Fabris, Chapter 12

A feint is when you show your opponent an attack in order to trigger a parry with the goal of throwing a second attack in the tempo of said parry.

Some feint by stomping their foot, but that only works indoors. Don’t do it, you’ll just give a tempo to your opponent.

Some feint by keeping the sword withdrawn. Don’t do this, your opponent will see the attack isn’t creditable.

A good opponent will not respond to a feint other than to wound you or perhaps to use a counter-feint.

Some feint in triple-time, an attack followed by withdrawing the arm and finally a third attack. If you try this, your opponent will have plenty of time to counter the first action and still attack before you can before your second movement, let alone the third.

In order to feint properly you have to maintain a forward momentum. If he allows your point far enough his parry will be ineffectual.

If your opponent moves just in time for the parry, change lines while continuing the attack. You should hit before he finishes the parry.

Always expect a counter attack while using a feint. Even if your opponent doesn’t counter, this will keep you alert.

Always feint to an opening you can actually hit. If you feint to an opening that is too far away your opponent won’t buy the feint. But if you feint to a legitimate target, your opponent will have to parry or be hit.

It is even better to feint during a tempo, as it reduces the chances for a counter and makes it more believable.


A invitation is considered to be a type of feint.

Make sure your opponent’s point isn’t so close that you can be struck before completing you invitation.

Don’t move your feet to initiate an invitation. You need to be able to move forward and counter, or move back to gain time to parry and counter. You can’t do this if you already used your feet.

You can however shift your body forward or backwards as needed. This can be done quickly and leaves the feet to be used later.

Only use invitations against impatient opponents. If he sees it is an invitation, he will use the opportunity to deceive you.

If you know where your opponent wants to attack, let him. Better to foil his attack then to force him into doing something unexpected.

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