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Italian alfasare (verb) finta (noun)


To give the impression to your opponent that you are attacking, thus leading them into error as they respond to what they believe is a real attack.


With the rapier this is generally done by making a partial attacking motion on one line before switching to another. This partial motion is performed by one or a combination of the following:

  1. Extending the arm to a straight position from a relaxed one.
  2. Leaning the upper body forward while maintaining the position of the hips and legs.
  3. Taking a small step forward with the front foot.


  • Salvator Fabris instructs us to only use the feint when you have first successfully constrained your opponent's sword, or as the opponent takes a step forward.
  • In the chapter entitled the "Vanity of the Feint" Capo Ferro cautions the reader against performing any type of feint, yet gives examples of feints in nearly every intelligent play in the later illustrated sections of the manual.