Is Fencing (still) a "Martial Art"?

Discussion in 'Water Cooler' started by EDELWEISS, Jan 6, 2015.

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Is Fencing a Martial Art?

  1. YES

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. NO!

    9 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Maaaaaybe?

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. posineg

    posineg DE Bracket

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    Where is the difference between the two? Both wiki links refer to the same activities and use the similar examples. The Martial Arts is more detailed due to being used as "the Term" longer than Combat or Fighting sport.

    Are being intentionally argumentative or do you really not know what the OP is looking for?
     
  2. migopod

    migopod Podium

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    D'oh...
     
  3. D'Artagnan1673

    D'Artagnan1673 Podium

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    As others have said, fencing is rooted in dueling, first with rapiers and then the small sword. However, duels are out of fashion and electric fencing has reduced the need for the point to clearly touch the opponent. Electric scoring allows for valid touches that would never have been considered solid fencing in the days of dry fencing. I encouraged my students to practice good, classical form prior to our dry tournament as it would (1) assist in clearly determining right of way and (2) would help them to land solid touches that the judges and director could see. Learning and mastering these actions is a step in the right direction for becoming a successful competitive or recreational fencer, but it is not the end unto itself, IMO. Foil fencing of today clearly has its foundations in the martial art tradition, but those foundations then bring forth a host of moves and tactics that would not be considered in a real duel. Even epee has evolved away from dueling, albeit to a lesser degree.
     
  4. Nakita

    Nakita Made the Cut

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    I am not sure what difference it makes what "they" call it.
    Does that have some sort of effect on how it is done or how you would act?
     
  5. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    If you fully read those articles and took away that they're interchangeable, I won't disabuse you of the notion, but I am saddened.

    Affirmation? I don't care. Furthermore, I am not the one resisting vocabulary from multiple people. If he had just gotten his terms straight, this discussion wouldn't exist.
     
  6. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS Rookie

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    WOW! I guess this hit a nerve?
     
  7. iktovian

    iktovian Made the Cut

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    You admit you're trolling then?
     
  8. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS Rookie

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    No NOT at all.

    I had hoped this would be a forum open to discussions. Ive tried to be polite despite seeing the opposite from others. My background is legal and law enforcement, there Words and Actions have meanings. Show a jury two people facing each other with swords and they'll tell you its a fight. Playing games with words wont change the picture. Saying that martial and combat and fighting are so different as to change their meanings is interesting, defending it, well that's something entirely different

    I get it, I really do. Some of you don't want to associate the sport with the darker side. If the discussion has shocked your sensibilities then I apologize. If you've been offended then again I extend my electronic hand; but remember I haven't called out any names, I haven't questioned anyone's intelligence.

    Its my fault, I accept it. Im used to hanging out with people who are used to the darker side. There people understand the consequences of their words, or learn them soon enough. If Im mistaken and this is a site for open and reasonable discussion where adults can agree to disagree then I'll stay. Otherwise I don't see the point.
     
  9. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    The context you're missing is that this subject has been brought up and beaten to undeath, frequently by people who were trolling, countless times over the history of this forum. So it's to be expected that, upon seeing it again, half of us will roll eyes and the other half will turn it into a joke thread. Imagine a Political Science professor being addressed by freshman who just read Communist Manifesto/Atlas Shrugged (pick your poison) and thinks it's an amazing discovery that the world must be told about and you'll get the idea.

    My serious response to the topic is to tell you to read Chris Amberger's discussion of the matter in Secret History of the Sword; EOFD, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  10. iktovian

    iktovian Made the Cut

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    wat

    You start a thread about a topic you know is controversial, ignore the posts which could help you learn about the topic and then claim you've 'hit a nerve' 'shocked' (people) or 'offended' (them). I don't think you have, but it looks like you're trying.

    You've even invented a 'dark side' to fencing, which I've never heard of before. Is this something I should know about?

    back under your bridge pls.

    EDIT: so I asked my coach if fencing has a dark side and he said yes and never to underestimate its power (??). Thanks for the heads up I guess.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  11. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    Our loss, I'm sure.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_razor
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  12. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS Rookie

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    Well I DO apologize if its been discussed too many times. As you can see by my post count Im new here and I didn't think it necessary to do a search on every question I might have an interest in discussing. I come from a different background but frankly I was and continue to be pretty amazed by some of the comments. As to these comments being expected, well NO they weren't expected. I expect civility and tend act accordingly when its not only ignored but blatantly avoided. Again and again I have extended a hand in camaraderie and not only has it been slapped away by many; but they are the same ones who would whine if their opponent failed to shake hands or salute during a match. AND to the professor addressed by the freshman, well, Ive been on both sides of that and that same professor has the opportunity to either lead the student and encourage learning or forever convince the student that hes a flaming arse. Frankly Ive received and given more respect to armed felons than some have shown here, many of the same ones who insist fencing is a sport that has nothing to do with fighting.

    So I do thank you for your explanation and my comments are not directed at you nor are they directed at a few others. Your explanation does provide some enlightenment; but it in no way makes up for the crap that others have tossed about simply because I asked a question that seems to have offended their feelings or perhaps bored them. So again I will offer that handshake
     
  13. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. I have not been warm in my responses, but there will be no doubt if I decide to be uncivil. I guess this hit a nerve?

    But really, the whole the-Dark-Words-have-Subtle-Meanings tack while you refuse to differentiate between two terms? Really? You don't see how people think that's trolling? It's either trolling or a remarkable level of self-unawareness we haven't seen since a gentleman named fatfencer.

    I don't really care if people think fencing is a martial art or a combat sport. I don't even care how anyone defines those (personally, I wouldn't define either as wikipedia does). However, they're different terms, and using them interchangeably prevents discussion, which is what you've said you're here for. You started a thread, but that doesn't mean you get to dictate that people dance to your tune.

    Also, enough with the Mysterious Dark thing. There are law enforcement, military, martial arts, and legal people here. No one is impressed.

    For instance here's how a discussion could proceed, I know someone who did demonstration Tae Kwon Do for awhile. She got trophies, broke boards, and generally carried on as you would expect. I could discuss with her whether that's a combat sport. It's competitive, I guess, a sport probably, but I wouldn't call it a combat sport, because there isn't any combat. I suppose I would call it a martial art. While I think it's nonsense, it just gets lumped in with the other Eastern stuff like that. Anyone could disagree with me on any of those points, and I might be convinced of their position.

    However, I couldn't agree if they said: "it's not a combat art because martial arts are descended from combat and not combat sport, when you have sports that are martial that's a combat not a sport so therefore it's not a martial sport." That makes any discussion impossible.

    TL;DR: Write more clearly. Grow thick skin.
     
  14. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    We understand that for the newcomer topics which are very, very old to us are evergreen. You must understand that topics which are new to you are very well-trodden ground for us. We ( some of us ) are willing to stamp through it again, but you must let us have our little inside jokes. Stick around long enough and you'll have some, too.

    And now something about which shoes are good for fencing, and how point-in-line should be called. ;)
     
  15. iktovian

    iktovian Made the Cut

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  16. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    You left out "which grip should I use?"
     
  17. Nakita

    Nakita Made the Cut

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    Lol, I'd have to think back about 8 months but I'm pretty sure I didn't 't decide to take up fencing because it was a martial art or holds great, probably mysterious,darkness too.
    I think I just took it up because it is a sport.

    I have read this entire thread and still can't fathom what possibly difference it makes sheathed someone calls it a martial arts sport or a peanut butter sandwich.
    I even asked the OP and was ignored, it seems because an answer to the question would have ended the 'discussion'. :)
     
  18. larkascending

    larkascending Rookie

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    At the current stage I don't think fencing is a martial art any more than any other one-on-one adversarial competition. It's frequently compared to chess, and I quite like to compare it to racket sports.

    I imagine the transition started whenever people started doing it without the intent of killing or maiming their opponents, and continued when we began to count more than one point, and electrified our scoring such that one could be hit some time after scoring without consequence.
     
  19. iktovian

    iktovian Made the Cut

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    There's nothing wrong with speculating about what fencing was like back in the day but I don't like it mainly because it's often passed around as fact. People hold on to all kinds of strange doctrines which don't build understanding of the history of the sport or the way it's currently fenced.

    I also wish that people would stop comparing fencing to chess. In chess people sit and think, move pieces on a board, and sometimes sneak off to the toilets and use a computer program to cheat. No-one will ever use a computer to cheat at fencing. Comparing fencing to chess downplays the athletic element at the expense of the mental element and that strikes me as bizarre. I enjoy fencing because it involves the mind and the body.
     
  20. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Have you ever seen a fencing match? Fencing is nothing like Tai Chi.

    Good grief, no. Electronic scoring is more accurate. The effect of electronic scoring was to take a great deal of theater out of visual scoring. This kind of nostalgia for visual scoring mystifies me. My first coach competed under visual rules. He was quite clear that pre-electronics you had to fence to the judges, and slow down, and not remove your point too fast. It was half theater. Even I am old enough to remember visual saber. It was a farce. They missed tons of stuff. Thinking that visual scoring was somehow like hitting hard enough to score in boxing is insane.

    It's a sport.

    My thoughts are that you've never been to a fencing competition. You've certainly never been to a SRYC or a youth NAC.

    Activities that descend from fighting can be roughly broken into two camps: martial arts that try to preserve and study some part of the practice of fighting preparation, and sports that isolate some part of the fight and make a game of it, hopefully safely. Fencing is a sport. HEMA/WMA/whatever is, I guess, a martial art. Actually I think HEMA is sort of still figuring out what it will be, but right now it more or less looks like a martial art.

    I think an important distinction can be made between HEMA/WMA/fencing/kendo/other sword based stuff and stuff like Brazilian jujitsu. BJJ can and is still used in real fights pretty commonly. If you go on youtube, you'll find BJJ guys in real fights on the street and on the beaches of Rio.

    No one is going to go get in a real fight with sharp swords today, I hope. Not fencers. Not HEMA students. Not kendo players. Not SCA fighters. Not historical fencers. No one. The closest is the German mensur guys, and that's so formalized I don't really consider it a fight, it's a game with a slashed face as the penalty of losing. Statistically, it's safer than fencing is. So all of us are either playing a game or studying a historical martial art. That's it, that's all any of us are doing. If you really think you're going to go get a sharp sword and get in a real fight, you're a nut and I don't want to talk to you.

    Fencing is a sport, like running the 100m hurdles is a sport. Running short distances fast used to be a matter of life and death. We used to run away from lions, and if you were too slow the lion caught you and you died. If someone were to start the Historical Running from Lions Alliance and study how people used to run from lions, that would be neat, I guess. But then if people who had been reading about this HRLA came onto a sprinting forum and started telling sprinters there that hurdles that fall down are 'unrealistic' and that in other ways they were not upholding the ideals of historical running from lions, they might be considered kind of weird and not really in touch with reality. Sprinting is no longer focused on running from lions, it's focused on winning at sprinting. It's a sport. Fencing is a sport. Fencing is focused on winning at fencing.

    Sprinters do not walk around secretly daydreaming about how they could, if they had to, totally outrun a lion right now. They just don't, they daydream about winning the 100m hurdles at Regionals or something.

    And fencers don't walk around secretly daydreaming about how they could, if they had to, totally rip that car antenna off that Mercedes and fight off pirates with it. They just don't, they daydream about winning some event at an RYC or a NAC or whatever.

    Ok?
     

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