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.
Parry: a block of the attack.
This is one of the first words that a fencer learns, along with attack, and riposte. Parries save your target area from attack. Parry-ripostes are that awesome defense into offense move that keeps the action moving forward. We'll get into ripostes more in "R".
There are huge numbers of fencing videos on youtube. Why did I pick this one? Well, he goes through the parries pretty quickly, names them correctly, and demonstrates for both right handers and left handers, which is rare. As a left-handed fencer, I appreciate it when someone takes the time to show both. Sure, I can mirror a right-hander, and I can fence right-handed, but I learned left-handed and prefer left-handed fencing. Oh, and the guy reminds me of many of the guys that fence, think chess with action, not Thor with perfect Barbie hair. (Although there are guys that look like that who fence too)
His setpeme and octave are low enough for epee fencers, even though I think he's holding a "plastic" foil - sometimes these are used in beginning level fencing classes, especially with younger kids.
One issue I have a bit with this video, is that he holds his quarte, or 4, with the tip facing away from his opponent. The tip/point should remain facing the opponent at all times. You can see this problem before the video even starts. Sigh. I couldn't find the perfect video, despite the numerous ones I looked through on youtube.
I have an old fencing training video, but it's old, like VHS old.
Piste: the linear strip on which a fencing bout is fought; approx. 2m wide and 14m long. Most commonly known in America as "the strip" and we're not talking about Las Vegas. If a fencer goes off the strip with one foot, they get a warning. If they go off entirely, they get a point against them/given to their opponent.
What many non-fencers don't like about the strip/piste: it holds fencers in a straight line, and there is no roundabout, circling action, which can be kind of disappointing when you first start fencing.
The other "P" terms:
Favorite fencing moments in "P" movies: The scene between Inigo and Wesley (man in black) in The Princess Bride, and in the blacksmith's shop in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. I showed The Princess Bride scene on "N" day, and if you follow the link here, you can find the one from Pirates. The common thread in both: excellent sword work, and actors trained by fencing masters.