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A fun question about fencing

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Why do they yell at each point? I was watching the olympics. Whats up with that?
post #2 of 10
Probably the same reason that people yell while doing martial arts.
post #3 of 10
They are required to shout, "Touche!" if their opponents manage to touch them with their epee, foil, saber, or whatever. This was the method of scoring at one time, and a competitor who did not admit being touched would be quickly excluded from competition. Today, the tradition remains, although the scoring is now electronic.
post #4 of 10
I used to fence in college for my team.
I don't remember anything about having to yell and I don't think it was in the FIE rules at that time (mid-late 70s).
When I was fencing, foil and epee could be scored electronically using switch sensors, because the only thing that counted was contact with the point.
Sabre was not scored electronically because you could score with the point, the entire front of the blade or the upper third of the back half. So you had floor judges watching who had to give an opinion as to whether you had scored or not.
This led to sabre being more theatrical than foil or epee, you'd see people tearing off their masks and hollering "YESSSSS" not only our of sheer joy but to help sway the floor judges.
And yes, I used to fence sabre back before it was an olympic event for women. I'm too short for epee and I thought foil was boring.
No offense to anyone who might fence one of thsoe two fine weapons.
post #5 of 10
Not everybody yells. I'd guess it's a personal thing. I've watched a bit of both women's sabre and foil, and I followed the foil much, much better. Not well, mind you, but certainly better. I tried to learn foil once, but a guy was trying to start up a club. I got mono, and other people weren't so good at showing up, so he gave up and I haven't tried to learn since.

The rules seem pretty silly to me, though.

I mean, if it were a martial art, both touches should count (being skewered with a sword hurts, even if you get skewered second or while you are attacking someone). I know it's a sport, not a martial art, but for some reason I think the scoring should be more in line with martial arts. I'd suggest giving no points (or one to each, but that would make tie points build up too fast) whenever both hit. Does anyone who actually knows the sports know if this used to be part of the scoring, or have an opinion as to why it wouldn't work? Oddly, I have no problem with the different target areas for the different blades.
post #6 of 10
I know when we score our live steel matches, the first hit wins the point. A simultaneous hit gets no points. But then again, we aren't using sabers or foils. We're using broadswords.
post #7 of 10
I wanted to try to learn some sort of fencing.. they had a class listed for it in the books every year when I was in college, but I guess there was never enough interest for them to actually have the class.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks to All for sharing your wisdom. Apparently we have some fencers on the Cat Site.
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
Does anyone who actually knows the sports know if this used to be part of the scoring, or have an opinion as to why it wouldn't work? Oddly, I have no problem with the different target areas for the different blades.
I think epee is like that.

The basic differences are:
Foil: target area is the torso ONLY.
You also have 'right of way ' rules. If someone initiates an attack, the attackee MUST respond by deflecting the attack (parrying) before launching a counterattack.

Epee: everything is target.
No right of way. Whoever hits first, regardless of who initiated an attack, gets a point. If both hit at precisely the same time, both score. This is why epee matches are so boring - you have two people who are very tallwith long arms waiting for that moment to touch either the wrist or the instep.

Sabre: Everything from the waist up is target (based on fighting on horseback).
There are also rules of right-of way similar to foil.
post #10 of 10
Its been years since I have been involved in fencing - I want to go back and I plan to someday

I never yelled at any of my tournaments -may be a personal thing.
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