So foil is basically the in-between of sabre and epee.
In foil, you only can score by pressing in the tip, like epee, but only on the torso (including crotch, ouch!) which is covered with an electrical jacket called the lame, like sabre!
Foil also uses the priority system which I explained in the last post. So, like, sabre, it is often difficult for people who don't fence to understand what's going on. You see, epee is extremely easy to understand while sabre is much more entertaining but foil is unfortunately in a weird in-between.
Well, anyway, when fencing foil, you want to hit the opponent while having priority. You don't really worry about getting hit back, because if you ;have priority then it doesn't matter.
Here's the thing, when you press the tip in, on an area that's NOT covered by the electrical jacket of the opponent, then the machine will still register a Hit but an Off-Target Hit. This is important to bear in mind because a lot of people seem to think that if YOU hit the opponent off-target WITH priority, while your opponent hits you back ON target, your opponent STILL does NOT get a point. Basically, the referee ignores the hit of the person without priority.
This is a basic way to see what I mean:
Let's say YOU in all of these situations have PRIORITY.
You: Hit ON target. Opponent: Hit OFF target. YOU get a point.
You: Hit OFF Target. Opponent: Hit OFF Target. Nobody gets a point.
You: Hit ON target. Opponent: Hit ON target. YOU get a point.
You: Hit Off Target. Opponent: Hit ON target. Nobody gets a point.
You: Hit ON Target. Opponent: NO hit. YOU get a point.
You: NO hit. Opponent: Hit ON Target. OPPONENT gets a point (because when there is only one hit, it doesn't matter who has priority, the referee will give the point. )
That's why foil fencers fence the way they do, with some caution but some speed, in between sabre and foil!