Flicking With The "New" Machines
Anthony from Madison, WI asks:
What’s the best way to go about flicking with the “new” timings?
Back in 2005, the FIE instituted altered foil timings in their quest to get rid of the flick (yet for some reason we still refer to them as “new”). With this decision the FIE Executive Committee sought to reverse the evolution of the weapon and return it to the “classical glory days” of the ’50s and ’60s.
However, as the last four years have shown, the flick has not died the quick death the FIE had hoped for, and we have not traveled back in time. Instead, foil fencers have continued the development of the sport and found that by changing their technique, the flick can still be an effective action in a fencer’s repertoire.
That being said, the most effective situation I’ve found for a flick to the shoulder is with a riposte. What I’d advise you to do is:
- Use your parry as the wind-up for your flick. Don’t make a big line-casting/fishing action.
- Keep your hand high for the duration of the flick. Do not drop your guard or pull your foil back.
- Execute the action more with your wrist and less with your elbow.
- The height of your guard should be inversely proportionate to the distance you are from your opponent, or, the closer you are to your opponent, the higher your hand has to be and vice versa.
- Aim for the top of your opponent’s shoulder, not over the shoulder or further down your opponent’s back.
With the new timings, the point needs to be depressed longer to register a touch. Therefore when you flick, you want to slow down your point. The above pointers will help you improve your flick, but as always, it will take practice.
In the near future, I hope to post a video of this technique in action.
P.S. As for best cant and blade type, those are really a matter of personal preference, but my favorite blades were Allstar White BFs. The best type of point is also a German one.
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