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In fencing, a body cord serves as the connection between a fencer and a reel of wire that is part of a system for electrically detecting that the weapon has touched the opponent. There are two types: one for epee, and one for foil and sabre.
Épée body cords consist of two sets of three prongs each connected by a wire. One set plugs into the fencer's weapon, with the other connecting to the reel. Foil and saber body cords have only two irregularly sized prongs (or a twist-lock bayonet connector) on the weapon side, with the third wire connecting instead to the fencer's lamé. The need in foil and saber to distinguish between on and off-target touches requires a wired connection to the valid target area.
The three wires of the body cord are known as the A, B, and C lines. At the reel connector (and both connectors for Épée cords) The B pin is in the middle, the A pin is 1.5 cm to one side of B, and the C pin is 2 cm to the other side of B. This asymmetrical arrangement ensures that the cord cannot be plugged in the wrong way around.
The A line is the "lamé" line, the B line is the "weapon" line, and the C line is the ground. Although it works somewhat differently for each weapon, a valid touch always involves the connection of the A and B lines. In all three weapons, the C line is connected to the body of the weapon, and sometimes (normally in high-level competition) to the fencing strip as well, which must be made of metal in this case.
In foil, the A line is connected to the lamé and the B line runs up a wire to the tip of the weapon. The B line is normally connected to the C line through the tip. When the tip is depressed, the circuit is broken and one of three things can happen:
In Épée, the A and B lines run up separate wires to the tip (there is no lamé). When the tip is depressed, it connects the A and B lines, resulting in a valid touch. However, if the tip is touching the opponents weapon (their C line) or the grounded strip, nothing happens when it is depressed, as the current is redirected to the C line. Grounded strips are particularly important in Épée, as without one, a touch to the floor registers as a valid touch (rather than off-target as in Foil).
In Sabre, similarly to Foil, the A line is connected to the lamé, but both the B and C lines are connected to the body of the weapon. Any contact between the B/C line (doesn't matter which, as they are always connected) and the opponent's A line (their lamé) results in a valid touch. There is no need for grounded strips in Sabre, as hitting something other than the opponent's lame does nothing.
Typically, a fencer wears a body cord under their jacket. The wire is threaded through the sleeve of the weapon arm as it is being donned. Most gloves feature a small hole designed for body cord use. In officially sanctioned tournaments, the plug that fits into the weapon must be secured with an additional device, usually a small clip.
The other end of the wire is connected to the reel, as well as a D-ring on the fencer's jacket to prevent it from disconnecting during a bout. In addition, foilists and saberists must connect their alligator clips to their lamés. Fencers are forced by regulation to attach the lamé clip to their weapon arm side to prevent accidental or intentional removal.
Regulation also stipulates that any fencer who brings a defective body cord to the strip be penalized with a yellow card. However, should one's body cord fail in the middle of a bout, no penalty is awarded. In both cases, the fencer is not allowed to disrobe to change cords. This leads to the common practice of replacing the body cord by tying the new cord around the defective cord and pulling it through the sleeve.
Body cords must be kept in good working order lest their condition deteriorate. Common causes of broken body cords include breaks and damage to the prongs. Many body cords are made with clear plastic insulation so that any corrosion of the copper wire can be seen more easily.
Fencing is a group of three related combat sports. The three disciplines in modern fencing are the foil, the épée, and the sabre ; winning points are made through the weapon's contact with an opponent. A fourth discipline, singlestick, appeared in the 1904 Olympics but was dropped after that, and is not a part of modern fencing. Fencing was one of the first sports to be played in the Olympics. Based on the traditional skills of swordsmanship, the modern sport arose at the end of the 19th century, with the Italian school having modified the historical European martial art of classical fencing, and the French school later refining the Italian system. There are three forms of modern fencing, each of which uses a different kind of weapon and has different rules; thus the sport itself is divided into three competitive scenes: foil, épée, and sabre. Most competitive fencers choose to specialize in one weapon only.
A parry is a fencing bladework maneuver intended to deflect or block an incoming attack.
A foil is one of the three weapons used in the sport of fencing, all of which are metal. It is flexible, rectangular in cross section, and weighs under a pound. As with the épée, points are only scored by contact with the tip, which, in electrically scored tournaments, is capped with a spring-loaded button to signal a touch. A foil fencer's uniform features the lamé, a jacket, a glove, so called knickers, long socks, shoes, an 'under-arm protector,' or more accurately, a 'Plastron', a mask. For women, young children and all who choose, a chest protector, and the foil. It is the most commonly used weapon in competition. There are four sizes for the weapon starting with 30 inches and leading up to 35; 0, 2, 3, 5.
In fencing, a lamé is an electrically conductive jacket worn by foil and sabre fencers in order to define the scoring area. Foil lamés, although traditionally a metallic grey, are becoming more and more popular in an array of colors. In foil, the lamé extends on the torso from the shoulders to the groin area, including the back. In sabre, the lamé covers both arms, the torso from the shoulders to the waist, and the back. Lamés used in higher-level competitions usually have the last name and country of their owner printed in blue across the back. In addition, sabre fencers wear masks that allow them to register head touches, and manchettes, which are conductive glove covers, on their weapon hand. Lamés are wired by use of a body cord to a scoring machine, which allows the other person's weapon to register touches when their tips contact the lamé. Lamés are most commonly made of a polyester jacket, overlain with a thin, interwoven metal, usually steel or copper, which gives them a metallic grayish look.
The épée is the largest and heaviest of the three weapons used in the sport of fencing. The modern épée derives from the 19th-century Épée de Combat, a weapon which itself derives from the French small sword.
An extension cord, power extender, drop cord, or extension lead is a length of flexible electrical power cable (flex) with a plug on one end and one or more sockets on the other end. The term usually refers to mains extensions but is also used to refer to extensions for other types of cabling. If the plug and power outlet are of different types, the term "adapter cord" may be used. Most extension cords range from around two to thirty feet in length although they are made up to 300 feet in length.
Classical fencing is the style of fencing as it existed during the 19th and early 20th century. According to the 19th-century fencing master Louis Rondelle,
A classical fencer is supposed to be one who observes a fine position, whose attacks are fully developed, whose hits are marvelously accurate, his parries firm and his ripostes executed with precision. One must not forget that this regularity is not possible unless the adversary is a party to it. It is a conventional bout, which consists of parries, attacks, and returns, all rhyming together.
The sabre is one of the three disciplines of modern fencing. The sabre weapon is for thrusting and cutting with both the cutting edge and the back of the blade.
Fencing has been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since the birth of the modern Olympic movement at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. Women's foil made its Olympic debut in Paris, during the 1924 Olympic Games. There are three forms of Olympic fencing:
Nedo Nadi was one of the best Italian fencers of all time. He is the only fencer to win a gold medal in each of the three weapons at a single Olympic Games and won the most fencing gold medals ever at a single Games—five. Until Mark Spitz won seven swimming championships at the 1972 Summer Olympics, this was also the record number of gold medals won at a single Games by any competitor. Nadi won six Olympic gold medals in total.
Fencing – family of combat sports using bladed weapons. Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games. Also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing.
In fencing, an attack is "the initial offensive action made by extending the arm and continuously threatening the opponent's target". In order for an attack to be awarded successfully, the fencer must accelerate their hand and feet towards the target. If the fencer does not accelerate the hand or foot, this is a preparation.
The flick is a technique used in modern fencing. It is used in foil and to a lesser extent, épée.
Boris Grigoryevich Onishchenko is a former Soviet modern pentathlete who competed at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. He was a multiple Olympic and world champion, but was disqualified for cheating at the 1976 Summer Olympics and banned for life from sports.
In fencing, the grip is the part of the weapon which is gripped by the fencer's hand.
The flèche is an aggressive offensive fencing technique used with foil and épée.
The Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) was founded on April 22, 1891, in New York City by a group of fencers seeking independence from the Amateur Athletic Union. As early as 1940, the AFLA was recognized by the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE) and the United States Olympic Committee as the national governing body for fencing in the United States.
Fencing practice and techniques of modern competitive fencing are governed by the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), though they developed from conventions developed in 18th- and 19th-century Europe to govern fencing as a martial art and a gentlemanly pursuit. The modern weapons for sport fencing are the foil, épée, and sabre.
Tactics are very important to playing well in modern fencing and although technique is important in the sport, using an array of tactics will help fencers make the most of that technique.
This is a glossary of terms used in fencing.