The smell of sweat fills your nostrils as you pull the helmet over your head.
“Prêt. Aller.” The referee says, and the match has begun. Your opponent lunges at you, and you move back and parry, but he disengages and lunges again, attacking your sword arm. The touch is his. Back to the starting line. Another few words from the referee, and you’re off again. Eyes focused on your opponent’s sword and arm, you bite your tongue in concentration. A balestra. Lunge. Parade. Degagement Alonge. Marche. Battement. Touch. The score is 1-1. Only four more to go, you think, moving back to prepare yourself for the next point, whether his or yours. Beads of sweat are beginning to form on your forehead, and you close your eyes briefly to wish for a way to wipe them off your face. Time after time, touch after touch, the match continues. The score is 3-4, with you in the lead. You remind yourself not to let your guard down, even though a win is in sight. Marche. Alonge. Lock their sword. Down to the toe. Touche! You have won the match. Tearing off your helmet, you salute and shake your opponent’s hand. After unhooking yourself from the wires, you pull your glove off of your hand and partially unzip your jacket. Smiling as you step off the piste, you then take a swig of water and seat yourself on a wooden bench. You lean your head back against the wall, knowing that you will be sore tomorrow. But you don’t mind, it’s something you’ve been used to for a long time now. As you take another sip of water, you remind yourself once more of something you never need to be told.
You are a fencer.
Aller: (a-lay) Begin
Alonge – (a-lonjay)An extention of the arm, going from the bent starting/resting position to straight.
Balestra (Bal-estra)– a jump sort of thing, leading with the front foot, landing with both at the same time. It’s used to propel you forward quickly.
Battment (bawt-mon) – Used to knock your opponent’s blade out of the way.
Degagement (Day-gajay-mon)– or Degajé, this is a tiny arc made with your sword to avoid your opponent’s sword.
Lunge – Attack, basically.
Marche – (mar-shay) the basic step, used for moving forward.
Parade (pair-ad)– Parade is the same thing as parry. Basically you knock your opponent’s blade out of the way so you can attack.
Piste – (pist) the strip used as a battlefield.
Prêt (pray) – French for “ready?”
Touche – (tou-shay) The touch, point.