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(Deadspin)   This. Is. FENCING   (deadspin.com) divider line 59
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3749 clicks; posted to Sports » on 17 Jul 2013 at 2:23 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-17 02:26:13 PM  
Fencing is never as exciting as the movies.

/unless you are doing the fencing
 
2013-07-17 02:30:05 PM  
Bait-and-switch.
 
2013-07-17 02:31:45 PM  
Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?
 
2013-07-17 02:37:37 PM  

basemetal: Fencing is never as exciting as the movies.

/unless you are doing the fencing


Better than high level Kendo which is 20 minutes of two people yelling at each other.  When they finally do strike you can't even see it.
 
2013-07-17 02:37:55 PM  

Big Beef Burrito: Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?


Not so crazy as predictable.  Given opponents of comparable skill, an epee would easily defeat the other two weapons.
 
2013-07-17 02:38:48 PM  
The sport of fencing managed to make one of the most exciting things in the world (sword fighting) painfully boring.
 
2013-07-17 02:49:32 PM  

Sybarite: The sport of fencing managed to make one of the most exciting things in the world (sword fighting) painfully boring.


I blame the rules of priority, target areas, and the linearity of the piste for this.   Take any of these away and do you still have fencing? <shrug>  Epee manages without priority or target areas but is also probably the most boring to watch.
 
2013-07-17 02:50:03 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: Big Beef Burrito: Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?

Not so crazy as predictable.  Given opponents of comparable skill, an epee would easily defeat the other two weapons.


Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.
 
2013-07-17 02:50:11 PM  
I'd watch if there was a gladius division...
 
2013-07-17 02:53:48 PM  

Branch Dravidian: I'd watch if there was a gladius division...


With or without a shield?
 
2013-07-17 02:57:13 PM  

INeedAName: Stained Glass Shattering: Big Beef Burrito: Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?

Not so crazy as predictable.  Given opponents of comparable skill, an epee would easily defeat the other two weapons.

Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.


I was under the impression that we were limited to the three traditional fencing weapons.  If not, I'll raise you a halberd.
 
2013-07-17 02:57:50 PM  
This is why we had to deal with weeding out the LARPing idiots for the first couple months every year.

/youre-not-helping.gif
 
2013-07-17 02:58:57 PM  
FTFComments:

"I'm so excited, I just épéed my pants."

Golden.
 
2013-07-17 03:02:38 PM  

INeedAName: Stained Glass Shattering: Big Beef Burrito: Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?

Not so crazy as predictable.  Given opponents of comparable skill, an epee would easily defeat the other two weapons.

Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.


So, you get the big heavy fencepost; he gets a lopped-off flyrod.  The goal is to hit the other guy first.*  He wins.

* The only discussed rule change was that each competitor got to choose his or her own weapon
 
2013-07-17 03:07:33 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: INeedAName: Stained Glass Shattering: Big Beef Burrito: Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?

Not so crazy as predictable.  Given opponents of comparable skill, an epee would easily defeat the other two weapons.

Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.

I was under the impression that we were limited to the three traditional fencing weapons.  If not, I'll raise you a halberd.


See, that's what is holding the sport back. Make all types of swords legal. The halberd may not qualify, but why not a claymore? A katana, a scimitar, a kopesh, hell, let some nerd with a bat'leth give it a try.

And fark this standing in a straight line shiat. I want a three-dimensional fighting surface.
 
2013-07-17 03:12:53 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: Sybarite: The sport of fencing managed to make one of the most exciting things in the world (sword fighting) painfully boring.

I blame the rules of priority, target areas, and the linearity of the piste for this.   Take any of these away and do you still have fencing? <shrug>  Epee manages without priority or target areas but is also probably the most boring to watch.


So, priority and target areas aren't to blame then?  Because watching epee is pretty boring.  Sabre can be fun, but generally, it's too hard to track the action unless you really know what to look for.  Foil is where it's at.
 
2013-07-17 03:13:09 PM  
"See, that's what is holding the sport back. Make all types of swords legal. The halberd may not qualify, but why not a claymore? A katana, a scimitar, a kopesh, hell, let some nerd with a bat'leth give it a try."

I think that's already a pretty popular nerd pastime.
 
2013-07-17 03:15:40 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: "See, that's what is holding the sport back. Make all types of swords legal. The halberd may not qualify, but why not a claymore? A katana, a scimitar, a kopesh, hell, let some nerd with a bat'leth give it a try."

I think that's already a pretty popular nerd pastime.


It would be like what the UFC was to traditional boxing and martial arts.

Without the douchbags, I would hope
 
2013-07-17 03:17:34 PM  
"So, priority and target areas aren't to blame then?  Because watching epee is pretty boring.  Sabre can be fun, but generally, it's too hard to track the action unless you really know what to look for.  Foil is where it's at."

I don't think you can isolate any of the variables.  They mutually reinforce each other to make the sport boring for spectators.

/epee Junior Olympic fencer
 
2013-07-17 03:18:32 PM  

Big Beef Burrito: Stained Glass Shattering: INeedAName: Stained Glass Shattering: Big Beef Burrito: Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?

Not so crazy as predictable.  Given opponents of comparable skill, an epee would easily defeat the other two weapons.

Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.

I was under the impression that we were limited to the three traditional fencing weapons.  If not, I'll raise you a halberd.

See, that's what is holding the sport back. Make all types of swords legal. The halberd may not qualify, but why not a claymore? A katana, a scimitar, a kopesh, hell, let some nerd with a bat'leth give it a try.

And fark this standing in a straight line shiat. I want a three-dimensional fighting surface.


Maybe because the point is to not get hurt?  A sword is a unitasker.  It is there to fark somebody up.  Fencing plays with ersatz swords because most fencers are not interested in either giving nor receiving possibly lethal wounds  All the rules, weapons, protection, etc are there to reduce as much as possible the chance of someone standing there sheepish as the other guy tries to hold his guts in.  I realize that just kills your murder-boner, but most of us are not interested in feeding your auto-erotic necrophilia
 
2013-07-17 03:20:43 PM  

Big Beef Burrito: Stained Glass Shattering: "See, that's what is holding the sport back. Make all types of swords legal. The halberd may not qualify, but why not a claymore? A katana, a scimitar, a kopesh, hell, let some nerd with a bat'leth give it a try."

I think that's already a pretty popular nerd pastime.

It would be like what the UFC was to traditional boxing and martial arts.

Without the douchbags, I would hope


Have you met the guys who polish their bat'leths?  Douchebags; douchebags as far as the eye can see.
 
2013-07-17 03:21:39 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: "So, priority and target areas aren't to blame then?  Because watching epee is pretty boring.  Sabre can be fun, but generally, it's too hard to track the action unless you really know what to look for.  Foil is where it's at."

I don't think you can isolate any of the variables.  They mutually reinforce each other to make the sport boring for spectators.

/epee Junior Olympic fencer


Yeah, I can't really comment on the joys of watching fencing as a non-fencer.  I wasn't much of one (I think I almost pulled an E, once.) but I could follow along well enough.  Epee's boring, at least to watch.  It's WEIRD to fence, and I always wound up with some huge-ass bruises.

/hey, director, raising your foil up and backwards to flick is not an attack.
//unless rules have changed.
 
2013-07-17 03:22:39 PM  
I would watch fencing religiously if it were this and more like this.

360 degree field of play, obstacles, multi-level areas etc would vastly improve the experience for the audience
 
2013-07-17 03:23:41 PM  

Snapper Carr: I would watch fencing religiously if it were less like this and more like this.

ftfm
 
2013-07-17 03:25:48 PM  

Snapper Carr: I would watch fencing religiously if it were this and more like this.

360 degree field of play, obstacles, multi-level areas etc would vastly improve the experience for the audience


Princess Bride rules, but that's a pretty lame swordfight when they're not jumping off things.  They just kinda flick at each other's blades.  Why do that?  Hitting your opponent's sword doesn't do much.
 
2013-07-17 03:26:20 PM  
ARMA and SAFD practitioner (ex IJA, ex-SCA) here.  Somebody needs to show you people the Swordfish tournament:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC1O2zoc2II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=strh2GBMlf8

Longsword fencing, by the folks over in the Europes who study fechtbuchs.


INeedAName:
Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.

If you're going to call it a "two-handed broad sword", I'm reasonably confident that we don't need to worry about you.  These are a broadswords:

www.swordforum.com

media.moddb.com

Dungeons and Dragons is not an accurate source.
 
2013-07-17 03:26:26 PM  

phalamir: Maybe because the point is to not get hurt?  A sword is a unitasker.  It is there to fark somebody up.  Fencing plays with ersatz swords because most fencers are not interested in either giving nor receiving possibly lethal wounds  All the rules, weapons, protection, etc are there to reduce as much as possible the chance of someone standing there sheepish as the other guy tries to hold his guts in.  I realize that just kills your murder-boner, but most of us are not interested in feeding your auto-erotic necrophilia


That is why I never suggested removing protective gear. I don't want to see anyone get an arm hacked off. I just thought it would be interesting and exciting to see skilled athletes with two different weapons and approaches go at it within the general framework of sport swordfighting.

phalamirHave you met the guys who polish their bat'leths?  Douchebags; douchebags as far as the eye can see.

No, but you're probably right. LOL.
 
2013-07-17 03:29:50 PM  

Dafatone: Snapper Carr: I would watch fencing religiously if it were this and more like this.

360 degree field of play, obstacles, multi-level areas etc would vastly improve the experience for the audience

Princess Bride rules, but that's a pretty lame swordfight when they're not jumping off things.  They just kinda flick at each other's blades.  Why do that?  Hitting your opponent's sword doesn't do much.



Because it's fight choreography, deliberately patterned on the model of the old Errol Flynn movies where that was a thing.  That's a specific fighting style (called "singlesword" in the Society of American Fight Directors) that is made explicitly to look exciting and flashy on camera or stage.  It has nothing to do with real fighting, except in the most gross terms, ie: you're holding a sword-shaped object, there are cutting and thrusting motions, etc.
 
2013-07-17 03:29:56 PM  
Yeah, I can't really comment on the joys of watching fencing as a non-fencer.  I wasn't much of one (I think I almost pulled an E, once.) but I could follow along well enough.  Epee's boring, at least to watch.  It's WEIRD to fence, and I always wound up with some huge-ass bruises.

/hey, director, raising your foil up and backwards to flick is not an attack.
//unless rules have changed.


It's never really been hard for me to admit that my sport was boring to watch and, barring some  very significant rule changes, it will continue to be so.  I appreciate your statement (that I bolded) - It pretty well encapsulates why it will remain a niche sport and the frustration of fencing under the purview of barely-competent directors.
 
2013-07-17 03:34:10 PM  

Snapper Carr: I would watch fencing religiously if it were this and more like this.

360 degree field of play, obstacles, multi-level areas etc would vastly improve the experience for the audience


So, it would be more interesting to watch two people baby-step themselves through a pre-determined series of moves several times; then watch them perform those moves on multiple occasions, stopping in the middle to repeat a sequence, or redoing it if they did not follow the script?

Stage fighting is meant to be fun to watch.  It does lots of things that would be borderline suicidal in other contexts just to rile an audience up.  And it uses scores of tricks to maintain that excitement, while not harming the participants. Try to recreate that in a setting where neither opponent knows what is going to happen (since it defeats the purpose of "competition" if we know exactly what is going to happen), and it will be one series of injuries after another.
 
2013-07-17 03:34:16 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: Yeah, I can't really comment on the joys of watching fencing as a non-fencer.  I wasn't much of one (I think I almost pulled an E, once.) but I could follow along well enough.  Epee's boring, at least to watch.  It's WEIRD to fence, and I always wound up with some huge-ass bruises.

/hey, director, raising your foil up and backwards to flick is not an attack.
//unless rules have changed.

It's never really been hard for me to admit that my sport was boring to watch and, barring some  very significant rule changes, it will continue to be so.  I appreciate your statement (that I bolded) - It pretty well encapsulates why it will remain a niche sport and the frustration of fencing under the purview of barely-competent directors.


That alone pushed me to try saber.  Well, that and saber being really, really cool.

But I was an unathletic (although quick) 5'7" lump fencing against well-trained 6'1" guys with tons of reach.  They'd come racing in pointed nowhere near my target and I'd just kinda extend my arm and impale them... and lose the point most of the time.  Bah.
 
2013-07-17 03:37:32 PM  

phalamir: Snapper Carr: I would watch fencing religiously if it were this and more like this.

360 degree field of play, obstacles, multi-level areas etc would vastly improve the experience for the audience

So, it would be more interesting to watch two people baby-step themselves through a pre-determined series of moves several times; then watch them perform those moves on multiple occasions, stopping in the middle to repeat a sequence, or redoing it if they did not follow the script?
.


Good job deliberately misunderstanding what I'm saying (when it's spelled out in the last sentence)

more like != exactly like.
 
2013-07-17 03:40:28 PM  
"360 degree field of play, obstacles, multi-level areas etc would vastly improve the experience for the audience"

For what it's worth, I think adopting the first of your suggestions (the rest are too cartoony), would vastly improve the sport.
 
2013-07-17 03:58:49 PM  

Big Beef Burrito: That is why I never suggested removing protective gear. I don't want to see anyone get an arm hacked off. I just thought it would be interesting and exciting to see skilled athletes with two different weapons and approaches go at it within the general framework of sport swordfighting.


You've got a weapon designed to hurt someone in metal armor, and you are willing to concede that the participants can wear a padded vest?

I can appreciate the general idea you are going for, except for the following:

Swords are meant to kill people.  Full stop.  You either have to grossly modify the situation (see: the totality of fencing), or plan for possible probable manslaughter charges all around.  Think of it like this: when people competitively shoot, they do it at targets, not each other (though with the new laser guns, this might could change).  Why?  Because a bullet generally farks people up, even with massive protection.  That is what you are talking about with giving people real (or semi-real) swords and letting them go at.  "Safe environment" and "sharp pointy thing that makes people scream and bleed" are not compatible.

Also, it would be mild pandemonium, before settling down into boredom.  Various swords were developed by different cultures for different environments/theories of fighting.  Whiterooming a fight will inherently privilege certain types of swords that were developed for whiteroom situations.  Swords developed to be used with shields, or for massed armies to use, or on horseback - all are going to be at a heavy disadvantage.  In the beginning, it will be so random that it will be less skill and more "I picked the correct rock, scissors, paper for this fight".  Eventually, most swords will fall by the wayside as they lose in an environment totally at odds with their purpose.*  What are going to rise to the top are swords developed for rich chuckleheads to go at each other in semi-controlled environments, i.e.  the blood-for-the-blood-god forefathers of fencing weapons.  Any competitive environment you create is going to favor them so heavily that everyone will gravitate to them.  Inside of a few years, you will only see 18th century dueling swords.  And then you will be back to where fencing was 300 years ago.

* The development of swords is an interesting look at Darwinian evolution.  People generally didn't pick a sword because it was cool-looking, but because it fit well with their ideas of making other people stop breathing.  As situations changes, swords changed to meet the new situation - or were foregone because they were not salvageable in the new environment for stopping people from breathing.
 
2013-07-17 04:02:17 PM  

Snapper Carr: phalamir: Snapper Carr: I would watch fencing religiously if it were this and more like this.

360 degree field of play, obstacles, multi-level areas etc would vastly improve the experience for the audience

So, it would be more interesting to watch two people baby-step themselves through a pre-determined series of moves several times; then watch them perform those moves on multiple occasions, stopping in the middle to repeat a sequence, or redoing it if they did not follow the script?
.

Good job deliberately misunderstanding what I'm saying (when it's spelled out in the last sentence)

more like != exactly like.


You aren't getting more like without introducing tons of ways to hurt or kill the participants.  Or, more precisely, you are not going to wet the audiences' knickers without moving grossly toward the latter, at which point you are basically trying to do improv theater with kebob skewers.
 
2013-07-17 04:03:53 PM  

phalamir: most swords will fall by the wayside as they lose in an environment totally at odds with their
purpose.*  What are going to rise to the top are swords developed for rich chuckleheads to go at each other in semi-controlled environments, i.e.  the blood-for-the-blood-god ...



You're probably right.

Dammit.

*sigh*
*kicks rock*
 
2013-07-17 04:09:22 PM  
i291.photobucket.com
 
2013-07-17 04:34:52 PM  
I enjoyed fencing as a kid/young adult, foil, sabre, epee...but it bored people who were watching me who had no clue about the sport, and could not see why I was either winning, or losing (I lost a lot with foil). These posters aren't going to help with folks like that.
 
2013-07-17 05:20:26 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: "So, priority and target areas aren't to blame then?  Because watching epee is pretty boring.  Sabre can be fun, but generally, it's too hard to track the action unless you really know what to look for.  Foil is where it's at."

I don't think you can isolate any of the variables.  They mutually reinforce each other to make the sport boring for spectators.

/epee Junior Olympic fencer


Neat, always cool to see another fencer, even on the internet.  I was in the Junior Olympics myself a number of times, but for sabre.  I even managed a medal in '94, but I was in the under-13 group...
 
2013-07-17 05:23:09 PM  
As a layperson, fencing looks to me like two people stabbing each other at the same time, and then the referee deciding who's shiat got farked up more. I dunno, I was never interested enough to figure out the details of the rules
 
2013-07-17 05:37:12 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com
Mensur is fencing.
 
2013-07-17 06:29:58 PM  

basemetal: /unless you are doing the fencing


And then it's AWESOME.

Stained Glass Shattering: "So, priority and target areas aren't to blame then?  Because watching epee is pretty boring.  Sabre can be fun, but generally, it's too hard to track the action unless you really know what to look for.  Foil is where it's at."

I don't think you can isolate any of the variables.  They mutually reinforce each other to make the sport boring for spectators.

/epee Junior Olympic fencer


Epee is where it's at.

Were you in Columbus earlier this week?
I sucked in my individual events, but was a total rockstar in my team event

/Div2 Div3 Vet40 Epee fencer
 
2013-07-17 06:47:33 PM  
Hey Col. Sanders and Unlikely,

I've been out of the game for a bit.  Had to decide between fencing and hockey in college and went with the latter.  However, I am looking to get back in the game recreationally - Fortunately fencing is a sport you can age with!
 
2013-07-17 07:12:49 PM  

Stained Glass Shattering: Fortunately fencing is a sport you can age with!


I've been at it since 1986.  Did I mention vet40?

At nationals this year I met a Vet70 who just made the V70 world cup team. I hope I can still move like that when I'm 70.
 
2013-07-17 07:35:20 PM  
degenerate-afro:
Better than high level Kendo which is 20 minutes of two people yelling at each other.  When they finally do strike you can't even see it.

wait, so how is kendo different from fencing?
 
2013-07-17 08:50:55 PM  
What fencing may have looked like in 1993
i.imgur.com
What fencing may have looked like 10+ years later. Improvement!
i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-17 10:19:47 PM  
FightDirector: ARMA and SAFD practitioner (ex IJA, ex-SCA) here.  Somebody needs to show you people the Swordfish tournament:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC1O2zoc2II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=strh2GBMlf8

Longsword fencing, by the folks over in the Europes who study fechtbuchs.


INeedAName:
Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.

If you're going to call it a "two-handed broad sword", I'm reasonably confident that we don't need to worry about you.  These are a broadswords:

[www.swordforum.com image 517x418]

[media.moddb.com image 582x591]

Dungeons and Dragons is not an accurate source.


That's cool but how about long swords in full armor:
 
2013-07-18 12:09:47 AM  

basemetal: Fencing is never as exciting as the movies.

/unless you are doing the fencing


At UVA our motto was "Chick don't care that we fence."

Every year we had to weed out the folks that thought they were going to impress the ladies Princess Bride style.

I loved fencing but christ it's dull to watch.

/Sabreur
 
2013-07-18 12:19:14 AM  

ThatGuyGreg: This is why we had to deal with weeding out the LARPing idiots for the first couple months every year.

/youre-not-helping.gif


Oh shiat, I forgot about that. We had to tell those dildoes to go hang out with SCA, that fencing was a sport not an excuse to whale on people. It was like explaining the fine points of contract bridge to someone who wanted to slap the deck of cards out of your hand and shout "52 PICKUP!"

No offense to the SCA, they do good work. But it was annoying year after year to remind folks they were not Vikings.
 
2013-07-18 12:21:00 AM  

phalamir: Big Beef Burrito: Stained Glass Shattering: INeedAName: Stained Glass Shattering: Big Beef Burrito: Someone suggested that fencing be more like the end to Rob Roy, where the two opponents get to pick whatever type of sword they like and go at it.

With the protective gear, of course.

I mean, that would be crazy, right?

Not so crazy as predictable.  Given opponents of comparable skill, an epee would easily defeat the other two weapons.

Me and my two handed broad sword might disagree.

I was under the impression that we were limited to the three traditional fencing weapons.  If not, I'll raise you a halberd.

See, that's what is holding the sport back. Make all types of swords legal. The halberd may not qualify, but why not a claymore? A katana, a scimitar, a kopesh, hell, let some nerd with a bat'leth give it a try.

And fark this standing in a straight line shiat. I want a three-dimensional fighting surface.

Maybe because the point is to not get hurt?  A sword is a unitasker.  It is there to fark somebody up.  Fencing plays with ersatz swords because most fencers are not interested in either giving nor receiving possibly lethal wounds  All the rules, weapons, protection, etc are there to reduce as much as possible the chance of someone standing there sheepish as the other guy tries to hold his guts in.  I realize that just kills your murder-boner, but most of us are not interested in feeding your auto-erotic necrophilia


Whipovers in sabre resulted in the sorts of red marks on your back that you usually have to pay a dominatrix good money for.
 
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