New Épée Rule - Massive Change

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by piste off, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Grey Sabreur

    Grey Sabreur Rookie

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    If indeed there is a non-combativity problem - the solution should not introduce "right-of-way" to epee in any form, no matter how well disguised.
     
  2. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    I would point out to those who apparently have either conveniently forgotten or never were aware that epee is the game closest to actual dueling which is where the sport of fencing supposedly began. In an actual duel you aren't going to throw yourself upon your opponent's blade because some clock is running but rather patiently look for an opening. I say this despite that my coaches all have cautioned me to be more patient. As others have commented the non-combativity rules seem to stem from wanting a more audience presentable (like TV or the movies) game. A primary attraction of epee for the fencer is its simplicity and in the attempts to force the game into a more viewer friendly sport they are taking away from what makes the game attractive to the participants. This may suit some officials/referee's who see the additional burden of rules as favoring their participation but it runs the risk of crippling the game.


    I assume the comments are with regard to hard chest protectors as opposed to the under arm protector/plastrom and would beg to differ with Oiuyt's conclusion. Due to recent surgery in the chest area I've been using one of the plastic hard chest protectors. I would acknowledge that, in epee at least and in their current form as simple plastic shells, they do offer an advantage of bouncing touches off unless worn underneath all other clothing. But I disagree as to whether their use will begin to climb as their "not cool" factor wears off because they are damnably HOT! I find that wearing one is akin to fencing in a sauna. When I take off my uniform I can literally wring it out. I appreciate the protection, particularly as my surgical closure is just about the size of two epee tips and a real attractor for touches. But I would argue the design of the protector is going to require more than just making it fair for the opponent before it becomes attractive for the wearer.
     
  3. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot Made the Cut

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    The rules already provide for "disguised right of way" and artificial pressure to "throw oneself upon one's opponent's blade," in cases of a tie at the end of regulation time. If one wanted to be an absolute purist, one could get rid of that and just let ties stand as ties. (What, then, to do in DEs? Well, I guess you could eliminate *both* fencers.*)

    But if one is prepared to use some sort of symmetry-breaker if there's really a good reason for it, then the question is whether non-combativity is a big enough problem to apply symmetry-breaking in regulation time. I have no actual opinion on that question, was just accepting the premise that it is, as a "what if."

    *EDIT: Actually, that might be another way to address the presumed non-combativity problem, at least in a DE: if the referee judges there to be non-combativity, the customary overtime tiebreaker is taken away and instead, in the case of tie, both fencers will be eliminated. The opponent the winner would have faced gets a bye. Again, with that prospect looming, and no longer being able to hope to win the coin toss, fencers will act differently.

    I'm just saying there are multiple more sensible ways to address the problem (again, if it is one) than this scheme about to be tested.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    If you will read the annals of dueling, you will find that this is. not. true. Combatants quite often rushed rashly and impetuously in on each other, resulting in numerous wounds to and frequently death for one or both. Duels---real ones, not the silly effete things of the late 19th and early 20th century, such as the famous Nadi one---were not careful "patiently looking for an opening"-for-10-minutes affairs. They were not modern epee. They were not even "classical" epee.

    They often involved cuts and slashes as well as thrusts, too, and epee scarcely seems very "close" to that.

    This "it's like a duel" conceit in epee is much like the "it's like a cavalry fight" one in sabre.
     
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  5. Zebra

    Zebra DE Bracket

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    Sounds like a bout against a Jersey teenager.
     
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  6. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    The chest protector situation in the post 2005 timing change was slightly different, however: it was obvious before the bout began that at least one of the fencers was wearing a chest plate and might be taking advantage of the new timing. This gave an opponent a chance to approach and initiate a discussion about the use of the plate. In at least once case I witnessed, the opponent removed his plate before the bout began after such a discussion.

    While it wasn't terribly common overall to wear a plate (in my observations) in Jr/Cadet, a few did appear pretty quickly when the timings changed, but by the end of the season, almost no one was wearing one.
     
  7. bbower

    bbower DE Bracket

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    Did you care in the slightest when they moved the start position for sabre? If not, then your opinion is worthless.
     
  8. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Next you'll say Foil isn't "the sport of kings."*
    *at least that's what I recall it saying in a US Fencing published, "What is fencing" PDF
     
  9. Gav

    Gav Moderator!!

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    Interestingly Max DOES use NC quite extensively. I'm not sure what to make of the term "opinion leaders"?
     
  10. Gav

    Gav Moderator!!

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    Why? Are you saying unless you complain/take interest in every single rule that affects every single fencing discipline then you shouldn't have a say?
    There's plenty of people who only enjoy one of the disciplines.
     
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  11. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Yes, if you remove the duels with epees, then duels weren't at all like epee.

    Quite a few people were killed with smallswords and epees du combat. You may consider it "effete", but I doubt many of the victims of professional fighters like Llulla would agree with you. Sure, there were wild charges and so on by amateurs. But there were also fencers, trained in fencing salles, who killed people.

    Now, did it look like modern epee? I don't know. There's not much footage, and what we have is of old men faffing about. But was it all wild charges and slashing nonsense? I just don't see how it could have been. Llulla fought dozens of times, and killed dozens of people, many of them with smallswords or what they called "rapiers" in New Orleans, which look a lot like an epee du combat. All that could not possibly have been luck and swinging wildly.
     
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  12. piste off

    piste off Podium

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    Fencing is a sport. Sure, it has roots in something else... but does that really matter at this point? Not saying the new rule is good or bad, but any ties to duels are pretty meaningless IMO.
     
  13. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    I agree. I'm not very wrapped up in the history of dueling, honestly. I spent an hour in a New Orleans museum once and was kind of amazed at how similar the Llulla "rapier" was to an epee, and at the number of people he apparently killed with it, and I've read a couple of books on the history of epee and dueling. Gary Copeland recommended La Marche's The Dueling Sword from 1890something, and he was right, it was very good, very interesting read, but that's about as much time as I've spent on it.

    The history argument I'd make is that epee, as a sport, has a long history. None of it involves turn-taking. I'm not opposed to tweaking rules. I wrote an article for fnet about possible rule tweaks for epee. But turn-taking is just inimical to the game as it has developed over the past hundred years or so.
     
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  14. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    By "opinion leaders," I meant those who have a voice that people listen to. If the goal is to make something "not cool," involving the people who help define "cool" and "not cool" would appear to be helpful.* Now, whether any or all of those people agree with a particular position or whether making something "not cool" is appropriate or effective is a separate matter.

    B

    * and I would argue that Max has perhaps the best ability to define what is "cool" in fencing, currently.
     
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  15. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot Made the Cut

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    Can you provide a link?
     
  16. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Sure:

    https://www.fencing.net/15490/non-combativity-are-black-cards-the-answer/

    TL;DR: Flip for priority as soon as you call the first NC. That alone will force more active fencing. Once priority is called, there's no more chance of playing for a tie. You're going to flip for priority anyway, so just do it as soon as the fencers show any inclination towards passive fencing.
     
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  17. Strytllr

    Strytllr Made the Cut

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    I remember reading this originally. I thought it was an elegant solution then...and so much more simple than this current crazy experiment. Too bad FIE submission folk haven't read (or at least taken to heart) your conclusions.
     
  18. Zebra

    Zebra DE Bracket

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    With respect to the technique, perhaps, but it makes it easier to explain the three weapons to people who've never seen modern fencing before.
     
  19. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yep. Did you know that smallswords had sharpened edges? Rather non-epeeish ( non-foilish too. )

    Yep. And if you read about some of them, they didn't do it by patiently waiting, waiting, waiting for the perfect opportunity for the flawless counterattack. Domenico Angelo, for instance, had a famous match against an Irish duelist which sounds as though it was something like the duel at the end of "Rob Roy". The Irishman was strength and vigor, the Italian technique and skill, but he too...attacked. D'Eon's account of the Chevalier St. George's fencing also talks of the latter's strong attacks and parries. Are we to believe that these people won their matches, and killed skilled opponents, by bouncing and waiting and attempting toe touches?

    That is a bit redolent of straw, as I never said anything about "all". I imagine that there were quite a few timid and cautious participants in duels. There were certainly a lot of reluctant and fearful ones. But the professional duelist, the skilled man who fought often by choice or inclination, does not appear, if you read the annals, to have been given to patience and caution and waiting to counterattack. All I said was that the character of the typical duel did not resemble that of epee fencing, and that the trope of "epee is closest to the duel" is not an accurate representation.

    By the way, well after the civil duel had died out due to strong legal proscriptions and changing cultural norms, the military one continued on the Continent. And it was typically fought with sabres. It strains credulity to believe that these duels too were fought like epee---and one would have to so believe in order to maintain the idea that "epee is closest to the duel".
     
  20. piste off

    piste off Podium

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    This is very, very interesting (and great analysis too!). Love the elegance of it.

    Ever test it? Especially with passive or defense-minded fencers?
     

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