Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Middle Eastern Revolutions

So, I feel like we need to pay some attention to the revolutions going on in the middle east because it's clearly becoming an incredibly major event in the history of the region and the world. a lot of attention was given to egypt but we must also think about the many other countries facing similar situations. it's amazing to me that one country's activities can spark similar action in others. so spend some time, look it up, we're talking even some (very small) protests in china!

here's a helpful link:


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Well, I just felt like I'd do some off-topic posts once in a while.

So I think everyone should watch the documentary Waiting for Superman. It essentially details the dire situation of education in the country. And of course, you can't take everything in a single film as fact or not misleading but I think the problem is still quite obviously important.

One of the most important scenes in it is when we see the 4 kids that the documentary follows enter in charter school lotteries. Basically, these schools are actually GOOD but because so many kids want to get in, they have to hold a lottery...to get a good education. There is something truly messed up about that!

Here's the imdb link, maybe you can netflix it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fencing media

Ok, so for a very long time it was difficult to find videos of fencing online. normally, you'd have to rely on amateur footage of competitions. No longer is this the case! Now, FIE, the governing body of fencing has set up a Youtube page called FIEVideo and it is freaking awesome. IT has almost EVERY match in their major competitions perfectly set up in good quality. so i highly recommend you visit it!


This is a link to the recent WORLD Championships at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. This is the Men's Sabre final with a Korean!

ALSO if you want to be sure of who the referee gives the point to, look at who receives the "Raised palm". That is the official signal that a point was given. The lead the korean takes is amazing! 12-1 at one point.

The last point is amazing!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ok so Foil is next!

So foil is basically the in-between of sabre and epee.

In foil, you only can score by pressing in the tip, like epee, but only on the torso (including crotch, ouch!) which is covered with an electrical jacket called the lame, like sabre!

Foil also uses the priority system which I explained in the last post. So, like, sabre, it is often difficult for people who don't fence to understand what's going on. You see, epee is extremely easy to understand while sabre is much more entertaining but foil is unfortunately in a weird in-between.

Well, anyway, when fencing foil, you want to hit the opponent while having priority. You don't really worry about getting hit back, because if you ;have priority then it doesn't matter.

Here's the thing, when you press the tip in, on an area that's NOT covered by the electrical jacket of the opponent, then the machine will still register a Hit but an Off-Target Hit. This is important to bear in mind because a lot of people seem to think that if YOU hit the opponent off-target WITH priority, while your opponent hits you back ON target, your opponent STILL does NOT get a point. Basically, the referee ignores the hit of the person without priority.

This is a basic way to see what I mean:

Let's say YOU in all of these situations have PRIORITY.

You: Hit ON target. Opponent: Hit OFF target. YOU get a point.
You: Hit OFF Target. Opponent: Hit OFF Target. Nobody gets a point.
You: Hit ON target. Opponent: Hit ON target. YOU get a point.
You: Hit Off Target. Opponent: Hit ON target. Nobody gets a point.
You: Hit ON Target. Opponent: NO hit. YOU get a point.
You: NO hit. Opponent: Hit ON Target. OPPONENT gets a point (because when there is only one hit, it doesn't matter who has priority, the referee will give the point. )

That's why foil fencers fence the way they do, with some caution but some speed, in between sabre and foil!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


OK, so epee is epee but what about sabre? Well, many people will start off by saying that sabre is the complete opposite of epee while foil resides in between the two which is pretty correct.

Sabre doesn't require you to press in the tip to register a hit, instead anytime you touch the opponent's electrical jacket (the target area) with any part of your blade, the machine will automatically register it. However, this weapon DOES require the priority system.

Here it is in simple terms:

When there is ever only one hit registered, that is to say, whenever only one fencer hits the other, then the point will automatically go to that person (the attacker). However, when both fencers hit the other, points CANNOT be awarded to both players. Instead, the referee must determine who had PRIORITY.

You have priority (in sabre) if you were clearly attacking, that is: extending forwards your arm and making forward attacking footwork, while the opponent clearly was not doing the same thing, or was moving backwards.

You have priority if your opponent attacked you but then you BLOCKED (parried) their blade and then you hit them. So, if you parry and then you BOTH hit each other, the point will go to YOU.

This is the basic gist of how sabre fencing works.

Anyway, whats my opinion??

Sabre is very fast paced and the "slashing"  movements make it look quite exciting, especially to non-fencers. However, the quickness and subtleties to it make it hard to make out what's going on sometimes :-/ Because of this, I kind of think it's based on luck!!! Anyway, I defnitly like it better than epee, so whatever! I fence it sometimes when I'm bored. Any sabre fencers with some opinion on this???

lol ads!

haha so I use this thing called Google Adsense that lets me get a bit of change when u guys click on the ads but LOL at the ads that involves actual FENCES. idk if you'd want to click on that haha.


So yesterday, a teammate of mine had to referee a competition so he asked if I wanted to help out as well so I did. It was really for kids so I didn't have to be AMAZING or anything to do it. Anyway, this experience showed me how like, some calls really are difficult for referees, especially if it could change the whole game altogether. So I feel like when we are fencing, we put way too much pressure on referees, we can't expect perfectness in a game that's basically subjective at times! Really, fencing involves a fair dose of working with the flaws of the referee (well, my coach says that). If the referee can't see a lot of parries at 6, then you might have to make a more obvious parry with a circular-4 etc. Anyway, this post is just a short rant about referees in fencing!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hi to all my friends!

Hey guys, glad you came to see the blog, i know it's not much but it'll get better. I'm thinking I'll start blogging about other stuff in general as well! anyway, tell your friends about it too!

thanks! duncan. here's a picture of something random!

What I feel about Epee

So obviously, fencing is made up of three subsections, foil, epee and sabre. While foil is the blade I fence, I wouldn't mind talking about the other 2 weapons as well. Today, I want to discuss a bit about Epee.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of history, instead I want to give a brief overview and then mostly my opinion!

Epee involves, like Foil, pressing the tip of the blade into the opponent. Unlike Foil (and Sabre), Epee uses the entire body as a target and there is also no 'priority' system' (more on this later), so basically as long as you hit your opponent (and not the floor or whatnot) then you will get the point, no matter how you got it or if your opponent hit you as well (in which case you both get the point).

What do I think? I think Epee is pretty boring. Epee ends up being two people barely doing anything because both are worried that the other one will hit them. You see, attacking in Epee is especially a gamble because you close distance between you and them, thus, making it easier for them to hit you back. Add in the fact that you can hit ANYWHERE and you've got two totally paranoid fencers! They just hop around and do simple attacks once in a while. BORING. However, an advatnage to Epee is that it's the easiest by far to understand. Just hit the opponent and you get a point!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

OK I cant wait! Here's my next post.

I couldn't wait to not post a new post, Im just so excited to tell my story about fencing without having to worry whether people want to know about it or not.

So, I also use Negrini blades. They're Italian and they're amazing. If you want reasonably bendy but not too stiff and also weight spread out across the entire blade,  Negrinis are for you. it simply feels like it's the most professional blade to use. just google negrini and i'm sure you can find something.

My Competition Yesterday

So I fence in Rochester, NY and so far my experience has been awesome but let's admit it, nothing great comes without struggle. The struggle, in this case, has been gut-wrenching at times but it has also produced some golden moments! I fenced at a local club's competition for D and Under ratings. I got 2nd!!! This means I'll probably be upgraded to a D!!! Isn't that awesome? Anyway, my coach is super happy.

So for my first real post, I wanna discuss the equipment I got. Firstly, the shoes. I use the Nike Ballestras and they are amazing. They made them for the olympics see this: http://www.leonpaulusa.com/acatalog/Nike_Air_Ballestra_Fencing_Shoes.html for a video. anyway, the grip and feeling with the floor is phenomenal. You feel everything. They are so light as well. Ok, that's all for this post. Comment what you'd like!