View Full Version : En garde around the world

-19th September 2003, 19:07
Hello all,

I'm confused (surprise!).
I've had it drilled into my head for the last 6 months (since starting) that when you're en garde, your weapon arm and wrist are in a nice line, and your thumb should be on top. However, when I was away in Germany in the last few weeks, I went to a club there, and the (Russian) coach reckoned if you're en garde your wrist should actually be in more like a sixte position (ie. turned over towards the right, if you're a rightie). There was some kind of explanation I didn't quite follow about this being good against lefties, but he seemed to be advocating it against righties as well.

Is this some well-known interesting geographical difference in how different nations do their en gardes, or is this coach just barking mad?

-19th September 2003, 19:35
It's an idiosyncratic coach. Anyway, don't go crusading about it, you've been taught the right position. Don't let one coach
(him being Russian has nothing to do with it) rock your world.

-19th September 2003, 19:54
Are we talking foil here?

-20th September 2003, 11:30
Yes - I've had different coaches for epee who've had slightly different en garde positions. The last time I had a foil lesson,I used a supinated en garde as I usually do (i.e turned to th eright) - we diagonsed that this was causing problems and I now have my thumb on top foe foil and supinated for epee.

All coaches differ and there are national trends - as always, it's a case of what works for you.

-20th September 2003, 16:35
Roger is right. It doesn't really matter too much as long as you are comfortable and can hold the position as you advance and retreat. Exact hand position isn't too important (in the Italian system they label four positions, and four half ways, giving you eight descriptions, rather than the supinated/pronated of the French).

The important thing is that whatever guard you use closes one of your oponents lines of attack, thus inviting an attack in a known line.


-22nd September 2003, 06:56
Actually I found the supinated one easier to hold than the
'normal' one, but now I'm back in Blighty I'm being corrected back to the normal one all the time. :confused: