Gu Bongil and his devastating lunge ( post by Sydney Saber Center

Lesson Plan

  • Discussion of video’s watched
  • Warmup and Warmup Game
  • Review of fundamentals
  • Lunge, Advance Lunge
  • Distance games
  • Assignment: Watch a team match of your favorite weapon


Warmups will be a fixture at the beginning of each class. As we master one I will bring new ones out of my bag of tricks for the students to learn. Warmups will continually challenge your coordination and agility.

  • Alterna-jacks: We will review and perform Alterna-Jacks again
  • Boxing Hops: This is a traveling exercise to help hip and leg mobility
  • Ballet Kicks: This is a dynamic stretch of the legs and hips to help lengthen the muscles prior to our workout. It also requires balance and coordination.

The Lunge and the Advance Lunge

Inigo: “Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capoferro!”

MIB: “Naturally. But I find that Thibault cancels out Capoferro.”

Inigo: “Unless your enemy has studied his Agrippa!” [does great big somersault] “Which I have!”

-Princess Bride (The duel on the Cliffs of Insanity)

One of the most popular duels to appear on screen is in Princess Bride between Inigo Montoya and The Man in Black at the Cliffs of Insanity. It is the lunge that is referred to as Capo Ferro. The explosive attack was published in combat manuals of Ridolfo Capo Ferro published around 1610.

The lunge is the fundamental attack in fencing. It is probably the most important contribution of fencing to martial arts and sport in general. It was adopted for attack in the martial arts by Bruce Lee when he developed Jeet Kun Do (Bruce Lee fenced while attending High School). It has also been adopted by other sports such as badminton to cover ground quickly and efficiently.

Footwork will continue to be our focus this week. We covered the basic static lunge last week with the basic advance and retreat. This week we are going to expand the possibilities of the lunge looking at a few ways it can be executed and combined.

  • Lunge and Advance Lunge
  • Ballistic lunges


Movement Games

We get to break out the toy swords today. We will learn how to put on a fencing mask. and do some basic distance games. We will revisit some of our games last week.

Distance Game: The game starts with an attacking fencer and a defending fencer. The attacking fencer is allowed to execute an advance lunge in an attempt to hit the defending fencer on the top of the mask. The defending fencer is allowed to retreat as much as desired to avoid being hit. As soon as the front foot of the attacker hits the ground the attack is over and the roles are reversed, the defender is now the attacker and the attacker becomes the defender and must evade the new attack.

Cross the moat: Two fencers will face off across a gap marked in tape. The fencers can not step in the moat but must reach across it with a lunge to attempt to touch the other fencer with the toy sword. They may not cross with their back foot.

Steal the Bacon: A fencing glove is placed in the middle of the space and two fencers will pair off at opposite sides of the area. On the command to fence they will race to the middle using advances and lunge to steal the glove. Once a fencer has touched the glove the other fencer can attempt to tag him out. But not before the glove has been touched.


Since you’ve watched a few videos now, I expect you might be developing a preference for one weapon or another. Your assignment before Wednesday is to watch a team match of your favorite discipline. You don’t have to watch these particular matches, but these are fine choices for each discipline.

Team matches are played in 9 rounds where the three fencers of each team fence all three fencers of the other team (unless they use their substitution). Each round ends at the maximum score reaching the next multiple of 5 (5, 10, 15, … to 45) or if the three minute fencing period expires or non-combativity is called (a minute of fencing has elapsed without a touch scored). You get to see a number of different fencers and styles meeting and how each fencer adapts to each other.

I will answer any questions about what you all watched when we meet again on Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s