To start with ...
It doesn't seem that the retracting of the these hilt bars is that of providing a better leaning of the sword against the hip, like in the case of inner folding guards of some swords, as these gardes tournantes hilt bars open towards the outer part.
But then ...
What would be the primary purpose for articulating the guard ; fold it or unfold it ?
Could then the term 'attack' be allusive to its 'offensive' posture, in a manner used in medieval times when sword guards (and pommels) could be used as weapons, when fighting in close quarters ?
This is certainly nonsense; just forget it