PDA

View Full Version : Can you still use a French Grip competitively?



gbm
-5th March 2004, 22:10
I don't want to debate the benefits/disadvantages of the various grips, I just want to know if any serious competitive fencers in the UK (or anywhere) 'still' use them for foil, or whether I really am flogging a dead horse by using one (will my fencing magically improve if I do the unthinkable and change grips?)

Boo Boo
-5th March 2004, 22:25
Yes you can, although I don't know many competitive men (in this country) who do (for foil) - I believe that probably only one (Mike Questier) in the top 40 of the British Senior Men's Foil Rankings uses a French Grip. (am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong... :) )

So, at least domestically, statistically not many good (currently competitive) fencers use a Fench grip. However, it could be argued that a good fencer would be a good fencer - regardless of what grip they use...

I don't know how common French grips are competitively, internationally (i.e. whether many men use them at foil world cups...)

Boo

gbm
-6th March 2004, 10:30
It's good to know at least one person in the top 40 uses one.


However, it could be argued that a good fencer would be a good fencer - regardless of what grip they use...

And that a bad fencer (such as me) is a bad fencer no matter what grip I use...

Boo Boo
-6th March 2004, 11:01
Originally posted by goodbadandme
And that a bad fencer (such as me) is a bad fencer no matter what grip I use...

No, just means that changing grip may not be a miraculous solution (personally I prefer orthopedic grips, but you didn't want personal opinions on benefits/disadvantages.... ;) ).

Improvement comes from hard work and determination (a good coach and good club to train at tend to help too) rather than the grip you use...

Boo

hayleyjade
-6th March 2004, 12:34
me and my bro are in this dilema at the moment, weve been fencing for a year, and wondering wether to change grips, hmmmmmmmmm wondering!

devalleassoc
-6th March 2004, 13:44
Originally posted by hayleyjade
me and my bro are in this dilema at the moment, weve been fencing for a year, and wondering wether to change grips, hmmmmmmmmm wondering!

I'm sure most have been in that dilema, (Myself included) and I'm sure we can go back and forth on what should come first for days. In my (humble) opinion, and it's just an opinion, I feel that you should work with French grip first, develop good technique, and point control, then the transition to a pistol grip will be that much more successful. :)

Robert
-6th March 2004, 17:02
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I don't want to debate the benefits/disadvantages of the various grips, I just want to know if any serious competitive fencers in the UK (or anywhere) 'still' use them for foil,

As Boo Boo pointed out there are very few men using them at all. I use one, but I am pretty rubbish. I didn't know Questier used one. One other fencer at Merseyside, Roman Senuik, used one.
The only other people I have ever seen using them are people who have borrowed kit from their club.

So in the rankings, 1 bad fencer(me) , 1 mid-fencer, 1 good fencer. Out of 400 that isn't much of a tally.

So the answer to your question is you can fence with a french, and be competitive. It is a little harder, but at the end of the day what really matters is your skill not the grip.

Robert

uk_45
-6th March 2004, 17:09
they also seem to be the grip of choice in coaches all the way up the ladder especaily older ones

Aoife
-6th March 2004, 21:06
I've always used French in competetion!


(but then you did say "serious", and I don't think I really count in that catagory! :) )

My coach always used French when he was competative, and his team came first in some regional comp.

I think I saw one or two at the BYCs.... few and far between though.

PenguinPower
-7th March 2004, 08:57
I have been fencing for 4 years now, the first 3 years I used french grip, and I became quite attached to it. When I entered the public schools I used pistol grip, and my results was OK. I think I am going to train with french grip occasionally, yet use pistol grip in competitions.
I don't want to though, I prefer the french grip yet the pistol grip does give me what is needed in competitions.

Prometheus
-8th March 2004, 11:17
Originally posted by uk_45
they also seem to be the grip of choice in coaches all the way up the ladder especaily older ones

This is often the case (I use a French grip for coaching although a pistol grip is my normal grip)

Advantage for coaching is you can use it in either hand, you can execute neat/light actions and execute pressures/engagements and beats without inducing heavy handedness in your pupils.

pinkelephant
-8th March 2004, 12:10
And you can change your grip occasionally to relieve cramp etc.

TAJ83
-8th March 2004, 16:56
Well, personally, I always use a pistol grip anyway, but I know some really incredible fencers who only use french grips, so I see no reason why not.

Dalby
-8th March 2004, 17:53
Originally posted by Robert
One other fencer at Merseyside, Roman Senuik, used one.
The only other people I have ever seen using them are people who have borrowed kit from their club.

So in the rankings, 1 bad fencer(me) , 1 mid-fencer, 1 good fencer.


Not quite true, Robert, I was using French grip at the Mersyside too (and at the Nottingham).

(So the rankings go: 1 execrable fencer (me) ...:rolleyes: )

A couple of other chaps were using French grips at the Nottingham, at least one of whom was in the top 16 after the second poule.

Robert
-8th March 2004, 18:20
Originally posted by Dalby
A couple of other chaps were using French grips at the Nottingham, at least one of whom was in the top 16 after the second poule.

Okay, that makes Dalby, Myself, Senuik, Questier. And somebody else at Nottingham (I didn't see them Dalby, do you remember who it was?).

Can anyone name anyone else who is competing (or like Dalby and myself making up numbers) at opens?

Robert

srb
-9th March 2004, 09:33
I think you should be careful in lumping all french grip fencers in the same group just because they use the same grip.

Mike Questier, although an ungainly fencer, is a very intelligent fencer, and has very good distance, and timing. In his day he was ranked in the top 10, and in a few weeks time he will be the highest placed veteran fencer in the national foil rankings.

Because of his distance and timing, he would probably have been a good fencer irrespective of the type of grip he used. Associating other fencers with him just because they also use french grips would be like comparing myself with Richard Kruse because we both use pistol grips, which is ridiculous.

Keeping with the analogy, I'm sure if you gave Richard Kruse a french grip, he could fence competitively with it. It is the fencer that makes the fencer! The type of grip is just a means of connecting your fingers to the end of the foil, such that the point is a natural extension of your fingers.

srb

ChubbyHubby
-9th March 2004, 10:49
While everything SRB is saying is true...

At any major open by the L64, Mike Questier is usually the only person still using a french grip.

So is it not statistically unwise to train with french grips if you want to be competitive? (That's "competitive" as in doing well in opens etc, not as in turning up at a competition with a french grip!)

Bearing in mind Dr. Q is very much an "exception" (in more ways than one - being just about the only person that can shrink and disappear behind his foil guard for instance!)

If you are a good fencer, you are a good fencer with any type of grip, but if you want to improve to a certain level why handicap yourself, by using a pistol grip at least you are on level ground with everyone else!

Robert
-9th March 2004, 11:18
SRB and Chubby are right, it is unfair to lump anyone else in the rankings I know of with Questier.

If you want a fair answer to this question you need more information. You need to know who is using French grips, how long they have been fencing at opens, and where they are presently ranked. (You also need to exclude anyone who is pomelling, as this is a distinct style better executed with a straight carbon-fibre handle rather than a french).

If you find that the french-grip users are fairly inexperienced, and concentrated at the bottom end of the rankings (with the occasional exception, as noted), this would confirm the general opinion that the french is a handicap.

However if you found that the french-grip users were evenly distributed across the rankings with a variety of levels of experience (the null hypothesis) you would conclude that the french is not a handicap, just unpopular.

So in answer to the question:

"is it not statistically unwise to train with french grips if you want to be competitive?"

We don't know because no-one has the statistics to check.

I broadly agree with srb. Good fencers, are good fencers. My own poor position in the rankings is due to lack of speed, footwork, training, experience, and in a lot cases the right mental attitude and not my use of a french-grip.

Robert

reposte
-9th March 2004, 11:30
Using French or pistol is really asking how high up you want to get. There is no question that there are no French grippers at the international level. You can either like it or not, but there aren't.
You can, however, be a very nice and apt club fencer using whatever grip you like. I, btw, thinking at one point that my technique sucks, asked my coach, who tutored me with French, whether I should go to French, and he replied with an unequivacle "No".
If you are not planning to be champion of Brittain and higher, you can safely use French but it will restrict you in a manner of speaking with your arsenal. It's up to you, mind, I don't think that there is really that much of an advantage to French, even in fingering.

ChubbyHubby
-9th March 2004, 11:39
Originally posted by Robert
If you find that the french-grip users are fairly inexperienced, and concentrated at the bottom end of the rankings (with the occasional exception, as noted), this would confirm the general opinion that the french is a handicap.

This is indeed the case.


Originally posted by Robert
We don't know because no-one has the statistics to check.

But we do, most people doing the domestic circuit tends to know everyone else in the top 50. Looking down the Top50 Mike Q is the only french grip fencer.

Out of the top 100 there are probably 5 or 6 people I'm not sure who they are - of those I know none use pistol grip.

rory
-9th March 2004, 11:42
There is no question that there are no French grippers at the international level. You can either like it or not, but there aren't.

Actually that's wrong.

Erwan Le Pechoux (World ranked 25) uses a French grip. I know this because I've seen him use it - as a matter of fact he was fencing Laurence at the time, in the Junior Europeans in Hungary, 2001/02.

(Laurence won, incidentally)

oddball
-9th March 2004, 11:50
French grips seem to need more practice to use effectively, as you need better grip. But you can't end up holding a pistol grip like a battleaxe ( commonly observed problem ).

Prometheus
-9th March 2004, 11:53
Originally posted by Robert
SRB and Chubby are right, it is unfair to lump anyone else in the rankings I know of with Questier.

If you want a fair answer to this question you need more information. You need to know who is using French grips, how long they have been fencing at opens, and where they are presently ranked. (You also need to exclude anyone who is pomelling, as this is a distinct style better executed with a straight carbon-fibre handle rather than a french).

If you find that the french-grip users are fairly inexperienced, and concentrated at the bottom end of the rankings (with the occasional exception, as noted), this would confirm the general opinion that the french is a handicap.

However if you found that the french-grip users were evenly distributed across the rankings with a variety of levels of experience (the null hypothesis) you would conclude that the french is not a handicap, just unpopular.

So in answer to the question:

"is it not statistically unwise to train with french grips if you want to be competitive?"

We don't know because no-one has the statistics to check.

I broadly agree with srb. Good fencers, are good fencers. My own poor position in the rankings is due to lack of speed, footwork, training, experience, and in a lot cases the right mental attitude and not my use of a french-grip.

Robert

You could of course apply Bayesian statistical theory to this issue say by raising an a priori distribution function based on the normal and with each additional fencer you find with a french grip per competition add this to the equation via the a posterior calculation thus improving the accuracy of this fatuous and tedious thread.

ChubbyHubby
-9th March 2004, 11:55
.
Erwan Le Pechoux (World ranked 25) uses a French grip. I know this because I've seen him use it - as a matter of fact he was fencing Laurence at the time, in the Junior Europeans in Hungary, 2001/02.

Same in WF - Reka Szabo (ROM) uses a french grip, but I think she is the only one that does who regularly make L32 in World Cups.

oddball
-9th March 2004, 11:57
I ought to keep an eye on the important results!

reposte
-9th March 2004, 12:27
Erwan Le Pechoux

Come on Rory, Firstly, is he competing in seniors already, and isn't pretty much the only one? Could it be that he has switched by now? All very good question I fear. Besides, adding him two gratuitous more out of the top 100, would make it 3 percent of international fencers who use French. Am I close enough to assume that it's not used at the international circuit...?

oddball
-9th March 2004, 16:42
Well, seldom used is more accurate. Good point though.

It seems the popularity of this grip has been impaled upon the sword of other models.

( excuse my 'orrible jokes! )

Rdb811
-9th March 2004, 19:22
Originally posted by Prometheus
You could of course apply Bayesian statistical theory to this issue say by raising an a priori distribution function based on the normal and with each additional fencer you find with a french grip per competition add this to the equation via the a posterior calculation thus improving the accuracy of this fatuous and tedious thread.

Any chance of a translation into text ?

srb
-10th March 2004, 08:33
Originally posted by Rdb811
Any chance of a translation into text ?

Garbage In = Garbage Out

srb

stevejackson
-10th March 2004, 20:46
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby
.

Same in WF - Reka Szabo (ROM) uses a french grip, but I think she is the only one that does who regularly make L32 in World Cups.

If this is the lady I remember from Atlanta in 96 her grip started out as a french grip. however she used a very heavy set. The grip was thenbroken in 2 places to allow the tang to be bent half way down to bring the pommel parallel to the blade to allow the weapon to pass through the gauge for weapon control. I don't think you could count this as a french grip, more an odd form of orthopedic.

ChubbyHubby
-11th March 2004, 08:23
yep. that's her. she is one of the more "mature" fencers on the WF World Cup, so been around for a while. Her handle does have a weird set and sort of snakes around her hand.

oddball
-11th March 2004, 11:31
Now I wonder why he put that in speech marks?!!!

Boo Boo
-11th March 2004, 11:44
She is 37 and ranked in the top 30 in the world (was in the top 10 until recently...).

Most of the top international WF fencers are in their 20s or early 30s (Vezalli is 30, Trillini is almost 34), so Sazbo is older than most (but 37 is not exactly "old").

Boo

Prometheus
-11th March 2004, 11:58
Originally posted by Boo Boo
She is 37 and ranked in the top 30 in the world (was in the top 10 until recently...).

Most of the top international WF fencers are in their 20s or early 30s (Vezalli is 30, Trillini is almost 34), so Sazbo is older than most (but 37 is not exactly "old").

Boo

and, of course, Boo Boo

ChubbyHubby
-11th March 2004, 12:11
Boo Boo is only 21....

Boo Boo
-11th March 2004, 12:14
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby
Boo Boo is only 21....

Am only 3 (according to the number of candles I had on my cake this year...)

Boo

Prometheus
-11th March 2004, 12:16
I was of course refering to the
Most of the top international WF fencers are in their 20s or early 30s bit.:confused:

Boo Boo
-11th March 2004, 12:17
Not the old bit then...?

Prometheus
-11th March 2004, 12:22
grrrr.

srb
-11th March 2004, 12:57
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby
Boo Boo is only 21....

If Boo Boo's only 21 I'm of to the post office to post my entry for the LPJS WS.

:blaaaa:

srb

oddball
-12th March 2004, 07:50
Wohoo you lot are older than me ( from a mental year 11)!!

Barry Paul
-12th March 2004, 12:44
online chatting up be relegated to the relevant section. Gav Wingnut where are you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Barry Paul

oddball
-12th March 2004, 17:56
Well, all the threads have gone off topic at some point!!

devalleassoc
-12th March 2004, 17:59
TOUCHY!!!:)

oddball
-15th March 2004, 11:14
Heh, Heh!!!!

Mr Flea
-7th April 2004, 14:27
A further question...which i think i can guess the answer to, is does anyone who switches to pistol grip after learning to fence with French (which appears to be the vast majority) ever change back to French?

I imagine few if any have done this for serious competition...once people swap it appears to be permanent and therefore indicates its superiorityÖjust a thought...

[note: Iím just a beginner myself, so have little idea what the hell Iím talking about]

Rdb811
-7th April 2004, 23:43
I comptemplated doing it for the very little foil I fance but found that a new LP grip (plug) which brings the hand back from the guard does the trick. I know people who fence at high level (or did) who use both.

yellowflecher
-13th April 2004, 13:41
Because other grips are more common, doesnt render the french useless, it simply means more people are brought up taught with others, like the pistol.

The pistol is a good grip to start with, and so its used primarily alot, yet, as Mike prooves, a french is still competitive (i know, he's at my club, and he is too dam fast.)

It really depends on your style of fencing, to be honest.

Biggles
-13th April 2004, 21:44
Only moderately relevant, as skill, footwork, experience, etc still play the major role...as does longterm commitment to a weapon....but here's an experiment I tried recently as I've been trying new grips to figure out if I can ever get better competitively.......

Take a French grip or gardere (the LP modified French)...come to proper en garde with straight back and then a proper straight arm....move to a wall and come in contact.....stay in place and trade weapons for a pistol grip.....then get someone to measure the one inch distance you lose with a pistol grip.

As I said....not completely relevant, but interesting nonetheless.......:transport

gbm
-13th April 2004, 21:53
And that's without pommelling, which can give you another two inches.
Also, try coming engarde with your body square on and you arms by your side, then extending PIL. Then bring your free arm back behind your head in the classical position so you twist your body to put your arm behind you. Doing this will extend your sword arm at least another inch.

Biggles
-13th April 2004, 21:58
Gosh!! Proper technique....I never thought of that!! :o

uk_45
-13th April 2004, 21:58
Originally posted by goodbadandme
And that's without pommelling, which can give you another two inches.

Ok just be really fussy here but the reallt deffinition of pommeling is from broadswords and is basicly beat your enemy into a pulp with the pommle of your sword. this is where the modern term to pommel some one in etc comes from.

gbm
-13th April 2004, 22:47
I think epeeists should still be allowed to do that... since I don't do epee and it would be fun to watch! :)

gbm
-13th April 2004, 22:48
Sabreurs of course don't need to, since the only difference would be them holding their sword upside-down...

Insipiens
-14th April 2004, 15:38
Originally posted by uk_45
Ok just be really fussy here but the reallt deffinition of pommeling is from broadswords and is basicly beat your enemy into a pulp with the pommle of your sword. this is where the modern term to pommel some one in etc comes from.

Or alternatively the meaning of a word is its use in language. In the language game of the (modern sport) fencing world the "real definition" of "pommeling" has nothing to do with broadswords, but holding the foil by the pommel to extend reach.

bmadigan
-15th April 2004, 21:46
There are a few experienced fencers in my club that prefer the french grip, but most are using some pistol grip variation.

Most more experienced fencers I have talked to (including my coaches) agree that it is better to learn how to use your fingers correctly and develop good point control with a french grip. Orthapedic grips are made to be more comfortable (by allowing a more natural hand position) but using them incorrectly removes all the benefit. It's important to remember that the last 3 fingers on your weapon hand are not supposed to be wrapped around the weapon, they are used mostly for beats and flicks, to pull the weapon into the palm quickly. If they are wrapped around the french grip or a pistol grip of any kind, you are going to be making big,slow, clumsy blade movements with your wrist.

bmadigan
-15th April 2004, 21:53
I've never heard the term 'Pommelling' in a fencing context. I've heard it called 'Posting', where you gain a few inches of reach in epee by holding the weapon at the pommel.

uk_45
-15th April 2004, 21:56
It means hitting with the pommel really!!!

Pommeling

Pommel \Pom"mel\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pommeledor Pommelled; p. pr. & vb. n. Pommeling or Pommelling.] To beat soundly, as with the pommel of a sword, or with something knoblike; hence, to beat with the fists. [Written also pummel.]

oddball
-30th April 2004, 07:36
Alternitively you can give a good pummeling to someone (with yer fists).

Aoife
-11th May 2004, 14:16
Well, pommeling aside-


try coming engarde with your body square on and you arms by your side, then extending PIL. Then bring your free arm back behind your head in the classical position so you twist your body to put your arm behind you. Doing this will extend your sword arm at least another inch.

How many people don't fence in the 'classical' position? A lot of our kids don't ("my arm hurts"), but I'm getting them to, certainly before they even consider entering comps.


Also- isn't the point about few french fencers at high levels a bit random. I can't see how it's cause and effect that fencing french limits you as a fencer. Isn't it more to do with the fact that most clubs seem to fence almost exclusively pistol.

I started with pistol, because it was all my club had in their 'starter kit', but within a few months we got a couple of Frenchs in, and I've never gone back. The only time I ever use pistol is when I'm trying to fence lefty... and now we've got a lefty french too (my coach has been dying for a lefty french for him since the club started).

I don't think the fact that the majority of my fencers fence french means that they can't be good fencers. When they'd only been fencer for about 4-5 months we took them to a local schools comp with a bunch of private schools kids their age (11-14) who'd been doing it since prep school, yet we (with our French grips) still won. Yes, it wasn't purely that they were using French grips that helped, but it doesn't detract from their fencing ability at all.




Sorry for my little rant, but I don't understand why French grips are frowned upon.

:shrug:

gbm
-11th May 2004, 14:31
The classical position is, sadly, rarely seen nowadays at mid-level Welsh competitions at least. I don't know about top-level competitions. I still have my rear arm up, but I'm an exception to the rule. Actually, my recent purchase 'Fencing to Win' advocates pistol grips for their power, but also says the rear arm should be up! Nowadays people still put their arm behind them, which does basically the same thing, but avoid the (temporary) shoulder-loosening that has to occur. Personally I think sticking my arm up is better, especially as it does not tense my shoulder any more (if it ever really did).

Have you been to a few big competitions, like the Welsh Open or the British Youth Championships (where I was thoroughly destroyed!)? You will soon see that:
a) British fencing is pretty naff really when it comes to technique
b) Pistol grips are used almost exclusively in foil, as they greatly help flicking.

You probably could become the best foilist in the world with a French, but it would be harder. At the end of the day you can do the same quality of actions with a pistol, but you have extra strength when you need it, and most of all flicking is vitally important at the moment (though hopefully this will change!), and this has got to be harder with a French grip.

From your posts, you seem to be fencing the same sort of foil as me, which is not what better people fence. Ours is nicer, their's wins. Hopefully the rule changes will straighten out the kink in the learning curve that foilists currently have to go to when going from a more classical club to a more competitive environment.

pinkelephant
-11th May 2004, 16:32
Pistol grips predominated long before flicking became fashionable. Many people, including me, find they give better strength on the parry. I switched from french to pistol in 1967!

gbm
-11th May 2004, 16:36
Should have said that pistol grips are better in foil because of the extra strength, AND flicking also makes pistols even better again. People still routinely use French in epee, but not in foil...

gbm
-11th May 2004, 16:37
When I get my swords changed, I'm going to have to have plastic surgery and change my avatar!

Robert
-11th May 2004, 18:02
Originally posted by Aoife
Sorry for my little rant, but I don't understand why French grips are frowned upon.

:shrug:

No offence Aoife but every time I read one of your posts I am more convinced that your club is extremely unusual.

1, Almost nobody uses a classical on guard position. Most fencers, throughout the open circuit, have the back arm hanging down in exactly the same way you chastise your youngsters for.

2, Almost all clubs start fencers on french grips. In fact club weapons are just about the only french grips in most fencing venues.

Robert

P.S Someone at the Westside was using a french golubitsky (I nearly got it confused with mine). Can I presume Goodbadandme was there?

Robert
-11th May 2004, 18:05
Originally posted by pinkelephant
Pistol grips predominated long before flicking became fashionable. Many people, including me, find they give better strength on the parry. I switched from french to pistol in 1967!

How much was that due to the switch to electric weapons. I have heard people say how point heavy early electrics were and can imagine that a pistol helped, but a modern electric is nearly as light as a steam. Any truth in this?

Robert

gbm
-11th May 2004, 18:41
Originally posted by Robert
P.S Someone at the Westside was using a french golubitsky (I nearly got it confused with mine). Can I presume Goodbadandme was there?

Not me. I think, out of all the LP maraging, Golubitsky's are probably the most likely to be used by French grippers. I'm not doing any more competitions till Wrexham, then I'm going to hit the circuit next year.

J_D
-12th May 2004, 09:17
why is it that those who use a french grip are so much more likely to show a venomous hatred of any other form of handle?

Has there been a thread from pistol grip user spouting vitriol on the techniques of the more atavistic types?

gbm
-12th May 2004, 09:26
Probably because pistol grippers know they are right and have no need to argue. Which depresses me.

oddball
-12th May 2004, 10:00
Originally posted by J_D
why is it that those who use a french grip are so much more likely to show a venomous hatred of any other form of handle?

because if you break your foil at a comp borrowing a spare is harder!

gbm
-12th May 2004, 10:44
This is true - which is why I just bought an Etoile so I have a spare.

oddball
-12th May 2004, 11:21
Smart person.

pinkelephant
-12th May 2004, 11:54
Originally posted by Robert
How much was that due to the switch to electric weapons. I have heard people say how point heavy early electrics were and can imagine that a pistol helped, but a modern electric is nearly as light as a steam. Any truth in this?

Robert

No - this is one of the disadvantages of a pistol grip. They are MORE point heavy because you don't have the balancing effect of the pommel.

oddball
-12th May 2004, 11:55
Making flicking harder.

gbm
-12th May 2004, 11:58
But balance is far less important with a pistol grip, since you cannot have a balanced pistol grip - I think you drive the sword directly instead of pivoting it around the balance point.

Aoife
-12th May 2004, 12:01
I don't hate other types of weapon, I just don't feel their always better. I think both have their merits. The kids at my club who prefer pistol grips tend to use larger arm-based movements, and are more agressive (I know you need some level of agressiveness to make a hit, but sometimes their are overly agressive, as to be consistantly paninful, and usually inaccurate- though we do have a young French grip user who is the same).

What I do dislike about using French grips is when I have to fight electric I find the wire gets in the way of moving the sword as freely as I'd like. (But that may just be because I'm not use to wires).


Have you been to a few big competitions, like the Welsh Open or the British Youth Championships (where I was thoroughly destroyed!)? You will soon see that:
a) British fencing is pretty naff really when it comes to technique
b) Pistol grips are used almost exclusively in foil, as they greatly help flicking.

I've only done three electric competitions (and two informal steam ones). The SE Regionals, BYCs, and Invicta.

I have noticed that I see virtually no French grips, but talking to people from other clubs, it seems it's all their club has- though there's normally a reference to "this old guy uses one".



No offence Aoife but every time I read one of your posts I am more convinced that your club is extremely unusual.

1, Almost nobody uses a classical on guard position. Most fencers, throughout the open circuit, have the back arm hanging down in exactly the same way you chastise your youngsters for.

2, Almost all clubs start fencers on french grips. In fact club weapons are just about the only french grips in most fencing venues.

No offence taken, we are an usual club. We do start with French now, but when the club was opened (November 2003) we only had pistol, because that was all that came in the 'club beginning kit' we'd bought. Later we managed to wheedle the money for some French grips out of the school. We let new fencers try either, and stick with what they prefer. I think it's probably 60/40 towards French grips.

When the kids have their arm hanging down, they sometimes move it slightly in front of thier body (thus covering target and risking injury) mid bout. Otherwise, they often hold it in place in the small of their back, also covering target; or they grip onto the strap at the back so as not to cover target, but loose a bit of balance. There's also a trend for crouching of the body emerging amoung some who drop their arm. When not using the classical 'hand in the air' position, they don't get any use out of their arm (moving it in correspondence to lunging to help with balance and recovery et cetera). I don't know, maybe my coach and I are picky, but it just seems silly not to at least try having their hand classically if not holding it classically is giving them a handicap of some kind.

In our club we tend to consider the whole body during movement, not just the footwork.

However, I do agree we're a very unusual club. We don't have any electrics, we only do foil (can't get money to buy anything else), all the kids use size 5 (youngest are 11), classically trained coach who hasn't fenced competitively since the 80s and who has no coaching qualifications, we're not part of the BFA, and we fence more for 'art' than 'sport'.

:shrug:

Perhaps the BAF would be more along our lines? :confused:

gbm
-12th May 2004, 12:15
My club has a good coach, but we only have size 5 blades and French grip foils also. I believe French grips promote good bladework more than pistols and so I think they are better for club weapons, although I would if I were you seriously try and get hold of a box and a pair of spools.
When 'modern' fencers don't put their arms up, they still use them in the same way AFAIK, i.e. they still throw them back to lunge and hold them behind them for the engarde angle.
I would discourage people from holding onto their equipment since holding the electric equipment is against the rules, and if they ever go to any competitions they will spend more time worrying about their arms than fencing.
I wouldn't encourage people to get pistols, but I wouldn't discourage them nowadays, though I would warn them of the disadvantages. However, with electric foil, used correctly the advantages of a pistol outweigh the disadvantages.
And there is nothing really wrong with only offering foil, if that's all you can offer to a reasonable standard. But get a box if you have to steal one! (PS don't really steal one!)

gbm
-12th May 2004, 12:18
Originally posted by Aoife
In our club we tend to consider the whole body during movement, not just the footwork.

I don't think there should be a lot of upper body movement, besides possibly a very very slight forwards lean (though I wouldn't tell anybody that!).
:shrug:

randomsabreur
-12th May 2004, 12:28
I tend to keep my back arm down at most times, mainly because doing sabre means that a raised back arm means sore fingers. At sabre the "ideal" position for the back arm is relaxed at the side of the body, but obviously this is less helpful at foil, so I try and have compromise position where I don't cover target, but don't get paranoid about my fingers.

I find that an back arm held out, but relaxed at just above waist height works OK as a position when fencing pointy weapons.

As for the topic of this thread, fewer people who use pistol grips drop their weapons when their opponent does a forceful beat. There are even people who will go out of their way to make their beats and parries harder when fencing someone with a french grip. Obviously if you are strong, and not as prone to forgetting to hit with the point as I am, there is no problem with french grips, but, with some of the more forceful techniques out there, you have to be pretty good at disengaging and using the fingers to not have a French grip knocked out of your had with irritating regularity

Aoife
-12th May 2004, 12:29
Yeah, that's part of thinking about the whole body- knwoing which bits NOT to move! :grin:

We'd try and get hold of a box, but there's no way the school are going to let us any time soon. I'm thinking of some kind of fundraising events aound school next year. I'd like to try and get them a box before I leave (but only if I know the coach is staying for a few more years- the problem with having a teacher for a coach is that there's always the risk they'll leave next term! :) )

Best chance at the moment is if I win something big. We got more kit for my coming 2nd in the SE regionals. The rule seems to be, if I can get some sort of coverage in the local paper, they'll help us, if not, we're on our own :) (I love the budgetting at my school :grin: )

gbm
-12th May 2004, 12:48
Originally posted by randomsabreur
As for the topic of this thread, fewer people who use pistol grips drop their weapons when their opponent does a forceful beat. There are even people who will go out of their way to make their beats and parries harder when fencing someone with a french grip. Obviously if you are strong, and not as prone to forgetting to hit with the point as I am, there is no problem with french grips, but, with some of the more forceful techniques out there, you have to be pretty good at disengaging and using the fingers to not have a French grip knocked out of your had with irritating regularity

I have a French grip, and I am never ever ever disarmed. A nice relaxed hand will prevent that. But then I probably have quite strong fingers because French grips need more strength, so if a pistol gripper used a French I can see them being disarmed due to what on a French grip would be poor technique (different grips, different technique), and weaker hands.
And if you use a French you have to be pretty good at disengages and counter-disengages. And possibly circular parries are more useful.

Rdb811
-12th May 2004, 14:37
Originally posted by goodbadandme
But balance is far less important with a pistol grip, since you cannot have a balanced pistol grip - I think you drive the sword directly instead of pivoting it around the balance point.

No - I'm sorry but this is complete rubbish.

Rdb811
-12th May 2004, 14:47
"The front arm, the sword arm, should be bent and raised until the hand is breast high and the elbow approximately a hand's breath from the body"

Fencing - Brian Pitman

gbm
-12th May 2004, 16:32
Originally posted by Rdb811
No - I'm sorry but this is complete rubbish.

Probably true - but why?

Rdb811
-12th May 2004, 23:06
Possibly because ALL bodies have a fulcrum.

And I no more pivoted my French grip than I drive my pistol ones.

Neo
-13th May 2004, 00:08
*nods*

gbm
-13th May 2004, 08:28
I am now about to try and understand the mechanics of swords.

I only have a French grip to hand though. The centre of mass of my French grip is about 2 inches in front of the guard due to the heavy pommel. When I do a blade action with my sword, the pommel moves in the opposite direction to the sword. So I am pivoting it, but as the guard is generally moving in the same direction as the sword I am not pivoting it around the balance point, but around my hand. However since this is only 2 inches and a bit from the balance point, I would say that I am mostly pivoting it. The pommel is the critical 'other side' of the sword which permits me to pivot the sword easily.
I haven't got a pistol grip to hand, so I can't do the same thing for a pistol grip. I don't know where the balance point on a pistol grip is, but I don't think that any significant amount of a pistol grip moves in a direction opposite to the direction of motion, so you mostly aren't pivoting it. So while a pistol grip will have a balance point, you don't use it as a fulcrum. Not that you do with a French either to be honest, but the pommel means that there is a pivoting action.

Balance is of course still important for other reasons though.

Saxon
-13th May 2004, 08:49
Both my foils balance at the same point, about two to three inches in front of the guard. They are both aluminium pistol grips, one has a relatively heavy FIE maraging blade, the other a lighter budget maraging.

I'm not a foilist, but I thought the theory was that you should use the pistol grip in a similar way, i.e. the main support is the first two fingers and thumb, and the last two fingers are for support and to assist some movements.

I have the backward pointing part of my pistol grips chopped off, and the handle sits much more in the palm of my hand. I make much less of a "fist", and the whole thing feels lighter, but that's probably totally subjective.

oddball
-13th May 2004, 10:01
I've heard that theory, and sometimes it works. Pistol grips seem harder to manipulate than french ones.

Neo
-13th May 2004, 10:43
Originally posted by oddball
I've heard that theory, and sometimes it works. Pistol grips seem harder to manipulate than french ones.

eh? are you on drugs?

Dalby
-13th May 2004, 12:46
Having used French grips exclusively since the dinosaurs were in short trousers I have finally given up and switched to a pistol grip. I'd make the following observations:

Blade angulation an awful lot easier;

Pronated movements ditto;

Balance the point of balance has only slightly shifted, the fulcrum of the foil is still between my thumb and forefinger (the rest of the pistol grip is doing the counterweight job previously performed by the pommel);

General feel the foil really feels like an extension of my arm, much more so than with the French grip.

It's early days yet, but it feels as though it's had an immediate positive effect upon my fencing.

Neo
-13th May 2004, 12:57
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I am now about to try and understand the mechanics of swords.

I only have a French grip to hand though. The centre of mass of my French grip is about 2 inches in front of the guard due to the heavy pommel. When I do a blade action with my sword, the pommel moves in the opposite direction to the sword. So I am pivoting it, but as the guard is generally moving in the same direction as the sword I am not pivoting it around the balance point, but around my hand. However since this is only 2 inches and a bit from the balance point, I would say that I am mostly pivoting it. The pommel is the critical 'other side' of the sword which permits me to pivot the sword easily.
I haven't got a pistol grip to hand, so I can't do the same thing for a pistol grip. I don't know where the balance point on a pistol grip is, but I don't think that any significant amount of a pistol grip moves in a direction opposite to the direction of motion, so you mostly aren't pivoting it. So while a pistol grip will have a balance point, you don't use it as a fulcrum. Not that you do with a French either to be honest, but the pommel means that there is a pivoting action.

Balance is of course still important for other reasons though.

So what would that great big sticky out bit at the end of the pistol grip be then?

Saxon
-13th May 2004, 14:08
Originally posted by Neo
So what would that great big sticky out bit at the end of the pistol grip be then?

It's called a foilist
:tongue:

Neo
-13th May 2004, 14:55
You're assuming of course the pistol grip's attached to a foil :P

gbm
-13th May 2004, 14:59
Originally posted by Neo
So what would that great big sticky out bit at the end of the pistol grip be then?

I'd hardly expect that to have a similar effect to the weighted pommel on a French grip, especially since you can cut it off with little effect to the balance.

All I mean is that with a French grip, the movement is somewhat assisted by the pommel around your fingers, whereas with a pistol grip you have no counterweight to help you. Hence you are driving the pistol grip sword directly. However you don't need the extra 'help' of the counterweight, since you have so much more strength with a pistol anyway.

Try taking the pommel of a French grip and see how you can use it without the help of the counterweight.

Neo
-13th May 2004, 15:04
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I'd hardly expect that to have a similar effect to the weighted pommel on a French grip, especially since you can cut it off with little effect to the balance.

All I mean is that with a French grip, the movement is somewhat assisted by the pommel around your fingers, whereas with a pistol grip you have no counterweight to help you. Hence you are driving the pistol grip sword directly. However you don't need the extra 'help' of the counterweight, since you have so much more strength with a pistol anyway.

Try taking the pommel of a French grip and see how you can use it without the help of the counterweight.

IME the pommel just weighs (and slows) you down.

I started with a french grip when I was like 8-10 and one day I found a pistol grip in the club bags (before I even knew what one was... in those days I believe I referred to it as "that handle that looks like a mini footballer") and never used a french grip since. (Except of course, not through choice, when I started at Streatham, but that was even a matter of weeks till I bought a pistol grip)

gbm
-13th May 2004, 15:10
Which would be a good reason why it is better to have a better grip allowing you to drive the sword directly, rather than rely on a counterweighting pommel. Which goes at least some of the way to explaining why pistols are better than French grips.

Rdb811
-14th May 2004, 00:10
Thereis very little difference between the balance point on a French grip and that on a pistol.

oddball
-14th May 2004, 07:34
You can use pommeling with a french grip.

Neo
-14th May 2004, 13:21
Is it just me or is this thread going round in circles?

gbm
-14th May 2004, 13:32
Not really - at the start I thought French grips were still perfectly good, now I believe they are less good (for foil).

Dalby
-14th May 2004, 13:34
I noticed that you'd dropped the bye-line "French Grips Foilist"

Neo
-14th May 2004, 13:39
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Not really - at the start I thought French grips were still perfectly good, now I believe they are less good (for foil).

Ultimately theories will prove nothing - at the end of the day, its what you prefer in your hand and are comfortable fencing with. If you're more comfortable with french you'll fence better with french and the same for pistol or any other grip.

gbm
-14th May 2004, 14:05
Originally posted by Dalby
I noticed that you'd dropped the bye-line "French Grips Foilist"

It was sad, but given that I am slowly being converted (though I'll still be using mine for a while), I just felt like phony.

oddball
-14th May 2004, 19:02
French grip epees are good!

oddball
-14th May 2004, 19:02
Originally posted by Neo
Is it just me or is this thread going round in circles?

Um, you just noticed Neo?

Neo
-14th May 2004, 21:17
Welp, I've decided... I like Italian grips...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=310&item=3676828356&rd=1

:tongue:

Aoife
-15th May 2004, 15:52
If you're more comfortable with french you'll fence better with french and the same for pistol or any other grip.

Very true, and surely, more important than weighing up the pros and cons?

gbm
-15th May 2004, 16:04
If that were totally true, then all fencers who are better with French grips cannot become world champions. Of course, if you are not planning to become a World champion then a French grip will do...

gbm
-15th May 2004, 16:10
Making the reasonable assumption that since no really good fencers use French grips in foil, that it is now effectively impossible to become a world champion with one.

Neo
-15th May 2004, 16:29
that's an unsubstantiated assumption of course (you would have to survey every top level fencer to get a concrete analysis) however, maybe the majority just prefer pistol grips? A more accurate statement would be that you can't become a world champion with a grip you're uncomfortable with.

Aoife
-15th May 2004, 16:42
A more accurate statement would be that you can't become a world champion with a grip you're uncomfortable with.

I agree with that.

Saying that no world champions use French grips is, I think, a futile argument. Few fencers use french grips in total (for whatever reason) and so, statistically, is it not obvious that there will be few French grip uses among the best fencers.
Also, you'd have to consider what do world-class coaches recommend to their students? If they tend to recommend pistols, then the best-trained fencers would use pistols.

Neo
-15th May 2004, 17:26
Personally I think french grips suck, but then that's merely my opinion :grin:

gbm
-15th May 2004, 18:20
Originally posted by Aoife
I agree with that.

Saying that no world champions use French grips is, I think, a futile argument. Few fencers use french grips in total (for whatever reason) and so, statistically, is it not obvious that there will be few French grip uses among the best fencers.
Also, you'd have to consider what do world-class coaches recommend to their students? If they tend to recommend pistols, then the best-trained fencers would use pistols.

I think the key points here are 'for whatever reason' and 'what do world-class coaches recommend to their students'.
I believe, and this is only my opinion of course, that the there IS a reason why few fencers in total use French grips. In fact, far from being a futile argument, I bet that French grips overall are sold by LP almost as much as pistol grips, but that almost none of those go to good fencers i.e. more bad fencers use French than good fencers. So if you were to make a simple statistical prediction of how many world champions should be using French grips based on the relative numbers sold, then you would find there should be French grips users, but there aren't.
Moreover, I certainly hope that world class coaches have a reason for recommending one grip over another, and I suspect they would recommend pistols because they, like me, believe that used correctly they are better.
The major disadvantage of a pistol grip is that it is even easier to misuse it than a French grip (which is easy enough anyway), but this does not affect a good fencer. And when I joined this forum, I was a fervent believer in French grips. I'm even looking for a new avatar now...

gbm
-15th May 2004, 18:26
Can I ask any of the LP forum members the relative proportions of grips they sell?

Dalby
-17th May 2004, 23:07
At risk of upsetting people, as a very recent convert to pistol grips after years of using French, I'm already wondering why I bothered wasting my time. The immediate improvement has been dramatic.

I recognise that the French partisans may have a valid point in saying that the years of mucking about with the French grip have been ideal preparation for moving on, but I'm not sure that I'm going to recommend getting thrashed for 10 years is the ideal preparation for a life in modern sport fencing!

Threestain
-17th May 2004, 23:27
I would say that most coaches do not suggest grips to their pupils - they say use whatever feels comfortable. I for one have never been told which grip is best. The fact that I use orthopaedic grips whilst most use pistols is a case in point - I find i easier to control. In other words I think most people find them more comfortable and easier to control the weapons, especially at speed.

Biggles
-18th May 2004, 00:03
At the risk of prolonging this thread, one of my team mates at this weekend's Isle of Wight festivities...having recently returned to the club after several years break...won 5 of 6 in the poules and laid waste to all and sundry until put out in the L16 by Pat Robbins (who wouldn't be?) with a French grip foil that looked like it should have been retired in 1982.

I guess that answers the original question.

It's what you do with it...not what it does for you.

(ps/caveat....I have recently converted to pistol and it's improved my game immensely.)

Aoife
-18th May 2004, 14:25
use orthopaedic grips whilst most use pistols is a case in point

Excuse my ignorance, but I thought orthopaedic grips were pistol grips. What's the difference?

gbm
-18th May 2004, 14:38
There are actually loads of different grips, but from the point of view of the LP grips:
Orthopaedic grips were originally designed for people with hand injuries. They are like the plastic handles on LP swords. Some people hate them with a vengenance, a few like them.
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/handle_150_small.jpg
Most people use pistol grips. These were developed for the extra strength rather than for people with weak hands. They are often like the aluminium grips with the finger mouldings that LP sell. There are many different types, though.
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/handle_85_small.jpg

For some reason, those handle have small pictures, but all the other handles have big pictures on the LP site.

Neo
-18th May 2004, 14:42
erm, don't know if you've noticed, but those are all pretty much identical (and are pistol grips). An orthopedic is a cross between a pistol and french.

gbm
-18th May 2004, 14:57
OK I think they are actually the same thing (orthopaedic and pistol) but what I have heard as common usage is to describe them as I did in my last post. Note that the two handles in the pictures are actually VERY different, at least when you hold them.

Neo
-18th May 2004, 15:12
Originally posted by goodbadandme
OK I think they are actually the same thing (orthopaedic and pistol) but what I have heard as common usage is to describe them as I did in my last post. Note that the two handles in the pictures are actually VERY different, at least when you hold them.

erm no they're not. One's a plastic pistol grip and the other is aluminium. They're held pretty much identically.

and to completely screw up that argument...

http://www.allstar-fencing.co.uk/jpgs/pg.jpg

all pistol grips

Aoife
-18th May 2004, 15:18
Think I recognise PGV1i and PGV3i from our club. Possibly PGV2Ni as one of our member's weapons.

gbm
-18th May 2004, 15:26
Originally posted by Neo
erm no they're not. One's a plastic pistol grip and the other is aluminium. They're held pretty much identically.

No, they are different grips. They are the two different pistol/orthopaedic grips that LP sell. They are held similarly, but as I said many people say they hate the first kind. I think it is that style of grip that Threestain is probably saying he is using, instead of the second kind or a similar variant. The problem is that I think any grip like that you are just as valid saying it is an orthopaedic as you are a pistol. Just that I have heard people refer to the first grip, which LP usually sell as a plastic grip (but presumably can be obtained as a metal), as orthopaedic, and then refer to the second style (which LP usually sell as aluminium, but again can probably be obtained in plastic) as pistols.

I said there was lots, didn't I?

Neo
-18th May 2004, 15:45
I think u need to either get glasses or head over to LP and try em. Both grips as shown in the pictures are held mainly with the thumb and forefinger, with the remaining fingers sitting gently as support - no difference in either.

I believe LP does do a grip that is very different (longer and straighter with sticky out bits for fingers), but that picture is *not* of one. Said grip would undoubtedly come under the auspices of orthopedic grip.

something like the gardere..

http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/handle_151_small.jpg

but without the bend or pommel...

gbm
-18th May 2004, 15:54
They are different styles of pistol/orthopaedic! They are not quite the same - look at the angle of the prongs. One is held quite angulated, the other is very vertical.

http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/Foil_Handles.html

On this page, the first grips are the 'pistol' grips (I know they are all pistol grips, but this is what I think people tend to think of).

The second is the other style. It's actually in aluminium, but it is a different style - the prongs are less swept back at the top and the finger grips at the bottom are not really moulded. Also there is a little extra prong at the bottom. This is what I think people tend to think of when they say 'orthopaedic'.

The third is the same style as the second, but comes in the more usual plastic. Some people like to take this handle and file it down.

And I own a gardere (not that I use it though)...

Neo
-18th May 2004, 16:02
Originally posted by goodbadandme
They are different styles of pistol/orthopaedic! They are not quite the same - look at the angle of the prongs. One is held quite angulated, the other is very vertical.

slight difference, but otherwise identical. and held identically. And not sufficiently different for one to be defined as pistol and the other not. Look at the difference between all of allstar's grips - one lot even has no sticky out bits at all and instead fits in the palm of your hand - this however doesn't mean its not a pistol grip.

gbm
-18th May 2004, 16:21
It's a *lot* of difference when you compare holding them. But there is a lot of different types - I said that, then you showed that, we are agreed on that.

And I said that one is often referred to as one thing, and the other as the other, despite both being both (although I didn't say that originally, my first post is misleading).

Threestain
-18th May 2004, 16:41
Essentially what is termed an orthopaedic grip, as I term it at least, is very similar to a pistol grip, hence the confusion. However, there is a substantial 'prong' (for want of a better word) which sits between the middle and ring fingers (2 and 3). This allows you to pull down with the middle finger and generate more force. With pistol grips, this protuberance is far less pronounced. Of course there are also many slight variations on the othopaedic grip, in terms of angle and so on.

gbm
-18th May 2004, 17:12
Like I said, Neo. The grip I said is often called an orthopaedic is the one with the prong between the fingers. The angle of holding is also slightly different.
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/handle_150_small.jpg
See the prong?

Most people don't like them, some do.
Compare with the 'pistol' which does not have a prong:
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/handle_85_small.jpg
Out of all the Allstar grips, I only see two with substantial prongs between the fingers.

devalleassoc
-18th May 2004, 18:26
PBT makes a really nice one that they call the "Flicker's Pistol". It has the angled pistol handle, of the "Italian Viscounti" type with the added "trigger" of a "Belgian Pistol". Looks like a nice hybrid. I have one on order, and cannot wait to try it.

gbm
-18th May 2004, 18:42
And what happened to the Golubitsky Grip?

Aoife
-18th May 2004, 18:47
The gardere grip looks interesting. Not seen one before. Might be fun to try that sometime. (think I'd have to order a whole sword though, as I don't know if modern grips would fit my blade)

devalleassoc
-18th May 2004, 18:52
Originally posted by Aoife
The gardere grip looks interesting. Not seen one before. Might be fun to try that sometime. (think I'd have to order a whole sword though, as I don't know if modern grips would fit my blade)

I would inquire, because it might, as the Gardere, is pretty much a modified French. :)

gbm
-18th May 2004, 18:55
It fits on a full length tang cut for a pommel like a French grip. Just make sure you file out the inside hole where the tang passes through the grip if you need to instead of just trying to force it on - for some reason the Gardere's don't seem to be cut well.

Also bear in mind that they are technically illegal...
If you have good bladework and control, you might want to consider biting the bullet and using a pistol for a bit to try it out.

Dalby
-19th May 2004, 09:11
Before surrendering to the inevitable and ditching the French grip I tried the gardere and absolutely hated it - the proportions of the grip just didn't fit my hand at all.

If any of you chaps wants to try one out let me know & I'll send the blinking thing to you for free!

Aoife
-19th May 2004, 21:04
I want to try one! I want to try one!



It fits on a full length tang cut for a pommel like a French grip.

My concern was more about the age of my blade, I don't knoe if newer grips would still fit. Should do though. I could always try fitting on of the new LP French handles to it, to see how it goes. (but then I'd be mixing brand, which, as I recall, isn't too good, as things don't fit ever so slightly).


Why are gardere illegal? Why, then, are they sold?

Neo
-19th May 2004, 21:40
Originally posted by Aoife
Why are gardere illegal? Why, then, are they sold?

by a technical intepretation of the rules, they might be said to be illegal since they have both pistol grip like qualities and a pommel.

A very good point, which leads me to suspect in reality they're not (illegal that is)

gbm
-19th May 2004, 22:29
I believe the rules were written specifically to ban grips such as the Spanish and the Gardere.

gbm
-19th May 2004, 22:33
Originally posted by Aoife
My concern was more about the age of my blade, I don't knoe if newer grips would still fit. Should do though. I could always try fitting on of the new LP French handles to it, to see how it goes. (but then I'd be mixing brand, which, as I recall, isn't too good, as things don't fit ever so slightly).

I don't really think it's going to matter - as long as the pommel screws on to a little brass nut that has a cut out of it that fits into a cut out of the tang (on both sides of the tang so that the nut is centred), then it should fit (with the aforementioned filing).

Neo
-20th May 2004, 01:31
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I believe the rules were written specifically to ban grips such as the Spanish and the Gardere.

Given that the major manufacturers actually sell em, that we're not hearing horror stories of fencers with gardere grips having their weapons kicked out in competitions, and that a number of BFA/FIE people actually read these forums (with no adverse comment) I would suspect that despite being possibly a breach of the rules, at least on a technical interpretation, they're probably ok in practice.

It may be worth bearing in mind, should the worst come to the worst, but not otherwise worth worrying about.

I rather fancy buying an Italian grip - they look kinda cool

Dalby
-20th May 2004, 08:23
Originally posted by Aoife
I want to try one! I want to try one!
Let me have some contact details and I'll post it to you.

Originally posted by Neo
I rather fancy buying an Italian grip - they look kinda cool
And still legal, but cf the thread on Italian grip before the thousands of comments fly in!

gbm
-20th May 2004, 08:50
Italian grips are still permitted, I believe.

As for the Gardere/Spanish, I agree with Neo that while they are illegal and you'd never get them past SEMI (the FIE technical division), I suspect that since 90% of British comps don't seem to have any form of weapon control whatsoever (except maybe weight and travel in epee?), and I have heard of people getting foils with completely uninsulated (epee) aluminium grips through weapons control even where they do exist, then a funny handle is the last thing that is going to stop you. Unless you are attending A-grades, you should probably get away with it most of the time.

Dalby
-20th May 2004, 11:57
I had thought that the Gardere grip was permitted under the rules. The traditional Spanish grip is banned, but I understand that there are makers in the US who are touting updated Spanish grips that they claim are legal.

Neo
-20th May 2004, 11:57
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Italian grips are still permitted, I believe.

Of course they're permitted, nothing illegal about em, they're like little mini french grips and they look cute! :P


As for the Gardere/Spanish, I agree with Neo that while they are illegal and you'd never get them past SEMI (the FIE technical division), I suspect that since 90% of British comps don't seem to have any form of weapon control whatsoever (except maybe weight and travel in epee?), and I have heard of people getting foils with completely uninsulated (epee) aluminium grips through weapons control even where they do exist, then a funny handle is the last thing that is going to stop you. Unless you are attending A-grades, you should probably get away with it most of the time.

SEMI sounds like some secret organisation hellbent on taking over the world me thinks...

Insipiens
-20th May 2004, 12:00
OK, I'll ask: what is a Spanish grip.:confused:

Neo
-20th May 2004, 12:07
Originally posted by Insipiens
OK, I'll ask: what is a Spanish grip.:confused:

it's like a pistol grip, but says "hola" every time u pick it up...

Dalby
-20th May 2004, 12:25
Originally posted by Insipiens
OK, I'll ask: what is a Spanish grip.:confused:
There's a good illustration on this page: http://www.zapcom.net/~schlae/nats/

gbm
-20th May 2004, 12:58
I see you also have the infamous 'not-really-an-FIE-mask'.

Athos
-24th May 2004, 17:46
Originally posted by Biggles
Take a French grip or gardere (the LP modified French)...come to proper en garde with straight back and then a proper straight arm....move to a wall and come in contact.....stay in place and trade weapons for a pistol grip.....then get someone to measure the one inch distance you lose with a pistol grip.

As I said....not completely relevant, but interesting nonetheless.......:transport

I've got a french grip at the moment, but have just bought a gardere - is this a good compromise? Whenever I've tried a pistol grip I've found it really painful to hold, but liked the gardere when I tried it. Is this grip used very much?

Athos
-24th May 2004, 17:53
Originally posted by Athos
I've got a french grip at the moment, but have just bought a gardere - is this a good compromise? Whenever I've tried a pistol grip I've found it really painful to hold, but liked the gardere when I tried it. Is this grip used very much?

OK, just gone and read the rest of the thread since posting the above - can anyone say for definite if the gardere is legal or not?

Neo
-24th May 2004, 18:04
Originally posted by Athos
OK, just gone and read the rest of the thread since posting the above - can anyone say for definite if the gardere is legal or not?

See my earlier post, by a strict interpretation of the rules it most likely is illegal (for reasons elaborated on earlier) but as I said earlier, I wouldn't worry about it for now.

J_D
-24th May 2004, 21:45
Originally posted by Athos
I've got a french grip at the moment, but have just bought a gardere - is this a good compromise? Whenever I've tried a pistol grip I've found it really painful to hold, but liked the gardere when I tried it. Is this grip used very much?

I don't recall ever seeing one at an open......someone want to correct me on that?

Biggles
-25th May 2004, 00:08
Originally posted by J_D
I don't recall ever seeing one at an open......someone want to correct me on that?

First poules at Nottingham. You beat me 5/4. You were severely hung over at the time, and as I remember, you were eating a sandwich during the bout and wearing those swirly Twilight Zone contact lenses...so unlikely that you would have noticed my grip!! :moon: :moon: :moon:

J_D
-25th May 2004, 08:28
Me? Hungover at an open? surely not :eek: I can't have been drinking the night before it was a 2 1/2 hour drive from Bristol

someone get me more beer goddammit!!!:cheers2:

MiniMelia
-25th May 2004, 16:24
Boo Boo...u are right Mike Questier does use one and IS in the top 40...just incase u wanted reassurance :grin:

Most of the French foil teams/individuals at A-grades use them...ive heard anyway from ppl wh hav been abroad.

MiniMelia
-25th May 2004, 16:25
Boo Boo...u are right Mike Questier does use one and IS in the top 40...just incase u wanted reassurance :grin:

Most of the French foil teams/individuals at A-grades use them...ive heard anyway from ppl wh hav been abroad.

MiniMelia
-25th May 2004, 16:25
WHOOPS SENT IT TWICE SRY!

gbm
-25th May 2004, 16:26
Did you say French foil teams/individuals use a French grip? I understood that lots of epeeists use French grips, but I had not heard of top foilists using them...

gbm
-25th May 2004, 16:27
Originally posted by MiniMelia
WHOOPS SENT IT TWICE SRY!

It happens. Good excuse for people like me to post to say 'no apology needed'.
(Sound of my post count clocking up one more...)

Dalby
-28th May 2004, 14:57
Originally posted by Aoife
I want to try one! I want to try one!
Aoife

I've put the gardere in the post tonight (in a rather battered envelope).

Don't worry about hacking it about to fit on your foil & if you don't get on with it please pass it on to someone else.

Most important, don't forget to report back on how you get on with it on the forum!

Good luck!

Aoife
-29th May 2004, 21:38
Will do!

I'll pop into school over half term and pick it up (gives me and excuse to go in an pick up the folder I need for exams whilst I'm there)

They're use to me getting mail in the holidays :)

I'll report back, and if it doesn't fit on mine, it'll fit on one of the club ones (everone'll get a go anyway, I'll tell the forum the thoughts of all who want to give it a go).

Andy Mak
-11th June 2004, 09:22
For info: one of the winners at this years BYC did it with a French Grip, he also has won Kent County Foil as well as one of the LPJS foil series, all with a French Grip.
French Grip is alive and doing well in Kent!:)

Australian
-11th June 2004, 11:07
Originally posted by Andy Mak
For info: one of the winners at this years BYC did it with a French Grip, he also has won Kent County Foil as well as one of the LPJS foil series, all with a French Grip.
French Grip is alive and doing well in Kent!:)

:eekk2: who? i refereed the u/12 and u/14 boys finals... and the u/14 finals were definately ortho...

I'd hardly call u/12 or u/13 LPJS competitive, as you'd expect most people there to be just starting, thus on french grips

Andy Mak
-11th June 2004, 15:08
Good day Australian:cool:

interesting that you did not notice that the U12 winner used a french grip!
He is by no means a beginner with 5years under his belt.
He was asked at one comp by the Ref if he knew how to use a french grip!! his answer was a resounding win.

Oh by the way we both thought your refereeing was spot on, one of the best on the day.

As for the LPJS not being competitive!!!! well possibly one or two can be a bit weak at times but the U11 and U13 in our experience are very competitive, even the U9 standard is getting better, with some very accomplished fencers coming through.

Seems that many dismiss the french grip, but as has been already said its not the grip but who knows how to use it at the end of the day.

:foil2:

Australian
-11th June 2004, 18:07
Originally posted by Andy Mak
Good day Australian:cool:

interesting that you did not notice that the U12 winner used a french grip!
He is by no means a beginner with 5years under his belt.
He was asked at one comp by the Ref if he knew how to use a french grip!! his answer was a resounding win.

Oh by the way we both thought your refereeing was spot on, one of the best on the day.

As for the LPJS not being competitive!!!! well possibly one or two can be a bit weak at times but the U11 and U13 in our experience are very competitive, even the U9 standard is getting better, with some very accomplished fencers coming through.

Seems that many dismiss the french grip, but as has been already said its not the grip but who knows how to use it at the end of the day.

:foil2:

thanks for the complements.... and alex fenced very well all day, from what i saw of him. Pardon the comment about competitive, just trying to state that its all relative. IMO i don't think a french grip in foil can be competitive at the top level of international fencing.

As someone who started fencing at 13, the standard i see some of these kids at is incredible.