These are the rules of competitive single canne. The original rulebook can be found in french here. The rules as presented here are not coming from a translation of this rule-book. Instead, I made them after spending a few afternoons with Xavier Lejeune (head of the French Apache club), and together writing down the most important rules. If anything is missing or imprecise, it is certainly my fault, not Xavier's.

The rules you see here were introduced in 2018. Before the rules were somewhat more strict, esepecially the rule about the valid lunge. You can check the previous, stricter rules here.

Valid attack

An attack is valid, if


A few things which are allowed (not forbidden by the rules):

Valid defense

The priority-rule

The priority-rule (or parry and ripost rule) helps to decide what happens when two fighters hit more or less simultaneously. More or less simultaneous means: one starts an attack, and the other also starts an attack before the first finishes his/her attack, and both fighters finish their attack, and both fighters manage to hit a target.

To put the priority-rule very simply: the one who started first has priority and if one was doing and immediate ripost, that one has priority.

More precisely:

A fighter can gain priority by one of the following ways:

  1. Starts an armé movement, while her opponent does not attack

  2. Makes a ripost, which means defends with the stick, and with one continuous movement starts an attack on the same side where he defended

  3. Makes a ripost with a dodge, which means dodges from her opponent's attack, and immediately attacks back.

A fighter can lose priority by one of the following ways:

  1. Finishes his attack

  2. Her opponent riposts to his attack (see point 2 above)

If during the fight fighter A has priority, and fighter B has no priority, and

As a consequence of the rule above, if both fighters start at exactly the same time (which is very rare), they both have priority. If at the end of them movement both fighters hit a valid target, none gets a point.

If one fighter gets a hit, she is forbidden to start a new attack, untils she manages to defend another attack of her opponent (either with the stick, or with dodging), or until a certain amount of time (about the time of an attack) passes by.

It is also worth noting, that the priorty rule does not forbid you to make counter-attacks (attacking during your oppnent's attack). To put it briefly, you can do counter-attacks, if you are carefull enough not to be hit.