Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Common Themes

A number of common themes emerged from presentations at the Coaches conference:

(1) the distance has collapsed - and actions are increasingly explosive.

(2) there is an emphasis in the point weapons on controlling the opponent's blade.

(3) a relatively high blade position is now accepted because it gives better mechanical advantage in defense as well as allowing increasing acceleration as the blade drops.

(4) defense is active - it must search for and find the opponent's attack, not wait for it to arrive.

(5) the arm is held close to the torso when not in defense to reduce the expsoure to the opponent's action and to allow distance for acceleration of the extension.

(6) the simple straight thrust requires a lot of attention to develop speed, accuracy, and mechanical perfection.

(7) the half step and half lunge are common footwork elements to push or pull the opponent.

(8) the attack once launched must close and finish.

(9) each of the coaches emphasized that there approaches were only one of a number of possible approaches - this is what works for their students now.

(10) the Federation Internationale d'Escrime is considering a number of significant rule changes to make foil more interesting - what those changes will be is unknown, but the last major change revolutionized the game in sabre and changed foil significantly. The next changes will probably significantly change foil as we know it today.

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