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DrT
-9th September 2003, 09:03
ok, I have a question...

Under what circumstances do you look for a hit to the foot?

Whenever I look to attack that way I'm invariably hit on the arm first. I've managed one or two as a reposte, but never (I think) as a premeditated attack.

tigger
-9th September 2003, 10:09
Sounds like you have that perennial epeeists problem: YOU'RE TOO SLOW :moon:

Prometheus
-9th September 2003, 10:35
I suspect the epeeists are all sunning themselves in Tuscany for 2 months at some Italian prince's villa - whereas the foilists and sabreurs spend a weekend in Blackpool roughing up the locals - or is that Cleethorpes? :tongue:

You can't expect the idle rich to be rushed can you........;)

ceprab
-9th September 2003, 12:31
Originally posted by DrT
ok, I have a question...

Under what circumstances do you look for a hit to the foot?

Whenever I look to attack that way I'm invariably hit on the arm first. I've managed one or two as a reposte, but never (I think) as a premeditated attack.

If you look to attack it telegraphs? To hit foot you need to be fast and able to be sure that your opponent blade is in the wrong place, either because it just is or because you have feinted and they have moved it. The other thing is to realise that the foot is closer than you think - a big lunge isn't needed.

Having said that, I only try this when I am feeling confident, or if I want to worry my opponent (If he thinks I can hit the foot then it's one more thing he has to think about defending).

Hoping that someone really good at hitting the foot will improve on this stab at advice.

Rdb811
-9th September 2003, 13:34
I've come to the conclusion that it isn't worth trying - I've only ever had it done to me by people show boating with one exception who was a Hungarian who was so good he could do it to order. I wonce spent some time with Mark wellington at the height of his powers while he went for my foot - I got the stop hit in most tmes and I would expect to do so in most circumstances.

If you are going to do it, make sure you are looking at the oppopents head and not at his foot otherwise you'll telegraph your intentions.

It's usually done a reposte to octave.

DrT
-9th September 2003, 15:56
thanks both - perhaps I'll stick to trying to hit the wrist!

nahouw
-10th September 2003, 00:14
Originally posted by ceprab
If you look to attack it telegraphs? To hit foot you need to be fast and able to be sure that your opponent blade is in the wrong place, either because it just is or because you have feinted and they have moved it. The other thing is to realise that the foot is closer than you think - a big lunge isn't needed.

Having said that, I only try this when I am feeling confident, or if I want to worry my opponent (If he thinks I can hit the foot then it's one more thing he has to think about defending).

Hoping that someone really good at hitting the foot will improve on this stab at advice.

You have to set it up right to do it. If you keep fast, small, footwork with many direction changes, then your opponent can't keep up and can be caught flat-footed for the opportunity. If you feint body, and they take the parry, then you can go for the foot; if they counter-attack upon your feint, then just bind semi-circle to 7 or 8 (depending upon your handedness and that of your opponent's) to toe. Once they know you can hit toe, you can change to feint toe, get them to go for it, and then hit body. Also, the converse is to offer them toe, see if they go for it, and then pull back your foot and drop your point onto their arm.

ceprab
-10th September 2003, 13:00
If you want more targets than wrist, then your opponents knee is much easier than their foot, you have to telegraph less and it's almost as close. And a quick octave will keep you safe from their blade (hopefully) while you do it.

veeco
-10th September 2003, 17:58
Hitting the toe is definitely something that can be done on order. It isn't easy to get the feel for it, but you can do it.

I have myself seen fencing bouts where the winner had scored about 10 of his 15 touches on toes touches.

The key is, as ceprab pointed out, in the preparation. If you cannot make a feint that your opponent will buy, then you won't be able to hit the foot.

If you are able to make them think that something's preparing on their hand, they will pay less attention to the foot and then it will be more easy to hit them there.

Examples of preparations:

slow beat - feint in 7
slow beat - feint in 7
fast beat - feint in 7, drop to the foot.

step forward - step back with feint in 6
step forward - step back with feint in 6
step forward - half-step back drop to the foot.

The key here is to find the right tempo and to be sure of the position of the foot, because you need to start your attack when the foot hasn't reached that position, but while it's on it's way there. So you have a small window of opportunity. But once you know it, you can do it, pretty much all the time, and it's a great satisfaction.

Also, don't look at the foot during the action, be prepared to change target during your attack, and always follow your foot touch by a 6 opposition when you go back on guard.

jamesthornton
-10th September 2003, 21:54
hitting the foot is not as hard as it may seem. you need point control however and speed isnt important just timing. also keep your eyes on the person you are fencing cuz if they see you looking at the foot its a bit of a give away. also feinting to the arm before can make them react to that so they wont imediatly go for the stop it. and it is not showboating as the foot is actualy one of the closet paryts of the target much closer than the body.

pinkelephant
-11th September 2003, 13:44
So now jamesthornton is in the Sixth Form and thinks he is big and grown up he gets to post during free lessons!

tigger
-12th September 2003, 11:09
we have a german pentathlete at Truro who hits to foot lots, but usually only when he's got control of his opponents blade, or has sold em a dummy. When he goes for it he very rarely fails. The foot hit and the flick over the top to wrist are the only hits in epee I can honestly say I enjoy watching.

Mark
-12th September 2003, 12:30
As a coach, I would encourage you to only go for the foot if:

1. Your opponent has their point out of line with your arm.
2. You are at a distance where you can hit the foot with a short lunge.
3. Your opponents feet are not moving (a short pause in their footwork is enough)

Here's an ideal excersise to practice. Step forward into the correct distance for a foot hit while feinting to outside arm. If you opponent parries sixte without stepping back then you will be able to lunge to foot without fear of being stop hit. Note you opponent's point will be travelling to the side and away from you as you are lunging to foot.

Please be gentle! Remember that we don't normally wear steel toecaps when fencing.

Mark

Nav
-12th September 2003, 13:47
For the record, not all epeeists are slow. A number of foil fencers train with my club semi-regularly and I'm quicker than all of them. There is more to epee than speed.

As for foot hits, I rarely try them. I'll sometimes go for the knee, as ceprab suggests, or the inner thigh if I've opened it up. The best time to strike the leading leg, I find, is when the opponent has the majority of his/her weight on it and can't move it away fast enough. If someone has lunged a bit too far, I'll strike, take the blade and go for the knee. Oh yeah, and don't lean. It's easy to forget and you'll get hit in the head.

All that said, if you're opponent is trying foot shots then draw him/her in whilst shifting the bulk of you're weight over the back foot. If they go for it, simply pull the front foot back and stop-hit to the arm. By shifting you're weight you run the risk of being caught flat footed, mind.

DangerMouse
-18th September 2003, 20:33
Originally posted by Rdb811
I've come to the conclusion that it isn't worth trying - I've only ever had it done to me by people show boating with one exception who was a Hungarian who was so good he could do it to order. I wonce spent some time with Mark wellington at the height of his powers while he went for my foot - I got the stop hit in most tmes and I would expect to do so in most circumstances.


I've actually found toe touches quite useful. First, it is embarrasing to get hit by one and can affect your confidence on the strip. Second, it opens another set of fakes. If I've already hit you on the toe, I can fake for the toe, close out a high line and fleche while you are off balance, or get you accustomed to the fake and then hit it again.

The way I set them up is just to wait until someone is flat-footed with a wide stance and their weight on the front foot. A quick lunge is all it takes with a ready second intention.

DrT
-19th September 2003, 09:59
Following all your top advice, I've had a bit of a practice at this. Firstly I tried at home by sticking a spare trainer on the floor and hitting it at lunge and step-lunge distance while trying not to look directly at it! That got my confidence up a bit so I had a go in a bout last night. As expected, I missed a lot and got stop-hit a lot BUT I did manage to get a couple of hits on by feinting to the outside of the arm and then dropping down. I can see how it can be done with practice so I'll stick at it.

I think some more "shoe practice" might be in order as I often got the distance wrong and missed with my point whizzing past the opponant's shin, rather than hitting the floor next to the foot.

I don't know if this quote is correct, but found it on the FSU website:

...nothing in fencing is really impossible, nor even exceedingly difficult. But everything requires work.
Aldo Nadi

srb
-19th September 2003, 18:40
Originally posted by Nav
For the record, not all epeeists are slow.


zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

tigger
-19th September 2003, 20:57
For the record, not all epeeists are slow.

Agreed. Just the VAST majority :grin:

pinkelephant
-21st September 2003, 16:14
Originally posted by tigger
Agreed. Just the VAST majority :grin:

Does "vast" refer to the majority or the fencers themselves?

Chris Morgan
-21st September 2003, 16:52
Watch out for Epeeists who pommel they are usually the best at foor attacks, also if youve hit your opponent a few times with foot shots i would suggest trying something else as they will usually pick up on what your doing and stop hit to arm.

Threestain
-21st September 2003, 20:37
You should only go to foot (unless you're surprisingly quick, or have distance to die for) after a feint higher up on the body - like the feint to arm you suggested. This also negates any lack of speed that you have, because even the fastest response requires two movements then. Variation is the key however, and its always worth losing a hit to gain five