Angulation in Epee Blades

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by jjefferies, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    I was re-reading Imre Vass's tome "Epee Fencing: A complete System" and ran across a curious statement that I may be mis-interpretting. But on page 28 of my copy, under fundamentals (I may have missed this in my first read) talking about positioning the blade in the on guard position to protect the forearm I find "When mounting the blade, it should be slightly bent at the section in front of the guard so that it is sunk to the depth of the lower edge of the guard. In the on-guard position the point should incline inward at an angle of 45 degrees, pointing to the opponent's wrist."

    Question: is my interpretation that he is saying the tang is to be bent 45 degrees correct? If correct this seems extreme as I don't think I've ever run across a blade with this much angulation in the tang/blade plane. Most that I've seen are 15-30 degrees max. I could understand the blade being held at a 45 degree position but am questioning such an amount of angulation being set in the blade itself. Any comments or thoughts?
     
  2. monitorlizerd

    monitorlizerd DE Bracket

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    I can't see any way that's going to be legal, as stated...or usable, frankly. Even if the meaning is to have the fencer cock the wrist so as to put the blade at 45 degrees when on guard, you'd be pointing it at the back wrist, if anything. Maybe he uses some weird on guard position.
     
  3. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    I take that to mean that there should be a slight cant to the blade. Then, when the fencer is en guarde, they should point the blade at about a 45 degree angle toward the opponent's wrist. This would assume same handed fencer and opponent. This also assumes an en guarde position in 6.
     
  4. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    A 45 degree cant in any direction would most likely put the grip in such a position to make it illegal.
     
  5. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    I don't think it means a 45 degree cant. I think it means a slight cant and then holding the weapon such that the blade is at a 45 degree angle.
     
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  6. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    My first re-read agreed with DangerMouse. I question whether a 45 degree cant in the blade tang on a "French Grip" would fit the tube test. Guessing that Orthopedic/pistol grips would most likely pass. Then I started wondering if when the book was written (prior to 1965) might make a difference. As that predates my fencing studies perhaps some elder fencers might be able to comment on extreme epee angulations in the past.
     
  7. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    The above posters are correct. Read the paragraph carefully. There are two ideas there. One is the mounting of the blade (blade cant) and the other idea is the position of on guard.
     
  8. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot DE Bracket

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    It's unfortunate that the text says "... pointing to the opponent's wrist. (See Figure 1)," but Figure 1 doesn't show any opponent and doesn't show anything that could be construed as a 45-degree blade angle.
     
  9. Bellicose Patriot

    Bellicose Patriot Made the Cut

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    There are two translations of “Epee Fencing” that I know of…one is by Steve Khnoy and the other is by Istvan Butykai and revised by Charles Coutts… like any translated works they read slightly different…in this copy on page 20 this statement is made in relation to the fencers hand position when on-guard…a study of hand position in a classical stance used by Italian epeeists vs. what he calls so-called foil on guard…because of the previous reference to the “fist position “ it seems that the 45 degree position is a vertical measurement when the fist is held high…because in the next statement he again makes reference to hand position rather than blade angulation
     
  10. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot DE Bracket

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    According to the Butykai/Coutts version that just hit my mailbox, "the point should incline outwards at an angle of 45 degrees pointing to the opponent's wrist" (p. 21, emphasis mine). Seeing what I assume is the same word translated as "outwards" in one edition and "inward" in another makes me want to feed the original Hungarian into Google Translate. Meanwhile, Lord only knows what was intended.
     
  11. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    "My hovercraft is full of eels."
     
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  12. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    And John has a long mustache. ;-)
     
  13. Gav

    Gav Moderator!!

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    Correct.
    The translation is terrible (I know it is in my copy).

    To others: I'm going to give you a gentle reminder that this is a book, not an example of real world practise. It is a book which is a start not an end to your understanding of fencing (and in fact only one coaching methodology).
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
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  14. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot DE Bracket

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    "Real world practice"--what??! There are people who actually DO this sword-pokey stuff? :eek:
     
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  15. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Actually I use it as a check on what I've learned from coaches and to see how broad my own education is. And as one of the few books which even attempt to cover the whole of the game it's not bad.
     
  16. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Unfortunately, it covers the whole game from a perspective that is now over 50 years old (and probably older than that, considering that Vass is speaking from a long tradition of epee in his country, and wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, an innovator). This is the epee system that "Epee 2.0" effectively put an end to.

    There is some interesting information in the book, and it's a good perspective on "where we've been", but I feel the definitive epee book as yet to be written.
     
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