2/12/2009 4:24pm, #1
Modern Fencing: Any translation to Reality?
Back when I fenced, I always saw the saber as the most realistic of the three unrealistic fencing weapons. The saber is the only fencing weapon with which one can not only stab, but also slash/chop to the head and body under the standard rule set.
Many of these stabbing and slashing maneuvers, as well as the fencing lunge, appear technically valid and useful in an actual one-on-one combat encounter. Obviously the very unrealistic confines of the fencing ruleset severely limit the maneuvers possible, and SCA or ARMA may offer more realistic sword vs. sword rulesets.
So the question is: How much of the fencing ruleset/technique could translate into a more full contact situation? Has anyone who has participated in fencing also participated in SCA, ARMA, Dog Brothers or something similar? If so, how helpful was his/her fencing background?
2/12/2009 4:55pm, #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
I was a sabre fencer as well & in my experience it was largely detrimental to my actual fighting ability. The footwork is wrong for both longsword & boxing, the tendancy to fight upright is dangerous in grappling & the parry repost mindset is contray to most other arts I've studied, which function in single time.
The sabre is also the fencing weapon that's least like it's combative counterpart &, while foil & epee are restricted from cutting, the lack of any need for committed blows in sabre fencing makes it's cuts unrealistic.
On the whole I think sport fencing is a very pleasant sport. I suposse I'm just a little bitter, like a disillusioned TKD kiddie blackbelt who thought he was a great fighter & then got beat up by a kid from the middle school wrestling team. I fenced because I was attracted to the sword & then a few years in I realized that fencing wasn't actually swordplay.
2/12/2009 4:57pm, #3
There is a "classical fencing" movement that actively trains in the older, more realistic versions of the sport/art, especially saber and foil (smallsword). They use the heavier swords of the period, wear more extensive body armor and sometimes bout in square or circular arenas, or outdoors on uneven terrain, rather than on pistes.
This is a piece of extremely early film footage (1880!) showing some formal exercises with the military saber:
YouTube - French Saber Fencing c. 1880Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.
Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)
2/12/2009 5:06pm, #4
i was a sabre fencer (and pretty good at it) all through high school. i also fenced foil competitively and epee for fun.
there's not a lot of actual fighting ability to be gained from fencing. the footwork can help a bit (i guess) but the lopsided muscular development is a major problem (one big forearm, one big calf, one big thigh) and can lead to injuries later in life.
in general, i wish i had done wrestling instead. or boxing."Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
"When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
"Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
"Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
2/12/2009 8:04pm, #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
- Honolulu, HI (Hawaii Kai)
The other problem occurs when you, as a fencer used to a straight-line attack and defense, face an opponent who uses a circular method of closing with an enemy. It's a good way to get chopped.
2/13/2009 1:46am, #6
There's a reason that Chunners always compare the Chun to Fencing: fencing uses a similar type of "centerline theory". This is a massive flaw in the reverse application of any fencing footwork. The stance/footwork combo itself (save for lunges) may be almost unsalvageable for any full contact situation.
However, it does force one to drill the upper body blocks and attacks and builds reflexes, if only for light fencing "gotcha" strikes. So I guess fencing could be viewed as swashbuckling's "push hands"? :P
2/13/2009 2:01am, #7Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist
2/13/2009 3:30am, #8
It took years for my footwork to recover from being a sabre fencer.Monkey Ninjas! Attack!
2/13/2009 3:31am, #9
I fenced for 8 years in school. I was almost exclusively a foil fencer. The only benefits that I received from fencing that has translated into stuff outside of fencing were reaction speed, flexibility and fitness. These have now almost all gone from sitting behind a desk all day for 10 years...
Fencing was very enjoyable, but I don't think it has much carry over into other sports.
On the lopsided thing, I skateboard, mountain board, surf, snowboard goofy and fenced right foot forward, I drop into a southpaw stance when I do sambo, pretty much all the things I do that requires a lead food, its my right foot. I have never seen noticeable asymmetric muscle development.
Last edited by honesty; 2/13/2009 9:12am at . Reason: because Im a moron
2/13/2009 8:06am, #10
Originally Posted by honesty
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Jokes aside, sport fencing does the worst thing ever: it teaches you the wrong mindset. When you're used to touching your opponent and then stopping the fight, it's like playing tag. Heck, even though I never did fencing, even I do that (hit once and then stop). The right mindset is simple: hit it until it doesn't even twitch (slightly unaittainable, but you get the point)