Kinematic determinants of weapon velocity during the fencing lunge in experienced épée fencers
The lunge is the most common attack in fencing, however there is currently a paucity of published research investigating the kinematics of this movement. The aim of this study was to investigate if kinematics measured during the épée fencing lunge had a significant effect on sword velocity at touch and whether there were any key movement tactics that produced the maximum velocity. Lower extremity kinematic data were obtained from fourteen right handed club épée fencers using a 3D motion capture system as they completed simulated lunges. A forward stepwise multiple linear regression was performed on the data. The overall regression model yielded an Adj R2 of 0.74, p ≤ 0.01. The results show that the rear lower extremity's knee range of motion, peak hip flexion and the fore lower extremity's peak hip flexion all in the sagittal plane were significant predictors of sword velocity. The results indicate that flexion of the rear extremity's knee is an important predictor, suggesting that the fencer sits low in their stance to produce power during the lunge. Furthermore it would appear that the magnitude of peak flexion of the fore extremity's hip was a significant indicator of sword velocity suggesting movement of fore limbs should also be considered in lunge performance.