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A riposte from Buster Brown

In fencing, the riposte (French for "retort") is an offensive action with the intent of hitting one's opponent, made by the fencer who has just parried an attack.[1]

In everyday language, a riposte is synonymous with a retort and describes a quick and witty reply to an argument or an insult.


In sabre and foil, the priority switches when the parry is successfully executed; the defending fencer now has right of way and may immediately attack with a riposte. The riposte may be direct, or may include compound footwork. If the riposte is delayed, the original attacker's remise gains priority. Riposte is analogous to kaeshi techniques in kendo.

When one sets up a second intention attack, the reactions of one's opponent must be predicted. A fencer may execute an attack expecting to be parried, preparing to counter-parry and counter-riposte.


  1. ^ Barth, Berndt (2006), Beck, Emil, ed., The Complete Guide to Fencing, Meyer and Meyer Series, Meyer & Meyer Verlag, ISBN 1841261912.