San Jose Fencing Center

Heath Winer and head coach Michael Botenhagen talk about the art of Fencing. Founded in 1981, the Fencing Center (TFC) is a non-profit club dedicated to furthering the development of the art and sport of fencing at the local, regional, national and international levels. Aside from coaching youth towards competitions, they also help coaches attain their credentials as well.

For more information on the Fencing Center of San Jose, visit their website at

Full Article in Issue 6.0 “DISCOVER”

Article by Samantha Mendoza
Photography by Scott MacDonald


Advance: take a step forward (toward one’s opponent)
Beat: a sharp tap on the opponent’s blade to initiate an attack
or provoke a reaction

Engagement: contact between the fencers’ blades
En Garde: position taken before fencing commences
Épée: dueling sword, heaviest of the three weapons, V-shaped
blade and large bell guard for protecting the hand

Feint: false attack intended to get a defensive reaction from the
opposing fencer

Foil: court sword, lightest of the three weapons and blunted tip
Guard: part of the weapon between the blade and handle
Parry: defensive action where a fencer blocks opponent’s blade
Piste: French term for fencing strip, the perimeter where actual
fencing takes place

Recover: return to the en garde position after lunging
Saber: light and fast weapon, V-shaped or Y-shaped blade and
used for cutting and thrusting


Foil: fencers score points by landing tip of blade on area along
torso from shoulders to groin in front and to waist in the back.
Arms, neck, head and legs are off-target.

Saber: fencers score points by hitting with point or edge of
blade on target area above the waist, excluding hands.
(Both Foil and Saber must follow right-of-way rule: the fencer who
started to attack first will receive the point if they hit a valid target,
and that their opponent is obligated to defend themselves)

Épée: fencers score points by hitting their opponent first on
any part of the body.

Source: Fencing.Net, LLC


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