An amateur seeks your wisdom

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Svirfneblic Pimfernickel, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. Svirfneblic Pimfernickel

    Svirfneblic Pimfernickel Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    French or Pistol Grip for my epee? I'm a complete novice.
     
  2. Five Rings

    Five Rings Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    12
    Personally I prefer French, but you have to work hard at it, and resist using it to get the extra length by holding the pommel (you lose control that way). Pistol comes in many shapes and sizes - you should go to a meet where there are vendors and try out all the different ones (weight of an epee affects the balance). If I use pistol for epee, I go with a large Belgian that I modify slightly to fit my hand. Helps if you have a vice and some basic tools to adjust the fit.
     
  3. VELISARIOS

    VELISARIOS Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    64
    I prefer pistol.
     
  4. Five Rings

    Five Rings Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    12
    I think I meant "vise" - whatever - you know, the thing that clamps onto a workbench in your basement. As for tools, nothing special, pliers, wrenches, etc. Make sure that you wrap the serrated surfaces with some tape to avoid scratching surfaces. Best if someone who has done it before shows you how, especially if you are trying to fit a handle onto an electrical blade.
     
    swordwench likes this.
  5. Fechter1

    Fechter1 DE Bracket

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    40
    Depends on your style, body type, athletic ability, etc.

    I was started on a french grip, to learn proper blade manipulation technique, before I switched to pistol (I use a large version of the italian visconti).

    I would suggest you stick with a french for now, especially for lessons, until you develop a good solid basics game. Once you start competing in tournaments, you might want to either switch to pistol, or start postin your french (or maybe even stick with the classical french, but that's quite rare, especially at the higher levels).

    Really, it's up to you, but listen to your coach.
     
  6. mwell13

    mwell13 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    I started on visconti and have always liked it better than french. With visconti, if you focus on using your fingers to menipulate the blade, a french grip won't have any major advantages.
     
  7. RebelFencer

    RebelFencer Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    393
    Here's another vote for visconti. Where in Nashville do you fence?
     
  8. keropie

    keropie Podium

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    130
    Complete novice to fencing, or to epee? Either way, do you have a coach? If so, I'd probably take his opinion as canon for now, until you develop some comfort in the weapon. Myself, I use French grips to give lessons and nothing else (and that's mainly so I can keep myself from becoming competitive by relex and so I can switch hands when I need to ;))
     
  9. epeeisky

    epeeisky Rookie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    68
    I prefer pistol grips, but it is all up to what you learned on, coaches, and personal preforance.
     
    Fencergrl likes this.
  10. Svirfneblic Pimfernickel

    Svirfneblic Pimfernickel Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    New to fencing. I'm currently planning to fence at my university's club and I'm taking lessons from a friend.
     
  11. RebelFencer

    RebelFencer Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    393
    Which university? (sorry, I'm interested to see where people I don't know from TN fence)
     
  12. D+F+P=Hadouken!

    D+F+P=Hadouken! Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    403
    I would suggest starting with french, because it develops your point control, your hand strength, and your sense of distance. Once you can kick ass with a french grip, either learn to pommel, or switch to pistol.
     
  13. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    13,294
    Likes Received:
    636
    Also, a french grip can be cut down to a pistol grip, but not vice versa.
     
  14. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,263
    Likes Received:
    467
    pistol grip gives you more power and overall blade control. people using pistol grip tend to have stronger attacks.
    french grip gives you more tip control and a little extra reach. people using french grips tend to be better on defense/counterattacks.

    your choice.
     
  15. seven6ty

    seven6ty Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    92
    Whatever you decide, I'm sure your opinion will change over time. I started out fencing with frenchies, in foil. Then, since my club was so big on them, Belgians, which I absolutely despise. Now I've been into the Visconti's for a good long time, although I'd love to get a french or two to play with.

    I'd recommend, if it's possible for you, to get a french and visconti, or a variety of a couple of grips on a couple of different weapons, so that you can see how you like them. If you hate one or the other, or want to switch later on, it's an easy process to do. But yeah, I'd say that if you don't have an opinion yet, to leave your options open and try a few for a while, then see what grows on you.
     
  16. parrythis

    parrythis Podium

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,244
    Likes Received:
    248
    FWIW, a French grip on an epee does a better job of tucking your hand up behind the bell guard. People that use pistol grips and have larger hands are more likely to get hit on the pinky finger than if they are using a French grip.

    While this is good advice while you are learning epee, it is a perfectly valid tactic to take on once you are experienced. In fact, it is one of the things that "equalizes" the tactical advantages of pistol vs. French. Consider that when you are "pommeling" against a fencer that is using a pistol grip, it is the only time that your primary target (your opponent's hand) is actually closer to the tip of your weapon than your opponent's primary target (your hand) is to theirs.

    Try both. Use whichever one suits you best.
     
  17. Five Rings

    Five Rings Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    12
    I find that the lost leverage when pomeling detracts from the supposed advantage. To each his/her own. But in any event, I agree a beginner should not use this technique.
     
  18. RebelFencer

    RebelFencer Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    393
    That's why you fence completely different if you're going to pommel...play to your stengths (aka: Increased distance). If you're fencing with a french grip normally against someone with a pistol grip there is only a downside for the french gripper assuming that both are competent.
     
  19. remise

    remise Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    19

    It would appear that way because you ARE a beginner. However, if you should find a coach well schooled in the ways of the French Grip, you could become a God among mortals.
     
  20. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    196

Share This Page