My A to Z theme is fencing and swordplay, focusing mainly on fencing terminology, but with a few favorite movie fencing moments thrown into the mix too. Warning: This post has a long "extra" list attached. If you are in a hurry, just read the main part, and then skip the rest.
For those of you who have asked recently, yes, I have fenced before, but I haven't fenced in many years. My best fencing year was also my worst. I went from going to a United States Fencing Association Coaching Camp at an Olympic training center to serious injury that resulted in the worst surgery I've ever had (I've had many, included 2 C-sections) and months of major recovery while fencing right-handed, doing which I actually landed a spot to go to Nationals (I didn't go and kicked myself afterwards for being a coward). Years and years later, I keep meeting teens and adults who fence, and I keep thinking about going back. At the moment, with a crazy busy life, it just doesn't seem reasonable, but I keep thinking about it. Now and then I pull out my old fencing rule book and coaches manual, and do footwork and blade-work in my living room.
My novel, Champion in the Darkness has some swordplay in it, and I was hoping to write in more swordplay terms in my second novel, Champion in Flight, so the vocabulary you find here is a refresher for me.
F is for Foil: One of the three competition weapons for the U.S.F.A. and the Olympics. a fencing weapon with rectangular cross-section blade and a small bell guard.
Foil with a French Grip.
Foil is the basic weapons that all fencers start with, and many continue to compete with for all time. The target area for foil is the torso only, front and back. The foil, like the epee, is a point weapon in which points are scored only with the tip of the blade.
As I said in my previous post about epees, the three competition weapons and those who fence with them have a tendency to draw stereotypes in personalities and manners. Foil fencers are seen as relaxed, every day "joes and jills" who enjoy discussing rules, but who also are cool enough to joke around and have fun now and then.
(I fenced foil and sabre, and well, you'll see what the stereotypes are like for sabre fencers when we get to 'S')
Other Fun "F" fencing terms (this list is long so feel free to ignore it):