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Thread: Interesting reference to old rules...

  1. #101
    Gav
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    You know it's just occurred to me that we've not had a refusenik fencing vs fencing argument in a good while and that this one has managed to remain [relatively] civil.

    edit: changed a word because some people wouldn't get it.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav View Post
    You know it's just occurred to me that we've not had a refusenik fencing vs fencing argument in a good while and that this one has managed to remain [relatively] civil.

    edit: changed a word because some people wouldn't get it.
    .....

    There were certain basic principles that could never be compromised.

    As I guess it is for most kids, in Grade 3, it was always a real treat to visit my dad at work.

    As on previous visits this particular occasion included a lunch at the parliamentary restaurant which always seemed to be terribly important and full of serious people that I didn't recognize.

    But at eight, I was becoming politically aware. And I recognized one whom I knew to be one of my father's chief rivals.

    Thinking of pleasing my father, I told a joke about him -- a generic, silly little grade school thing.

    My father looked at me sternly with that look I would learn to know so well, and said: `Justin, Never attack the individual. We can be in total disagreement with someone without denigrating them as a consequence.'

    Saying that, he stood up and took me by the hand and brought me over to introduce me to this man. He was a nice man who was eating there with his daughter, a nice-looking blond girl a little younger than I was.

    He spoke to me in a friendly manner for a bit and it was at that point that I understood that having opinions that are different from those of another does not preclude one being deserving of respect as an individual.
    I have major problems with the 'Maestros' of Classical fencing, because I think they are somehow dishonest. I think that the practitioners are quite deluded. I don't think any of them are dumb or evil people.
    Bonehead

  3. #103
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    Hey! I was congratulating everyone for being nice.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav View Post
    Hey! I was congratulating everyone for being nice.
    Sorry, yeah I got that. I just wanted to throw that out there.
    Bonehead

  5. #105
    Senior Member vivoescrimare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkormann View Post
    You actually helped with my point. As a D08, you had problems with their MiC and their strongest. You knew how to fence and how to learn, so you were going to do well.
    I mean this as no slander to Fencerchica, but a D08 is _far_ from anyone's concept of "strongest." So, I'm not sure what point is proven by a D08 in sport fencing having trouble with the strongest 2 or 3 practitioners of a different sport in any decent sized region (No clue which/how large the Barony is...) but I don't think it can be a very good one. (The point, that is.)

  6. #106
    Senior Member migopod's Avatar
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    I think there's a significant difference between "historical" and/or SCA style fencing with non-conventional weapons and classical fencing with non-electric but otherwise typical sport weapons. I've only done rapier fencing once, and not that successfully, but it's a weapon that I was totally unfamiliar with, so I wouldn't have expected to just pick it up and start kicking arse right off the bat. I've fenced a number of self-professed classical fencers with an epee though and often conforming to most of the classical epee rules (no fleches, but using electric stuff) and with very few exceptions have had little difficulty with them.

    I think it's fair to compare the difference between something like long sword or rapier and dagger and modern fencing as softball vs baseball, but classical fencing with epee/foil/saber vs contemporary sport fencing is more like baseball with a wooden bat vs baseball with an aluminum bat.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
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  7. #107
    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by migopod View Post
    I think it's fair to compare the difference between something like long sword or rapier and dagger and modern fencing as softball vs baseball, but classical fencing with epee/foil/saber vs contemporary sport fencing is more like baseball with a wooden bat vs baseball with an aluminum bat.
    So the classicists are MLB, while Olympic-style is NCAA and Little League?

    -B
    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

  8. #108
    Senior Member erik_blank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkormann View Post
    The biggest shortcoming I found with SCA fencers was they encouraged a short lunge. A fast, long USFA lunge typically got great results until they got better distance. Using an off-hand or weapon was new. Playing in a circle or round brought another depth (dimension?) to the game.
    The short lunge is common more because the ground fenced on is actually... ground - either dirt, grass covered ground or on odd occasions when fencing in practice indorrs carpeting. Worse yet is trying to do a decent lunge in boots or smooth soled semi-dress shoes. Trying to do a decent lunge in those circumstances is an invitation to finding out how well you can "do a split"... So while I have fenced both SCA and sport fencing in my (so called) prime (never higher than an E) I usually never really attempted a decent 'long' lunge when fencing with my SCA garb, because I didn't relish finding myself on the ground like that....
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    ..but hey, back when I began fencing my coach taught a bunch of us the balestra, and one guy went on an extended break thereafter, during which he practiced it a lot. Unfortunately, he misunderstood it, and would hop down the strip on his back foot, front leg raised and kicking almost like he was doing the can-can. Comical effects can come from misconstruing a complex technique or system of techniques...

    This was the joint Anlgo-French Silly Attack, L'assaut futiles.
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordShout View Post
    If fencing/sword fighting in movies today was half, even a third as good as that I would go watch movies just for the sword fights.

    Edit: This is meant to be a continuation of the minor thread derailment, not a snarky reply to edew's post.
    Stage combat is different in approach now than it was in 1940. Today (if done correctly) it's more about telling the story in the context of the fight, especially if it's a significant set piece and not just a section of a melee. (final duel in Rob Roy, for example...you can almost feel the contempt radiating from the duellists). The Rathbone/Power scene...while my all time fave duel on film...comes across as more of a exercise in putting on a flashy (yet highly skilled) bit of sword-waving in comparison.

    Not to say that particular bit of "sword-waving" isn't spectacular, but it's not as realistic a fight as the Rob Roy one....a fight where there's only a minor scratch received by one party prior to the other getting skewered probably didn't happen in real fight to the death very often.
    Need fencing equipment? See me at H.O.M. Fencing Supply

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  11. #111
    Senior Member fencerchica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivoescrimare View Post
    I mean this as no slander to Fencerchica, but a D08 is _far_ from anyone's concept of "strongest." So, I'm not sure what point is proven by a D08 in sport fencing having trouble with the strongest 2 or 3 practitioners of a different sport in any decent sized region (No clue which/how large the Barony is...) but I don't think it can be a very good one. (The point, that is.)
    Yup, this was actually my point -- that a sport fencing D08 was enough to handle all but their strongest SCAdians, and without even having access to SCA-specific technques, just using the basic toolset of fencing actions common to both disciplines. No offense taken.
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  12. #112
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    I'm going to create a sport called "Classical High Jump". I've never done any high-jump training in my life, but I've read some books about the "upright scissors method", so I'm going to teach it. Also, I knew a guy who trained once a long time ago with a really good high-jumper from the 1960s. And that guy thought that Fosbury looked terrible, so we're going to outlaw any of this "flopping" nonsense. We're also not going to allow the use of modern training methodology. There's no school like the old school. In fact, we're really not going to train much at all. This really is more about our pretend-time anyway. We may even insist on only dressing in 1950s sportswear for authenticity.

    Stay proud.
    Last edited by Jason; 01-26-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by migopod View Post
    I think there's a significant difference between "historical" and/or SCA style fencing with non-conventional weapons and classical fencing with non-electric but otherwise typical sport weapons. I've only done rapier fencing once, and not that successfully, but it's a weapon that I was totally unfamiliar with, so I wouldn't have expected to just pick it up and start kicking arse right off the bat. I've fenced a number of self-professed classical fencers with an epee though and often conforming to most of the classical epee rules (no fleches, but using electric stuff) and with very few exceptions have had little difficulty with them.

    I think it's fair to compare the difference between something like long sword or rapier and dagger and modern fencing as softball vs baseball, but classical fencing with epee/foil/saber vs contemporary sport fencing is more like baseball with a wooden bat vs baseball with an aluminum bat.
    This, a million times over. If you are going to practice "sport fencing with a foil for the purpose of competition" then it's ridiculous to think that you're going to beat someone who is using modern equipment with modern technique and training, just because your philosophy is different. There should some distinction between "classical" fencers (foil, epee, sabre) and what you could call "historical" fencers (rapier, longsword, etc) - and I think that's where a lot of the argument comes from. I'm certain that Nick E would get himself beaten by a modern foilist or a modern longswordsman to an equal degree - but that's because he's not really practicing either, he's invented his own...thing in order that he can call himself the best at it. That I would say is inexcusable; to group him with people who actually put in hours per day, every day of training in longsword as opposed to foil/epee/sabre is an insult to the people who work hard.

    For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmP1M...feature=fvwrel
    (the guys in all black are the group to which I am referring and will in following links)
    Watch with sound to hear impacts.
    (a bit of a training video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7aXtzf7-Lk )
    Some of this is quite brutal, a lot less artistic than fencing - but I don't think I'd make fun of them for it.
    There's a pretty amazing high line parry, attack to the stomach, covering the high line again after 3:20.

    You can find videos of these guys practicing "plates" (although in all honesty, the word kata would be better used to describe it) on YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln94E9AGYTc ), but it's important to note the obvious modern influences in their advance/retreat footwork as well when they're in a real engagement.

    If I'm boring anyone with these examples please let me know, and I'll **** off; I just think it's interesting even if I haven't found anyone around me who I'd practice with (who is serious about it).

  14. #114
    Senior Member migopod's Avatar
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    If anybody here hasn't already seen it by the way I strongly suggest watching "Reclaiming the Blade" (available last I checked on Netflix instant). While some of the people interviewed are slightly peculiar I think it illustrates various different attitudes among various types of swordsfolk. I think there's genuine merit in people who want to rediscover or preserve lost techniques or to better understand how swords and swordsmanship shaped world history and whatnot. I guess for me though the whole idea of fencing with essentially modern sport weapons "as if they were sharp" comes off as being silly because they're not sharp and the only times in which they are ever likely to be used is fencing practice or competition.

    Guys like Crown go on about how their particular style of fencing is so good for dueling and whatnot, but people just don't duel with swords anymore and that's a good thing in my opinion. People like Nick E. and many of the classical proponents I've talked to are often just people who couldn't succeed at the sport and rather than work to improve or just deal with being mediocre they just withdraw into their own small ponds where they can be big fish.

    I have postulated before a certain theory of mine on the history of fencing that may or may not be accurate. Dueling waned but interest in the necessary skill persisted giving rise to ye olde sport fencing of the early 20th century which continued evolving into the modern game it is. I am very doubtful that classical fencing as described by Crown, Evangelista et al persisted throughout to any significant degree but rather was re-invented in the second half of the 20th century by people who couldn't flick.

    Arma and groups that attempt to seriously fight with period weapons are a whole nuther thing entirely, and while I think they're probably insane they are certainly worthy of respect.
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  15. #115
    Senior Member KidLazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by migopod View Post
    Arma and groups that attempt to seriously fight with period weapons are a whole nuther thing entirely, and while I think they're probably insane they are certainly worthy of respect.
    Really?

    How can it be a COMBAT art when there is no grapping, ground game, pommel strike, kicking in the groin, etc.? Things people will actually do in a death fight.


  16. #116
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    There's something I would like to add to the discussion, since this started looking at AHF rules for foil.

    Based on some 17+ years of banging around the fencing-related Intertubewebs, I do have to say that, regardless of any questions of the efficacy of what he teaches in different contexts, I consider Ramon Martinez to be one of the 'good guys' in CF/HF. By that, I mean that I have not seen him deliberately insult sport fencers (or other CH/HF practitioners, for that matter) in the way that Nick Evangelista or Adam Crown have done. In fact, I recall an instance years ago when Evangelista showed up on rec.sport.fencing and quickly began flaming away. Martinez made a post telling Evangelista that his rhetoric was only serving to create a negative opinion among others of CF/HF, and that he should either cool it off or refrain from posting if he was unable to be polite.

    It's been the opinion of every CF'er I've broached the subject with that the attitude that folks like Evangelista and Crown have so prominently affected towards sport fencing has not been a good thing for the field of CF.
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  17. #117
    Senior Member migopod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KidLazy View Post
    Really?

    How can it be a COMBAT art when there is no grapping, ground game, pommel strike, kicking in the groin, etc.? Things people will actually do in a death fight.

    A lot of the historical weapons folks do most of those things. I'd suspect groin kicks are pulled or restricted for safety, but many of these guys are trying to rediscover the whole system including all the messy stuff.
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  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by migopod View Post
    I have postulated before a certain theory of mine on the history of fencing that may or may not be accurate. Dueling waned but interest in the necessary skill persisted giving rise to ye olde sport fencing of the early 20th century which continued evolving into the modern game it is. I am very doubtful that classical fencing as described by Crown, Evangelista et al persisted throughout to any significant degree but rather was re-invented in the second half of the 20th century by people who couldn't flick.

    Arma and groups that attempt to seriously fight with period weapons are a whole nuther thing entirely, and while I think they're probably insane they are certainly worthy of respect.
    You’re correct to a certain extent, as are most of the posts in this thread. The problem is that there is as much variety of people in classical fencing as there is in modern fencing, and so generalizing becomes a problem.

    We all can agree that fencing had its start as training for actual swordplay, and that eventually it evolved into modern fencing, but unlike historical fencing using broadsword or rapier, classical fencing is not that far removed. The big divergence occurred as recently as post-WW II. Not everyone teaching classical fencing invented or recreated it from books. The oldest fencing masters still out there trained under the masters of only 100 years ago. And some of the classical masters can trace a very clear lineage.

    For example, Maestro Gaugler, who founded the San Jose Italian Masters program, was lucky enough to have actually taken lessons from Aldo Nadi, and then trained with very prominent masters in Italy. He earned his masters title there in Italy many years ago, and some of those Italian masters have sat on the board here in the U.S. when some of Maestro Gaugler’s students became masters.

    Maestro Gaugler was also a university professor in archaeology and, I think, art history, so as a scholar he brought quite a bit of ability as well. Some of his books are actually still used in Italy.

    What I’m suggesting is that if you want to comment on people like Nick Evangelista, please don’t hold them up as representing all of classical fencing... Especially if that’s what Nick himself might do.
    - Wisdom is the knowledge of how much you don't know.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauptman View Post
    The problem is that there is as much variety of people in classical fencing
    For some reason the ideaof throngs of classical fencers brought to mind this quote from BlackAdder.

    E: Ah! Good day, cousin McAdder. I trust you are well.
    MA: Aye, well enough.
    E: And Morag?
    MA: She bides fine.
    E: And how stands that mighty army, the clan McAdder?
    MA: They're both well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
    Competition Numbers and Consistency....
    From your posts, I get a sense that Classical fencing might be accepted by you as a hobby, but not as a "legitimate" activity/sport/event.

    I asked you, "What event or action, in your opinion, would be an honest test of fencing skill for classical style fencers?"

    You returned with a set of criteria that aren't achievable by an individual or a small group (it takes at least two to fence). What you posted is a skill test for a large organization that has a strong and specific focus and a very long time horizon for achieving goals. The Classical fencing community would have to be unified in the way FIFA (football) is unified to curry favor with you. The SCA is much closer to achieving your criteria. They have a worldwide organization, rules, referee education, individual ranking, regions, etc.

    Classical fencing may never be much more of athletic competition than golf or target shooting. It's approach to fencing is different than Olympic style and the goals it tries to achieve are specific to the individual fencer.

    To all: Thank you. This has been an enjoyable and informative conversation.

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