Fencer’s perception of affordances of an opponent’s attack

Yin Hua Chen*, Yeou Teh Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated fencers’ perception of affordances of the opponent by asking them to estimate the reach-ability (length of lunge) of the opponent that varied in height and moved toward them in different paces. Their task was to initiate a backward step at the moment that they perceived to be reached by the opponent in a lunge attack. All trials were recorded by a video camera for data digitizing process and analyses. The results revealed that the opponent’s approaching velocity, but not the opponent’s stature, influenced fencers’ estimates, suggesting that action-related characteristics of the observed person were more influential on perceiver’s perception of affordances of the observed person. Moreover, fencers’ perception of “time-to-contact by the opponent” changed as a function of the opponent’s velocity, suggesting that in the context of combat sports that time-to-contact could be a useful variable for the control of actions when interacting with a moving opponent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1030
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1


  • Action control
  • combat sport
  • ecological psychology
  • kinematics
  • reach-ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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