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Time Required to Initiate a Defensive Reaction to Direct and Feint Attacks in Fencing

Marcos Gutiérrez-Davila, F. Javier Rojas, Carmen Gutiérrez-Cruz, Carlos García, and Enrique Navarro

The two-fold purpose of this study was to analyze the time required by a fencer to initiate a defensive action in response to a direct attack, which involves identifying when the defending fencer detects the just-noticeable difference, and, secondly, to assess the effect that an attacker’s rapid armed hand movement (feint attack) has on the time required to initiate a defensive move. Twenty-four elite fencers and a fencing master were included in the study. Four adapted force plates were installed on a scaffold used as a fencing piste. A 3D video analysis system recorded the location of 2 markers installed on the fencing master’s shoulder and sword. The results confirm that the defending fencer has a mean movement time of 0.353 ± 0.028 s to perform the defensive action, which provides an advantage over the attacking fencer. The velocity of movement in the peripheral visual field has no influence on the time required by elite fencers to initiate a defensive action. This confirms the crucial role that response inhibition processes play when nonrelevant actions are perceived. Kinematic analysis of markers suggests that the eye movements of elite fencers are not the only source of information used while observing an attack.

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Influence of Surface on Impact Shock Experienced During a Fencing Lunge

Andrew Greenhalgh, Lindsay Bottoms, and Jonathan Sinclair

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of sports surface on the magnitude of impact shock experienced during a lunge movement. Thirteen experienced, competitive fencers (age 32.4 ± 4.6 years; height 178.4 ± 7.2 cm; mass 74.4 ± 9.1 kg) performed 10 lunges on four different surfaces: concrete with an overlaid vinyl layer (COVL), wooden sprung court surface (WSCS), metallic carpet fencing piste overlaid on the WSCS, and aluminum fencing piste overlaid on the WSCS. An accelerometer measured accelerations along the longitudinal axis of the tibia at 1000 Hz. The results identified a significantly (P < .05) larger impact shock magnitude was experienced during a lunge on the COVL (14.88 ± 8.45 g) compared with the WSCS (11.61 ± 7.30 g), WSCS with metallic carpet piste (11.14 ± 6.38 g) and WSCS with aluminum piste (11.95 ± 7.21 g). Furthermore, the two types of piste used had no significant effect the impact shock magnitude measured when overlaid on the WSCS compared with the WSCS on its own. The results of this investigation suggest that occurrences of injuries related to increased levels of impact shock may be reduced through the utilization of a WSCS as opposed to a COVL surface during fencing participation.

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The Role of Footwear on Kinematics and Plantar Foot Pressure in Fencing

Mark D. Geil

The sport of fencing involves asymmetric motions, large forces, and rapid changes in momentum. Today’s fencing shoes are designed to facilitate footwork but they provide little plantar force dissipation. Plantar foot pressures and kinematics were measured in 13 fencers. The study compared fencing shoes to a standard court shoe. The court shoe resulted in a significant reduction in plantar pressures during the fencing lunge, advance-lunge, and fleche. However, most fencers preferred the fencing shoe for fencing. The court shoe tended to alter fencing kinematics, generally though not significantly decreasing the velocity of the front foot and the weapon hand, and increasing the range of motion and overall travel of the weapon hand. This effect on fencing mechanics may stem from the design of the court shoe, or from an accommodation effect.

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Physiological Profiling and Energy System Contributions During Simulated Epée Matches in Elite Fencers

Woo-Hwi Yang, Jeong-Hyun Park, Yun-Cheol Shin, and Jun Kim

Since 1986 in Athens, fencing has been an official combat sport in the Olympics. Different fencing disciplines are classified as epée, foil, and sabre, depending on the weight, shape, rules, and characteristics of the sword. Fencers during the competition are protected by specific fencing clothing

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Attentional Foci and Coping Strategies During Matches of Young Fencers in a Training Center: A Naturalistic Video-Assisted Study

Mathéo Maurin, Maëlle Bracco, Steven Le Pape, Noémie Lienhart, Cyril Bossard, Julie Doron, and Guillaume Martinent

, anticipation of opposing actions is crucial, and fencers must be attentive to information, allowing them to predict opposing movements, adapt their own actions, and thus optimize their performance. In this way, fencing requires strong mental resources to manage the stress and favor winning streaks ( Doron

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Staying Out of Range: Increasing Attacking Distance in Fencing

Anthony N. Turner, Geoff Marshall, Angelo Noto, Shyam Chavda, Nathan Atlay, and David Kirby

Fencing is a combat sport where, in simple terms, the goal is to hit the opponent while avoiding being hit. In this regard, it is similar to other striking sports such as boxing and taekwondo, for example. As sport scientists we must appreciate this dynamic and determine which the athlete and their

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Ecological Validity of the Session Rating of Perceived Exertion for Quantifying Internal Training Load in Fencing

Anthony N. Turner, Conor Buttigieg, Geoff Marshall, Angelo Noto, James Phillips, and Liam Kilduff

Session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) is known to significantly relate to heart-rate (HR) -based methods of quantifying internal training load (TL) in a variety of sports. However, to date this has not been investigated in fencing and was therefore the aim of this study. TL was calculated by multiplying the sRPE with exercise duration and through HR-based methods calculated using Banister and Edwards TRIMP. Seven male elite foil fencers (mean ± SD age 22.3 ± 1.6 y, height 181.3 ± 6.5 cm, body mass 77.7 ± 7.6 kg) were monitored over the period of 1 competitive season. The sRPE and HR of 67 training sessions and 3 competitions (87 poule bouts and 12 knockout rounds) were recorded and analyzed. Correlation analysis was used to determine any relationships between sRPE- and HR-based methods, accounting for individual variation, mode of training (footwork drills vs sparring sessions), and stage of competition (poules vs knockouts). Across 2 footwork sessions, sRPE and Banister and Edwards TRIMP were found to be reliable, with coefficient of variation values of 6.0%, 5.2%, and 4.5%, respectively. Significant correlations with sRPE for individual fencers (r = .84–.98) and across mode of exercise (r = .73–.85) and competition stages (r = .82–.92) were found with HR-based measures. sRPE is a simple and valuable tool coaches can use to quantify TL in fencing.

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Fencing at Crossed Swords: Immigration of Elitist Sport to Palestine

Udi Carmi

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A Point-by-Point Analysis of Performance in a Fencing Match: Psychological Processes Associated with Winning and Losing Streaks

Julie Doron and Patrick Gaudreau

This study aimed to revisit the complex nature of serial dependency of performance during a match, examining the prospective associations between psychological processes and subsequent performance at the within-person level of analysis, and explore whether psychological processes are associated with the likelihood of winning series of points. A process-oriented sequential approach was used with 16 elite fencers during a simulated competition. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that serial dependency of performance fluctuates within a match. Results of a Bayesian multilevel structural equation model showed that prior performance subsequently influenced psychological processes. Although psychological processes did not predict performance in the subsequent point, successive winnings were associated with higher perceived control and task-oriented coping and lower negative affectivity compared with both losing streaks and nonstreaks. Overall, serial dependencies of performance are nonstationary during a match whereas psychological processes significantly differ in episodes of winning after winning versus losing after losing.

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Proprioceptive Training on Dynamic Neuromuscular Control in Fencers: A Clinical Trial

Gabriela Souza de Vasconcelos, Anelize Cini, and Cláudia Silveira Lima

Fencing is a sport of agility, characterized by, among others things, changes of direction and movements in acceleration and braking. 1 Its practice requires dynamic neuromuscular control, which is the athlete’s ability to maintain stability while moving quickly and reacting to changes in