed and mobility you'll have acquired in foil will certainly surprise the kind of epeeist that JohnL has described and gradual changes to your technique should allow the benefits of having fenced foil to make your epee fencing more dynamic. Remeber that a lot of excellent epeeists closely resemble foilists in the speed and quality of their movement and bladework.



-9th February 2004, 21:58
Backing up Haggis' statement:

If you have seen or get to see the world championship epee finals (I think from 2002). The Italian world champion showed remarkable resemblance to a foilist. Lovely stance and balance and excellent timing.

The foil training can be nothing but an asset to your future epee career if you chose that path.

Prometheus (finding JohnL's comments as usual amusing but strangely profound regarding mid rank British epee, present company excluded of course. Ahem)

-10th February 2004, 11:37
Originally posted by JohnL

C) Have a frontal labotomy.

i'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy

-10th February 2004, 21:53
You were close Haggis, but my advice was actually on how to become a top ranked British Epeeist.

-13th February 2004, 20:59
Originally posted by JohnL
You were close Haggis, but my advice was actually on how to become a top ranked British Epeeist.

Now you mention it (and thinking of some of the contenders) you may well be right. Damn!:o :(

Blade Runner
-18th February 2004, 17:16
Why not do both? My foil helps with epee and vice versa.

Must admit, I originally tried epee cos lots of my hits in foil were off target. Occurred to me that they would be on target in epee.:)

-18th February 2004, 23:03
Found they interferred horribly with each other - doing foil type moves in epee and vice versa is bad for trade.

OTOH, that may be because I'm not very good at either.

3 Card Trick
-18th February 2004, 23:29
Fencing all three weapons is cool. There is so much that you can pick up from one weapon and use in another.

Perhaps we all specialise too young now??:)

-19th February 2004, 09:58
Originally posted by Rdb811
Found they interferred horribly with each other - doing foil type moves in epee and vice versa is bad for trade.

OTOH, that may be because I'm not very good at either.

thats my excuse too :grin:

-19th February 2004, 13:35
That there are universally applicable elements is a good reason to fence all three weapons. In particular I find sabre to be useful for sharpening up my footwork.

The trouble lies in also transferring the non-universal elements to a different weapon e.g. whacking someone with the side of an epee after doing sabre (which I don't tend to do) or repeatedly withdrawing the arm after an attack after a bit of foil (which I do).

Personally I find I can keep sabre and epee apart in my head, but I don't like adding foil into the mix because it is close enough to epee that I mix up the styles too much. When I am forced to have a foil fight I try and do it much like epee, rather than risk messing up my epee habits.

I also limit the similarity by using a french grip when I use foil. This also tends to help correct a natural tendency to be in distance only for hits to wrist.

-19th February 2004, 14:04
I do both, though now I'm fully into epee as a weapon I'm more or less leaving competitive foil. My reason for changing was primarily the need to do all three weapons to some vague semblance of competancy for the uni team, but also at school my coach said I should be doing epee due to the fact I was quite heavy-handed with a foil so a heavier weapon would probably be more suited to me. If you plan to keep up with foil as well, then I'd suggest keeping with both right from the start, as going back to the fiddliness and reduced target of foil can be tricky!

-20th February 2004, 15:53
I am a 13yr old female epéeist and I started fencing last September. To start off with I did 14 days of foil and moved straight onto epée at the end. I never looked back. I would suggest you concentrate on one weapon at a time to start off with.

-27th February 2004, 09:39
I successfully managed the transition from foil to epee after 3 years of foil. It teaches you basic techniques and encourages fast movement. I'm also very heavy handed! :grin: