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

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

  1. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    The rules are close but are not exactly the same.

    Two differences explicitly stated in the rules.

    In saber, a cut that arrives on the forte of the blade or the guard is automatically parried. So, you can't execute an attaque-au-fer if the beat, press, or expulsion hits the forte or guard of the opponents weapon.

    In saber, an attack with a lunge ends when the front foot hits the ground.
     
  2. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    I would like to hear what Pozdniakov has to say.
     
  3. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    Correct en garde stance is not necessarily equivalent to correct attacking stance.

    Extending the arm threatening valid target? Sure you are.

    Okay, I'll just go call up one of my world class referee buddies and see if they want to come chat with us -.-

    The whole point of a forum is to discuss the issue, not point to the experts selectively interviewed in one video and say "shhh! listen to them!"
     
  4. keith

    keith Podium

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    The implication I take from from downunder's post (and I may be getting it wrong) at the top of this page is that this video does not represent the musing of a small clique of officials/coaches but the official position of the arbritage committee.

    So it simply contains the individuals selected to outline the new 'official' interpretation of the rules. The others have, presumably, been bundled off for reprogramming :).
     
  5. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    I'm going to reply without relying on patronizing little smiley faces.

    Remember that in fencing there are conventions as well as written rules. That is, the written rules are interpreted in a way that is agreed upon by participants in the sport.

    The example of the fencer coming en garde in a sprinter's position is disingenuous. A better example would be the convention that two fencers return to the en garde line after a simultaneous attack (either at the beginning of the bout or after being placed back at the en garde lines after a touch is awarded). No where is that rule to be found in the rule book, yet it is universally enforced, frequently to the confusion of foil or epee fencers who are fencing saber for the first time.

    Consider the phrase I proposed earlier in the thread.

    1) Fencer X attack
    2) Fencer Y retreats to avoid the attack, causing Fencer X's attack to fail
    3) Fencer X and Fencer Y subsequently hit each other at the same time.

    Both lamps on the scoring device are illuminated. Who's touch?

    As I've been taught the conventions of saber to this point, the phrase would be: "Fencer X's attack No; Fencer Y's attack touch; Point for Fencer Y." That is, if you successfully evade your opponent's attack and immediately start your own attack, you have priority, even if your opponent immediately begins a new attack (remise or redouble or whatever you want to call it) at the same time.

    However, according to this tape, the phrase should be: "Fencer X's attack No; Simultaneous attack; No touch." This change is significant.

    Two examples of these phrases occur after/around 28:00 in the video. I am looking forward to someone from the FOC explaining these calls to me.

    I agree with scheck. I don't claim to speak for any Russian or Polish fencers or coaches. But, I would like to hear the opinion of some experts speaking languages other than French and Italian. I'll observe again that it's remarkably convenient for the Chinese that their national coach in telling the rest of the world how to referee saber right before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

    In any case, smug is smug in any language. Try watching the video with the sound off.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  6. gladius

    gladius Podium

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    Experts and non experts

    No idea as to what rules you are referring to. The rules are the rules and we can postulate that they are not in contradiction with each other. The interpretation and emphasis of what rules to apply may be different or drifting over time and I believe the purpose of this DVD is to bring a common uniform interpretation or at least to move in this direction.


    They are if you start your attack at the "Allez!" command (which is the example given in the video). What they say is that if you start your attack from the en garde position immediately after the command by the referee with your arm down, this is not an attack. If you have already started an attack from the correct position and drop your blade to the low line, you dissolve this specific attack at that point, so in case of a two lights, your opponent gets the touch, not you.


    It depends extending from where. From below your knee to above your waist, no you are not.


    Serge Timacheff already asked the question to Marco Siesto. He may not be good enough for you, but others, including Alexey Yakimenko, hold him in high enough esteem. I don't think he'd be willing to chat with us, but he may offer an explanation for those who want to listen and learn.

    I welcome the opinion of any expert and would be glad to hear a different point of view, but in this case I think all the experts will agree with the experts in the video. Non experts are always free to talk and may disagree, but they are non experts...

    Ask him and he probably will have nothing to say since he won anyway in SP and likely will continue to win. This is why he's the champion he is. He will push the envelope, any envelope, as far as he can taking advantage of any insecurity and/or confusion on the part of his opponent and the referee (listen to what Siesto says about him).

    Maestro Enrico Di Ciolo, son of Maestro Antonio in the video, always says that fencing is a game between 3 people, NOT two: the two fencers AND the referee. It is this continuous interaction between the three characters that makes this opposition sport so fascinating.

    :jester:
     
  7. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    As for "the rules being almost the same," I was referring to a question earlier in the thread about right of way rules in foil compared to right of way rules in saber.

    It seems that I am not the only one making assumptions about the opinions of experts and putting words in the mouths of others. And, I don't have to rely on bold typeface to make my point seem more forceful.


    I also notice a lack of an attempt to answer the right-of-way conundrum that I have presented.


    Anyway, after watching the video again, the problem that I have with this new interpretation of right-of-way is that it seems like refereeing of saber fencing is going to end up somewhat like that old video game "Joust." The fencer with the higher hand wins. After all, whether a cut is in the low line depends on the location of the opponents guard.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  8. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    Use of bold is normal when emphasising points. There is nothing wrong with that, especially when someone writes a large body of text which contains unfamiliar words. Commenting on the font-style of someone's text doesn't make your point more valid.

    Gladius has stated time and again that he is not an expert. Rather than give you an ill-informed opinion it is normal for gladius to seek the advice of people better qualified.

    If only more people were like this.

    You continually make a lot of assumptions in your post. IF this; then this, I suspect that; so this, it seems; so it is apparent.

    Having watched the video all that I see is the clarification of the rules as they are actually written. I don't actually know any sports that are played where the sport differs from the rules. It seems absurd to insist that fencing should.

    Of course any sport that is played which requires a referee to interpret rules must allow that official leeway to apply common sense, but the underlying rules will remain the same.
     
  9. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    In general I am quite surprised at the amount of hostility that I am seeing displayed on this thread; especially from members I thought better of. For once the FIE seem to have taken a positive step that will be of benefit to everyone. This video seems [to me] to be a great leap forward in getting more consistency from referees - even below FIE level*. For once the FIE seem to be doing something that will help everyone and what do I see? Much wringing of hands and blatant [wilful?] misunderstanding.


    * Which is a nice side-benefit as the FIE really (completely expectedly) don't care about anyone below the level of A-grade standard.
     
  10. edew

    edew Podium

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    Making those stop-cut actions work pretty much requires a one-light result, so it's not going to impair the actions of US fencers. Generally, a stop-cut with two lights favors the attacker (unless it's patently obvious), so stop cuts by the US fencers, if currently successful, won't be affected significantly.
     
  11. edew

    edew Podium

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    Actually, the FIE has confused the matter with this video. On the one hand, there are comments that alludes to making "distance parry" (evasion by retreating) non-existent. That is, evasion does not transfer the right of way from the attacker who makes a failed cut (which is what is begin evaded, otherwise, there has been no evasion) to the defender who now takes over. However, in the Phrase d'Armes examples, there are plenty of evasion moves that clearly demonstrate that an attack fails due to falling short (some of which are very short) and the opposing fencer taking over.

    And, specifically concerning the distance parry, if a cut that falls short does not end the right of way of the attacker, then what I have been teaching for the past 3+ years (quite successfully, I might add) would have been completely nullified. Indeed, I will have to teach a completely new set of tactical actions, one of which would be the 20th minute fencer: the kid who moves forward swinging that blade back and forth like a blind man searching for a wall. Yes, it could be parried, but more likely than not, the hit will arrive. If not for distance parry (or whatever one wants to call it), such an action is almost impossible to defend against.
     
  12. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Podium

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    You are surprised about hostility from saber fencers? Craig can you make a smiley that pumps it's arm after every comment?
     
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  13. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    I perceived that my points were being mocked through the use of cute lil' smiley faces.

    And, in some forums, bold-face font could be considered to be equivalent to shouting.

    And yet, this is the case in fencing.

    One of the first things referees currently learn about right of way is that the rules as written do not even specify which arm must be extending to establish an attack!

    Thus, it is up to the referees to interpret this rule and agree about how to identify an attack. As I have been taught, this characteristic of fencing is what the rule book refers to as conventions.

    An example of a convention of saber that is not explicitly stated anywhere in the rule book is when the referee places the fencers back on guard at the en garde lines after a simultaneous attack in the middle of the strip, when the action occurs at the beginning of the bout or after a touch had just been awarded. This convention is typically confusing to foil and epee fencers who are trying saber for the first time (they will hold their ground in the middle of the strip). But, it is universally accepted everywhere that I have fenced/seen saber.


    I agree with edew. The implication of this video seem to be that a fencer should start lunging and redoubling down the strip while slashing the saber in from front of him/her like a blender (being careful only to slash in the high line, of course). Such an attack will be difficult to parry, and if there are two lights on, the fencer is guaranteed at worst a simultaneous action.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  14. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    Well in the interview I sited Yakimenko was not happy with something that happened at the WUG. I really have no idea what the experiment was or if it is related but it would be nice to hear a different view.

    I already commented that he adapted. Still I would like to hear his opinion.

    By the way I am not against any of this really. Just would like to hear some other views.
     
  15. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    I think that Yakimenko is upset about the use of instant replay to decide saber priority. When a touch is slowed down, the fencers may seem to be making errors that are not perceived when the same action is viewed full speed. His example is the remise vs. the compound riposte.

    Watching this new tape from the FIE, I can see why he has this complaint. Saber referees who do not have instant replay available are likely to reconstruct phrases differently.

    As a saber referee, I'm not fundamentally against these "new" interpretations of saber right of way rules. I'll adapt along with all the coaches and competitors (I put "new" in quotations because the implication of the video is that these interpretations are not new at all; everyone has just been confused and lost their way).

    I am not looking forward to even more arguments, confusion, and red-faced fencers/coaches/parents that I foresee resulting from the changes to saber refereeing that are likely to result from this video.
     
  16. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    Sounds like silliness to me. If saber fencers did "marching" attacks, this could be small concern. They do not. The vast majority of offensive hits are made with lunge or flunge. Can you really see a lunge ending (short) and then a new attack starting from the same fencer before the attacked fencer can begin their response? If the retreating fencer, takes so long to respond to the failed (short) attack, that the (originally) attacking fencer makes a redoublement or a reprise before thay start an offensive action, they should get hit. Add to that the fact that the "clarifications" require the attack to be in the high line, I would be embarassed if my studends found it difficult to defend against the example you give for more than five minutes.

    I think it will take all of five minutes to make whatever adjustments are needed. As for the ridiculous notion that the low line threat is not an attack, right or wrong, again five minutes to adjust. The silliest part of this thread is the conspiracy (against Podz) about the low-line threat not being an attack. It would be an insult to "Podz", if he were a reader on this forum, to assume he could not adjust and be just as effectice as he currently is. In his case, the adjustment would probably be more like 5 seconds.

    The attack ending in PIL of course, is not being waved around, and should certainly not present a problem to defend against by anyone that is even half awake.

    I think the "clarifications", whether agreed upon or not, are absolutely critical to accurate and consistant refereeing. Here is something you have never heard from me ever before, "Way to go FIE".
     
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  17. yowsers

    yowsers Rookie

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    Watch the video, if you can, at the two actions shown as examples around and after 28:00. Because, that seems to be exactly what happens, although I am not sure.

    At full speed, the attacker appears to be remising at the same time or after the defender, who evaded the initial attack with a retreat then immediately attacks.

    In slow motion, the remise appears to be slightly ahead of the defender's attack. At full speed, the critical action happens in about (if not less than) one second.

    What's not clear to me in these example phrases is if the redouble/remise is being awarded because the defender paused his attack after evading the initial attack of because the defender drops his hand, thereby preparing rather than attacking.

    On the one hand, I applaud the FIE as well for issuing this video. On the other hand, some of the points are not very clearly stated. I wonder if a written statement accompanies this video.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  18. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    I think you're talking about the two phrases at 27:44-28:10 and 28:16-28:39.

    Be sure to look carefully at exactly what the ref is calling, and synchronize that with what is being shown in slow motion on the screen. I found this easiest to do with my viewer in full-screen mode (so I could read the fuzzy text in the balloons), stepping through the actions in small increments.

    The first one (27:44-28:10) I thought was pretty clear and correct: the attacker on the left drops the blade low below the waist (which the ref says is "non-correct"), the defender makes a counterattack which doesn't arrive, and the attacker redoubles, with the defender counterattacking into the redoublement. With the exception of the statement that the low attack is incorrect, so the first counterattack would have scored if it had hit, I don't see anything here that would be different under the older interpretations.

    The second one (28:16-28:39) is trickier. This is what I see, watching very closely. The attacker on the left begins with a very short attack, foot touching down in a short lunge at about 28:30 on the slo-mo. The attacker immediately redoubles with a long lunge and point attack. In the face of this, the defender withdraws his blade *and* drops it below his own knee, pointing more or less at the attacker's toe (see 28:31). Only after the attacker's in full stretch on the redoublement does the defender come out to hit.
     
  19. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    Ok, it's a new day and I have gotten over this. Whatever the arbitrage committee decides, they have the right to do so, and the rest of us will adapt. Moving on:

    I think DownUnder said earlier that at St. Petersburg the refs enforced the ideas espoused by this DVD. If this is true, then Joe Biebel is definitely correct that Pozdniakov seemed more than able to adapt to the changes. This also explains why Montano was so much more willing (and able to score) with attacks on Pozdniakov's preparations.
     
  20. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    Who said he couldn't adjust? I said he did. I would just like hear his view on the whole thing.
     

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