Staying out of range: increasing attacking distance in fencing

Turner, Anthony N. ORCID logoORCID:, Marshall, Geoff, Noto, Angelo, Chavda, Shyam ORCID logoORCID:, Atlay, Nathan and Kirby, David (2017) Staying out of range: increasing attacking distance in fencing. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12 (10) . pp. 1319-1323. ISSN 1555-0265 [Article] (doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0680)

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To avoid being hit, fencers typically adopt an out of range position, which was hypothesized to be governed by body- and action-scaled affordances. This theory was measured in elite and national level junior (u20) fencers. Associations between “reachability” of lunging and step-lunging attacks, was assessed against height, arm-span, leg-span, body mass and lower-body power, and then compared across level. Reachability was determined as the distance covered by fencers during these attacks and was reported as actual and estimated distances. Elite fencers are better at estimating their lunging and step-lunge distance compared to national ranked junior fencers (-0.9 vs. 7.3 % and 5.4 vs. 10.9 % respectively). Surprisingly, elite fencers’ actual and estimated distances for these was less than the junior fencers’ (222.6 vs. 251.5 cm and 299.3 vs. 360.2 cm respectively), and significantly so in the former. Finally only arm (r = .81) and leg span (r = .71) were significantly correlated to estimated lunging distance and this was only in elite fencers. Findings suggest that better fencers can accurately predict their attack range and that reachability appears to be positively influenced by arm and leg-span; these may feed in to talent identification. Given that distances were less in elite fencers, findings suggests that timing and distance estimation are key skills to master, and that the mastery of these in offensive actions can mitigate to a large extent, the physical benefits of an opponent’s greater height.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Strength and Conditioning at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 21980
Notes on copyright: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2017, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 1319–1323, © 2017 Human Kinetics, Inc.
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Depositing User: Anthony Turner
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 10:08
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:30

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