From THE ART OF THE SABRE AND THE EPEE by Luigi Barbasetti

29. The Simple Parries

There are nine different final parry positions and their names and executions are as follows:

Parry of Prime. -

Take the same position of the invitation in Prime, placing your fist to the left and a little higher than you shoulder, with the arm slightly bent so as not to obstruct you vision. This parry protects all the body, as well as the arm in the inner line against cut and thrust.

Parry of Seconde. -

Execute this parry in the same line of the invitation of its name. This parry protects the flank and the forearm against the point and the cutting edge.

Parry of Tierce. -

Starting from the guard of Tierce, carry your point backward to the right until you reach the position of the invitation in Tierce. This parry protects the face in the outer line and the arm in the same line.

Parry of Quartre. -

Execute this parry similarly to the invitation in the same line and it protects the chest and the arm in the inner line.


Parry of Quinte. -

Execute this parry similarly to the invitation in the same line, the cutting edge directed upward, the arm slightly bent, and the blade as a prolongation of your forearm. This parry covers the head and is also used against the thrust.


Parry of Sixte. -

This parry, like Quinte, protects the head against blows with the cutting edge, and is executed as follows: Move your fist back to the left, nails upward, the sabre pointing ahead in an oblique direction, cutting edge upward, elbow and the wrist slightly bent.

Parry of low Tierce. -

Rest your elbow against the flank and lower the arm until the hand is level with the knee, keeping the point at the same height of your adversary’s eyes, placign your blade to the right, cuttiong edge downward and to the right. This parry protects the flank and the thigh.

Parry of low Quarte. -

Place the arm and the weapon as in the preceding parry; however, it will be necessary to direct them sufficiently far to the left in order to protect the abdomen against the point and the cutting edge.


Parry of Septime. -

This parry greatly resembles the yielding parries.


The positions just described vary according to the direction of the blows you intend parrying.



The fundamental principle of these parries consists in opposing the forte of your blade to the foble of you adversary’s blade.

For example, you cannot very well stop a blow to the abdomen with the parry of Prime if you place your hand at the height of your head. If you are a clever fencer, you can, however, lower the hand so that your opponent’s blade hits the forte of your sabre, near the guard.



In order to parry an attack made at short distance, it will be indispensable for you to bend the arm, thus obtaining the advantage of riposting by a simple arm extension.