Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Lunge and a Pass in Second!

Has it really been almost a month since I've posted? That's not cool! Where did you go, motivation? (Answer: work stress, duh.) Time to get back on the stick and do a quick post on Fabris' lunge and pass in Second! (Lunge on the left, pass on the right.)

As an aside, you really have to love a set of illustrations where (under the pass in Second) Fabris feels the need to remind us that it's "a drawing from life, as are all the others!" Yeah.

Let's look at the lunge first. Fabris notes that this can be done to either the inside or outside of your opponent's blade - this is due to the fact that you are endeavoring to pass yourself underneath your opponent's blade. Fabris warns to be very careful of measure, and that this is best performed as your opponent performs a passing step, as you're trying to get the bulk of your body past their tip as you wound them. If you try to do this at too wide a measure, your opponent can just lower the tip of their blade and strike you before you pass under it.

In a sentence you won't expect to hear very often in many fencing situations, Fabris also notes that your head and your knee are both protected by your guard and arm at once.

Fabris' pass from Second is very similar. However, Fabris points out that because you are passing with your left foot while your right shoulder remains in the lead, you have an extremely long reach with this attack. (You can see this with the lift of the right shoulder, and the bending along the spine. It's very clear in the right-hand figure.) Because of this, while it can be used when your opponent passes (as with the lunge above) it also works when your opponent takes any other kind of attack - or any other tempo, since you will pass under the tip of their blade so quickly.

As with the lunge, you can do this to the inside or outside - it doesn't matter at all because you're passing underneath and your blade will have no real need to oppose your opponent's. Finally, Fabris notes that your second step will be even faster than the first, thanks to your momentum and the drop in your body.

These two attacks are extremely low to the ground - to the point where it looks like your head can be lower than your pelvis in the pass, which just seems mad to me. That said, passing entirely underneath a blade is a really effective technique if you can manage it. I appreciate that Fabris makes it clear with the lunge that if your opponent is too far that it just won't work out well for you. With the lunge as wide and committed as it is, he points out that it's very hard to safely recover from it. It's because of that very fact that I'm trying to work more passing steps into my fight - I love lunges, but the action that we typically term a redouble (recovering forward and immediately lunging again) is slow, potentially dangerous, and is handing my opponent tempo after tempo in which to act. If I can stick a lunge, I'll absolutely use it, but adding passing attacks to my fight is both useful and a very period thing to be able to do.

If it makes people feel better, the lunges from Third and Fourth aren't nearly so low to the ground at all. Also, the lunges in Fourth include some girata, which are super great.

Next, guards in Third!


  1. Works best if one is invertebrate...

  2. Oh man that passing step lunge looks awesome. Like, so awesome. I want to try this thing next practice.