Mitlov wrote:And an epee is twice as heavy as a foil.
But the effect of mass is probably not linear...
when I talk about lunges, ballestras, parry-ripostes, binds, attacks in opposition, beat attacks...any fencer--from an Olympic fencer to a classical fencer to a HEMA rapier fencer--should know what I'm talking about. The basic footwork is shared. The basic parries are shared. The concept of leverage and how it applies to a meter-long one-handed pointy thing is shared. Specific tactics and how you combine techniques and the details of how certain parries are executed will be weapon-specific.
I'm not convinced that the basics are shared. Sure you can use the modern terminology to describe motion, but in effect this is borrowing a word to describe a slightly different motion.
Take for example the basic guard position. Here is a quick side-by-side of Fabris, classical fencing (the image is from Mr Martinez's website), and Thibault:
I've tried to get the most neutral position for each (though I'm fairly sure the classical fencing guy is doing a parry at that moment, but at least the general stance is not changed). These three basic guard positions are completely different. The common points are having the point directed to the opponent, the sword foot forward, and the sword in one hand. The upper body posture, position of the off-hand, leg flexion, weight distribution, even foot placement differ across the positions. Even a simple step, front foot, back foot, will be mechanically different from these positions, will have different speeds and different tactical applications. So while you can call all of these a simple step, in effect one has to re-learn how to step so as to not upset the posture and stay safe.
While I agree that modern fencing is an adequate preparation for many blade arts (not just rapier), I disagree that it shares the basics of most rapier styles, and that rapier should be somehow be seen as another specialization like saber, epee and foil are.
Note that I'm not saying that a rapier cannot be used with a modern style common with the three weapons. I'm saying historical styles were not similar to that.