Whitman College Fencing





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First Rank – Yellow Band - Beginning Foil


A) Length of attendance:
Minimum attendance time before testing: 15 practices, with discretion for those with previous experience

B) Candidate should have participated in at least two assaults previously with instructors.

The Testing:

The purpose of the 1st rank testing is for the candidate to demonstrate the knowledge and ability needed to fence safely with the foil in a bout.

A) Candidate must demonstrate the following skills/techniques:

Notice, all techniques should be done from a proper guard, attacks should be done with a properly executed lunge, etc. A salute should be made when beginning techniques that touch aliving opponent. Failure in these things is equivalent to failure in the technique.

        First position
        On guard Advance
        Distance maintaining drill

     Hand Positions
     Salute (Simple [assault], and grand [judged])
        (Candidates should be proficient in the following actions in all lines.)
    Straight Thrust
    Disengage and Lunge
       Simple parries
       Circular parries
       Riposte (direct & indirect)
    Actions on the Blade:
       Blade Seizure (engagement)
       Change of Engagement

B) Candidates must be able to explain the following topics:

Tactical: Foil Target Area
    Priority and Right-of-Way (basics)
    Distance control (close, in-, far)
    Defense of Measure

Rules & Officiating:
    Bout protocol
    Toccato-Grazie Scoring System
    Strip dimensions (AFL or true classical (20’x3’)?)
    Minor (group I) bout offenses for standard foil (AFL)
    Sportsmanship and “Social Behavior in the Salle”

    Cleaning and care of basic fencing gear
    Identify components of the standard foil (French and Italian hilts)

C) Candidate must participate in a bout with the sponsor. This bout should be to 5 points. The
outcome of the bout (winner/loser) has no bearing on the candidate's success in the testing.
Rather, this serves as a chance to teach the candidate what a good bout should be like,
and to make sure they can demonstrate the needed control to be safe in a bouting situation.
The candidate will be graded out 10 points on their execution of control. The sponsor should
execute her/his actions with good control and form to allow the candidate a chance to properly
demonstrate his/her skill.


A) Fencers of the 1st rank have the permission to bout foil and do bladework drills with other
fencers of the 1st rank or higher using club gear and at club functions without needing an
instructor's direct supervision--as long as the club's standard safety rules are followed!

B) Fencers of the 1st rank are granted the ability to borrow equipment pertaining to foil from
the club outside of club meeting times. However, they must obtain permission from the Head
Instructor, and need to sign for all items using the registry.