This week’s class is looking at how to change time and distance using the check step. The check step is a short half step made quickly and can be used to accelerate.

Class started with a couple exercises that emphasized the feel of the floor

Jump to guard – advance, Jump to guard – Lunge

These exercises focus the fencer on feeling the floor and springing forward off the landing. This replicates the pre-loading action we instinctively do when trying to jump straight up. The fencer needs to learn to use that spring to propel themselves forward and back.

Tap-Tap Adv/Ret

These exercises focus the fencer on managing the center of gravity evenly between the feet and to drive through the floor to move forward and back. The exercise is intended to train the fencer to drive with the trailing foot rather than step forward with the leading foot when initiating a movement.

Check Step:

Described the check step to move forward and back. The check step is a short, fast half-step where the trailing leg drives the body similar to a short hop or stutter step. This is used to make minute changes in distance and to change timing without giving up forward motion. The check step can also be used to pre-load the leg muscles for a powerful lunge (check-step lunge).


The class practiced integrating the check-step into the attack with a lunge. First as a rote drill then as a semi-competitive drill where the attacking fencer can manipulate the timing with a direct attack in 1-2-3 scenarios (1: check step lunge, 2: adv check step lunge, 3: adv x 2 check step lunge) with the defender maintaining distance and attempting to read the acceleration to parry-riposte (P/R) in distance.

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