Advanced Blocks

The purpose of the Advanced Blocks lesson is to learn how to elevate the 8 Basic Blocks and how they can be implemented.

For Teachers

Click the Button to jump to How to Teach Advanced Blocks.

Safety

After each Block, a following attack could be performed safely and in a controlled manner. Be aware of the situation and understand when it may be safer to just block.

If you need a review of the 8 Basic Blocks, take a look at the Basics of Dueling lesson.

Advanced Blocks

In fencing, the ultimate goal is to survive a fight. This can only be done with precise blocking. You have already learned the 8 basic blocks. In this lesson we are going to refine those blocks, so that you are not wasting precious time and energy in a fight and we are also going to add three new blocks that you were not taught when you first learned to fence. 

These blocks are slightly more advanced and are used less frequently than those taught previously. However these blocks when executed appropriately and effectively can set you up for excellent riposte shots and in the case of the last block work as an advanced disengage as well.

Block 1

Block 1 defends your legs by dropping your blade down to be perpendicular with the ground, the back of your hand pointing out and then moving your sword across your body. Advanced Block 1 can be done at any height and is a great way to defend a large section of your body while providing an opportunity to swing your point into your opponent.

Block 2

Block 2 defends your legs by dropping your blade down to be perpendicular with the ground, the back of your hand pointing out and then moving your sword away from your body. Advanced Block 2 can be done at any height. It can also be used to your opponent’s blade away and clear a line for an attack.

Block 3

Block 3 is done by starting in the basic position and then pushing the hilt of your sword across your body while keeping your point on line. Advanced Block 3 is done by minimizing the movement so that it just barely deflects the incoming blade.

Block 4

Block 4 is done by starting in the basic position and then pushing the hilt of your sword away from your body while keeping your point on line. Advanced Block 4 is done by minimizing the movement so that it just barely deflects the incoming blade.

Block 5a

Block 5a is when you defend your head by lifting your hilt up to be level with your head and your blade point in a 45 degree angle. Advanced Block 5a is done by lowering the block and using it to push an incoming shot away.

Block 5b

Block 5b is very similar to Block 5a except that the hilt is on the opposite side of your head. It blocks the opposite side of your head.

Block 6

Block 6 is the quillon block that is done by twisting your quillon over an incoming blade and trapping it between your quillon and your blade. Advanced Block 6 is all about trapping your opponent’s blade while you push it out and away and sliding in for a strike.

Block 7

Block 7 swings down across your body in a crescent to defend your legs. Advanced Block 7 is done by minimizing the motion of the swing and can be done at any height.

Block 8

Block 8 swings down across your body in a crescent to defend your legs. Advanced Block 8 is done by minimizing the motion of the swing and can be done at any height. It also can lead to the same trap as Block 6.

Block 9

Block 9 is done by bringing your sword up to the side of your head that defends against shots that have gone passed your head.

Block 10

Block 10 defends your back by bringing your sword behind you and parallel with your back.

Teacher Resources

Explain

Explain the each of the following advanced blocks and how they differ from the 8 Basic Blocks. Emphasize that the 8 Basic Blocks are still incredibly useful, but may be altered with these advanced techniques.

  • Advanced Block 1
  • Advanced Block 2
  • Advanced Block 3
  • Advanced Block 4
  • Advanced Block 5a
  • Advanced Block 5b
  • Advanced Block 6
  • Advanced Block 7
  • Advanced Block 8
  • Advanced Block 9
  • Advanced Block 10

Demonstrate

Demonstrate each of the Advanced Blocks with an assisting Swordsman, allowing each student to see what how each Block is done and how it is different from the Basic Blocks.

Guide

After demonstrating, have the students pair up and walk the students through each advanced block to help them understand the techniques. Utilize the following drill to practice:

Advanced Blocks Drill

Working alone, each student should progress through each block and after completing that block return to a basic stance. This Drill should be done regularly outside of practice to build strength and muscle memory.

Enable

At this stage, each Novice should be able to utilize the Advanced Blocks on their own. Run through the following challenge before finishing:

Advanced Blocks Challenge (Block the Attack Progression 2)

Working with the Teacher or a Swordsman, the student should receive a variety of shots to work on recognition of when and how to use each advanced block. Attackers should start slow and speed up as the student becomes more efficient. You can also go in order to begin with and then add random attacks.

Journal Prompt

How do you plan to implement the Advanced Blocks and how do you think they will help you?

Ready to move on?

You’ve completed the Advance Blocks lesson! Let’s continue on developing your mentality by learning how to probe your opponents.