Why are there interpretations..

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by jkormann, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. sdubinsky

    sdubinsky DE Bracket

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    if you insist on reading the rulebook to understand right of way, the relevant section here is the one on stop hits, which are defined to be synonymous with counterattacks and must arrive before the opponent begins their final action. Refs nowadays define any forward motion with searches and suchlike to be a compound attack, and are very lenient on what they consider "the start of the final action."

    So if your opponent searches, and you counterattack and land before they finish their search, good stop hit. If you avoid their search, you had the opportunity to counterattack and instead used it to avoid the search, and it's still their attack. Similarly if you just watch them miss with the search.

    Or just accept that the rulebook is only a very vague and badly written guide to right of way, and just watch a bunch of foil on youtube and learn right of way that way.
     
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  2. Stormbringer

    Stormbringer DE Bracket

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    As you had previously quoted from t.102 and t.106, the opponent's searching for your blade and failing to find it (e.g. they make a sweep/swat at your blade, and does not make blade contact, as a result of either active evasion by you or an error in their execution of the search), the right of attack (that is, the opportunity to make an attack while having priority/right-of-way) is granted to you as a result of your opponent's failed search.

    If your opponent's search fails and you then immediately (e.g. during the next fencing tempo directly following that in which the failed search occurred) extend to hit, this is your attack. And, if your opponent likewise immediately (e.g. during the next fencing tempo directly following that in which the failed search occurred) extends into hit, your opponent's action is now a counterattack, against which your attack would have priority/right-of-way.
     
  3. posineg

    posineg DE Bracket

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    So what about the derobement? Are you saying that is not a thing?
     
  4. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    The rules were written when fencing was an exchange of attack and defense (the much-lauded "conversation of the blades"). As I explained early in this thread, that has now disappeared. Weapons with priority are no longer "turn-based" and that is what is hanging up a lot of people on this--and other--threads.

    When things happen matter, and now both fencers can make things happen at the same time. As Sdubinsky pointed out above, the rules concerning stop hits are now much more relevant today because they address the special case (under the fencing conventions in the 1900s) when both fencers were trying to do something at the same time. Now fencers are doing things at the same time constantly and at high speed. Referees have been forced to interpret fencing actions accordingly.

    In my original answer to this thread, my emphasis was on the defender searching for the blade. This happens when the defender has already felt a loss of initiative to the opponent (ie, the opponent has started an attack, or at least, an initial offensive action). These early parries/searches are not necessarily coordinated to thwart a specific blade action by the opponent, but designed to preempt the finish of an offensive action that is already been initiated. The rules were never meant to address this situation in which parries (sweeps/searches) were divorced from the movements of the attacker's blade.
     
  5. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    It's a thing in that it's a fencing action that can score over a preparation when it's coordinated with an attack at the right time, which is what people are trying to explain here and mostly making a hash of it, since writing out fencing phrases invariably returns us back to a "turn-based" approach to fencing, which is no longer valid in the way modern fencing is done.
     
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  6. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    ...and yes, I certainly don't think I'm doing any better of a job of explaining current priority. It's just that difficult to do in writing.
     
  7. sdubinsky

    sdubinsky DE Bracket

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    the advantage of the disengage, obviously, is that your blade is still under your control and hasn't been whacked out of place by your opponent. Not everything has to be a priority-affecting action.
     
  8. posineg

    posineg DE Bracket

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    Try'n to add some humor here; isn't this foil were everything is priority-affecting?
     
  9. deadender

    deadender Made the Cut

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    One of the results, of the things that are being explained here; is the phenomenon that you see a lot nowadays, which is that a defender will throw out a point in line, even into an attack that has already been established. The point in line does NOT take over the the right-of-way, however, once the defender's line is established, any search of the blade by the attacker, which is derobed by a properly maintained point in line by the defender, does cause the right-of-way to pass to the defender's point online, even if the defender is not moving forward. Thus, throwing out a point in line, into an attack, forces the attacker to either finish their attack without searching the blade, or to have to make sure that they do find the blade if they search during their attack. If during their attack, the attacker searches the defenders point in line, and the defender derobes it, then the attacker must either stop their attack, or attempt to search the blade again until they find it. This often forces the the attacker to stop their attack, because the distance is closing too quickly for them to have confidence that they will have time to find the blade on their second search. Once the attacker stops moving forward, then the defender is free to begin their own attack. Once the defender starts their own attack, they no longer have to maintain their point in line.

    If you "do not have the speed of youth, and need to aggravate the attacking fencer," I think that this is the way to do it. As your more mobile opponents initiate their attack, either with absence of blade or with multiple blade searches, take a step back and establish point in line. If they immediately finished their attack, defend with parry riposte. If they search for your blade, try to deceive their search while maintaining your point in line, then you can initiate your own attack with right-of-way. If the attacker does find your blade, then you may have an opportunity to counter parry their blade. Otherwise, you have to step back and reset, either with another point in line or with parry riposte. If they stop their attack, as young aggressive fencers often do when confronted with point in line, then you are free to begin your attack, which hopefully will be from close distance. When you do this, usually your younger opponents will try to step back and score with a stop hit for one light, into your slow attack. So try to make your attack short and quick.

    This strategy is not as good as having a pair of young legs, however it's your best bet. Another strategy you can use is to surprise them by moving forward into their attack with counter time. This messes up their distance and forces them to finish their attack before they wanted to. It's not really optimal, but if your opponent is a lot faster than you are, your options are somewhat limited.
     
  10. touchefriend

    touchefriend Made the Cut

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    I may just be stupid, but "searching" looks like feinting to most referees (If the attacker is doing it) and statistically the priority is given to the attacking fencer who is #1 advancing and # 2 doesn't get parried. So(defender) don't respond to a feint because you're searching but if you attack then you get the touch? I'll admit I'm confused by some of the posts and admire the referees who can sort out the timing of these actions. When the attacker attempts to find your blade (as in a beat-attack) and you avoid the beat, attack and score, that I understand, but it does take 2 actions on your part.
     
  11. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    Show us the slo-mo videos!
     
  12. JSWGFA

    JSWGFA Rookie

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    This succinctly answers Jkormann's question. I'm not negatively asserting this opinion, though the direction chosen by these folks is neither 100% correct nor 100% popular. As with any sport, fencing evolves in response to technology, safety concerns and the athleticism of its players.

    I can accept the premise that the advent of electrical fencing and the increased performance of our athletes led to a re-interpretation of the attack, but that road was first traveled 50 years ago. While it certainly takes time for such interpretations to filter their way through the community, this doesn't explain why such rules continue to change in the current environment.

    In example, three or four years ago at a referee clinic, we were told that "attack in prep" was practically dead under the current interpretation of the attack allowing the bent arm. Indeed, "attack in prep" disappeared from this area after that clinic. Starting with nationals last year, I began hearing "attack in prep" and now it's all over the local scene again. I'm not implying the call is being applied consistently, but it's once again in the conscience. What changed? Where is that line drawn? Who drew the line?

    It would be wonderful to have the Ref Commission communicate such decisions regularly to the community and it would be equally joyous if the rulebook would adapt, even a little, to corroborate what referees are actually doing.
     
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  13. Linkbane

    Linkbane Made the Cut

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    I think the much more likely occurrence is that whoever taught you at the referee clinic taught incorrectly. Perhaps he/she was saying that attack in prep was simply performed less as it was less successful at the professional level and therefore that it was 'dead', in the same way that point in line is 'dead' not because it's not usable, but because it's rarely used and even more rarely successful.
     
  14. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    I've heard one goal of the most recent timing changes in foil was to make it such that successful attacks in prep would be one light action. That's not to say two-light attacks in prep were forbidden, but the hope was that they'd be one light actions and thus easier to call for the ref.
     
  15. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    I generally just call them the current timings. 2004 isn't that "recent" anymore. ;)

    In any case, I don't think that that's right. Maybe you're thinking of saber? The lockout timing for saber was definitely lowered (originally to 120 ms, recently raised somewhat to 170 ms) to reduce the number of two light actions. Not sure whether that really makes an attack in preparation likely to get only one light--you'd have to ask a saber fencer. It clearly made the stop cut more effective.

    At the same time, the foil lockout was lowered to about 1/3 second (275 - 325 ms). That's not generally short enough to make an attempted attack-in-preparation one light. If I'm moving forward, and my opponent thinks that I'm preparing and tries an attack-in-preparation, then he's also closing distance. At the end of his attack-in-preparation, he's going to end up relatively close. In practice, I can probably reach him with a simple extension or maybe a step+extension unless there's a huge height difference. 300 ms is a relatively long time. Since I'll also see when my opponent starts his action, I can start to finish my attack before the lockout timer even starts. The lockout won't prevent both fencers from turning on the light.

    In practice, the bigger problem is generally that the attacker finishes too deep, missing entirely, or too hard, hitting before the lockout but in a way that doesn't get a light because of the debounce timing. That's why counterattacks became so effective in foil, especially right after the timing change (2004 - 2006) before foil fencers relearned how to place the point on the hit. Even now, if the defender just counterattacks, after he hits, he's going to squirm or try to close out the attack in some way. With the 300 ms lockout, the attacker really needs to be finishing the attack already when the counterattack hits. A skilled defender is going to make finishing the attack somewhat difficult. The attacker is trying to hit while the distance is change, the target is moving, and the defender's blade is trying to intercept. On the other hand, if the defender just makes an attack-in-preparation (with no attempt to dodge or parry after hitting), the attacker is almost always going to get a light on, too.

    I believe that the goal of the foil debounce and foil lockout changes was to slow down foil and to stop the fencers from running up and down the strip with the tip pointed straight up, finishing with a flick to the back so often. (For example, look up footage from the men's foil at the 2004 Olymipcs, like the Sanzo vs. Guyart final.) The old lockout time for foil was really long, and debounce was very short. One of my teammates talked about a viable strategy before 2004. The attacker could move forward quickly with his blade up, tip pointed toward ceiling. He would wait until the defender got desperate and tried to hit a counterattack and run away. After the defender's light is on, the attacker would finish his advance, make a lunge, and still get a light on. With the 300 ms lockout, that kind of action will no longer get a light.
     
  16. lovefoil

    lovefoil Made the Cut

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    Yes, attack in prep is pretty much dead, but now it got so bad that no one agrees on what an attack is. Moving the front foot forward with mini taps ( not even moving the back anymore) considered an attack, just as mini jumping forward with your hand in ur a..s, just like doing a straight and beautifully executed lunge. All considered the same. Searching is interpreted as “just changing the line of the attack”. For example, finishing on the flank to avoid an opposition contra if you try to hit inside.
    It is amazing how many video reviews are there, how many arguments during bouts, how many people reviewing the same actions and taking forever to make a call. The bottom line is, it is all BAD for fencing as a whole, especially for foil. More arguments and disputes than fencing. Looking forward to the Olympic qualification season, especially men’s foil this weekend. More of like a reality show now. All goes back to that interpretation.....
     

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