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Sabine
-17th November 2003, 21:46
So the FIE have decided on how to improve foil:

1. Reduce the blocking time to 200ms from 700ms currently

2. Require a contact time of 14-16ms versus around 1ms currently

3. Adjust the scoring apparatus so that non-valid hits do not register.

They also considered outlawing the fleche at foil but have deferred judgment on that for the moment.

The FIE think this will make foil easier to referee (fewer double lights), eliminate flick hits (which are "not properly executed" hits), make foil easier to referee (no valid and off-target lights together), and make it more viewable (no off-target lights halting the phrase). That's the theory.

The practice is that it will turn foil into a poor version of epee. In particular the balance will shift dramatically from the attacker to the defender. It will encourage counterattacks, remises, and most of all, displacement of target. If you can get the swordarm or any other part of the current non-valid target in the way of an attack you've as good as parried it. Who's going to try and hit a left-hander under the arm with an attack now.

Well, as I understand it, all this is going to be tried during the 2004-05 Junior season in World Cup events. Good luck to all juniors and true foil RIP.

Rdb811
-17th November 2003, 22:27
Having seen inexperienced U12 and U14 foil, I can see furrther problems - at least stopping for an off target stops the continous 'sawing' action that would otherwise develop as they jab away.

Gav
-18th November 2003, 05:27
Hi Sabine,

Whilst I understand your concerns there are some elements that I don't believe will affect Foil all that much. The heavier weight and contact time for example. I don't believe that either of these will stop all flicks, just some. What I didn't understand was why they never thought to address the standard of refereeing (which is relatively poor) as that seemed to be an easy [and cheap] way to tighten up the sport.

I've never fenced under this regime in any case so I don't believe I could comment until I see the changes implemented.

Robert
-18th November 2003, 09:21
Sabine,

Are these firm now, or still just part of the possible things the FIE were going to experiment with?

The first two items I still suspect will make little difference, and the FIE think item 1 is just a house-keeping exercise (according to the report they published on it). The third one does alter the character of foil in quite a radical way and makes the president's job much harder.

However, the change is no bigger than the gap between 'classical' and 'modern' foil and there is a danger that as we grow older we become part of the 'it was so much better in my day' mob.

Gav,

The FIE did make an attempt to improve referee's to deal with exactly the same problems (2001/02 ish). In fact exactly what you suggested. Unfortunately to implement this they depend on national bodies, in the UK Keith Smith and Ian Hunter (not sure it was Ian, he can correct me if I'm wrong) then compiled a set of guidance notes for refs, which they then buried in a faulty pdf format on a part of the BFA pages no-one would think to look. Result, zero effect.

Possibly that is a little unfair. If you have president's qualifications and are working to be FIE approved I'm sure they contacted you, I don't. But the reality is I'm the person (or people like me) presiding 90% of the bouts in the UK, and if this sort of thing is going to work it needs to be directed at ordinary fencers.

So the FIE did try the solution you suggested and it did not work.

Robert

Muso440
-18th November 2003, 10:17
Originally posted by Sabine
Well, as I understand it, all this is going to be tried during the 2004-05 Junior season in World Cup events. Good luck to all juniors and true foil RIP.

Isn't it a bit odd that they're trying it out on the juniors first? Poor little sods might get totally confused.

Gav
-18th November 2003, 10:59
Originally posted by Robert

Gav,

The FIE did make an attempt to improve referee's to deal with exactly the same problems (2001/02 ish). In fact exactly what you suggested. Unfortunately to implement this they depend on national bodies, in the UK Keith Smith and Ian Hunter (not sure it was Ian, he can correct me if I'm wrong) then compiled a set of guidance notes for refs, which they then buried in a faulty pdf format on a part of the BFA pages no-one would think to look. Result, zero effect.

Actually I found them, found them useful and also circulated them amongst the fencers at my club - who also found it useful. I don't think that the guidance was bad - just ignored. Also (in the UK - I can't really talk about other countries) there seems to be a culture of fencers simply repeating whatever they have heard as good practise for refereeing. This leads to a chinese whispers effect where the message gets diluted down. I firmly believe that fencers should become acquainted with the rules as part of their training so that they better understand the fencing environment.



Possibly that is a little unfair. If you have president's qualifications and are working to be FIE approved I'm sure they contacted you, I don't. But the reality is I'm the person (or people like me) presiding 90% of the bouts in the UK, and if this sort of thing is going to work it needs to be directed at ordinary fencers.


Well you've got what you want, drastic changes aimed at the rank and file. Changes which seem unpopular and also unwanted. Wouldn't it have been easier for everybody to pay attention and implement the rules rather than rely on the 'word-of-mouth' approach that seems so prevalent in the UK.

Additionally Robert just because you preside the length and breadth of the country, as a fencer I presume, does that guarentee that you are right? Is there a chance that these drastic measures have been taken by the FIE because poor refereeing standards have become so ingrained as to be the norm?

michel
-18th November 2003, 11:23
Originally posted by Muso440
Isn't it a bit odd that they're trying it out on the juniors first? Poor little sods might get totally confused.

In other sports, when there are such changes in the rules (e.g. in football), these changes are not tested on seniors, but on youngers (e.g. golden goal was experimented either with olympic team or junior team, I don't remember exactly).
In fencing, it is the same thing. And as the FIE wants to experiment these rules at an international level, it is only possible to do it either with juniors or seniors. Perhaps it is easier and cheaper to do it with juniors.

Robert
-18th November 2003, 13:04
Originally posted by Gav

Well you've got what you want, drastic changes aimed at the rank and file. Changes which seem unpopular and also unwanted. Wouldn't it have been easier for everybody to pay attention and implement the rules rather than rely on the 'word-of-mouth' approach that seems so prevalent in the UK.

Additionally Robert just because you preside the length and breadth of the country, as a fencer I presume, does that guarentee that you are right? Is there a chance that these drastic measures have been taken by the FIE because poor refereeing standards have become so ingrained as to be the norm?

I think you missed the point of my post Gav. Because people like me (non-refs with no training) do the presiding, rules training has to be directed at us, if it isn't then you get the chinese whispers effect and bad presiding that exists (and you and I are both complaining about).

You seem to be blaming this chinese whispers effect on fencers like myself, somehow it is our fault that the referee's committee doesn't address itself to ordinary fencers. Okay, possibly it isn't the referee's committee fault either (I don't know how much funding/assistance they get from BFA). But, either you provide training directed at ordinary fencers, or if you want an elitist approach you supply presidents at every bout (I think the former is more practical).

The upshot (and the point of my first post) is that the FIE did try the sensible approach but they are powerless without the help of national bodies. So they are now trying to implement their goals by changing the equipment (a bad solution). I don't like the changes, I think they are inpractical (requiring box changes) and doubt they will be fully implemented. But it is misleading of you to suggest that improving referees is an easy and uncomplicated alternative.

Robert

Gav
-18th November 2003, 13:34
The chinese whispers effect comes about because so many fencers don't seem to take the time to sit down and learn the rules. It doesn't take long to read the relevant sections of the rules that apply to your preferred weapon. So why not spend a little time familiarising yourself the rules?

There are also referee's committee seminars at the big tournaments (and the committee members can correct me if I am wrong) where everyone is welcome. I don't think a learn by 'experience' methodology works and I don't understand why fencers don't take knowledge of the rules a bit more seriously - considering how fundamentally it (interpretation) can affect their results.

I also think that individual clubs can take a bit more responsibility for their fencers. If the referee's committee isn't passing round information then why not go out there and find out about yourselves?

Incidentally I am not blaming fencers like yourself as such - please don't take my comments personally - rather I blame the culture which has propagated this. I also don't blame the referee's committee as I believe they are understaffed/valued/funded etc. It's a combination of many things but I worry that many fencers don't seem all that bothered about taking responsibility for teaching this aspect of their game.

Forums such as this are useful because they allow discussion but I think it's time we, as fencers, took reponsibility for our sport.

reposte
-18th November 2003, 13:34
Eliminating non valid hits is contrary to everything that foil was invented for.

Are these changes already de facto?

reposte
-18th November 2003, 13:48
What I mean is , is the decision already made? What I fear is that the circular defences which have come in to use during the eighties I believe, will make it indeed as Sabine says, more a defender's sport, as point control is much harder now, when it's not just a four - six - seven - eight defence.
I can say one thing: For the first time in my fencing career I'm glad I'm not in my teen's - and for that alone three cheers for Sabine...

Jambo
-18th November 2003, 14:34
I agree very strongly with Gav. I found myself refing at the Coup du Nord this weekend whcih is ridiculous considering the amount of formal refing teaching I have had (0!). And there was a lot of arguing about different countries interpretation (e.g PIL, what is an attack etc).

It is chinese whispers. I repeat whatever has been told me by people who are better fencers (and not necessarily better refs). I do have a reasonable (and improving) eye for it but am still out of my depth on some very basic rules. I should take the time to read the rules and maybe get some proper teaching. But that is not easy to do even if you have the motivation, and that is where the BFA needs to do more.

Marcos
-18th November 2003, 14:56
and because of the dif interpretation, I found myself making poor tactical decisions (when to attack, how to attack, what footwork to use) as a result

which gets frustrating!

I'd say up to 30% of the points I received were due to poor understanding of the rules and how they are implemented

luckily some of the Lazlo lads had the patience to explain the rules to me, and I've spent the morning reading the rules section of this website... :dizzy:

Robert
-18th November 2003, 19:18
Originally posted by Gav
The chinese whispers effect comes about because so many fencers don't seem to take the time to sit down and learn the rules. It doesn't take long to read the relevant sections of the rules that apply to your preferred weapon. So why not spend a little time familiarising yourself the rules?


I have read the rules, but this isn't adequate for good presiding. If somebody advances and flicks to my shoulder, and I counter into it with a direct attack it is the other persons hit (as it should be), but the rules say it is my hit. Can you imagine what would happen if a group of fencers started implementing the rules 'as written', it would be chaos. It is this application and interpretation that needs to be disseminated (and which is what actually comes down by chinese whispers).



There are also referee's committee seminars at the big tournaments (and the committee members can correct me if I am wrong) where everyone is welcome.


Your wrong. This is a point I have taken issue with elsewhere but again, there is Inverclyde, there was something at Leicester. Leicester was appalling advertised, and then someone actually had the nerve to complain no-one came. There was nothing at Exeter or Bristol (or if it was the advertising was worse than Leicester).



I don't think a learn by 'experience' methodology works and I don't understand why fencers don't take knowledge of the rules a bit more seriously.

I also think that individual clubs can take a bit more responsibility for their fencers. If the referee's committee isn't passing round information then why not go out there and find out about yourselves?


Okay, I'm not completely defending fencers, many of whom have no interest in learning much about the rules. But if I want to be a coach all I have to do is open the Sword, type it into a search engine, or ask on this board, and bingo I will be at a regular course within the month. If you want to learn even basic ref work you really have to break your back over it.

As for clubs, yes we should do more, but again the resources aren't there for us to easily tap.



Incidentally I am not blaming fencers like yourself as such - please don't take my comments personally - rather I blame the culture which has propagated this. I also don't blame the referee's committee as I believe they are understaffed/valued/funded etc. It's a combination of many things but I worry that many fencers don't seem all that bothered about taking responsibility for teaching this aspect of their game.


I don't really take it personally, more sort of on behalf of all the people at opens I have met in the last twelve months who say 'why did that happen?' 'I don't understand this' but who are there to fence and aren't going to jump through hoops to find out.

I am quite aware that my presiding doesn't come up to the standard it should, and if Inverclyde is running a course this year, I plan to attend. But I think you are being too ready to blame fencers for the poor presiding, when really the resources aren't made available too them.

I am not sure its completely fair to blame the ref's committee as they probably don't get enough resourses but look at the BFA website, refereeing link takes you to a page with syllabus for the refereeing qualifications; but no sample questions, no details of where course are, no contact details. If you look under committee's then you will find the link to the ref's committee is broken, so we can't even email these people. And as for the FIE guidance you need to go to the International Committee then look under FIE Referee's (apologies to Ian Hunter, it is actually written by Keith Smith and Mike Thornton).

Robert

doobarz
-18th November 2003, 19:57
Originally posted by Jambo
I found myself refing at the Coup du Nord this weekend whcih is ridiculous considering the amount of formal refing teaching I have had (0!).

I remember looking over and seeing you do this. The question is - why did you? Why not say, I'm sorry, I can't ref at this level, and wait for a referee to become available, or borrow from another piste? I am not saying you would make any incorrect decisions (I got my grounding in seperation of hits where you did) but even now I have had some training, I do not like refing when I am fencing. I had refs in both my poules, and I'm not saying I was happy with the way the hits were seperated, but they were consistant at least, and the rules and sanctions if they were broken were applied.

doobarz
-18th November 2003, 19:59
Originally posted by Marcos
I'd say up to 30% of the points I received were due to poor understanding of the rules and how they are implemented

luckily some of the Lazlo lads had the patience to explain the rules to me, and I've spent the morning reading the rules section of this website... :dizzy:

As a former 'Laszlo Lad' and someone who reffed your fights, I hope your not mad at me - I would maintain I didn't make any errors, I called it as I saw it (and it is therefore a point of fact...)

I think that your understanding was fine, better than some in Amsterdam.

Keith.A.Smith
-18th November 2003, 20:44
Dear All,

I ran refereeing seminars at Bristol for about 5 years and we had on average about 20 people attend each year. This season I have conducted exams at Bristol, Bolton Cadet event and the Welsh Open.

Pat Casey and Mike Thornton are in charge of exams and the BFA gives the Referees Committee about £1500 per year to encourage refeereeing.

Mike Thornton has just completeda refeereing guide book.

Surrey have organised refereeing courses fairly regularly in the past.

If you want a seminar or to take exams contact Pat Casey the Chair of the Referees Committee.

I have published articles when i was Chairman of the Refrees Committee on rule interpretations etc in the Sword. Lok at back issues and i am sure the Mike thornton booklet will be very useful.

Our problem is that we do not really have many referees active internationally at the conventional weapons.

Keithi

Keith

Jambo
-18th November 2003, 21:35
Originally posted by doobarz
I remember looking over and seeing you do this. The question is - why did you? Why not say, I'm sorry, I can't ref at this level, and wait for a referee to become available, or borrow from another piste?

Because that would have taken for ever, because I'd rather ref myself than let someone worse than me ref, at least i could bring a brit influence to the poule. I did fine as it happens, called abstain on a few that I didnt feel competent to separate. I made me lose all my focus though, which p*ssed me right off when you consider my seeding after the first round of poules.

Gav
-19th November 2003, 06:58
I have read the rules, but this isn't adequate for good presiding. If somebody advances and flicks to my shoulder, and I counter into it with a direct attack it is the other persons hit (as it should be), but the rules say it is my hit. Can you imagine what would happen if a group of fencers started implementing the rules 'as written', it would be chaos. It is this application and interpretation that needs to be disseminated (and which is what actually comes down by chinese whispers).

This is what I am talking about. They are the rules whether you like them or not. There is a big difference between the sort of presiding you are talking about and the presiding which goes on at the higher levels.

It's this attitude that lets 'chinese whispers' start in the first place. It's also how we've ended up with regional interpretations of rules (regional interepretations are always going to be a problem of sorts).

And also I am not going to enter into a discussion about 'flicking' here. There is far more to this than just how to apply the rules to flicking.


As for clubs, yes we should do more, but again the resources aren't there for us to easily tap.

No. This just requires effort. The resources are there - especially now that the rules are online (LONG overdue in my opinion). Go out there and pass them on!




... more sort of on behalf of all the people at opens I have met in the last twelve months who say 'why did that happen?' 'I don't understand this' but who are there to fence and aren't going to jump through hoops to find out.

This is just apathy - a big problem all round I think. People should realise that the 'rules' are part of the [their] game. There is no environment where rules are placed into the public domain for discussion from an early age, unlike Football or Rugby. Because this environment is missing, individuals must realise, and take responsibility for, learning the rules. It annoys me slightly that theire are people who do not understand why this or that happened and don't bother to find out for themselves. There are lots of 'failed fencers' out there because of this.

Lastly.

Do I blame the fencers?

Yes and no. It's partly environmental as well. Whether we like it or not Fencing is a minority sport.

Oh and incidentally I missed out on the ref' course at Inverclyde last year but will be there this year. Hope to see you there.

fencingmaster
-19th November 2003, 07:48
Well said, Gav. There are clearly defined rules and that's how the game should be judged. Just print off the FIE rules above and read t55 et seq. Also p214-215 of Lukovich's book (as recommended by the BFA for coaches) gives a very clear analysis of priority, and recommends that if you can't get to grips with it you should be doing epee!

As posted on the thread 'Something new from the FIE', I feel that the FIE should be improving the standards of refereeing rather than turning foil into epee (perhaps they've taken Lukovich too seriously!)

Regarding regional interpretations, my uni students recently returned from a match complaining that they lost because the ref consistently stated that the attack belonged to the fencer whose feet started first!

reposte
-19th November 2003, 10:02
With all due respect gentlemen, and Gav, you should have transferred this entire thread from a point on to a different thread.
I'm sorry but it isn't professional as far as forum management goes , to take every thread, and I do mean every thread in the foil section, regardless of how important it was - and this is an exceptionally important thread, and turn it into a discussion about refereeing in Britain.

Gav
-19th November 2003, 10:37
With all due respect gentlemen, and Gav, you should have transferred this entire thread from a point on to a different thread.

reposte are you trying to bait me?

Anyway you're right in a sense as this thread HAS wandered slightly off track but is still relevant to the question of why the FIE are trying to 'kill Foil'.

However I would also like to point out that these changes have been mulled over in another thread as well.

Sabine I hope that this thread hasn't wandered too far off track for you. In fact I would be interested in your position on this from Germany (about standards in Germany).

ceprab
-19th November 2003, 10:37
Originally posted by Robert

The upshot (and the point of my first post) is that the FIE did try the sensible approach but they are powerless without the help of national bodies. So they are now trying to implement their goals by changing the equipment (a bad solution). I don't like the changes, I think they are inpractical (requiring box changes) and doubt they will be fully implemented. But it is misleading of you to suggest that improving referees is an easy and uncomplicated alternative.



The nut was uncracked by the sledgehammer. So they bought nutcrackers and gave them to the NGBs, who failed to share their existence with the public.

So they have now got a bigger sledgehammer.

I am very glad I am an epeeist, but this irritates me as i make a point of finding out the rules so that I can preside foil and sabre for my club. When the rules are not being enforced the solution must be to publicise the rules, not change them.

danishfencer
-19th November 2003, 13:21
Arrrgh.. why...why foil!!??!!

damn! they can´t just rip the foilrules for every good thing it stands for.

this is indeed not something that I wanna support!!...

danishfencer - "may the footwork be with you, foilists!"

LONG LIVE THE NONTARGET LAMP!!!

devalleassoc
-20th November 2003, 07:05
This news saddens me. Are they really going to implement these so called "improvements"? I love foil because of it's deorum and precision. Now it will just be a free for all! Also, how will you learn what caused your off target hit if they do not stop the action at that point. (Allowing you to quickly analize it!) I don't like this at all, but maybe it's me?!:mad:

tigger
-20th November 2003, 08:39
When the sabre became electric in the late 80s the off-target suddenly no longer existed. It had little material effect on the fencing. I appreciate that the problem of covering with the arm doesn't exist in sabre, but I think with decent reffing and maybe arm judges in EVERY fight this shouldn't be a problem. When the fleche and cross-over were out-lawed and the 'sensor' or 'capteur' was taken away (meaning that any touch would register instead of needing 500grams) everyone thought it would be a disaster. Sabre is better than it's ever been (in my opinion). Reffing is consistent (at least at a high level) and the fencers mostly know what they have to do to score a hit or avoid being hit.

However I still feel that the problem with foil is NOT the fencing or the fencers but the interpretation of the rules by the referees. To solve all the problems of the foil world simply get sabreurs to referee all foil events :grin: Attacks on prep will be given, a withdrawn arm will be read as a breaking of an attack and lots of arguing will add to the spectacle...

Seriously, the rules are fine, the equipment is fine, the reffing is often ridiculous. The FIE goes on about wanting to keep the tradition and 'logic' of foil intact and then they propose taking out the white light, the fleche and the cross-over!!! Hmmm

reposte
-20th November 2003, 08:49
You're forgetting Tigger, that foil is not sabre, in the sense that it didn't introduce row in order to make a fight competition adjusted (I mean cavalry like duelling has no use for row) but was introduced as a trainee's weapon, that is the attacker is urged to dare an attack into an esquiving/countering opponent without having to fear that he might miss, only to execute it the best he can, leaving it to the defender to parry him before being allowed to have his touch registered as the hit. annulling non valid hits would make it a defender's sport, seeing as wriggling and countering at a fast attack would probably make the attacker miss and the defender hit, altering entirely the purpose of foil and row.

pinkelephant
-20th November 2003, 10:25
Originally posted by reposte
You're forgetting Tigger, that foil is not sabre, in the sense that it didn't introduce row in order to make a fight competition adjusted (I mean cavalry like duelling has no use for row) but was introduced as a trainee's weapon, that is the attacker is urged to dare an attack into an esquiving/countering opponent without having to fear that he might miss, only to execute it the best he can, leaving it to the defender to parry him before being allowed to have his touch registered as the hit. annulling non valid hits would make it a defender's sport, seeing as wriggling and countering at a fast attack would probably make the attacker miss and the defender hit, altering entirely the purpose of foil and row.

HUH?????!!!

I'm with Tigger on this one. In my, albeit brief, forays into sabre I've been delighted that I've been given attacks on the preparation, and hardly ever was at foil (except when it was so early that my opponent actually stopped). The ROW rules are the same at both weapons, except for the bit about beating into the forte at sabre. The rules are the same - the interpretation at a LOW level is different, but it shouldn't be. Give me a sabre ref if I'm fencing foil PLEASE.

Marcos
-20th November 2003, 10:48
Originally posted by doobarz
As a former 'Laszlo Lad' and someone who reffed your fights, I hope you're not mad at me - I would maintain I didn't make any errors, I called it as I saw it (and it is therefore a point of fact...)

I think that your understanding was fine, better than some in Amsterdam.

cheers
hey - I won all the fights you reffed on me! your reffing was fine doobz - actually by the time you saw me fence I had been beaten about in the first two poules and had adjusted accordingly.

Possibly main reason I beat you in the plate was because I adjusted quicker to the ref's poor calls.

But the point I was trying to make was I was frustrated at my poor understanding (at the start) due to the level of reffing in Ireland.

tigger
-20th November 2003, 11:27
You're forgetting Tigger, that foil is not sabre, in the sense that it didn't introduce row in order to make a fight competition adjusted (I mean cavalry like duelling has no use for row)
I don't know if you've fenced sabre, but it does have ROW! Lots of it! It's just the timing of attack/counter-attack or attack on prep that's interpreted differently. If an attack is correctly timed then just like in foil you have to parry it or make it miss. I f an attack is badly timed or poorly executed or executed from poor distance then, unlike foil, the attacker can be punished by being hit on prep. Foil USED to be refereed in this way far more than it is now (Not in my time I hasten to add:grin: ). I think modern foilists are just as competent technically, and probably more competent physically, and are able to deliver a well-timed attack from good distance without being hit on prep. It's just that the way rules are interpreted doesn't require them to do that.

Sabine
-20th November 2003, 12:11
My real purpose in starting the thread was to begin a debate on how foil fencing would change if these rules were passed. My basic view is that it would obviously make foil easier to referee but at the expense of changing the nature of the weapon....much for the worse.

I fully recognise the right of thread participants to develop their own line so I'm not too worried about the debate on refereeing that has resulted. I'd still be interested to hear others visualise how foil would change.

Gav asked about perceptions of refereeing in Germany. I think Mr Smith said that one problem in the UK was that very few of your referees get regular international experience. We are lucky we have a good number of active FIE qualified foil referees in Germany and they have responded to identifying "incorrectly executed" moves and so giving attacks on preparation reasonably consistently. Of course we also have our share of poor referees also, but this strong international cadre provides a good base and little need to use less experienced referees in most domestic competitions.

Finally I have to say something to Tigger:

"When the sabre became electric in the late 80s the off-target suddenly no longer existed. It had little material effect on the fencing" - says Tigger

There is an enormous difference between foil and sabre here. Off target in sabre was well separated from valid target. Everything below the waist was off-target and everything above on. In any case off target hits were relatively rare at sabre.

In foil the sword arm inevitably is in the way of the valid target and is of course off target at foil. As soon as you do away with the off target light you either make it target and really turn foil into epee, or make it not register as suggested, which means trying to parry with it or otherwise use it to block the opponents point. There is a similar issue for the mask though in a smaller way.

Thank you for your indulgence

Sabine

devalleassoc
-20th November 2003, 16:14
Hey trigger,

I really appreciate your insight, and always enjoy when some one stimulates me to the point of re-thinking my ideas. I also do agree that the modern foilist is probably if not technically, definately physically able to deliver a good attack at a distance than foilists of the past!


P.S.
What's up with your thumbnail?:rolleyes:

Peanut_UK
-20th November 2003, 16:34
Is the concern that foil will become a "defender's game" justified? I feel that rather than become a defender's discipline, it will make it less of an attacker's game. A subtle difference.

And even if it should become more defensive, then surely that opens up the possibility of people exploiting that, and becoming more aggressive, perhaps?

And I for one, will not be sorry to see the decline in flicking these change would (should?) bring about!

Peanut

Robert
-20th November 2003, 21:37
Originally posted by Sabine

Gav asked about perceptions of refereeing in Germany. ... Of course we also have our share of poor referees also, but this strong international cadre provides a good base and little need to use less experienced referees in most domestic competitions.



Do you mean that you don't preside your own fights? In the UK we don't see an independent president until well after the stage when I get knocked out of competitions.



In foil the sword arm inevitably is in the way of the valid target and is of course off target at foil. As soon as you do away with the off target light you either make it target and really turn foil into epee, or make it not register as suggested, which means trying to parry with it or otherwise use it to block the opponents point. There is a similar issue for the mask though in a smaller way.


I think this is the biggest difference, we still have some have those naff-horrible Leon Paul boxes that show white+colour if you hit off-target and then on-target, and it happens a lot (about half the off-targets). This would greatly advantage the attacker as these would now be hits rather than just stopping the action.

Robert

Thank you for your indulgence

Sabine [/B][/QUOTE]

ceprab
-21st November 2003, 08:54
Originally posted by Peanut_UK

<snip>
And I for one, will not be sorry to see the decline in flicking these change would (should?) bring about!


I'm sure that good refereeing guidance on what constitutes a threat and what constitutes preparation would also have this effect.

stevejackson
-21st November 2003, 19:25
Originally posted by ceprab
I'm sure that good refereeing guidance on what constitutes a threat and what constitutes preparation would also have this effect.

As an outsider to foil, there appears to be perfectly good guidence, thats been written down for at least 25 years. It's given in the rule book (rule t56) and states "the simple attack is correctly executed when the straightening of the arm , point threatening the valid target preceeds the initiation of the lunge or fleche" There's a similar statement on compound attacks.

The problem arrises because the foilists don't follow this guidence, but rely on some mystic understanding of their own involving pointing the elbow toward the opponent or so I observe.

Note I've said nothing about flick hits, My opinion on these is if you try this and theres one light you're fine, but if two lights come up don't be surprised if the attack is given against you. that is after all what the rules say should happen.

Aoife
-22nd November 2003, 13:22
ARGH!

If you don't stop for off-target hits then what's to stop people just twacking away until they manage to hit on-target. It teaches nothing of aim. If newbies come to the sport and are basically told 'if you hit on target you get a point, if you hit off-target it doesn't matter just keep on playing' just how messy will those bouts become?!



Oh this whole debaccle is insanely irritating to me. :mad:

Robert
-22nd November 2003, 14:08
Originally posted by Aoife
ARGH!

If you don't stop for off-target hits then what's to stop people just twacking away until they manage to hit on-target. It teaches nothing of aim. If newbies come to the sport and are basically told 'if you hit on target you get a point, if you hit off-target it doesn't matter just keep on playing' just how messy will those bouts become?!

Oh this whole debaccle is insanely irritating to me. :mad:

I shouldn't worry too much. People have been talking about this for a long time and I doubt it will affect us any time soon.

Even if the FIE did say yes to this how easy is it to reprogram boxes? I presume very modern boxes can be done but the majority of boxes are quite old (due to it being expensive kit). Perhaps Barry or someone could answer? If the answer is that it would be very difficult then even if the FIE did change the rules then I suspect opens would still be fencing under the old rules for many years to come. That could be frustrating for the handful of elite athletes, having to fence one set of rules at A grades and another at home.

Robert

Australian
-23rd November 2003, 01:14
Originally posted by stevejackson
Note I've said nothing about flick hits, My opinion on these is if you try this and theres one light you're fine, but if two lights come up don't be surprised if the attack is given against you. that is after all what the rules say should happen.

you're joking right?

a properly executed flick attack threatens the back or shoulder (whatever the case may be) and is a continous extension...

that doesn't mean that just going forward waving your arm around is an attack, but a properly executed flick to the back or either shoulder has the same right of way as a straight lunge attack.

reposte
-23rd November 2003, 11:08
Tigger, have you read my posting well? I didn't say sabre didn't have row but that there was no need for it in terms of the historical use of sabre, whereas row was invented for foil and is an intrinsic part of what is foil, the main part, as close as - as you put it in math, to a power of identity...
That is why to annull white light in foil goes against the essence of foil and not the essence of sabre.

Rdb811
-23rd November 2003, 18:24
If you read "A Century of Fencing in Britain", the FIE asked the national associations in 1961 to test fol without the off target - the replies were that in made it too like epee.

Nev
-24th November 2003, 14:35
Originally posted by Robert
If somebody advances and flicks to my shoulder, and I counter into it with a direct attack it is the other persons hit (as it should be), but the rules say it is my hit.


That statement made me think, and I'm gonna try to put this across as best I can...

My mate Lam can flick, I can't...
He uses a Zuckovi-whatever grip, I use crosse...
We spar a lot...

The timing and contact issue mentioned in the top post came up one time, and he gave me his opinnion as a flicker. He maintains that a good flicker will not be troubled by such a change in the equipment settings.

Notice the words good flicker - Lam and I use the same blades, and they are stiff, but flexible. Not maraging, he has one of those but only uses it when he wants to practice control, as it forces him to make much smaller movements. Now if I was to try to flick with my blade (or even with his, using a grip more suitable to flicking) - I'd hurt someone.

If I was to try it with his maraging, I could probably pull it off. But I would be a bad flicker.

See i don't mind giving right of way to someone who flicks without breaking their arm, but never to someone who advanced with their arm already bent, ready for the flick.

Now as far as I can gather, reffing has gone the way of "if a threatening action is made then it gains right of way" and a threat to flick whilst ridiculous in classical fencing is perfectly valid in modern fencing, but there's threats and hot air...ideally everyone should be trained towhip out a lunge as soon as that wrist starts moving backwards, and it should count as a valid attack on prep :grin:

prolly didn't put across what I meant to at all, oh well nm, gotta go, laters
Nev

ceprab
-25th November 2003, 08:53
Originally posted by stevejackson
As an outsider to foil, there appears to be perfectly good guidence, thats been written down for at least 25 years. It's given in the rule book (rule t56) and states "the simple attack is correctly executed when the straightening of the arm , point threatening the valid target preceeds the initiation of the lunge or fleche" There's a similar statement on compound attacks.

The problem arrises because the foilists don't follow this guidence, but rely on some mystic understanding of their own involving pointing the elbow toward the opponent or so I observe.

Note I've said nothing about flick hits, My opinion on these is if you try this and theres one light you're fine, but if two lights come up don't be surprised if the attack is given against you. that is after all what the rules say should happen.

And that is exactly my position on it. What I meant was that a note shold come out with diagrams that even the most determined flicker can recognise to indicate that stepping forward pointing your sword over your own sholder consists of preparation.


a properly executed flick attack threatens the back or shoulder (whatever the case may be) and is a continous extension...

I have yet to see an extension that establishes a right of way threatening the back, seeing as the back is behind the opponent, so if you can threaten it your opponent has just earned a card (and if you then hit it so have you probably). I have seen plenty of continuous extensions that hit the back - those that have earned points have been either repostes flicking to back directly from the parry or have been single light situations where the flicker has avoided the (into preparation) attack.

As to a lunge flicking to back having ROW as a simple lunge, it depends when the arm moves and where from - often the first action of the arm is a retraction from the elbow followed by casting the arm forward. Any extension by the opponent during that period of retraction will establish (if I am presiding anyway) a ROW into preparation and the flick risks landing out of time. If the flick is conducted more like an epee flick (extension and twitch to flick) then yes, that may well be threatening (not sure enough power could be generated to hit back in this case though) and I would give the hit.

Nev
-25th November 2003, 15:52
Ok now i feel totaly inadequate, having missed the fact that this thread has 3 pages instead of just one, lol, but anyways, just wanted to applaud ceprab's poat, it said so much i would have like to have said usuing exactly the words i would have liked to use (hmmmm....wonder if I could steal his brain and swap it with mine:dizzy: )

DanInMI
-26th November 2003, 14:27
Originally posted by Sabine
So the FIE have decided on how to improve foil:

1. Reduce the blocking time to 200ms from 700ms currently

2. Require a contact time of 14-16ms versus around 1ms currently

3. Adjust the scoring apparatus so that non-valid hits do not register.

They also considered outlawing the fleche at foil but have deferred judgment on that for the moment.

The FIE think this will make foil easier to referee (fewer double lights), eliminate flick hits (which are "not properly executed" hits), make foil easier to referee (no valid and off-target lights together), and make it more viewable (no off-target lights halting the phrase). That's the theory.

The practice is that it will turn foil into a poor version of epee. In particular the balance will shift dramatically from the attacker to the defender. It will encourage counterattacks, remises, and most of all, displacement of target. If you can get the swordarm or any other part of the current non-valid target in the way of an attack you've as good as parried it. Who's going to try and hit a left-hander under the arm with an attack now.

Well, as I understand it, all this is going to be tried during the 2004-05 Junior season in World Cup events. Good luck to all juniors and true foil RIP.

Blocking time that was adopted was 300 milleseconds, not 200.

The required contact time is 15 milleseconds.

And they voted down the proposal to eliminate stoppages due to off target lights.

They also voted down the proposal to eliminate the fleche.

DanInMI
-26th November 2003, 14:33
Originally posted by DanInMI
Blocking time that was adopted was 300 milleseconds, not 200.

The required contact time is 15 milleseconds.

And they voted down the proposal to eliminate stoppages due to off target lights.

They also voted down the proposal to eliminate the fleche.

Btw:
They also voted to Not make the head valid target area.
They also voted down a proposal to make the bib a valid target area.
They voted to increase the tip spring weight from 500 grams to 750 grams (same as epee)

And they voted to continue to recognize French as the official language of the sport.

Moose
-2nd December 2003, 05:00
Can they please vote to remove the off target light if it comes on more than 3 times before a hit is scored....En Guarde, Ready, Fence...Off target, En Guarde, ready, fence...Off Target, En Guarde, ready, fence...sixteenth remise off target.

Ring any bells?

Pointy stick
-2nd December 2003, 21:11
Not that it'll make the blindest bit of difference to what they decide, but I've been thinking about this off target light business on and off since I read the proposals, and I have an idea.

My first thought was that the Off Target light is essential. Without it, fights might become scruffy, brutish and inelegant, with fencers thrusting away in the hope that sooner or later something would connect with the target. Right of way would become even harder to determine. Parries would be less precise. Remises would be more common. Yuck!

On the other hand, the current system allows a theoretical possibility of allowing or causing a white light to get yourself out of trouble. Put your sword arm in the way of a thrust; try an OT stop hit, or even hit the floor or your own foot... these things can happen. We've all had fights where there have been 2, 3, 4 or many many more white lights in a row. This can be the case with two beginners, or with two well matched fencers with a bit of experience. It can be frustrating.

So, what do we want? Assuming that we value a game of skill and point control, with certain standards of behaviour and technique, we need to keep the white lights to stop the fight when an off target hit is scored. But assuming we want a fast flowing game where 'meaningful hits' are not excluded some change to the rules might be a good idea.

To my mind, sometimes an apparently clean hit on the target can be invalidated by the tip just catching a blade, guard, glove or sleeve on the way in. The tip may not fix on these Off Target areas, but it does drag enough to depress the spring and bring on the light. It is THESE white lights which can be frustrating and break the flow of the game. These are the 'meaningful hits' which are presently invalid.

IF we were to try to INCLUDE these hits as valid, whilst retaining the stoppage for an actual Off Target hit, then PERHAPS the answer would be some sort of a maximum time between the two.

So under this scheme, an Off Target followed by a hit within (say) 1/25 second would result in only a coloured light. An Off Target hit not followed by a hit within the specified period would result in a white light and a stoppage.

This would introduce problems of its own, I'm sure, and might not be the best answer, but it would perhaps be better than completely doing away with white lights.

minx
-12th December 2003, 10:52
That sound good. Last night my coach said that from now on we'd be fencing by incoming rules that flickhits aren't allowed, in one of my matches we went one step further and played ignoring white lights. My opponent (genuinly (Ok I can't spell)) hit me off target, on my shoulder and by god did it kill, we both ran into the point, I blocked his attack but not enough so that it went clear and got hit pretty bad in the shoulder, ordinarily the match would be stopped I'd have a second to try and master the pain, give my arm a shake and stuff. BUT we where ignoring white lights, so we kept fencing (whilst my opponent apologised profusely because it was an unintentionally cruel hit), my arm ached so much I stopped fencing properly for a few points, just trying to get it over with so I could leave the match, my arm stopped hurting an I managed to turn the score round a bit, but I couldn't catch up. I hate the proposed rule!!!!

Robert
-12th December 2003, 19:14
Originally posted by minx
That sound good. Last night my coach said that from now on we'd be fencing by incoming rules that flickhits aren't allowed,

I do hope your coach isn't referring to the new FIE rules we are discussing here. These are still only proposals being trialed by the FIE and they don't ban flick hits, just try to make them more difficult.

I think people on this forum would be interested if your coach thought there was a 'ban' on flick hits so perhaps you should clarify that statement.

Robert

Moose
-13th December 2003, 02:02
Here's a solution to those who flick as their primary attack. Enter them into a steam foil competition :grin:

haggis
-14th December 2003, 02:18
Originally posted by Moose
Here's a solution to those who flick as their primary attack. Enter them into a steam foil competition :grin:

Hmm, yes, maybe. Let's say that Laurence, Richard Kruse, and James Beevers score a majority of their hits with flicks (as viewed by the majority of British fencing). Probably true in most cases against decent World Cup opposition because they'll score their hits the same way i.e. not a carefully placed hit as taught to beginners to the sport. I would say that most fencers that I coach (a level down from Richard, Laurence and James) will score a lot of hits with flicks but are still suffciently well versed in the fundamental mechanics of the sport (i.e. linear attacks and defence) to score plenty of hits on you or anyone else. I'm pretty sure that sure that L, R and J would do as well if not better than my lot and would prove that the best fencers are the best fencers, period.

Sure, test the flick hitter but remember that he/she may only be hitting you in the easiest way availaible to them at the moment and if the rules change they'll hit you some other way.

Just a thought...

Haggis

Robert
-14th December 2003, 16:22
Originally posted by haggis
Hmm, yes, maybe. Let's say that Laurence, Richard Kruse, and James Beevers score a majority of their hits with flicks (as viewed by the majority of British fencing). ...I'm pretty sure that sure that L, R and J would do as well if not better than my lot and would prove that the best fencers are the best fencers, period.

Haggis

Agree with Haggis. I've fenced Laurence and he didn't use a single flick on me, he still hit me every time and I didn't land a point.

The best fencers can always adapt their style. But the people who won't cope well are those who are in the middle ranks because they have 1 or 2 good tricks.

Robert

devalleassoc
-14th December 2003, 16:37
I am also in total agreement. Good fencers will use the flick as part of their repertoir making them well rounded, not as their only means of scoring points. As I see it, a flick used well, and intelligently, is a thing of beauty. Of course, if they insist on making changes, to reiterate what many of you have already said, we will adapt, for that is fencing.

minx
-8th January 2004, 13:10
Originally posted by Robert
I do hope your coach isn't referring to the new FIE rules we are discussing here. These are still only proposals being trialed by the FIE and they don't ban flick hits, just try to make them more difficult.

I think people on this forum would be interested if your coach thought there was a 'ban' on flick hits so perhaps you should clarify that statement.

Robert

He made it seem that way, i'll talk to some of the other people who where there, see how they interpreted it

Pointy stick
-8th January 2004, 15:48
Originally posted by Moose
Here's a solution to those who flick as their primary attack. Enter them into a steam foil competition :grin:

I don't suppose many people seriously dispute the point anyway, but could there be a clearer acknowledgement that the flick hit is a product of the electronic scoring system?

Quite simply, as Moose's comment suggests, most flick hits would not be awarded in a steam fight. Were boxes introduced with the intention of fundamentally changing the way the game is played, or simply to make judging hits more precise?

If, as I assume, the latter, then that is why the changes are being discussed. Whether they will work, or whether the 'correction' is necessary, are of course open to debate.

Prometheus
-8th January 2004, 16:15
You should read Istvan Lukovitch [Electric Foil Fencing: Advanced Competitive Training ] for details of the introduction of electric foil as seen from the perspective of World champions.

The effect was quite varied apparently and removed much of the classic foil moves that were in vogue previously. It was, interestingly, seen as moving foil closer to epee in those days.

Wiz
-6th February 2004, 09:33
I guess that I'm in for a real flaming here, but see substantial merit in the proposed changes.

I do not agree with flicking and would like to see in banned or at least far more controlled. I'm sure that there are some top fencers who are able to correctly and safely execute it, but for each of them there is more than 100 others who cannot. On several occasions now I have seen a young (U16) fencer reduced to tears when he has been hit with a "whip" hit to the middle of the back. On one occasion at a recent Premier Foil event, the boy's back actually started bleeding. Badly executed flicking is dangerous and could potentially put off new fencers. And how do the fencers who are proficient at it become so? They do not just turn up one day and start executing perfect flicks, which means that some poor sole has to be the subject of their armature whippings whist they train towards expertise.

I also question why should the flick be valid at all? The foil is a thrusting weapon and the pressure required to depress the point was supposed to represent the force needed to penetrate the skin. If buttons were replaced once more for sharp points, a momentary dab on the shoulder might sting a bit, but it would hardly incapacitate.

As mentioned elsewhere, the flick is responsible for a huge change in the way foil is fenced with regard to timing. It used to be that a stop hit into a bent arm preparation was in time and maybe it should still be, but I increasingly see lengthy attacks with the point aiming at the ceiling taking priority. It seems in many instances that the ROW is determined merely by who is moving forward regardless of what actually happens:rolleyes: .

It is not good enough to blame the presidents and the standard of their training, to do so is to ignore practicality. There are never enough volunteer presidents at junior competitions and even if there were, there will always be varying interpretations of what happened during a particular series of movements, much to the frustration of one party or other. Changing the box to eliminate flicks would help less experienced presidents make more correct decisions IMHO.

So for my part, I would like to see the time that the point must be depressed in order to register a hit be increased to the point that flicks no longer register, period. I am sure that the sport would be better for it.

Arturo
-6th February 2004, 11:00
I was back in Scotland last week and attended a club run by a well-respected elderly coach, who has always been very much against flicking.

He was coaching his pupils how to fence with the new box timing (with some glee, might I add). His primary concern was the fact that the blocking time was being reduced, and was telling people how important the remise would be.

This made me very nervous, for the simple reason that if the blocking time is reduced, and everyone starts remising, what happens to the slow riposte? At the moment, we can parry, than begin a slow riposte, waiting to see if the opponent tries a counter parry, which can be deceived. If they just remise, we simply finish the slow riposte and claim the hit.

Reducing the blocking time could make this kind of action invalid, and foil could become even more of a race, as fencers will only have time for a fast parry-riposte.


It seems that, in their eagerness to take out the flick, the FIE could be making impractical a lot of the complexity that foil is capable of.

I also found it quite ironic that a coach who prefers the classical style (and bemoans the fact that the box changed fencing for the worse) is now teaching his students to fence a specific way to suit the box. Even worse is that these changes may not come to pass.

This whole debacle perfectly illustrates how dependent we've all become on scoring technology (in fact, it's a microcosm for the human love of gadgetry and technology to make our lives easier). Even those who hate what the box has done are now obsessed by it.

The box was supposed to be an aid to presiding. Instead it's become the single most important thing in a bout. The solution, as has been stated before, is simple. Leave the box alone and sort out some simple, consistent rules.

There is nothing wrong with flicking as long as it's correctly executed. As long as the flicker starts to straighten his/ her arm it's an attack, even if their elbow starts back near their ear. If an opponent launches an attack while the arm is still back there, it's an attack into preparation. Why is that so difficult to understand?As stated in a previous post, it's clearly defined in the rules.

TBH, I think the real problem is that fencers just like to squabble.

Anyone who has ever been on a committee knows that it takes forever to get anything done, and half the committee members are people who want a little bit of power to add meaning to their petty lives. It's either be on the committee or sit alone in the evening, drinking cheap wine and staring at peeling wallpaper.

Get rid of the FIE committee. After all, the best form of government is a benign dictator (OK, that's an oxymoron and a practical impossibility, but there you go).

Put Gav in charge. He's a hardass.

Incidentally, it's interesting to note that the person who expresses themselves in the most elegant English is German. Is there something wrong with our school system, or is Sabine just a show-off?

Prometheus
-6th February 2004, 11:07
Originally posted by Wiz
On several occasions now I have seen a young (U16) fencer reduced to tears when he has been hit with a "whip" hit to the middle of the back. On one occasion at a recent Premier Foil event, the boy's back actually started bleeding. Badly executed flicking is dangerous and could potentially put off new fencers.

My god what on earth was the president doing allowing brutality! - you were present but were you involved in this??:eek:

Brutality whether by flicking, whacking with the flat of the blade or barging is not the fault of technique per se - it is the fault of the fencer, coach and especially the president if it is not penalised.

More reason to think presiding and coaching needs an overhaul.......

Wiz
-6th February 2004, 13:16
Originally posted by Prometheus
My god what on earth was the president doing allowing brutality! - you were present but were you involved in this??:eek:

Brutality whether by flicking, whacking with the flat of the blade or barging is not the fault of technique per se - it is the fault of the fencer, coach and especially the president if it is not penalised.

More reason to think presiding and coaching needs an overhaul.......


Yes I was there, but only as a spectator, none of my fencers were involved in it. It was at the Premier Junior Series in Canterbury last year. I will not name the fencer concerned because he is by no means the only culprit, but there were several complaints at by concerned parents about the "technique" that he was using at the time. In fairness to the President, the boy on receipt of the flick was wearing his mask at the time and, other than tentatively reaching to over his back to rub the injured spot, gave no real outward signs as to the extent of his injury. When his took off his mask at the end of the bout, he was very red faced and I could see that his eyes were red, but that could easily have been mistaken for a high level of exertion. The problem is that young teenagers do not like to complain about being physically hurt and it might be difficult to establish just how much force the whipping technique actually landed with.

At the BYFC last year, a boy fenced my own son using the same technique. I was videoing the bout. I have a piece of video that beautifully demonstrates the problem. The boy "attacking" my son is seen in one frame with his foil actually pointing behind him in readiness to bring it down with such force the blade would bend over and hit the defender (my son) in the back. In the same frame, my son can be seen delivering a perfectly executed stop hit, well in time as the attacker's arm is bent double with his foil pointing behind him and over his sword arm. Some five frames later, the attacker brought his foil down with such force the blade bends almost double and hits the defender in the middle of his back. Not only was the technique not penalised, the attacker was given the ROW and the point :rolleyes: . My son showed no signs of injury, but I later found that he had two sizable lumps on the back of his head where the point of the other boy's foil had landed off target on the back of his unprotected head on more than one occasion :mad:

I know that it is an unpopular view, but I think that there is no place for this technique in foil. No matter how well it is taught, at some point, a junior fencer has to try it out in competition and I do not believe that it is fair on other fencers to expect them to endure being practised on.

ceprab
-9th February 2004, 12:44
Keeping out of the relevance of flicking as a technique, I agree with Prometheus. Brutality is a nice catch-all term that could restrict the badly delivered flick hit.

i have been taught to flick (with epee, but read on). My learning target was my coach. She wears a big thick leather jacket. I erred on the side of caution with any flicks and therefore tend to miss by pulling short rather than hitting flat. Another (epeeist) in my club caused another person to miss a competition by (as far as I can tell) bursting a tendon sheath in his forarm with the flat of an epee.

Moral: Flick by all means, but learn it by pulling short so you don't hurt people, and preferably by asking your coach to show you how - they are armoured.

And I cant resist this:


...a momentary dab on the shoulder might sting a bit, but it would hardly incapacitate....

...he had two sizable lumps on the back of his head where the point of the other boy's foil had landed...

And that was with a button....

Wiz
-9th February 2004, 13:21
Originally posted by ceprab

And I cant resist this:
...a momentary dab on the shoulder might sting a bit, but it would hardly incapacitate....

...he had two sizable lumps on the back of his head where the point of the other boy's foil had landed...

And that was with a button.... [/B]

You miss the point, the head is off target in foil and the back of the head is completely unprotected as it is not supposed to be a vulnerable target area. A flick to the target area in foil is unlikely to be incapacitating, even with a sharp point, however, being run through might sting a bit eh? :rolleyes:

ceprab
-9th February 2004, 13:49
Well, there was also the bleeding caused by *blunt* trauma through jacket and lame that you also mentioned....

It's ironic - the forceful (brutal) use of flicking that is certainly improper in a fencing bout is actually the only type that might have real application in a duel.

Reviewing also (and devils advocate here) - I don't know what the frame rate on your camera is, but a flicking person could (and probably would) argue that the guy you caught with his elbow behind himself was threatening due to being only one action away from landing he hit, and started his attack properly by extending before taking hte arm back to cast.


Not devils advocate: Horse feathers!

Prometheus
-9th February 2004, 14:08
You miss the point, the head is off target in foil and the back of the head is completely unprotected as it is not supposed to be a vulnerable target area. A flick to the target area in foil is unlikely to be incapacitating, even with a sharp point, however, being run through might sting a bit eh?



So would attacking your opponent with your pommel but is that not the referee's job to prevent? I do not see how you can seperate the incorrect technique in this case from any other misuse/abuse at fencing.

I've seen enough injuries that have been caused by normal strokes to know that guidance and control are needed at all levels but to throw out a move because of the misuse of it by poorly controlled [by coaches/referees] minority of fencers is unreasonable.

What are black cards for eh? Were they not around before flick hits?

Do we stop people overtaking cars because of some who have head on collisions whilst doing so? No we police them....as we should in fencing.....

DrT
-9th February 2004, 14:17
Originally posted by ceprab
the guy you caught with his elbow behind himself was threatening due to being only one action away from landing he hit, and started his attack properly by extending before taking hte arm back to cast.

and lost right of right of way by withdrawing the arm?

DonnCarnage
-9th February 2004, 23:23
Originally posted by Muso440
Isn't it a bit odd that they're trying it out on the juniors first? Poor little sods might get totally confused.

Who you calling a Sod...

DC:pirate:

P.S. i bored

Wiz
-10th February 2004, 07:41
Originally posted by Prometheus
So would attacking your opponent with your pommel but is that not the referee's job to prevent? I do not see how you can seperate the incorrect technique in this case from any other misuse/abuse at fencing.

We were referring to the relevance of flicking to "real" fencing (i.e. sharp points not buttons) and to whether or not a flick with a sharp foil would actually incapacitate anyway, unlike a thrust through the body which almost certainly would.

But I can separate brutal flicking from other misuse/abuse and the fact that you compare them actually demonstrates my point. Tell me what coach ever teaches his students to attack with the pommel? How many courses have you ever given/received on barging into your opponent or otherwise abusing them? Easy, none because they are clearly illegal techniques and as such are easy to penalise. However, it is much more difficult for a president to decided just how much force a flick was delivered with, how much damage it has caused a competitor and whether or not it was malicious.

By accepting even a correctly delivered flick as a good technique, you are opening up a whole new area of dispute and placing the president in even more likelihood of ending up in a controversial position. Certainly his job would be even harder.

If fencers could be trusted to perfect the technique with their coaches and only use it in competition once proficient, perhaps it could have a place, but the reality is that to expect such restraint form a largely uncoordinated mass of fencers is folly.

DonnCarnage
-13th February 2004, 19:11
I've given up replying on this board along time ago simply because of the arguments presented above about fencing and its evolution.

However, i am gonna reply (been like 6months). Fencing is for the fencers NOT the referees. As a refree, you must keep up with the evolutions of the sport...otherwise you are not doing your job and hence DONT referee. You didn't get referees complaining in the 1980's when football got alot faster! They themselves evoloved with the sport. Fencing is for Fencers!

Now, it seems the issue about the flick hit by the last post is that because of the inconsitancy of the fencers tecnhique, is the level of difficculty by referees. There are two types of referees in a competition a) Fencers themselves
b) Official Referees
Now fencers themseleves cannot be expected to referee to a high standard and judge the techniques of a flick hit attack.
However, officaial referees should be expected to cope with any atatck from any side and give the hit 95% the right way. There should be no complaining from them that its 'harder' to referee just because the sport has become more dynamic.

I am really sick of poeple complaining. before they argued it was because it was untraditional. that argument does not work, now they are tatcically complaining that it is to hard for referee. fencers should not change to suite the referees, it is the referees who should adapt to the fencing.

DC:pirate:

stevejackson
-13th February 2004, 20:47
Originally posted by Prometheus
What are black cards for eh? Were they not around before flick hits?


Actually Prometheus no flick hits are older than warning cards of any colour.

DonnCarnage
-13th February 2004, 21:08
I've given up replying on this board along time ago simply because of the arguments presented above about fencing and its evolution.

However, i am gonna reply (been like 6months). Fencing is for the fencers NOT the referees. As a refree, you must keep up with the evolutions of the sport...otherwise you are not doing your job and hence DONT referee. You didn't get referees complaining in the 1980's when football got alot faster! They themselves evoloved with the sport. Fencing is for Fencers!

Now, it seems the issue about the flick hit by the last post is that because of the inconsitancy of the fencers tecnhique, is the level of difficculty by referees. There are two types of referees in a competition a) Fencers themselves
b) Official Referees
Now fencers themseleves cannot be expected to referee to a high standard and judge the techniques of a flick hit attack.
However, officaial referees should be expected to cope with any atatck from any side and give the hit 95% the right way. There should be no complaining from them that its 'harder' to referee just because the sport has become more dynamic.

I am really sick of poeple complaining. before they argued it was because it was untraditional. that argument does not work, now they are tatcically complaining that it is to hard for referee. fencers should not change to suite the referees, it is the referees who should adapt to the fencing.

DC:pirate:

Wiz
-14th February 2004, 00:08
Originally posted by DonnCarnage
As a refree, you must keep up with the evolutions of the sport...otherwise you are not doing your job and hence DONT referee.... <snip>


Get real Donn, you are living in a dream world m8 :tongue: . Every competition, especially at junior level, is crying out for refs 'cos there is never enough. If you are seriously telling every ref who can't correctly penalise an incorrectly delivered flick to give up, we'll have about 10 refs to preside over the entire British fencing calender!

In an ideal world I might agree with you, but even given an unlimited supply of highly trained refs, I'm not convinced that the flick is an evolution of foil that is wholly welcome. To my mind it's more the exploitation of an inadequate electronic scoring system than an evolution that we should all be keeping up with.

Prometheus
-14th February 2004, 19:38
Actually Prometheus no flick hits are older than warning cards of any colour.

Thank you Steve. I'm not quite that old yet so had to ask....

Prometheus (now pretending the original question wasn't rhetorical:confused: )

ps You were there......was that introduced 19th or 20th century decision, Steve?:moon:

pps yeah,yeah I know the flaw in that jibe...

grunt

DonnCarnage
-14th February 2004, 21:49
Originally posted by Wiz
Get real Donn, you are living in a dream world m8 :tongue: . Every competition, especially at junior level, is crying out for refs 'cos there is never enough.

Reading my post i did not make myself clear. There is no shortage of fencers willing to referee and no complaints either. Its the 'offical referees' who only referee and don't participate who need to 'get real' as you put it.

DonnCarnage
-14th February 2004, 21:58
Replying to Wiz about the hard hitters.

When i finish fencing, and take my t-shirt off, i am always covered with a few red marks and lumps when i have finished...my brother is usually covered. Probably the reason why your son did not complain is because whilst and even after you are fencing...you hardly feel any hits (unless its and old fencer who is determined to preserve the old style and coninutally jab you as hard as possible in the chest).

DonnCarnage
-14th February 2004, 22:01
Oh and wiz, one last point. If your son keeps fencing and turns out to be decent..then in a few years, your son will be using the style you are complaining about (i can bet £1000000 on it).

Rdb811
-14th February 2004, 22:13
Originally posted by DonnCarnage a long time ago
£30 ENTRY. U got be KIdding

Say a familyu had 3 fencers in that would be £90 a competition!!!

Anyone else notice that wise old Rdb811 takes 4 posts to reply to something which u could do in 1post. could u answer this mystery Rdb811????? Though it does explain how people get so many Posts.

Just doing my job

DC

Just doing my job.:grin:

DonnCarnage
-15th February 2004, 20:12
grin i dont belive you can recall that...

Dalby
-18th February 2004, 13:27
Originally posted by DonnCarnage
Replying to Wiz about the hard hitters.

...fencer who is determined to preserve the old style and coninutally jab you as hard as possible in the chest...

I seem to recall that old style fencing involves placing the point on the chest just once per point, no jabbing was involved. I think you're just confusing a club "slasher" who's never learnt to deliver a flick-hit (never mind proper "old fashioned" fencing) with a club "flicker" who's learnt to flick-hit and promptly forgotten everything else.

Dalby
-18th February 2004, 13:27
Originally posted by DonnCarnage
Replying to Wiz about the hard hitters.

...fencer who is determined to preserve the old style and coninutally jab you as hard as possible in the chest...

I seem to recall that old style fencing involves placing the point on the chest just once per point, no jabbing was involved. I think you're just confusing a club "slasher" who's never learnt to deliver a flick-hit (never mind proper "old fashioned" fencing) with a club "flicker" who's learnt to flick-hit and promptly forgotten everything else.

Wiz
-18th February 2004, 15:22
Originally posted by DonnCarnage
Oh and wiz, one last point. If your son keeps fencing and turns out to be decent..then in a few years, your son will be using the style you are complaining about (i can bet £1000000 on it).


That might well be the case Don, however I'm not sure how you see that fact helping the case for flicking. Surely it only proves that the current electronics system encourages a technique that I personally would prefer to see outlawed. But if the odds are right I might take your wager anyway, because if the proposed changes to the box go ahead as planned, flicked hits will no longer register and so my son will certainly not be doing them.

With regard to the bruising, I think that there is a world of difference between and picking up a bruise to the chest and being hit on the back of the head. If flicks to the back are going to be allowed, then protective clothing needs to be updated to give some protection to the back of the head and neck. At present, these areas are completely unprotected as they were never supposed to be at any risk of being hit, but has clearly changed.

Boo Boo
-18th February 2004, 15:46
Originally posted by Wiz
But if the odds are right I might take your wager anyway, because if the proposed changes to the box go ahead as planned, flicked hits will no longer register and so my son will certainly not be doing them.

With the proposed changes "lucky" flicks may not register, well executed flicks still will: people will not give up flicking, if anything, they will just flick harder...

(If you can flick with an epee, which people can and certainly do, then the propsed changes will not stop flicking in foil...)

Boo

DonnCarnage
-18th February 2004, 16:19
Originally posted by Wiz
If flicks to the back are going to be allowed,

They are allowed


Originally posted by Wiz
then protective clothing needs to be updated to give some protection to the back of the head and neck

You might be right there...though it hardly happens further up the fencing chain...when it does it does hurt..for a couple of seconds anyway...then again, i heard two fencers who were severly affected a couple of years ago at the eden cup event by attacks which unfortunatly hit their head.

Yo Leon Paul, another monopolistic money making scheme!

Anyone who wants to remove the flick hit because its not 'classical' or an evolution of electric boxes are extremly selfish OR are not fencers (e.g. parents). PLease quit your selfish ignorant whinning, because fencers who do not fence as a 'hobby' are getting tired of your childish wingeing comments.

Sorry if i've offended anyone..acutally i'm not, but i just needed to leave with my final stance on this issue.

DC:pirate:

P.S. read my posts from 10months ago where i used to bother trying to give more 'educational critical' responses.

Wiz
-18th February 2004, 16:32
Originally posted by Boo Boo
With the proposed changes "lucky" flicks may not register, well executed flicks still will: people will not give up flicking, if anything, they will just flick harder...


I must admit Boo Boo, I didn't know the system was going to be smart enough to distinguish between the two. If it is merely a time delay, then I don't see how it can distinguish between a well executed flick and a lucky one? I hope that the delay will be sufficient enough to make people realise quite quickly that the only sure way to make a hit register, is to make a proper thrust to the target area, but I wholly accept your point that some may just try to hit even harder, which is a worry.


People do flick with épée, but they do not deliver the kind of flicks that I object to. Perhaps I should explain: I object when a foilest brings his blade up and over his shoulder, then brings it down again with force as if to strike the top of his opponent's head with the side of the blade then, at the last instant, he pulls the handle back, causing the blade to bend right over his opponent's head and hit them in between the shoulder blades. The action is almost like casting a line with a fishing rod and it can't be done with a stiff bladed foil, never mind an épée.

I object because it is a technique that is very difficult, if not impossible to control properly and it puts the unprotected back of the opponent's head and neck at risk. Now there many people who might say that such a technique should not be allowed and that the president should intervene, but the reality is that it is going on and no one is penalising it. Maybe retraining could help to eradicate it, but there needs to be new, clear and unfettered rules to that effect, else it will inevitably continue.

Wiz
-18th February 2004, 16:44
Originally posted by DonnCarnage
Anyone who wants to remove the flick hit because its not 'classical' or an evolution of electric boxes are extremly selfish OR are not fencers (e.g. parents).

Well, I'm not sure which of your categories I fall into, but I'm not a "classical" fencer, I think the development of the flick is down to the way electric boxes work, I am a parent, I am a fencer and having represented GB at both foil and épée in my youth, I guess that I'm not (or at least was not) a bad one. I don't know therefore that I wholly fit into any of your categories, perhaps they are a little narrow or simplistic to be practical :shrug:

Boo Boo
-18th February 2004, 17:02
Sorry, I probably didn't explain myself well enough...

... a "lucky" flick is generally a flick that doesn't fix properly or securely (it just glances off of the jacket). A well executed flick - which DOES fix solidly onto the jacket - will still register after the proposed changes are introduced. The proposed changes to impact time, point weight and blade bend will not affect good, solid flicks regiatering...

To be honest, from your description of "flicks that you object to", it sounds as though you are objecting to uncontrolled, brutal fencing (in general) rather than flicking. Admitedly, some people (often teenage boys) try to flick too soon - i.e. before they have enough control - and can cause pain that way. But anybody who delivers such uncontrolled flicks, is also likely to be stuffing their point through people's collar bones with direct attacks as well... it is not the flick that is at fault, rather the fencer's control.

Dangerous, violent and vendictive fencing can and should be penalised fencing can be penalised by a referee.

As DonnCarnage suggests, maybe there is an "opportunity" for equipment suppliers to produce masks with more protection for the back of the head and neck. I do remember a mask that did cover more of the back of the head (Prieur?), but haven't seen one for some time. If you are worried about the safety of yourself or your nearest and dearest, I hear that a reversed baseball cap (with brim over neck) can provide reasonably good protection.

Boo

Dalby
-18th February 2004, 17:04
Originally posted by DonnCarnage
They are allowed

Anyone who wants to remove the flick hit because its not 'classical' or an evolution of electric boxes are extremly selfish OR are not fencers (e.g. parents). PLease quit your selfish ignorant whinning, because fencers who do not fence as a 'hobby' are getting tired of your childish wingeing comments.


Or could it be that they just don't want to see foil disappearing up an evolutionary dead end?

Is it entirely altruistic to impose one particular style of fencing, that happens to work because of our present recording systems, on everyone in the future too? Fencing technique has been evolving continuously throughout its history, surely you've got to be open minded about where the next evolution will come from.

Flicking is a product of the rather Heath-Robinson electric scoring apparatus we use now - who's to say that other scoring methods don't become possible in the future - are you going to sit there and fulminate against them because if they don't permit your favoured type of attack?

Boo Boo
-18th February 2004, 17:27
Originally posted by Dalby
Or could it be that they just don't want to see foil disappearing up an evolutionary dead end?

Is it entirely altruistic to impose one particular style of fencing, that happens to work because of our present recording systems, on everyone in the future too? Fencing technique has been evolving continuously throughout its history, surely you've got to be open minded about where the next evolution will come from.

Flicking is a product of the rather Heath-Robinson electric scoring apparatus we use now - who's to say that other scoring methods don't become possible in the future - are you going to sit there and fulminate against them because if they don't permit your favoured type of attack?

Competitive fencers have to adapt - otherwise they don't stay competitive.

There are very few successful senior fencers out there who are "one trick ponies" - the flick is just a way of finishing a hit. If the flick goes (i.e. we are all fencing foil with cast iron pokers...), a good fencer is still a good fencer.

At the moment, though, the planned changes to equipment/rules will not stop a good fencer executing good flicks.

Foil will continue to evolve and fencers will continue to evolve (even if it gets removed from the Olympics in favour of "Mixed Doubles Hula Hooping", people out there will still fence...)

Boo

Australian
-18th February 2004, 18:50
read the article recently written on fencing.net . Personally i think its wonderfully written

Wiz
-18th February 2004, 20:40
Originally posted by Australian
read the article recently written on fencing.net . Personally i think its wonderfully written


Do you have a URL?

Boo Boo
-19th February 2004, 00:20
Originally posted by Wiz
Do you have a URL?

I think that Dave means:

http://www.fencing101.com/content/view/142/35/

Australian
-19th February 2004, 09:57
Originally posted by Boo Boo
I think that Dave means:

http://www.fencing101.com/content/view/142/35/

and i do :)

pinkelephant
-19th February 2004, 12:11
Graham Kemp of Morecambe has a mask with mesh which curls right over the back of the head - might well be Prieur.

DonnCarnage
-19th February 2004, 19:15
Originally posted by Dalby
are you going to sit there and fulminate against them because if they don't permit your favoured type of attack?

WTF do you know what my favourate attack is!!!
And just for the record, the ONLY time I use flick hits frequently is against s**t fencers who do the complaining because its the easiest/quickest way to beat them.


Originally posted by Dalby
Fencing technique has been evolving continuously throughout its history, surely you've got to be open minded about where the next evolution will come from. [/B]

Look dip****, I said if you want to reply about my comments, look back at my more structured answers with a bit more evidence/thought. So please, in future, dont make idle quotes about me. As you can see, i am 'open minded' as you might say:


Originally posted by DonnCarnage along long time ago Things Evolve and i bet when we see foil in 30years time, people will be doing other stuff...and maybe it'll be my turn to do the complaining [/B]

What some of you are proposing is to change things dramaitcally. i.e. change the way foil is fenced by "good fencers" over night!
I'm sure David Beckham wouldn't like it if some local sunday league spectator started to try and change the way he played football!!!

DC:pirate:

gbm
-19th February 2004, 19:47
The only reason some flicks may still register is because they are only increasing the contact time required to 15 ms (the FIE suggested this would prevent 50% of flicks) because they didn't want to 'scare foilists too much'. With the 750g weight and 2mm travel as well, I think it likely that full back hits will become very difficult unless you can hold the point on the back, but personally I would like to see the 25ms time (or longer?) that the FIE suggested would stop all flicks (I sure some would be possible, but you've only got to make something slightly unreliable and people will stop doing it).
I was just looking for things about necessary penetrating power and found this.
http://www.iceweasel.org/ek_rules_may_2000.html
Scary! My two favourite lines are:
"Virtually any object may be used as a parry item. For instance, sword sheaths, riding crops, coiled whips, beer mugs, etc. may be used, provided that the object poses no threat to the safety of the combatants."
"All disabled fencers should remove themselves from the melee field or die defensively, depending on the conditions of the field."

Australian
-20th February 2004, 10:14
Originally posted by DonnCarnage
What some of you are proposing is to change things dramaitcally. i.e. change the way foil is fenced by "good fencers" over night!
I'm sure David Beckham wouldn't like it if some local sunday league spectator started to try and change the way he played football!!!

DC:pirate:

i'd suggest:

read the changes
read the article linked to above

and then realise that the changes that the FIE (not some local sunday league spectator) are making to foil are not that much different from the way that the top teams are fecning nowadays.

The good flicks will still land, however you are going to need much better distance, timing and speed if you want to succeed in the new foil.

DonnCarnage
-20th February 2004, 12:47
I'm replying to peoples comments about the flick hit. Personally, i dont have a real problem with the changes because, at a high level, its not gonna change the way i fence...

oddball
-12th March 2004, 07:54
I pity those who rely on the flick hit, but then I never saw the need to learn to do it.

oddball
-12th March 2004, 07:55
Happy with my own sneaky way of win-some,lose-some fencing.

madfencer
-12th March 2004, 12:13
hey oddball, ive jst pmd u hope u get it. plz reply.
yea i dont rely on the flick theres no need for it. in my opinion itz spoils foil and shld only be used in sabre.
so it certainly doesnt effect me!!!!!!!
yea win sum, lose sum, eh oddball???! mainly lose wiv me!!!!

gbm
-12th March 2004, 15:05
I think the problem that the rules have with flicking is that the rules are not just rules, but principles. They embody the principles of real swordfighting (although foil artificially imposes these). Therefore, there is a reason and a principle underlying the rules. The problem is that flicking falls outside of these rules. It falls outside of these rules because it falls outside of the principles of swordfighting, because it is unrealistic. It is not fencing, and it is not in the spirit of the rules, and because of this it cannot easily be interpreted in terms of the rules.
I say we ban the flick! Or better still just prevent them (since we cannot rely on refereeing). I mean what happens?
The best fencers carry on doing what they are already doing.
The worst fencers carry on what they are already doing.
The middle fencers have to stop their favourite 'easy fencer killing' attack. Oh dear, what a shame...
Much of the uncertainty of the rules of removed, as the wedge that allowing flicks opens up is shut.
Foil becomes less mis-interpreted and easier to ref.
Success!
Go FIE, go FIE, go FIE...
(but why only 15ms? Why go to the effort of redesigning tips and increasing weights to stop flicks, then only increasing the contact time to stop 50% of flicks?)

Prometheus
-12th March 2004, 15:57
Because the FIE always go and over do it.

gbm
-12th March 2004, 20:56
I just think they've overdone it with the point, but underdone it with the contact time.

devalleassoc
-12th March 2004, 21:11
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I just think they've overdone it with the point, but underdone it with the contact time.

I tend to agree. It seems to me that (and I'm not much of a flicker!) by increasing the weight, it will just prompt a lot of fencers to hit the opponent that much harder in order to depress the point. A problem that I see primarily with mid-level fencers. On the other hand, if the contact time were longer, it would promote more practice, so that a proper flick would be executed, one that hits and STICKS.

Prometheus
-12th March 2004, 22:30
Originally posted by devalleassoc
I tend to agree. It seems to me that (and I'm not much of a flicker!) by increasing the weight, it will just prompt a lot of fencers to hit the opponent that much harder in order to depress the point. A problem that I see primarily with mid-level fencers. On the other hand, if the contact time were longer, it would promote more practice, so that a proper flick would be executed, one that hits and STICKS.

So what - the bad will still be bad, and the good will still be good.

How, do you hit harder any way? When you can't hit a good foilist at all????

devalleassoc
-12th March 2004, 22:48
I was merely stating that it would be a better idea to increase the contact time, rather that play with the spring tension. By doing so, you will be forced to become a more controlled flicker, or else your hit will not register.
Of course on the otherhand, one can argue that this will further prompt inept fencers to keep on beating the h**l out of each other in order to register a hit. (hence bad, becomomg worst)
I guess you're right, you can't win! My apologies!
Now about not being able to hit good fencers...........

randomsabreur
-14th March 2004, 14:24
It's not the bad fencing the good that is the issue, but the dire fencing the dire. That is the situation where people will be attempting to skewer each other, preferably to the nearest wall. Admittedly this will never concern the FIE, only the national federations, as at an international level the fencers are good enough not to have this issue. It is the mid to bottom level of domestics that will be painful to watch and do

Here come more and more bent arm full lunges from about 10 centimetres from opponent's chest "just to make sure"

gbm
-14th March 2004, 20:11
I personally don't think it should be possible to hit with any flick, no matter how well executed, unless it is an action that could be done with a real sword.
Flicking is not fencing.
Fencing (from dictionary.com):
"The art or practice of attack and defense with the sword, esp. with the smallsword".
Modern fencing is a representation of this, if it isn't even vaguely realistic it isn't fencing.

Threestain
-14th March 2004, 21:07
Why would a flick not be possible with a real sword? seeing as an epee is based on a rapier, and there were many thin bladed sword designs in the past, which due to the nature of metal surely bent and therefore could be made to flick - especially as a "haughty" manoeuvure to put down your opponent.

Also if fencing is the art of practice of attack and defense with the sword then any attack (no matter how objectionable it is to "purists") and defence is fencing, as we use swords. And as a flick is only a quick movement, outlawing flicking would be to outlaw short sharp remises and the like.

To limit a sport to historical origins is to sound its death knell - evolution and development is a must to keep people interested, and frankly flicking gives another dimension to the target - that area which you might not necessarily be able to see.

And besides flicking isn't exactly tricky with an epee so there is no reason to think that this will limit flick hits. It might reduce the number of questionable attacks present in foil (where the arm is going backwards, or somesuch - my foil days are in the mists) but being able to bend a small, thin blade is really rather easy with practice (and requires less strength than good relaxation of the hand). In essence I don't see that much has changed with this ruling, except that it will look good as juniors are not as strong as seniors.

gbm
-14th March 2004, 22:08
While it is true that real swords do bend a bit (actually they can be quite flexible, although none of the swords my friend has could be described as bendy), they bend to stop them from breaking, instead of stopping them from hurting. Real swords are not designed to bend harmlessly on impact.
I invite you to try hitting somebody in the back with a rapier. And even if you did succeed, your rapier would have to be so whippy that they would only have to wear thick clothing and it would not penetrate. And try injuring somebody by running them through their back - when you are standing in front of them.
A foil or even an epee is not a real 'sword'. It is a fake sword - a sword used to simulate a real sword in a safe environment.
"limit[ing] a sport to historical origins" does not sound it's death knell when those historical origins are not purely arbitary conventions, but true tried-and-tested principles, learnt over many centuries with real weapons. In a non-contact martial art, would we allow a particular move to get extra points than a simple kick or punch, because it 'added another dimension to the target' or 'kept people interested' - if it was completely unrealistic and would never work in practice? Like sweeping your arm down onto their shoulder, using your finger to touch the small of their back, and claiming you have punched them.
The only reason these conventions and origins are 'historical' is because nobody fights real duels anymore, we fence instead.
If you mean a flick, where you just for instance in epee beat and hit to the wrist, you may very well be able to do this with a real sword.
If you mean a flick, where you bring your sword well back and cast it over your opponents shoulders and hit them in the back, using only the bend in the sword to hit them and not just hitting them with the sword directly on the back (which can also be done by a tall person against a person leaning over), then this would never work with a real sword.
If the hit requires the bend created in the sword to reach the target, then it is unrealistic. It is not fencing. It screws up the conventions of foil and leads to widespread mis-interpretations of the rules.

Robert
-14th March 2004, 22:49
Goodbadandme,

I disagree. Having just fenced a lot of people this weekend (and still being a little too hyped to sleep) I don't really want the flick removed. I don't use the flick - but I enjoy the challenge of having to prevent the use of a flick by someone else. Exactly as I enjoy the challenge of all sorts of other styles and techniques.

It adds to the variety and complexity of the game.

Robert

gbm
-15th March 2004, 07:01
I can understand why - you have just spent a long time learning to deal with the flick as fencing has wandered so far off track.

But there are many things we could do that would increase the "challenge of all sorts of other styles and techniques" that would not be fencing, like giving points for hitting a particular target area, or allowing you to score two points for hitting with particular good-for-TV attacks (which would be silly). Football is a challenge, but adding two balls to fencing and a pair of goalposts at each end, while increasing the challenge, would not be fencing any more.

I guarantee that removing the flick will promote more than one type of alternative fencing, at least while the game remains in a state of evolution (removing the flick _is_ evolution).

I believe removing flicks would encourage more complex actions anyway.

Threestain
-15th March 2004, 09:29
Fair points on the status of swords. However, fencing is not historical battle re-enactment. That is a completely different interest. Actually many martial arts are quite like that you have described - all for show and quite unrealistic (though obviously at their core they have very effective techniques). I only know this from friends who are presidents and so on in kung fu societies.

to "remove" the flick is not evolution - allowing it to take its course and be replaced by other things is. If you actually watch high level foil fencing flicking is not the be all and end all, with many other attacks being utilised. How can removing an action foster more complex actions? Surely removing an option simplifies the possible outcomes. And to say that someone doesn't want to remove a move because he has spent time learning how to cope with it is patronising; maybe he enjoys the challenge of actually having to increase the scope of his technique beyond the basic positions.

Besides, to remove the flick hit would be to encourage far more painful attacks that hit "properly". Surely the idea of fencing is to hit the other person and not get hit yourself, irrespective of how you do it (sensibly of course). Style is something that comes afterwards. And a flick is not a beat hit manoeuvure I was merely showing the folly of using dictionary definitions.

aao
-15th March 2004, 09:56
Originally posted by Wiz
I People do flick with épée, but they do not deliver the kind of flicks that I object to. Perhaps I should explain: I object when a foilest brings his blade up and over his shoulder, then brings it down again with force as if to strike the top of his opponent's head with the side of the blade then, at the last instant, he pulls the handle back, causing the blade to bend right over his opponent's head and hit them in between the shoulder blades. The action is almost like casting a line with a fishing rod and it can't be done with a stiff bladed foil, never mind an épée..


To be honest I agree with Tris here, the changes that have been made to foil aren't going to remove the flick in the slightest from foil, it is relatively easy to fligk with an epee (be it to the back, wrist, foot or whatever) the increased weight and contact time will only rule out glancing hits as Boo suggests. The only reason epeeists don't attempt the kind of hits that wiz objects to is that without the protection of the right of way rule executing such a high flick would be a remarkably stupid thing to do as your opponet can hit you at will under the arm or on the body before you can land the flick.
I've fenced a number of good foilists at epee who have all be good at landing their favoured flicks almost as effectively with an epee as with a foil (and as has been already pointed out foil blades are a damn site more bendy than epee ones!)

As for hard or dangerous hits, well to be frank the most painful fights I have ever had have been against 'classical' fencers be it at epee or foil where the fencers obiously remebering the 'good old days' before the 'abomination' that is electric fencing try and ensure that my collar bode becomes part of my backbone to ensure they got the hit! I have been hit in tha back of my head an yes it is bloody painful but it doesn't happen that often generally occurs because I'm fencing an inexperienced opponent who doesn't yet have the control to ensure that point goes for the target.

The flick does add alot to fencing, and while at a lower lever it is over used and often poorley executed at the highest levels as Tris and Don suggest is just part of every fencers repetoire and used only sparingly......

madfencer
-15th March 2004, 09:59
oh, dear, that means ill still b bad!!!!!! lol!
the FIE r actually doing sumthing right (ish) 4 a change!!!!!!!!

gbm
-15th March 2004, 10:02
I know the really good foilists don't often use flicks (although once is too many in my books :) ), it's all the low-to-mid ranked fencers who use them.
The best foilist use lots of different attacks anyway, so preventing them from using the flick would not really alter their game plan, or as you say cause them to use more actions. But there are plenty of one trick ponies out there in the low ranks, who would certainly learn more actions. Wonder why so many people leave foil, especially at the early stages, and become epeeists?
At least where I come from, I spent years learning fencing (although I am still rubbish, to be fair), and then found when I went to a competition for the first time and found myself hit in the back. It was like magic, and it took me a few competitions just to work out what they were doing, but there was nothing I could do about it. I still can do nothing about it, and I'm a lot better than now. Only sheer stubbornness keeps me doing foil, knowing that I have no chance in any competition at all until I get even better than I am now to even think about countering a flick.
Admittedly any half decent foilist can still hit with with a simple attack, but at least it makes sense to me. The flick just makes no sense at all. I like to be hit by a good well-timed simple attack, or have a parry deceived well.
A little bit of bias may be have creeping in here, but I still think (and the FIE agree with me) that there are obvious reasons to ban flicking.
And I agree fencing is not a historical battle re-enactment. If it was a battle, we certainly wouldn't be using rapiers, but sabres. :)
Fencing is a unique mix of sport and martial art derived from the one-on-one duels performed with a variety of weapons.
I love fencing because it is the only sport I know like this, derived from real self-evident principles that make sense (which is why so few people read the rules - you don't have to, it makes sense anyway). There are many sports with no 'sense' to them at all, although still complicated and extremely competitive, such as football or rugby.
There are sport like archery and rifle-shooting, which have obvious 'sense' to them, but they don't have the sport aspect in the same way (no offence to archers or rifle-shooters).
Fencing is both a battle of minds and the body, which is what I love, but by removing the sense and self-evident principles (which easily is done by removing realism), you make it far less accessible and remove the 'sense'.
As for the more painful lunges, a 750g tip and 2mm travel may cause that (I'm not sure I agree with that), but since about 15 (?) years ago Leon Paul were using spring strengths of over 1000g, I can't see a huge problem. Stopping people hitting in the back is not going to make people start hitting the front harder (I am assuming fencers do still hit the front target, don't they?
Also, dictionary definitions are stupid. And so am I. :)

rory
-15th March 2004, 10:39
found myself hit in the back. It was like magic, and it took me a few competitions just to work out what they were doing, but there was nothing I could do about it. I still can do nothing about it, and I'm a lot better than now.


Move your feet then for crying out loud. That's all you need to do.

oddball
-15th March 2004, 11:11
A parry of neuvieme and then a hit to flank works ok.

madfencer
-15th March 2004, 11:57
WOW ODDBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how the **** did u know that??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
taken 2 editing out my swearwords meself know wen i remember-itll save Gav a lot of work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Australian
-15th March 2004, 14:56
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I know the really good foilists don't often use flicks (although once is too many in my books :) ), it's all the low-to-mid ranked fencers who use them.


you are incorrect here

better foilists use a complete range of attacks, both thrusts and flicks... some of the semi finals of the edinburgh foil were a perfect example of this, with some wonderful flick reposts and attacks.

gbm
-15th March 2004, 15:12
Aha! I have cunningly tricked someone into pointing out that flicks are still used at the highest levels! And therefore they are a genuine problem! Since they are effective even at the highest levels, when they are in fact just silly!
:tongue:

Boo Boo
-15th March 2004, 15:30
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Aha! I have cunningly tricked someone into pointing out that flicks are still used at the highest levels! And therefore they are a genuine problem! Since they are effective even at the highest levels, when they are in fact just silly!
:tongue:

The dangers of lunchtime drinking...???

Boo

devalleassoc
-16th March 2004, 02:06
Originally posted by Boo Boo
The dangers of lunchtime drinking...???

Boo


Here's to ya Boo!!:cheers2:

ChubbyHubby
-16th March 2004, 08:38
Originally posted by devalleassoc
Here's to ya Boo!!:cheers2:

I think she means goodbadandme must have been drinking to make such a statement...

gbm
-16th March 2004, 09:46
:beer:

It's a hard job, being the defender of non-flicking fencing (I am and was being sarcastic!). :moon:

Robert
-16th March 2004, 10:01
Originally posted by goodbadandme
:beer:

It's a hard job, being the defender of non-flicking fencing (I am and was being sarcastic!). :moon:

The best way to defend non-flicking fencing is to get very good. The non-flicking technique can be just as effective, perhaps more so (srb is an example of a good fencer who doesn't flick much).

Have you fenced any more since I fenced you in the Welsh last year? If so you should by now be able to counter at least some flicks some of the time.

Robert

gbm
-16th March 2004, 11:17
I'm working on the very good bit at the moment!

I have been fencing a lot recently, especially since I started Uni in November, but none of the clubs I regularally go to (with the exception of Cardiff, but I have only just started going there) have any real flickers, so I just don't see them. Until I go to a competition that is.

Umm... who are you? Your profile doesn't say, and I'm very bad at remembering people (I'm really really bad with names. Sometimes I can't even remember my friend's). I assume you mean the Welsh Open (I really ought to get out of Wales more...)
And how to you remember one random victim from six months ago? As I said, my memory is terrible...

And before anybody says I should try going to better clubs if I don't see flickers, I go to every half-decent club I know of within a thirty mile radius. That's four clubs, one twice a week.
Plus as a student a total of £30 a month is getting pricey.

oddball
-16th March 2004, 16:27
Ah, you lucky bod!! Theres only one club here, once a week and if you tried going in a 30 mile radius you'd end up in the sea!!

Robert
-16th March 2004, 16:45
Originally posted by goodbadandme

Umm... who are you? Your profile doesn't say, and I'm very bad at remembering people (I'm really really bad with names. Sometimes I can't even remember my friend's).

And before anybody says I should try going to better clubs if I don't see flickers, I go to every half-decent club I know of within a thirty mile radius.


I was in your poule at the Welsh Open - and was using a French Grip. According to my records the score was 5-3, if any of that jogs your memory.

Most people are in the same position you are. Unless they are lucky enough to be based in the south-east. My only practice against flicks is at opens, but you can practice the parry riposte, the distance, the footwork, the changes in speed and direction, which make up your defence at home (which reminds Robert he ought to do some practice before the light goes completely).

Robert

gbm
-16th March 2004, 20:59
My footwork is definitely improving, and when I do fence a better fencer (I fence worse against less good fencers for some reason...) I do get hits sometimes. I do feel I am making an impact, if only small. But occasionally, their sword disappears, I extend instinctively, and then feel a small prod in the small of my back...

"Where the **** did that come from?!?"

But one day I'll be good enough to beat them all. Wa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! :vader: :swordpen: :pirate:

Now where were we... Oh yes. The FIE are not going to kill foil...

devalleassoc
-17th March 2004, 00:14
[i]

But one day I'll be good enough to beat them all. Wa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! :vader: :swordpen: :pirate:

[/B]


You tell'em!!!
(btw, foil's not dead!!):)

madfencer
-17th March 2004, 11:59
YEA U GET OUT THERE AND CONQUER THE FENCING WORLD (well, maybe not i think the world champion has done that-but u never know-u might b the world champion 1 day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-ok ill shut up now!!!!!!!!!!) ehem...

... sorry bout that!!!!!!!!!

madfencer
-17th March 2004, 12:00
but jst conquer em WITH ME ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devalleassoc
-18th March 2004, 00:41
Originally posted by madfencer
but jst conquer em WITH ME ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You got it partner!!:sam:

madfencer
-18th March 2004, 10:08
devalleassoc and madfencer on a quest 2 save the fencing world (frm flick hits!!!!)
:sam: :party:

gbm
-18th March 2004, 20:04
I will join you on this valiant quest! Who else is with us!

(Maybe we should start another thread...):rambo:

devalleassoc
-18th March 2004, 21:09
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I will join you on this valiant quest! Who else is with us!

(Maybe we should start another thread...):rambo:

The crusade is on!!

Another thread, hmmm, what would we call it??:confused: :sam:

Prometheus
-18th March 2004, 23:45
Losers united?:moon:

devalleassoc
-19th March 2004, 01:25
Originally posted by Prometheus
Losers united?:moon:

Never underestimate the power of the insane!!
Tell 'em Madfencer.................:transport

madfencer
-19th March 2004, 10:01
yea, or well kill u wiv our mad, drunken fencing powers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! scary...




...so BEWARE those who arent clinically insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
can oddball be wiv us?
ill start a new thread called 'Taking over the fencing world!!!!!' mwhahahahahahahahaha
ok?

madfencer
-19th March 2004, 10:07
ok, ive set it up, itz in the chit-chat section i think!!!!!!!!!!!

madfencer
-19th March 2004, 11:45
:sam: :party: :moon: :transport !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devalleassoc
-19th March 2004, 12:00
I knew I could depend on you!!!:sam:

madfencer
-22nd March 2004, 12:13
lol!
mad friends together eh?!:sam: :party: :transport

madfencer
-22nd March 2004, 12:13
lol!
mad friends together eh?!:sam: :party:

devalleassoc
-22nd March 2004, 12:33
ALL FOR ONE AND ..........WELL. YOU KNOW HOW THAT GOES!!:sam: :party:

madfencer
-22nd March 2004, 15:27
yep u sure r right 4 this quest (ur extremely mad and i think i dont need 2 tell u that!!!) lol!!!

devalleassoc
-22nd March 2004, 21:33
You know it!! I'm thirsty!! What's to drink??:rambo:

oddball
-23rd March 2004, 09:32
Booze? I'm in!!!

muhahahahahahahahahahaaa!!!

devalleassoc
-23rd March 2004, 12:07
Great!! Let's all drink before we head off to gather more recruits, and take over the entire forum on thread at a time!! (Even Gav will join us soon!!):dizzy:

Boo Boo
-23rd March 2004, 12:15
:gun:

Boo
(looking desperatelyfor a "shoot yourself in the head" smiley, but not able to find one...)

devalleassoc
-23rd March 2004, 12:52
Boo!! You're not doing well??:(

madfencer
-23rd March 2004, 15:09
lol!
im there if booze is involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oddball
-23rd March 2004, 16:30
I got da booze right here in my pocket, think it's port by da smell.

devalleassoc
-23rd March 2004, 18:57
You can smell the booze in your pocket??:dizzy:

madfencer
-24th March 2004, 15:19
cool. never tried port but itll probably b delicious (i kno ill b an alcoholic wen im older!!!!! lol!!!)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm the smell of alcohol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devalleassoc
-24th March 2004, 23:58
NEVER HAD PORT!!?? U don't know what u r missing!!:eek:

Rdb811
-25th March 2004, 00:26
Apart from the hangover.

I got a lot of complaints after introducing the club to it.:rolleyes:

devalleassoc
-25th March 2004, 02:01
Ahh, but a noble thing you did in doing so!!;)

madfencer
-26th March 2004, 09:52
ill try it soon tho! guaranteed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :grin:
alcohol rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :sam: :transport :party: :dizzy:

J_D
-26th March 2004, 12:04
I admit to being guilty of introducing a number of club members to Vodka Martinis :o but have never once in a long and memorable drinking career said that I'm never drinking again!:cheers2:

devalleassoc
-26th March 2004, 12:20
[QUOTE]Originally posted by madfencer
[B]ill try it soon tho! guaranteed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :grin:

I've got faith in you that you will!!

Naughty foilist
-26th March 2004, 14:15
Originally posted by Rdb811
Apart from the hangover.

I got a lot of complaints after introducing the club to it.:rolleyes:


With or without cheese?

Marvellously relaxing way to finish a good meal, especially if you prepared yourself well when dressing. Elasticated waists, splendid invention.

Good food, good wine, good company and the day off work for the following day,...

devalleassoc
-26th March 2004, 16:15
Precisely what I'm doing this evening after work with that "special someone"!:eyerise:

Rdb811
-27th March 2004, 15:28
Originally posted by Naughty foilist
With or without cheese?


Sadly remiss on the cheese front, which is something I'll have to rectify. Although any cheese that I buy doesn't last as long as I intended.

Port and shilton were the staples of my accountancy courses - as a friend picked up what is regarded as the best producer of Stilton on thw way.

Prometheus
-27th March 2004, 22:03
What a cheesy thread.

Rdb811
-28th March 2004, 19:56
To match your cheesy sobriquet. (A temperance verson of a bouquet ?).

Prometheus
-28th March 2004, 22:32
Touché a droit.

Neo
-12th May 2004, 00:11
Originally posted by Rdb811
Sadly remiss on the cheese front, which is something I'll have to rectify. Although any cheese that I buy doesn't last as long as I intended.

Port and shilton were the staples of my accountancy courses - as a friend picked up what is regarded as the best producer of Stilton on thw way.

God, Port and Stilton at your house, champagne at mine... whatever is the club coming to :P

Rdb811
-12th May 2004, 00:47
It's usual self - it's always been like this, by all accounts. I'll have to get the archives scanned and updated. 90% of the photos are of parties, 5% at Le Mans and by mistake, 5% of people fencing.

Neo
-12th May 2004, 01:09
I got that gallery app - runs on php if u want it. Fairly easy to configure

oddball
-12th May 2004, 10:02
Originally posted by madfencer
ill try it soon tho! guaranteed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :grin:
alcohol rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :sam: :transport :party: :dizzy:

You dirty rotten swine, you nicked my booze in Jersey!!!!!!!!!!!!

gbm
-12th May 2004, 10:44
Truely a terrible crime.

oddball
-12th May 2004, 11:18
too true, I only had 4fl oz of port!