FIE Arbitrage Sabre DVD - a must see for ALL fencers and referees

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by downunder, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    I agree with this 100%. It has gotten way out of hand IMHO.

    Also replay in most cases will not be available. Having the ability to review the action is a big plus.
     
  2. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    Foil fencers, coaches, and referees too.. If the FIE is at all consistent, the general principles expressed in the DVD must apply to foil as well. However, it may be that the issue with the low attack in sabre won't apply to foil, since foil has the concept of the off-target attack which nevertheless must be defended against. We'll see.
     
  3. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    From watching the SP WC videos it looks like they have already started. I saw where calls were reversed for low line vs. high line. There is one in the France - Hungary team match that is a very critical reversal.
     
  4. gladius

    gladius Podium

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    Attack and ROW

    The issue, which is clear to me when I watch the video and hear what they are saying, is what is an ATTACK and what is NOT an attack, and consequently WHEN does the ATTACK "dissolve" to use their term, or when does it end, giving origin to the next action.


    I'm not entering a technical discussion I am not qualified to hold, but what the Maestri are discussing here is the sport of fencing, not a duel, where obviously certain tactics which may be effective on the strip, would be indeed suicidal or better murder-suicide in a duel. This is just my common sense interpretation and I'll tell you what the real experts say.


    No, I believe the issue is whether or when the ATTACK has ended, THEN the ROW is lost. The horses are in front of the cart, not the other way around. So we go back to the original question, raised many times in the video by Polish, French and Italians, of WHAT IS AN ATTACK. ROW is a "privilege" you have in saber and foil if and only if you execute a proper attack which you maintain as long as your attack continues and does not "dissolve."


    Again, you confuse ROW with ATTACK.


    I believe that what is meant is that the attacker finishes his attack when he does something or his opponents parries therefore the opponents earns ROW when the original attack has dissolved.


    These are just my personal comments. An expert will confirm or refute them. I'll keep you posted.

    In any case, for me this is all clear in theory. There is no mystery and nothing "new" but for the FIE desire to bring in line the inconsistency in and among referees and opinions which are obviously going around. In actual practice, I am the first to recognize that visually to discern all this clearly each and every time, even with the aid of slo-mo replay, is very difficult. This remains a problem, but right now the real problem, addressed by this DVD which is produced after all by Cramer and the FIE, is more one of philosophy and direction as these discussions are the evident proof of the confusion that reigns at least around here about the fundamental principles that govern or should govern the sport of fencing.

    I have not heard any expert of the caliber in the video objecting to anything said in the video. And, other than language used, I don't see any discrepancy or bias, certainly not against the East Europeans or Russians. And if anyone thinks that this is the usual fight between Maestri or coaches and referees (as a class) check on the interview Serge Timacheff did with Marco Siesto, universally recognized as one of the best, if not the best saber referee in the world. He said exactly the same things regarding the "low line attack" in saber. So, get used to it.

    :)
     
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  5. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 is a Verified Fencing Expertbigdawg2121 Podium

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    Foil also has that extra bit of low line target.
     
  6. dekko

    dekko Rookie

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    Remember, the rules for ROW are the same for foil and sabre but since sabre is an edge weapon this is the reason for the perceived difference.

    As for the video of the touches from the team event and the animation of the ref's call in the upper corner, I am wondering if that is how the action was supposed to be called or how it was called and now we need to change the way those actions are called. Does anyone know the distinction?

    As for the low line attack, someone else mentioned no doubt half joking but if the point is at the ceiling how can that be attacking valid area. Also, if my edge is headed for the target why would it matter if it is above or below the waist. One of the guys showing the action seems to put forth that because the low line attack opens up the target on the top of the arm this is part of the reason it's not a good attack but every attack leaves target area open hence the ROW rules. There are lots of countries and schools of teaching that will be hurt by this one unless there is further clarification and allowances made.

    Either way, this video seems to have shaken lots of conversations loose from many corners.
     
  7. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    I would think the Russians are not that happy with some of these changes.

    See this Yakimenko interview.

    http://fencing-future.com/cntnt/eng/eng_fond/interview/interview_10.html

    By the way the English translation is poor. I am not sure if he is talking about the same things. Seems a bit strange. May be someone that knows Russian can make a better one?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  8. keith

    keith Podium

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    ... that reads more as a complaint about video reply; no complex action looks correct in slow motion.
     
  9. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    But replay was around before the WUG? He specifically points out some experiment took place at the WUG. I wouldn't be surprised if some of it was part of this. As has been mentioned it would be interesting to hear the Russian view point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  10. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    Thank you. I agree that your speculation is very very possible.
     
  11. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    I find the smug attitude of the experts in this video irritating, especially the last person to speak, who asserts that referees need to do a better job at peril of hurting the sport. Such a statement after 40 minutes that are certain to add to the already notable confusion in saber conventions!

    The more I think about this video, the more I believe that this video is an attempt to put an end to the Eastern European, especially Russian (Soviet), style of fencing, in which low line attacks and footwork-based defense are paramount.

    I also received the impression from the video that a defender must parry an attack to obtain right of way, not simply retreat, using distance to evade the attack.

    Consider:
    1. Fencer X retreats from fencer Y's attack, causing it to fail (explicitly allowed by the rules, btw)
    2. Fencer X begins an immediate attack, while fencer Y makes a second attack at the same time.
    3. Both fencers hit valid.

    Who gets the touch?

    Before this video, I would have said X, without a doubt. After this video, I'm not so sure, and that is a big problem because it would be a stunning (and, I would assert, untenable) change to the way saber is fenced.

    EDIT: Looking at the rulebook, 4 C II 2 (in article t.80, on page 25), there doesn't appear to be any priority given to the fencer who attacks after successfully avoiding an attack:

    But earlier in the rulebook:

    So, completely avoiding an attack seems to end the phrase. But if Fencer X and Y attack at the same time after X avoided Y's attack, then what we have is a simultaneous attack, not an attack from X and counter-attack from Y.

    Also, we should note:

    If back-cuts are legal, then a fencer should be able to threaten the bottom of an opponent's arm with a low-line attack. This example seems to be an successful, but unaddressed, counterargument to the uncontested assertations made by the experts in this video that a low-line attack cannot be threatening a valid surface.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  12. Capt. Slo-mo

    Capt. Slo-mo Podium

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    I've only watched the first half of the video so far but a few observations:

    1. For the love of {insert appropriate deity-unit here}, hire a professional camera-person next time! And an audio guy wouldn't be such a bad idea, either. The $25 camera mike on top of the home movie camera is not your friend.

    2. Most people, Christian especially, do not feel very comfortable with the camera six inches from their nose. Step back a little.

    OK, now to the minor stuff: :rolleyes:

    I found it curious that after nine minutes of trashing the low line attack, the first video example (at 9:46) shows the Romanian attacking from the left, blade up, but then dipping the blade all the way down to the floor, then back up, and finishing with a downward cut. The Ukrainian starts low, but makes a direct and smooth sweep up to what appears to be a flank cut. Both blades, at some point, dip below the knee. Yet the guy who started high and made three blade elevation changes gets the touch. Go figure.

    Removing this seemingly legal attack mode may be a big problem for the USA women's saber team, most of whom having been making a good living off the stop cut or backhand cut up to the bottom of the arm from the lowline.

    I'm no conspiracy theorist here (and you can check with my friend, Mr. Grassie Knollguy, for verification) but one wonders if the genesis of this "clarification" wasn't an attempt by certain interests to counter the success of the fencing disciplines that frequently employ the lowline.
     
  13. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    I had the exact same thought. Whenever I see Rebecca Ward fencing on tape, it seems like most of her attacks are underneath the arm.

    So, the moment a fencer dips her point to cut under the arm, her attack is suddenly over, or has reverted to preparation, or what?
     
  14. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    It seems that way, yowsers. When your cutting edge no longer threatens target, you are in preparation.
     
  15. keith

    keith Podium

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    no no we are simply returning to the good old days where the attacking fencer had to demonstrate (via the positioning of the guard) that the attack is being made with a valid surface*.




    *I think I am joking.
     
  16. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    But the current rules specifically state that the flat of the blade can be used to score a touch, not just the "cutting edge."

    So, if I can slap you on the bottom of your arm with the flat of my blade (which is by the way is one of my favorite attacks when I fence saber), how can carrying my blade in the low line not threatening target?

    It seems like these guys just want to get rid of low line attack. Why bother teaching parry 2? If your opponent attacks in low line, just counterattack to head with a direct cut. You'll be attacking in his preparation, even if you both hit at the same time.

    This outcome seems ridiculous, and these experts smugly talk about this turn of events as if it has always been this way.
     
  17. keith

    keith Podium

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    I suspect what they want to get rid of is the 'corruptions' introduced during the transition to electric sabre. The use of the flat to score a touch is against the character of a cutting weapon :jester:

    Perhaps a little inquisition smiley could be added to the video at appropriate moments?
     
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  18. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    How nice for them that they can release this video and do away with the flat of the blade as a valid way to score a touch. However, the rulebook, which one of the experts says "is very well written", still states that the flat of the blade can be used to score the touch.

    The rulebook also says that grazing touches and point touches that pass should not be counted. However, we know with the current scoring machines, both of these types of touches will register a valid touch. I would like to see a referee say that a saber fencer's thrust was passe and therefore not counted, despite the same fencer's lamp being illuminated on the scoring machine.

    I also want to say that it is irritating that these experts seek to silence any debate on their assertions by prattling off all their various titles and the titles of their students. I'm willing to wager that there are coaches not interviewed in this video with equal or better credentials who will disagree with what they are saying. For example, I would like to see a reply from the various coaches and fencers of the Russian school.
     
  19. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    When I read t.75 and t.77 in saber I wonder if this statement is correct....
     
  20. gladius

    gladius Podium

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    Smug???

    Are you fluent in Italian and French? If so, I beg to differ with your characterization. If not, I suggest you hold your judgment since you base it on what you read in the subtitles which do not reflect nuances nor are always exact translation of what was actually said. :blah:

    Here you are speculating and I think it would be better to use facts. Please remember that Zub, the first speaker and the one who talks the most if I remember correctly, is Polish and in fact his Italian has an accent, but what he says is reiterated by all the others. Also, it is Cramer who asks the questions and he is in a position to know something and to accept or object without fear of repercussion, I guess. Lastly, at least historically, modern saber was introduced to the Russians indeed by Polish coaches, and Korfanty shares the same nationality of Zub. Let him say what he thinks of Zub and the others.


    Yep, that's the way! Funny you just discovered it now... :rolleyes:



    Exactly the point made by the Maestri. An attack is either completed successfully or is "dissolved" by a parry of the opponent or by an action on the part of the attacker which causes the "dissolution" of the attack losing ROW (for instance moving the arm and blade off the PIL, bending the arm or any such things). The opponent can run backwards to the end of the strip and the attacker will maintain all the prerequisites of his attack. This would not mean that the opponent evaded anything, only that the attacker let his attack die by doing something. The rules reflect this principle clearly, as it should be.

    Any simultaneous attack is null since this is not epee. All they discuss are double lights touches which are not simultaneous.


    At the beginning of the video, the Polish Maestro explains why this is so. He says, if I remember correctly, that the rules stipulate what the en garde position should be at the "Allez!" command (and he shows you what that means). He also says that the rules don't say that the en garde position can be anything you want or feel comfortable with (and he shows you what he means by that also). To use an extreme situation, assume that one fencer who is an excellent 100 m sprinter would insist to use as his starting position that of the crouch in a 100 m dash race, holding his weapon by/on the ground and sprint forward at the "Allez!" command with lightening speed. The existing rules state that you cannot do so.

    Zub then follows with examples of attacks, a legitimate one and one which is not. If you start from a low en garde position, you are not attacking by definition of what an attack is. If you start from the correct (according to the rules) en garde position, attack and then drop the weapon, when you drop it, you stop (dissolve) your attack and consequently you don't have ROW any longer. A double light touch at this point causes the referee to award the point to your opponent. These are the rules, so until you change them, stick by them.:(

    All the other experts repeat with different words the same concept. Find an expert who disagrees, and we'll all listen to the debate between experts... gladly.

    :)
     

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