CEFC Rank Advancement Overview

Cutting Edge Fencing presents here teaching and supporting resources relating to our Rank Advancement System. The system is a unified series of group drills, footwork exercises, vocabulary, and theoretical concepts designed to teach the elements of modern sabre fencing. During group practices, fencers work together in skill groups on specific exercises. Once they have demonstrated mastery of material at one level, they move on to the next “color” in the series. There are formal testing requirements for progression starting at the Yellow level, as well as a minimum time component spent at each level.

CEFC acknowledges the work of the Canadian Fencing Federation (CFF) and its high performance staff in developing their Armband System. The CFF Armband System was the inspiration and initial framework for our rank advancement system. A number of these drills and footwork patterns were adopted from material posted by the CFF in their coaching education component. The other drill components were the result of many years of experimentation and work by our coaching staff (Special thanks to our friends from outside the club including Jerry Benson, Ariana Klinkov, and Ed Korfanty for contributions to these drills). They are presented here for the community of sabre fencers at Cutting Edge Fencing and throughout the world.

We have placed all of the material, instructional aids, and teaching resources for the first two levels – Beginner and Yellow – for public access. We have also made the “scope and sequence” for our other levels public access as well. If you are sabre fencing coach or run a fencing club and are interested in the details of our other levels, please send us an email or give us a call, and we can discuss access possibilities. 

Each level comes with a colored patch to be worn on the non-weapon leg of the fencing knickers below the club patch. Each practice session we run contains a series of footwork exercises, drills, and bouting. Coaches provide assessment of each student’s mastery of the drills assigned for their specific rank level following each practice session that can be viewed online through your student profile.

This material is currently under active development as we roll out the elements of our Rank Advancement System.

Unit Elements
Resource Page (Open Access)
Quizlet Vocabulary

Preliminary Levels

Preliminary levels focus on developing a foundation of technical fencing skills, with an awareness of distance, tempo, basic offensive and defense actions, as well as an introduction to tactical progression. In order to be eligible to test for promotion, mastery of a block of Readiness and Supporting drills must be demonstrated during practice. The test will contain the following components: Fencing Vocabulary and Theory. Footwork Patterns, Readiness Drills, Refereeing, and Sportsmanship and Character. Orange and Green levels also have Competition and Leadership elements.

Formal testing for the Yellow and Orange levels is conducted every 1-2 months. Green testing is conducted every 3-4 months.

Yellow

Unit Elements
Resource Page (Open Access)
Quizlet Vocabulary
YouTube Videos

Orange

Unit Elements
Resource Page (Members Only)
Quizlet Vocabulary

Green

Unit Elements (not yet deployed)
Resource Page (Members Only)
Quizlet Vocabulary

Advanced Levels

Advanced levels are designed around the skills of a competing athlete as a component of their training. The focus is on tactical awareness, strategic planning, advanced footwork and bladework skills, and physical preparation for higher level competition. The Readiness and Supporting drills are designed to work hand in hand with regular Private Instruction. As before, tests will feature Vocabulary and Theory, Footwork, Drills, and Refereeing components. Competition and Leadership are key at these levels, and Sportsmanship and Character are Pass/Fail requirements.

Tests are by a jury of fencing coaches, and are offered every 6-8 months for Blue and annually for Red and Black.

Blue

Unit Elements (not yet deployed)
Resource Link (not yet deployed)
Quizlet Vocabulary

Red

Unit Elements (not yet deployed)
Resource Link (not yet deployed)
Quizlet Vocabulary

Black

Unit Elements (not yet deployed)
Resource Link (not yet deployed)

Beginner Rank Requirements

Resource Page (Open Access)

Minimum Time

2 attendances

Test Format

Demonstration

Weekly Recommended

1-2 Practice Sessions (Group Drills)

Testing Elements

•Demonstrate how to get dressed
•Demonstrate fundamental footwork
•Demonstrate awareness of the parts of the weapon
•Demonstrate awareness of the Honor Code and Rules of Training

Sportsmanship and Character

•SabreCat Code of Honor
•SabreCat Rules of Training

SabreCat Code of Honor and Rules of Training

Concepts and Technical Elements

Drills

Readiness Skills (Formally Tested)

•Advance
•Engagement in 3
•Extension and Hit to Head
•Getting Dressed
•Lunge
•On Guard
•Parts of the Weapon
•Pieces of Equipment
•Recover Back
•Retreat
•Salute

Readiness Drills (Formally Tested)

None

Supporting Skills

•Mobile Stretch Warmup

Supporting Drills (In-Practice Evaluation)

None

Vocabulary

•parts of the blade
•advance
•on guard
•blade
•bell guard
•retreat
•salute
•tang
•touch (valid and non-valid)
•target area
•strip (piste)
•grip/handle
•pommel
•tip
•back edge
•strong (forte)
•middle
•weak (foible)
•jacket
•lame
•knickers
•engagement

Quizlet Vocabulary

Footwork Patterns (Formally Tested)

•Beginner Footwork Pattern 1

Refereeing

•Identification of simple actions
•Referee commands
•Referee position and movement with the action
•Right-of-way priority

Yellow Rank Requirements

Resource Page (Open Access)

Minimum Time

3 months

Test Format

Written + Practical

Weekly Recommended

1-2 Practice Sessions (Group Drills + Bouting)

Competitive Requirement

None

Testing Elements

•20% footwork
•20% testing drills
•20% refereeing
•20% vocabulary and theory
•20% sportsmanship and character

Sportsmanship and Character

•responsibility
•teamwork and sharing
•self control and self confidence
•spirit of the athlete
•respect
•fair play
•SabreCat Code of Honor
•SabreCat Rules of Training

Concepts and Technical Elements

Drills

Readiness Skills (Formally Tested)

•Advance Lunge
•Changing Footwork Size
•Changing Footwork Speed
•Disengage
•Double Advance
•Double Retreat
•Parry 3,4,5
•Riposte (Direct)
•Simple Attack to Basic Targets (Direct)
•Simple Attack to Basic Targets (Indirect)
•Taking over the Attack in Short Distance
•Target Areas/Parry Positions
•Three Distances

Readiness Drills (Formally Tested)

•Parry Immediate Riposte Drill
•Distance Parry Drill
•Simple Indirect Attack Drill

YouTube Videos

Supporting Skills

•Appel
•Basic Right-of-way
•Coupe
•Dimensions of the strip
•Fencing Time
•Invitation
•Jump

Supporting Drills (In-Practice Evaluation)

•Target Exchange Drill
•Parry Exchange Drill (Short Distance)
•Parry Exchange Drill (Long Distance)
•See the Invitation Drill
•Coupe Precision Drill
•Change Tempo Partner Drill

YouTube Videos

Vocabulary

•opponent
•referee
•bout
•attack
•weapon arm
•counter riposte
•right of way
•defense
•outside line
•3+1 distances
•lunge
•call
•offense
•parry
•phrase d’armes
•position 3
•position 4
•position 5
•riposte
•breaking distance
•simultaneous action
•flank
•valid target
•defense with distance
•invitation
•fencing time
•head

Quizlet Vocabulary

Footwork Patterns (Formally Tested)

•Yellow Footwork Pattern 1
•Yellow Footwork Pattern 2
•Yellow Footwork Pattern 3
•Yellow Footwork Pattern 4
•Yellow Footwork Pattern 5

YouTube Videos

Refereeing

•Identification of simple actions
•Referee commands
•Referee position and movement with the action
•Right-of-way priority

Orange Rank Requirements

Resource Page (Members Only)

Minimum Time

9 months

Test Format

Written + Practical

Weekly Recommended

1-2 Practice Sessions (Group Drills + Bouting)

Competitive Requirement

2 In-house Novice/Intermediate

Testing Elements

•20% footwork
•20% testing drills
•20% refereeing
•20% vocabulary and theory
•20% sportsmanship and character

Sportsmanship and Character

•responsibility
•teamwork and sharing
•self control and self confidence
•spirit of the athlete
•respect
•fair play
•SabreCat Code of Honor
•SabreCat Rules of Training

Concepts and Technical Elements

Drills

Readiness Skills (Formally Tested)

•Check Step
•Compound Attack
•Counter-riposte
•Differentiated Multiple Steps
•Feint
•Half Steps
•Offensive Preparation
•Timing the Parry with the Retreat

Readiness Drills (Formally Tested)

•Late Parry Drill
•Counter Riposte from Fall Short Drill
•Compound Attack Drill

Supporting Skills

•Balestra
•In and Out OTL
•Long Attack OTL
•Off-the-line Game
•Riposte (Indirect)
•Short Tactical Wheel
•Single Tempo Attacks
•Staged Attacks

Supporting Drills (In-Practice Evaluation)

•Change Tempo Partner Drill (Advanced)
•Indirect Riposte Drill
•OTL Distance Short Drill
•OTL Distance Long Drill
•OTL Long Attack Drill
•Indirect Exchange Drill

Vocabulary

•simple attack
•stop hit
•compound attack
•push attack
•arm targets
•lateral parry
•developing extension
•doigté
•feint
•prise de fer
•inside line
•position 1
•position 2
•manchette/cuff
•remise
•tempo change
•cutting edge
•provoke
•body feint
•attack on preparation
•beat attack
•closeout
•compound parry
•preparation

Quizlet Vocabulary

Footwork Patterns (Formally Tested)

•Orange Footwork Pattern 1
•Orange Footwork Pattern 2
•Orange Footwork Pattern 3
•Orange Footwork Pattern 4
•Orange Footwork Pattern 5

Refereeing

•Identification of simple actions
•Referee commands
•Referee position and movement with the action
•Right-of-way priority

Leadership

•Be able to lead the mobile stretch warmup
•Know the elements of a practice session

Leave A Comment