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Pointy stick
-10th November 2003, 23:43
In the 1950s and 1960s, gangs of young men settled matters of honour with razors and flick knives. As the laws tightened up, "duels" with bottles and beer glasses became more common. By the late 1990s, no Saturday evening in any UK city was complete without a few "glassings" - brief, brutal and bloody encounters, often over the most trifling insult, or perceived insult.

The authorities took steps to deal with the problem. Many pubs took to selling beer in plastic beakers, and the fashion moved towards drinking overpriced foreign beer from small, lightweight bottles. However, the phenomenon of "glassing" never died out.

By the early 21st century, youth culture had divided, with many choosing to resolve their differences with handguns, but others sticking with the traditional glassing.

And, as is the way with all such phenomena, some people started to study "glassing" as a science, learning and practising ways of defeating opponents quickly and without risk. By 2010, illegal prize fights became common, with the greatest glassers becoming nationally known figures. Some took to teaching their art on a commercial basis, peddling strange combinations of skills, philosophy, and geometry in an attempt to convince the gullible that they alone held the secret of the glasser's art.

By 2020, glassing had become almost exclusively a sport, seldom used to settle real disputes. It made the gradual transition from illegal activity, to marginal, to fringe, to becoming a respectable minority sport. The Federation International Vitrine was formed, along with a number of national bodies such as the British Union of Glassers (BUG), to draw up a set of rules which could govern competitions (the British Union of Glassers General Exposition of Rules held sway for several years).

Three main disciplines were developed: Straight Glass, Jar, and Lady's Glass (or 'Stem'). In each case, sports glasses were used, made of deformable plastic. As early as 2025, the scoring was made easier by the introduction of 'electrics' to establish when a hit had been scored - although for decades after this, some practitioners maintained that the electrics spoiled the purity of the sport.

After initial resistance from the traditionalists, it became first accepted, then compulsory, to wear protective masks.

In keeping with the origins of the sport, an elaborate code of courtesy and ethics prevailed in the sport. Before combat, a glasseur would raise his glass and salute his opponent. In Straight Glass, the glasseur would say, "Down the Hatch"; in Jar, "Bottoms Up"; and in Ladys' Glass, "Cheers".

One glasseur would then ask, "What are you looking at?" to which the other would reply, "What's it to you?". The Judge would then signal the start of the fight by shouting, "Leave it, Dave, it's not worth it... you'll kill him!"

The Straight Glass was fought with the 1 pint beer glass, with no handle. A bout was fought in a number of 'rounds', first to six pints - a whole game being known as a 'Tray'. The objective was simple: to strike the opponent in the face or throat more than 1/25 of a second before he could strike you.

Jar was a much rougher game. The Jar was based on the heavy 'dimpled' pint pot with a strong glass handle. Many Jareurs held the handle lightly, using the fingers and wrist to whip the Jar onto the opponent. Others, citing tradition, slipped their hand through the handle, cupping the sides of the jar with the palm, and fighting with a stronger, more direct style. The target area included the face and throat, but Jareurs were also allowed to strike down at the head or shoulders, using the weight of the jar to stun the opponent. As the original 'jar' was favoured traditionally by the older, more refined real ale drinker, the sport of Jarring developed an elaborate 'right of way' convention, where Jareurs engaged in a series of toasts and feints before making the attack.

Lady's Glass (or 'Stem') became the blue riband event, and was surprisingly popular with male as well as female glasseurs. Unlike the other two 'weapons', a Stem only held half a pint when full. In recognition of the sport's origins, Stemists were allowed to start each 'round' with up to half a glass of beer (later reduced to Watneys, then, in 2025, upgraded to water) which they could throw into the face of their opponent before launching the full attack. The target area was restricted to the face.

Stem became the most controversial weapon, as glass designs rapidly developed away from the original symmetrical drinking vessel to something more specifically adapted for the demands of the sport. The stem of the Stem became longer, flexible, and curved to fit the shape of the hand, favouring subtle and delicate "finger play". By 2030, the stem had become so curved that it was impossible to hold even half a pint of water in a "Lady's Glass". All attempts at adjusting the design rules to counteract this were unsuccessful.

It became generally accepted that the sport of Stem (now an Olympic 'demonstration sport') had evolved far beyond its origins as a martial art. In the Glassing press (e.g. BUG's quarterly publication, 'The Glass', and the Glassers' Forum at http://glassingforum.com) there was increasingly tetchy debate between those who wanted to go full speed ahead with developing Glassing as a sport, and those who wished to retain links with 'the ancient and noble art' - as it was now perceived by the romantics.

By 2050, there were calls for a 'Classic Glassing Society', with a return to a strict interpretation of the original rules, including the rule that all glasses should be symmetrical (except for the handle, in Jar) one pint in capacity (1/2 pint in Lady's Glass) and capable of standing unsupported without spilling a drop from a full glass of beer with a 'reasonable head'. Classicists alleged that 'sport glassing' had lost much of its elegance and form; sports glassers derided the classicists for sticking to out moded ideas.

A common topic of debate in pubs was who would win in a real fight: a sport glasser, or a classical glasser. Whatever the answer, it was obvious that all the top performers used the modern technique which emphasised speed and timing, rather than elaborate feints and parries.

Meanwhile, on the fringes of the sport, some of the beardy weirdies started to develop rules and conventions for fighting with pewter tankards and even, in one bizarre and ill-fated experiment, drinking horns. All Glassers, from every wing of the sport, mocked the Fantasy Role Play glassers, who spent their weekends dressed in late 20th century clothing, "exploring" mock ups of red brick pubs, and scoring points for successfully 'glassing' skinheads, bouncers and other "characters" played by actors.

And what of the future of Glassing? It is hoped that by 2060, Glassing will be accepted as an Olympic sport. This will involve major changes to the rules, to take into account stylistic and historical differences between the different Olympic nations. France is already campaigning for a Wine Glass event; in Germany, Glassers are determined not to lose the subtlety of play allowed by the bierstein, with its hinged lid; the Americans, as always, see the world differently, and argue that Bottling is a "purer expression" of the original duelling ethic.

Australian
-11th November 2003, 00:41
:confused:

James
-11th November 2003, 08:43
genius
:grin:

Peanut_UK
-11th November 2003, 11:35
:lolbash:

:cheers2:

Excellent!!

Crouching Tiger
-11th November 2003, 11:40
:) :beer:

Rdb811
-11th November 2003, 23:06
Can I have what you're on ?

Brilliant.

PM1
-11th November 2003, 23:10
who's a clever bunny, then ???:grin:

Rdb811
-11th November 2003, 23:48
Somewhere in an old BAF magazine from teh Sixties there is a 'piece of whimsy' mentioning gold lames and electric sabre.;)

Andy W.
-12th November 2003, 10:32
No problem with making the 'bib' a target here then.

Excellent business case, crass market appeal, thought about selling the concept to Sky Sports 999?




:mexwave:

MrWizard
-12th November 2003, 17:30
Originally posted by Pointy stick
In the Glassing press (e.g. BUG's quarterly publication, 'The Glass', and the Glassers' Forum at http://glassingforum.com) there was increasingly tetchy debate between those who wanted to go full speed ahead with developing Glassing as a sport, and those who wished to retain links with 'the ancient and noble art' - as it was now perceived by the romantics.

Your link doesn't work :grin:

Jamie

Pointy stick
-12th November 2003, 22:55
Originally posted by MrWizard
Your link doesn't work :grin:


I guess the <grin> means you're joking but, to avoid doubt, it ain't a link. If only I had time to set up a bogus website... ;0)

Mantis
-12th November 2003, 22:58
Originally posted by Pointy stick
If only I had time to set up a bogus website... ;0)

You mean ... It's not true??? :o I believed every word of it!

Well, re-reading it now I see that such a ridiculous situation could never happen in real life and I cannot see what connection it has with fencing at all.

tigger
-13th November 2003, 10:19
I've printed this off and will put it up at the club tonight :grin:

I've printed copyright pointy stick 2003 on it to protect your rights :tongue:

Pointy stick
-13th November 2003, 16:40
Originally posted by tigger
I've printed this off and will put it up at the club tonight :grin:


I'm flattered.:o

Marcos
-13th November 2003, 17:24
Originally posted by Pointy stick
This will involve major changes to the rules, to take into account stylistic and historical differences between the different Olympic nations. France is already campaigning for a Wine Glass event; in Germany, Glassers are determined not to lose the subtlety of play allowed by the bierstein, with its hinged lid; the Americans, as always, see the world differently, and argue that Bottling is a "purer expression" of the original duelling ethic.

:drink:

any debate would need Irish input - with twice as many officials than people who actually partake in the sport attending

:confused:
nice one!

devalleassoc
-22nd November 2003, 19:43
I can't wait 'till 2025!!


:cheers2:

:itchskrat

Winwaloe
-24th November 2003, 16:59
Always thoughts fencers were an odd lot but??!!!*****

CKRedd
-25th November 2003, 17:49
Hadn't someone mentioned something in another thread about putting a fencing fanfilm together? This might just have the depth, intricacy and humour to work.

'Troops' (http://www.theforce.net/theater/shortfilms/troops/) , 'Pink Five' (http://atomfilms.shockwave.com/af/content/pink5) and 'You and Your Lightsaber' (http://atomfilms.shockwave.com/af/content/your_lightsaber) roll over!!

haggis
-25th November 2003, 17:51
At last, a sport in which Scotland might be considered truly world-class. Genius!:grin: