Right of Way again (stifle those yawns, it's the Olympics!)

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Steve Khinoy, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    I can't figure out how to use the search utility, but this is a semi-new question anyway.
    Watching MF and WS in the Rio Olympics, it seems to me that in sabre, you lose ROW by withdrawing the arm after starting an attack, whereas in foil, you don't. I got most sabre calls right but lots of foil calls wrong--actions where even in slow-motion replay, the counterattack/attack in prep arrived clearly first and while the attacker's arm was still withdrawn. That is, sabre was being called according to my understanding of foil.
    It also seemed to me that the sabre refs were much more willing to call simultaneous actions than in the past.
    I'm not doing the "what if they were sharp?" thing. I just want to know whether my observation tallies with others, and whether that's the way you would have called the actions before learning the Olympic ref's decision.
     
  2. bmoney

    bmoney Made the Cut

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    I think what you're referring to is the "broken time attack" in foil. it appears like a preparatory action where the attacking fencer should temporarily lose right of way because the arm is drawn back. I've always hated this particular action because I believe that if your foot lands before your weapon arm starts its extension your attack should be nullified. but then garazzo/baldini/cadot/lefort and a handful of other fencers that have large actions with their weapon arm withdrawn would never stand a chance.
     
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  3. Spenzario

    Spenzario Rookie

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    The Italians are a master in misleading the referee. They try it out and if the referee accepts this as an attack, they continue the same way. The referee should all go back to the basis and discuss what is exactly an attack and how it should technically be executed. All those drawn back arms, called the initiative, is not mentioned at all in the book. Just have the courage as a judge and tell especially the Italians, that technically is badly executed and that their way cannot be called an attack. However I have a strong believe that the arbitry committee is dominated by Italians.
     
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  4. rudd

    rudd Podium

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    If that is true then the Russians would like their money back.
     
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  5. ChrisL

    ChrisL DE Bracket

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    Its quite simply a matter of practicality, foil would be terrible if we required all attacks to be done with an early advancing hand since it's so easy for high level athletes to find parries.
    If you want proof try it out next time you're at club, require everything to be done with your hand in front attacks only beginning with the extension and see whether the fencing is dynamic, fast, fun or whether its the defensive actions that win the day

    And the Italians aren't "trying it out" with the referee, they are simply building actions that are being called exactly as they should be. If anything the 2 fencers on the circuit who push the boundaries furthest of what can be a preparation and what is not are French and American (Cadot and Chamley-Watson)
     
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  6. Spenzario

    Spenzario Rookie

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    If one competes in France or in Italy, it makes a lot of difference. The way how foil was fenced in the 80-ies or earlier, was technically very complicated and beautiful to see. Still foil is now faraway from the duel. Who ever saw someone attack with a bend arm?

    Fencers are trained also in knowing how the different referee work. Just adapt the way of attacking if you are in Italy or France.

    Another would be to define what an attack is. If one wants to hit the opponent , one has to make a thrust. Than the question is, what is exactly a thrust? Can that also be a flicking movement? Obviously an attack is not starting to move your legs forwards.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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  7. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    I don't fence foil or saber. But one thing I do know about competitive fencing is that you need to be able to "read" the referee. If he/she is calling a particular action one way or not, you should adjust your fencing accordingly. It's the same thing in baseball as to how the home plate umpire is calling strikes and balls.

    In epee, the same is true. If the referee is willing to let you get a remise (or two) in during a corp de corp action before calling a halt, then you better not stop fencing until you hear the halt called. Same thing for touches scored with one foot off of the side of the strip.
     
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  8. Shivi

    Shivi Made the Cut

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    Totally agree. The perception of RoW has totally changed since I learned to fence. When I started competing again, this frustrated me no end. I realized that my arguing and fuming about 'arm extensions' and 'point directly threatening' the target' blah blah blah was counter-productive both personally and from the ref's perspective. (No matter the sport, it's never a good idea to constantly argue with the ref!) One has to adapt, find new strategies and read the refs in addition to reading your opponents.
     
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  9. vivoescrimare

    vivoescrimare DE Bracket

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    I'd love to hear Downunder's commentary on this, but a couple of thoughts in the meantime : (Grain of salt, I've somewhat fallen off the referee map in the last year or two.)

    There are (at least) a couple of things that happen frequently that provoke these conversations :

    1.) Adjusting in order to hit target. Fencers today are extremely mobile. If someone crushes distance, or closes a line and spins out to counter attack...I can't simply continue my extension and hope to hit. Defense is strong enough in foil without insisting that any break in the arm, necessary to make the touch arrive, ends my attack. If there is an attack, the other fencer makes a counter action, and the attacker changes line (Even involving his arm pulling back) in order to hit, it's still the attack. Yes, this does rely on a judgment call from the referee saying that he wasn't fishing for a parry or stopping his attack, but just adjusting his aim. (This also plays havoc with replay, as, ofc, there are moments where you can freeze frame and clearly see Garozzo with his arm all the way back, while the opposing fencer is clearly extending. The key here is to focus on the whole phrase.)

    2.) Misunderstanding of when the attack starts. Currently, the attack starts on advance immediately preceding a lunge. This can also cause confusion as fencer X is marching and pumps his arm while taking a step forward, then lunges. The attack didn't start on the lunge, it started on the step. So frequently you'll see Fencer X step, fencer Y lunge, fencer X lunge -> touch for X. The blade actions can look a little screwy, especially (again) in replay, but 9 times out of 10, unless Y managed to make that action a single light, X's "new" attack had already started.

    IMO, YMMV, etc.
     
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  10. Craig Hustler

    Craig Hustler Rookie

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    It's an interesting thing. As far as I understand attacks were done this way historically because of the martial history of fencing. Attacking with your arm in front of you was a more martially sound way of attacking. Parrying by just contacting the opponents sword is not martially sound either. The rules as they are constructed, and a lack of people fencing to kill each other has led over time to things changing. If you sportify any martial art, it will change over time to become something that is less grounded in martial "reality".

    The question becomes how much do we as modern fencers care?

    Some fencers care a great deal about "real" fencing, and get drawn to historical and classical fencing. Some fencers don't care at all about that, and seek to push what the game has become further along the sport line. We need to understand that sportification will take any martial art away from martial reality, and decide if we care about that or not (It has happened in Kendo, tae kwon do, etc). I draw no conclusion about what is "right" here, but it is an interesting topic to discuss.
     
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  11. catwood1

    catwood1 is a Verified Fencing Expertcatwood1 Podium

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    The only thing about this that I am quoting is your signature, which is quoted from me, and is basically the case here.

    A goes foreward preparing, hand back, etc. B COUNTER attacks into it by going search search step in close 4 / 8 / whatever line de jur. A somehow hits something. Touch for A.

    If A is preparing, and B attacks into it with an Advance Lunge, touch for B. (The top fencers and coaches all agree with this.)

    To attack into prep, you have to ATTACK into prep.
     
  12. downunder

    downunder is a Verified Fencing Expertdownunder Podium

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    #makefoilgreatagain

    So when was foil great? Who ever saw someone attack with a bent arm?

    8 years ago?


    15 years ago?


    20 years ago?


    24 years ago?


    Ok maybe you have a point, 34 years ago:


    ... but "technically very complicated and beautiful to see" ??? I don't think so.
     
  13. mtwieg2

    mtwieg2 DE Bracket

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    This is one of the most annoying calls I see at the local level. FotR makes big sweeping search, followed by a lunge. FotL derobes and extends while stepping back. "Preparation right, attack from the left, touch left". I mean yeah the touch went the right way, but the call...
     
  14. catwood1

    catwood1 is a Verified Fencing Expertcatwood1 Podium

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    ...
    Where is my gong?
     
  15. Stormbringer

    Stormbringer DE Bracket

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    Part of the problem is that there is no official hand-signal for either "search" or "derobement".

    I agree with you, that the full reconstruction would be "search from right, no; derobement from left; attack from left, arrives; counterattack from right, not in time; touch left", which the referee could reasonably shorten to "search from right, no; attack from left arrives; touch left" (and state the full reconstruction if queried).
    I suppose one could use the "general action" hand signal (the same as attack/counterattack/riposte/etc) to represent a search in that scenario...?

    Also, another part of problem is people (specifically, referees and coaches) who are unable and/or unwilling to acknowledge the distinction between an AiP and a counterattack/stop-hit. :(

    ----------

    By definition, one cannot counterattack into a preparation. :rolleyes:

    The scenario being described has A coming forward in preparation, B searching for A's blade and failing to find it (which, by virtue of derobement, grants ROW to A), who then (presumably, immediately) initiates an offensive action (now, the attack, since A has ROW by virtue of the failure of B's searches) while B also initiates an offensive action (now, the counterattack, since A has ROW by virtue of A's "derobement").
    So, it'd be "preparation from A; search from B, no; attack from A, arrives; counterattack from B, not in-time; touch A", which could be shortened to "search from B, no; attack from A, arrives; touch A".
     
  16. mtwieg2

    mtwieg2 DE Bracket

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    I know where you're coming from, but you're imagining it differently from me. It's not an action you'll see outside of low level local tournaments, but it's always obvious when it happens.

    A better example of what I'm trying to get at is: FotR is marching forward, but not really extending or searching. FotR is retreating, and just throws out a thrust quickly and hits valid. FotR looks at the light, and sighs on the way back to the en guard line. "Preparation from the right, attack from the left, touch left." That one actually happens at higher level events, but it's practically never two lights.
     
  17. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    They have a hand-signal for "Referee no; Video yes." but not for this action?
    Let's make one up: Arm out similar to attack, but the arm is lowered then raised twice.
     
  18. SenorEquis

    SenorEquis DE Bracket

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    I think I get what you are going for here, but what would you call that? Attack-no, Counter? But it wasn't an attack, it was just preparation. And if it wasn't an attack, then it wasn't a counter-attack either. I think "Preparation right, attack left, touch left" is actually a pretty informative description of events, even if left didn't lunge.
     
  19. catwood1

    catwood1 is a Verified Fencing Expertcatwood1 Podium

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    I think getting into RoW discussions here is a sign of my own mental illness.

    If you hit and run away, and the other person who was going forward hits you, they get the point... Yes, even if if their hand was back. Yep, probably even if they were searching.

    Goodnight.
     
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  20. downunder

    downunder is a Verified Fencing Expertdownunder Podium

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    Er... what?

    You are definately part of the problem rather than the solution
     
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