View Full Version : 1985 and Beyond

-26th January 2004, 16:02
It has been suggested in the Classic Fencing thread that there was a major change in fencing technique around 1985.

Not wanting to confuse this with the classical thread, which talks about fencing 100 years ago, I thought I'd put this as a different thread.

What were the changes in foil that happened to make people consider that a major change occured.

-28th January 2004, 13:02
As I stopped fencing in 1986 until 2003, I should be in a position to comment on the changes since 1985.

So in no particular order:

1. 1 metre warning abolished
2. Lights switched the other way around.
3. Poules all the way to finals, with some competitions poules up to L16 then DE.
4. Poule fights were 5 mins long, with one min if 4-4 after 5 mins.
5. DE fights were up to 10, with 2 clear hits if 9-9, up to 12.
6. There was repecharge so you could still get into the L12 if you lost your L16 fight.
7. No breaks in DE fights - so no coaching.
8. No cards, just penalty hits.
9. No DT, but 'Jury of Appeal', which had to be paid for.

However, these changes didn't really have any effect on the style of fencing. The major changes were not rule changes as such, but more to do with interpretation of the existing rules. These changes started to appear in the mid 80's, and seemed to come from international and not domestic fencing. The order they came into to use I think was probably as follows, as I certainly saw the start of the change having fenced in Burgsteinfurt a couple of times.

1. Straight arm attacks - There came a better interpretation of the 'progressive' 'developing' attack. Therefore the attackers arm no longer had to be straight, but just had to be straightening.

2. Absence of blade - A direct development of this was a fencer moving forwards with a straightening arm in absence of blade. This the gave the onus on the defender to actively do something about the attack.

3. Beat parries - The classical parries were big defined movements, but more importantly they are slow compared with a beat parry. The absence of blade meant a classic parry was difficult to take. So the defender had to try and find the attackers absent blade with a quick touch and riposte quickly. I remember watching a slimmer, younger, curlier haired Haggis executing some fantastic beat quarte parries in the U20 National Men's Foil one or two years ago (Not only was it U20, it was at the de beaumont centre - so maybe two or three years).

4. Flick Hits - The next natural development from this is flick hits. You have a beat parry, then you have a beat flick parry, and then why not try it as an attack.

5. Priority - The interpretation of priority when combining ALL of the above is where foil has got itself in a twist. You have someone moving forwards, they are undertaking a progressive movement, and they finish their move with a flick hit. The problem is where should their hand be, and where should their point be in relation to both their hand and their opponent.

Personally I don't a problem with any of this, and I don't think the new rule changes will make any real difference. The real solution would be to have better presidents.


-28th January 2004, 14:06
5. DE fights were up to 10, with 2 clear hits if 9-9, up to 12.

Why was the two clear hits rule done away with?
And was it an unpopular change?
As a personal opinion I would be much happier if it was brought back. I agree that fights could go on 'forever' but living with the result would become much easier!

PS sorry to go off topic!

-29th January 2004, 18:18
I rather suspect that this was around the time the FIE decided to make the counter-attacking game at foil non profitable.:rolleyes:

-1st February 2004, 10:24
Women's DE fights were up to 8, with a 2 clear hit extension up to maximum 10. It was a VERY nasty shaock having to go to 15 when I emerged from retirement - I thought I was going to die in my first DE fight, won it 15-14 and had to do it all over again (I've got a bit fitter since then!)

-3rd February 2004, 16:47
why did it change then? was there a specific reason or is it evoloution

-4th February 2004, 10:49
To make it easier for thicko's to understand......