, a distance of roughly 2 metres, give or take, depending on the country and region. A fencing distance
is the distance apart at which fencers
will start or resume a bout
. This serves two purposes. One, it prevents someone with a long, quick lunge
from gaining an unfair advantage in a bout
. Two, it encourages progessive actions
, which are easy to identify when a judge must recreate the phrase
A good way to envision fencing distance (for non-fencers) is to imagine yourself with a sword, pointed straight at your opponent, who is doing the same thing. Two-thirds of your swords should be in contact.
This means that only the foible (weak part) of each blade is able to contact your opponent's blade. As the foible can only be used to beat, and this action by itself is useless in scoring hits, the fencers are obliged to close the distance before any intentions occur. Usually, closing the distance is accompanied by beats, disengages, a parry or two, ripostes, counterattacks, and other 'easily' identified actions that will allow the judge to determine priority, and then award hits accordingly, which naturally determines the outcome of a bout
Thus, fencing distance allows the sport of Fencing to exist, providing a framework for the action to follow.