Glossary

This is an incomplete but growing glossary of terms used in our practice. Many of these have equivalent terms in other styles, but we have adopted Thibault’s own French terminology for the most part. Some generic fencing terms are also in this list.

Foreign terms have an approximate pronunciation, and difficult words also have an anglicized pronunciation that English speakers may find more comfortable. Either are acceptable.

  • Estocade (ess-toe-kod) – a straight-line thrust executed such that an imaginary line extending from the pommel of the sword would intersect the fencer’s own body.
  • Inside – on the same side of a fencer’s guard/sword as their chest, regardless of where the sword is currently located.
  • Instance – one of the three measures Thibault recognizes in his system.
  • Measure – the distance from one’s opponent, as measured by how one has to move in order to strike. To be “out of measure” means to be out of striking range.
  • Outside – side of a fencer’s guard/sword as their back, regardless of where the sword is currently located.
  • Quillon (kee-yan; ang. kwill-en) – one arm of the rapier’s crossguard.
  • Tempo – a moment in which one is free to act, created by their opponent beginning their action. Or the converse, where one creates a tempo for their opponent by their own action.
  • Time – Translations of Thibault’s manual use “a time” to mean the same thing as “a tempo”.