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Thread: Fencing Left Handed Fencers

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    Senior Member LeftHanded's Avatar
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    Fencing Left Handed Fencers

    Too often will I see someone with no to little experience take down a better fencer. I wanted to clear up all the myths and such surrounding leftys.
    1) "Leftys have an advantage". While true to an extent not totally. I hear this too often. Everything a lefty does to you you can do right back. The only reason you couldn't is because you wouldn't know how to attack a lefty in these areas.

    2) The On Guard
    The starting On Guard is very important. The Lefty will mostly try to go for the arm and front leg. If you take your arm and take it to the outside more it will force them to atack tothe inside and limits the target way down.

    3)Mind Set
    When going against a left handed person they may expect you to be uunnerved at the fact that they are left handed. As soon as you fall into this negitive mind set they have won. Accept that it is different and maybe more difficult but never get scared or un-nerved. I was at the JO Qualifiyers and I had to go up against a lefty. It was the first time and I had no idea what to do. Instead of just fencing I put in too much thought and lost 15-3.

    I hope this helped. I will add more as I think of it.

    "To many mind"
    Last Samurai

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    Senior Member fencerbill's Avatar
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    Watching lefty versus lefty is a hoot.
    Whoopee! My avatar is back.

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    Senior Member larkmaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fencerbill
    Watching lefty versus lefty is a hoot.
    I hate fencing other lefties, I have absolutely no idea what to do. If you think about it, a lefty will face another lefty less often than a righty does. This means they have even less of an idea on what to do against a lefty than a righty does.

    Of course, I love those dirty lefty tricks. My coach is a righty whose coach is a lefty, so he knows them very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by larkmaj
    If you think about it, a lefty will face another lefty less often than a righty does.
    If we assume the sample size to be large enough, that really isn't true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prototoast
    If we assume the sample size to be large enough, that really isn't true.
    Ok so we have a 5 person practice squad asume a multiple of a full rotation happens each practice.

    A - Lefty
    B,C,D,E - Righties

    A-B
    A-C
    A-D
    A-E
    B-C
    B-D
    B-E
    C-D
    C-E
    D-E

    Summary
    Lefty gets 4 off handed bouts
    Righties get 3 normal and 1 off handed


    this time A,B are lefties
    C,D,E are righties

    with same matchups

    A,B get one normal bout, and 3 off handed
    C, D, E get two normal and two offhanded.

    Assuming that righties almost always outnumber lefties.

    Lefties will always fence fewer bouts against lefties then righties fence against lefties.

    I RULE

    As a lefty, foilist, I hate the fact that the closest line of attack is closed off by the weapon and arm making it difficult to land touches. Also since I never practice against someone with the same hand all of the "Natural Drills" that righties learn fromthe start, I never get to practice.

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    Senior Member AndrewH's Avatar
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    I honestly don't even notice whether my opponent is lefty or righty anymore. There's people at my club who I never realized were lefty until I actually went to count how many lefties there were.
    ----------
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by larkmaj
    If you think about it, a lefty will face another lefty less often than a righty does.

    For a righty, 10% of potential opponents are left handed.

    For a lefty, 10% - 1 of potential opponents are left handed.

    Since 10% of the total USFA membership is over 2,000, I think that the effect is nearly negligible.

    In other words, if you are a left hander, you don't get to put that in when you calculate the probability of fencing another left hander.

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    Senior Member RITFencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbiggs
    For a righty, 10% of potential opponents are left handed.

    For a lefty, 10% - 1 of potential opponents are left handed.

    Since 10% of the total USFA membership is over 2,000, I think that the effect is nearly negligible.

    In other words, if you are a left hander, you don't get to put that in when you calculate the probability of fencing another left hander.
    Not true at all. Yes, the total number of lefties out there is large, but the number of clubs they are diluted across means that there are many clubs with one or two left handed fencers in them, which means that those fencers don't get much time to learn how to deal with each other. Trust me, we had a fencer as our "token lefty" for years, and because of it he had real trouble with other left handed fencers.
    "If I were ever to challenge you to a duel, your best bet would be battle axes in a very dark basement." Misquoted from The Prisoner

    "Technical excellence is the antecedant of tactical creativity." - Nat Goodhartz

    But those things which belong neither to God nor to Caeser, feeleth free to writeth them off, for yea, they are deductable.

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    Senior Member larkmaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbiggs
    For a righty, 10% of potential opponents are left handed.

    For a lefty, 10% - 1 of potential opponents are left handed.

    Since 10% of the total USFA membership is over 2,000, I think that the effect is nearly negligible.

    In other words, if you are a left hander, you don't get to put that in when you calculate the probability of fencing another left hander.
    So your sample size is the entire USFA membership? How much of them have you actually fenced? How much of them will you potentially fence? Besides, I was referring to practice more, as RIT pointed out. In which case the sample is often quite small.

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    Senior Member larkmaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreakBurrito
    As a lefty, foilist, I hate the fact that the closest line of attack is closed off by the weapon and arm making it difficult to land touches.
    As a foilist that bugs the hell out of me too. As an epeeist I love it. Brings the hand closer and makes it easier to bind the blade to the outside.

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    As a foilist all you have to do is be patient, if you look pretty much every righty's hand sags to the inside a bit leaving open a consistent spot about 2-3 postage stamps in size that you can hit at will as a lefty. Combine that with the ability to hit to the outside low lines and occasionally the inside line and you have yourself a field day with righties. That is of course only but so true until you reach a level where really no one cares. As for practice the simplest fix is to do what we do and have just as many if not more lefties than righties to practice with. Then everyone's happy!!!
    I now dangle to the left....my tassle. Get your minds out of the gutter.
    "Martin was not an optimist; he was a prisoner of hope." Optimism is about assuming there's evidence that justifies your outlook while hope is about creating the evidence and procuring your own happiness or vision of the world. - Professor West

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    I see most people are ignoring my post.

    Anywho, 2-3 postage stamps requires point control, I just started fencing, I don't have any .

    As a lefty, I try to look for people that twist a lot exposing their back, It can be very easy to hit.

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    Senior Member RITFencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreakBurrito
    I just started fencing
    Don't even worry about tactics against another type of fencer, or even winning bouts, if you just started. Focus on learning to fence and getting your basics really solid. You'll find that bouting becomes so much more fun when you have a solid base to work off of.
    "If I were ever to challenge you to a duel, your best bet would be battle axes in a very dark basement." Misquoted from The Prisoner

    "Technical excellence is the antecedant of tactical creativity." - Nat Goodhartz

    But those things which belong neither to God nor to Caeser, feeleth free to writeth them off, for yea, they are deductable.

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    I'm too competitave to not win. And by just started I mean September 05.

    Also since I fence at UNH, if I don't try to win, I don't get to compete.

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    Senior Member RITFencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreakBurrito
    I'm too competitave to not win. And by just started I mean September 05.

    Also since I fence at UNH, if I don't try to win, I don't get to compete.
    That's still just started

    I should qualify, though: at practice, don't fence to win, fence to learn and improve. Work just as hard, but towards a different goal. In competition (real competition, not a tournament you go to to get a chance to practice) anything that gets you the touch is a good move.
    "If I were ever to challenge you to a duel, your best bet would be battle axes in a very dark basement." Misquoted from The Prisoner

    "Technical excellence is the antecedant of tactical creativity." - Nat Goodhartz

    But those things which belong neither to God nor to Caeser, feeleth free to writeth them off, for yea, they are deductable.

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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    I don't mind you mutants in sabre....but in foil, you give me gas....
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    Member statisticool's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I am thinking about this right, but here goes, something like:

    Proportion(righty fencers) = 90%
    Proportion(lefty fencers) = 10%

    Probability(righty fencer faces righty fencer) = 90%*90% = 81%
    Probability(lefty fencer faces lefty fencer) = 10%*10% = 1%

    which leaves (since the probabilities must add up to 1):

    Probability(lefty fencer faces righty fencer) = 18%

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    Senior Member RITFencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by statisticool
    I'm not sure if I am thinking about this right, but here goes, something like:

    Proportion(righty fencers) = 90%
    Proportion(lefty fencers) = 10%

    Probability(righty fencer faces righty fencer) = 90%*90% = 81%
    Probability(lefty fencer faces lefty fencer) = 10%*10% = 1%

    which leaves (since the probabilities must add up to 1):

    Probability(lefty fencer faces righty fencer) = 18%
    This is true. It can also be expanded as a polynomial:

    (.9 R + .1 L) * (.9 R + .1 L) =
    (.9 R)^2 + 2 * .9 R * .1 L + (.1 L)^2 =
    .81 R*R + .18 R*L + .1 L*L

    Math is fun!
    "If I were ever to challenge you to a duel, your best bet would be battle axes in a very dark basement." Misquoted from The Prisoner

    "Technical excellence is the antecedant of tactical creativity." - Nat Goodhartz

    But those things which belong neither to God nor to Caeser, feeleth free to writeth them off, for yea, they are deductable.

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    Senior Member GorillaSmile's Avatar
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    I'm a rightly and I was lucky to have a lefty as my training partner for the first 8 months I fenced. At one point righties looked funny to me. You can do anything to a left that you can to a righty (mostly) plus a couple of things that only work on lefties.
    Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
    -Dorothy Bernard

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    Posting Hound Fencergrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RITFencing
    This is true. It can also be expanded as a polynomial:

    (.9 R + .1 L) * (.9 R + .1 L) =
    (.9 R)^2 + 2 * .9 R * .1 L + (.1 L)^2 =
    .81 R*R + .18 R*L + .1 L*L

    Math is fun!
    You are all weirdos!
    Last edited by Fencergrl; 05-20-2008 at 03:15 PM.
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