Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A to Z: Octave and Opposition

This awesome challenge is hosted by founder Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Tina Downey at Life is Good, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Matthew MacNish at The QQQE, Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Livia Peterson at Leave it to Livia, L. Diane Wolfe at Spunk on a Stick, and Nicole at The Madlab Post

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.

  • Octave: parry #8; blade down and to the outside, wrist supinated.
  • Parries cover the main 8 areas of the body in foil fencing. They are a bit different for sabre, but remain relatively the same. Octave remains the same for all three weapons.
    A picture of the areas of the body for foil (although technically the low line area is still target and gets protected by septeme and octave):


     This is a textbook drawing of octave, or 8. The fencer on the right is demonstrating and octave parry. Interestingly enough, this drawing shows foil fencers wearing sabre vests . . . I guess those guys didn't want to think about the lower target area of the torso. (Ok, I just pointed, sorry, guys) Foil target area includes the whole torso, not just above the waist.
  • Opposition: holding the opponent's blade in a non-threatening line; a time-hit; any attack or counter-attack with opposition.
  • Before you watch this video I found on youtube, please note that these two gentlemen are fencing epee, the weapon in which the whole body is target (except the back of the head and neck).


    When the coach (in black) talks about holding or grabbing the opponent's blade, he means grabbing it and holding it with his own blade. Opposition usually includes a press and slide type action, where the opponent's blade is pressed out of line (out of target area) and the attacker then slides their own blade down the weapon to hit their opponent. These two gentlemen are demonstrating it as a parry-riposte with opposition, but opposition can be started by the attacker before a parry.

    Happy A to Z!

    Don't let any opposition get in the way of your writing today! Just push it back, riposte, disengage, and attack that page!

    Warning: There a huge number of "P" words in fencing tomorrow, including parry.

    16 comments:

    Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

    Oh believe me, my lower parts would be protected!!

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Alex - Good! :)

    Samantha May said...

    I would probably wear so much protective clothing that I wouldn't be able to move :P

    Writing Through College

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Samantha - LOL! Actually the vests are pretty thick, and there are chest protectors for women.

    Natalie Aguirre said...

    Thanks for warning us about tomorrow. I can't believe how many words you come up with for each letter. You must be glad there's less for O.

    elizabethwatgibson said...

    This is a very detailed description, my goodness. Great information. :)

    LivinOurDash said...

    What an interesting theme!

    M Pax said...

    Octave is a great word. Is it called that because it causes your opponent to screech in an increasing octave?

    Christine Rains said...

    I had no idea there was so much to this sport. Wow.

    Ingrid Engen said...

    I'm with Samantha. I think I'd be pretty worried about protection with blades coming at me!

    tantusamorscribendi.blogspot.com

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Natalie - yes, although I felt I had to be more descriptive with less words to choose from.

    Elizabeth - thanks!

    LivingourDash - thanks!

    M Pax - funny. :) It's actually pronounced with a long/hard a sound in the second syllable in fencing, different from the singing/music octave pronunciation.

    Christine - remember, fencers learn as they go, sometimes over a period of a few years so it's less overwhelming.

    Ingrid - they aren't sharp, no worries!

    Emily R. King said...

    Neat. I learned something new today!

    Julie Flanders said...

    I didn't know there was another meaning for octave besides a musical octave. Interesting!

    Mark Means said...

    The one diagram looks like they're sectioning off a side of beef....lol :)

    Susan Kane said...

    I didn't realize the complicated lingo and areas of attack in dueling. Now I appreciate Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone, and their on-film duels.

    J.L. Campbell said...

    I'd probably hurt myself and someone else the first time I was allowed to use a real sword.

    J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit