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French foil

Fleuret d’escrime

The foil started to be used in France in the first half of the 17th century as a training thrusting weapon for the safe practice of fencing first with the duelling rapier or military sword, later with the smallsword and eventually with the duelling sword. The weapon was given its name from the shape of the protective arcs it originally had, which were reminiscent of a flower (fleur). It is a very light practice weapon for thrusting. It has a blunt blade with a square cross-section and a small ball on the end, the purpose of which is to minimise the risk of harming one’s opponent in a practice duel. The foil was never used as a duelling weapon. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a piece of strong wire twisted into a figure-of-eight shape formed the simple guard. In the second half of the 19th century, fencing with this typical practice weapon became a sporting discipline in its own right. We teach French foil fencing following the methodology of the École Normale de Gymnastique et d’Escrime military academy in Joinville-le-Pont, which was founded in 1872.

Methodology: maître d’armes Leonid Křížek, prévôt d’armes Michael Kňažko
Instructors: maître d’armes Leonid Křížek, maître d’armes Jan Kostka, prévôt d’armes Michael Kňažko
Methodological manuals:
Josef Ott: Das System der Fechtkunst à la contrepointe auf den Stoss, Olomouc 1852

Dr. Miroslav Tyrš: Tělocvik ve vojště, Šermování končířem, Praha 1868
Dr. Miroslav Tyrš: Základové tělocviku, Šermování bodmo, Praha 1873
Ministére de la Guerre: Manuel D´Escrime, Paris 1877
Giuseppe Radaelli: La Scherma di Punta, Milano 1885
Camille Prevost: Théorie Pratique de l´Escrime, Paris 1886
Gustav Hergsell: Die Fechtkunst, Wien-Pest-Leipzig 1892

Louis Rondel: Foil and Sabre, A Grammar of Fencing, Boston 1892
H. A. Colmore Dunn: Fencing, London 1899
Robert Tvarůžek: Šerm končířem, Brno, 1926, 1933

F. C. Reynolds: The Book of the Foil, London 1931

Julio Martinez Castelló: The Theory and Practice of Fencing, New York, London 1933

Fencing Comprehensive: Félix Gravé, London 1934

Joseph Vince: Fencing, New York 1940
Dr. Jan Černohorský: Šerm fleuretem a kordem, Praha 1947

Roger Crosnier: Fencing with the Foil, London 1948
Leonid Křížek: Historie evropských duelů a šermu III – Od duelového ke sportovnímu kolbišti, Praha 2015
Čestmír Čivrný: Šerm fleretem, Praha 2018

Target area: the torso only, thrust only