Flicks (& Right of Way)

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by ROLAND J. POULI » Thu, 11 Mar 1993 23:31:24


I don't mean to open up the proverbial can of worms, but my zeal for the
concept of right of way prevents me from being silent.

The so-called flick attack is not an attack at all, if you look at the
definition of right of way. An attacker gets right of way by either
threatening the opponent, or by a parry (or blade contact). The USFA defines a
threat as the extension of the arm point to valid target area. Generally, the
flick attack is begun with the arm bent and the point facing the ceiling. THAT
is NOT an attack, it is a preparation. It is easy to defend against, just make
an attack. If the director is worth his/her title, they will know that this
flick thing is just a preparation, and you will be given right of way. In my
experience, however, there are very few directors that understand
right-of-way.

Historically, the art of foil fencing was developed to help people practice
for duelling. Obviously, a flick in a duel is not going to be quite as deadly
as a good solid attack to the chest area. In order to help duellists avoid bad
habits, right of way was taught to them, because in there case, bad habits
could be fatal. Fencing, however, isn't a stagnant sport. It does change. So
it could be argued that the flick is a method of attack whose time has come. I
would never recommend to a student to use such an attack for another reason.
If not executed tactfully, it can be painful. It will leave large strips of
black and blue (maybe even slightly red and yellow) marks all over the area
near the intended target are for the attack. I've taken my share of direct
epee shots to the chest and the under-arm area, but nothing is worse than
getting slapped with a foil blade.

I'm not saying there's no place for such an attack. It is a good tactic to use
against people who have fast reposts. Start the flick attack as a first
attack. When the defender attempts to parry and riposte (if he doesn't riposte
, it is easier), parry the riposte and counter-riposte. It works pretty well.

The Absentee Fencer

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by John Simut » Fri, 12 Mar 1993 02:38:43

In what year did FIE approve electric sabre competitions?
No particular reason, I just want to know.

Thanks

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by Q8Z900 » Fri, 12 Mar 1993 05:36:06


Quote:
>I don't mean to open up the proverbial can of worms, but my zeal for the
>concept of right of way prevents me from being silent.

>The so-called flick attack is not an attack at all, if you look at the
>definition of right of way. An attacker gets right of way by either
>threatening the opponent, or by a parry (or blade contact). The USFA defines a
>threat as the extension of the arm point to valid target area. Generally, the

O.K. First off, let me say that I do not profess to being an ultimate
authority on presiding ( I do have, however, some minor officiating
certification ). It has, though, been my understanding that the right of
attack is defined by the straightening of the arm. Although the flick
does start from a bent arm, it does involve a straightening of the arm.
It also evidently threatens the opponent's target area, otherwise
it would have no hope of hitting. The FIE rules have never been applied
to dispute the validity of a flick attack because they cannot. They are
perfectly legal attacks and fully within the FIE definition of an attack
( if they were not, I suspect the entire German foil team would fence
much differently ).

Quote:
>flick attack is begun with the arm bent and the point facing the ceiling. THAT

This, to reitterate, does not invalidate the attack. As long as, from
this bent arm the attack procedes with a straightening of the arm and
a threat with the point ( although if someone is hit before the arm is
straightened, you would be fully justified in calling that an attack
into the preperation - the "flick" itself is not a preperation, but
there is a preperation involved with it's execution ).

Quote:
>is NOT an attack, it is a preparation. It is easy to defend against, just make
>an attack. If the director is worth his/her title, they will know that this
>flick thing is just a preparation, and you will be given right of way. In my

Wrong.I have seen bouts mediated by our own internationally certified
level A president ( last count there was one A in Canada, several B's
and many C's - out of curiosity, what's the situation in the U.S.? )
and they have no problem with the flick; neither did the Olympic
judges this past summer ( again, good thing for thecompetitors,
especially, and I don't know how many people saw this bout, but the
Women's Foil gold match between an Italian and a Chinesefencer.
Third bout, 5-5 tie, and the bout is won with a wide flick to the back
- all one motion, so the attempted stop hit, although a good 4/10th
or so of a second aheadof the good hit, is out of time.
Pissed the Chinese fencer off big time, but you could see her coach
motioning to her something to the effect "Calm down. It WASN'T your
point."

Quote:
>experience, however, there are very few directors that understand
>right-of-way.

>Historically, the art of foil fencing was developed to help people practice
>for duelling. Obviously, a flick in a duel is not going to be quite as deadly
>as a good solid attack to the chest area. In order to help duellists avoid bad
>habits, right of way was taught to them, because in there case, bad habits
>could be fatal. Fencing, however, isn't a stagnant sport. It does change. So
>it could be argued that the flick is a method of attack whose time has come. I
>would never recommend to a student to use such an attack for another reason.
>If not executed tactfully, it can be painful. It will leave large strips of

I definitely must concede on two points: it is not a realistic attack
( duel wise ) and it is a perfectly awful attack for a beginner to
attempt ( I'm not all that comfortable doing it after fencing for
coming on to five years; I can, in a pinch, do one and, man, it feels
great ).I am glad you concede the evolution of the sport to allow for
this kind of thing. It was a natural thing that came out of the advent
of electric foil. Back when there was no electric scoring for foil
( the 40's-50's ? ), a corner judge would likely call such an attack
plaque ( sp? Well, FLAT ). Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't sabre
started to change with the advent of electric scoring. I say accept it,
adapt, and maybe even learn to execute the flick ( get really good at
defending against it ). It is, in my opinion, a beautiful attack when
properly executed and I think fencing is all the more an interesting
challenge because of it's existance.

Quote:
>black and blue (maybe even slightly red and yellow) marks all over the area
>near the intended target are for the attack. I've taken my share of direct
>epee shots to the chest and the under-arm area, but nothing is worse than
>getting slapped with a foil blade.

>I'm not saying there's no place for such an attack. It is a good tactic to use
>against people who have fast reposts. Start the flick attack as a first
>attack. When the defender attempts to parry and riposte (if he doesn't riposte
>, it is easier), parry the riposte and counter-riposte. It works pretty well.

>The Absentee Fencer
>.

Again, your final concession to the flick is welcome; your contention
that it is not a valid attack, however, is groundless.
Right, then!

Marc A. MacKenzie.

P.S. Hope to see some American fencers at some of the upcoming Canadian
Elite Circuit events ( for those who live close enough ); I know that
those whom I spoke with who went to the NAC # 2 ( Washington, D.C. -
Baltimore ) tournament had a great time.

Quote:
>.


 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by Q8Z900 » Fri, 12 Mar 1993 05:50:50

Quote:


>>I don't mean to open up the proverbial can of worms, but my zeal for the
>>concept of right of way prevents me from being silent.

>>The so-called flick attack is not an attack at all, if you look at the
>>threat as the extension of the arm point to valid target area. Generally, the

>O.K. First off, let me say that I do not profess to being an ultimate
>This, to reitterate, does not invalidate the attack. As long as, from
>this bent arm the attack procedes with a straightening of the arm and
>a threat with the point ( although if someone is hit before the arm is
>straightened, you would be fully justified in calling that an attack

I was just reading what I had posted and wanted to clear up any
potential misunderstanding of the above. What I meant to say is that
there is no right of attack before straightening starts, but after it
starts on one side, they have priority even before full extension of
the arm ( so the arm does not have to be STRAIGHTENED as I implied
above, but rather merely STRAIGHTENING. Sorry 'bout that.

M.A. MacKenzie

Quote:
>into the preperation - the "flick" itself is not a preperation, but
>that it is not a valid attack, however, is groundless.
>Right, then!

>Marc A. MacKenzie.

>P.S. Hope to see some American fencers at some of the upcoming Canadian
>Elite Circuit events ( for those who live close enough ); I know that
>those whom I spoke with who went to the NAC # 2 ( Washington, D.C. -
>Baltimore ) tournament had a great time.
>>.

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by Rick » Fri, 12 Mar 1993 09:26:19


Quote:
>I don't mean to open up the proverbial can of worms, but my zeal for the
>concept of right of way prevents me from being silent.

        No problem :)  We'll see how many worms we can pull out of it :)

Quote:
>The so-called flick attack is not an attack at all, if you look at the
>definition of right of way. An attacker gets right of way by either
>threatening the opponent, or by a parry (or blade contact). The USFA defines a
>threat as the extension of the arm point to valid target area. Generally, the
>flick attack is begun with the arm bent and the point facing the ceiling. THAT
>is NOT an attack, it is a preparation. It is easy to defend against, just make
>an attack. If the director is worth his/her title, they will know that this
>flick thing is just a preparation, and you will be given right of way. In my
>experience, however, there are very few directors that understand
>right-of-way.

        The flick, (or coupe') if done correctly, does not involve bringing
your arm back to your shoulder and then *** the blade around whatever
parry your opponent may make, it's a move done as a disengage over the top
of your opponents blade, and from a full extension.  I have to disagree
with you that this flick is not an attack (going by your definition of
flick now) as your opponent is extending (unless you are running up to the
ceiling and falling on his blade, but I don't think this is the case) to
get the point to you, and the force necessary to flick the blade.
Agreed, if you attack while they are pulling back to flick or while they
are stationary picking their target, you should get right of way.  Out here
most directors know that, and when they see it, call it. (Lucky for me, I
hate flicks, and always aim for the offending appendage of the flicker,
they move it out of the way, and I put my point somewhere near their
shoulder.)  But a flick is a valid attack, and a correctly done coupe' is
also one (I'm differentiating because if you do it right, it's much much
harder to defend against).  To defend against the coupe' when done
correctly (extended the whole time the point is going to the air and back)
one picks the best parry for the first attack, hope to some higher
authority that your opponent picks a nearby target, and perform a solid
circular parry as the point comes back down.  Once you catch their blade,
I'm sure you can figure out what to do. :)

        Historically, who knows if they used flicks or not, coupe' has been
around a long time. :)  It's also very effective agsinst someone that has
very good fast almost perfect parries.  How perfect their parry is will
depend on how far around their blade you think you can bend yours without
touching it.

        Later,
                Ricky

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by THORIN NIELS » Sat, 13 Mar 1993 02:21:11



Quote:
> I don't mean to open up the proverbial can of worms, but my zeal for the
> concept of right of way prevents me from being silent.

> The so-called flick attack is not an attack at all, if you look at the
> definition of right of way. An attacker gets right of way by either
> threatening the opponent, or by a parry (or blade contact). The USFA  
defines a
> threat as the extension of the arm point to valid target area.  
Generally, the
> flick attack is begun with the arm bent and the point facing the  
ceiling. THAT
> is NOT an attack, it is a preparation. It is easy to defend against,  
just make
> an attack. If the director is worth his/her title, they will know that  
this
> flick thing is just a preparation, and you will be given right of way.  
In my
> experience, however, there are very few directors that understand
> right-of-way.

> Historically, the art of foil fencing was developed to help people  
practice
> for duelling. Obviously, a flick in a duel is not going to be quite as  
deadly
> as a good solid attack to the chest area. In order to help duellists  
avoid bad
> habits, right of way was taught to them, because in there case, bad  
habits
> could be fatal. Fencing, however, isn't a stagnant sport. It does  
change. So
> it could be argued that the flick is a method of attack whose time has  
come. I
> would never recommend to a student to use such an attack for another  
reason.
> If not executed tactfully, it can be painful. It will leave large strips  
of
> black and blue (maybe even slightly red and yellow) marks all over the  
area
> near the intended target are for the attack. I've taken my share of  
direct
> epee shots to the chest and the under-arm area, but nothing is worse  
than
> getting slapped with a foil blade.

> I'm not saying there's no place for such an attack. It is a good tactic  
to use
> against people who have fast reposts. Start the flick attack as a first
> attack. When the defender attempts to parry and riposte (if he doesn't  
riposte
> , it is easier), parry the riposte and counter-riposte. It works pretty  
well.

> The Absentee Fencer

I agree with pretty much everything you have said.  I think it's a  
generally poor attack and certainly doesn't augment the art.

But, as far as directors being worth their title and calling it a  
preparation... don't bet on it.  

Has anyone heard this explanation from the director before?  

"He did not have an EXTENDED arm, but an EXTEND(ING) arm which IS an  
attack Mr. Nielson, touch against."

Therefore it is necessary to understand the limitations of this attack  
(i.e. it hinges upon exact distance), so that if you have the director I  
got at J.O.'s you can beat them without the rulebook.

Thorin Nielson--
NMSU  

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by Morgan Bur » Sat, 13 Mar 1993 09:08:47

[re: flicks & coupe']
|> I agree with pretty much everything you have said.  I think it's a  
|> generally poor attack and certainly doesn't augment the art.

Can't say I agree.  A good flick (or coupe') is one of the most technically
demanding of all attacks, and when done in the right circumstances, one of
the most difficult to defend against.  It also happens to be quite dramatic
and visually exciting.  All this hardly makes it a "poor" attack (that's a
label I would apply to a remise or contre-remise).  And the art is certainly
augmented by the high level of skill required to do it well, not to mention
defend against it.

|> But, as far as directors being worth their title and calling it a  
|> preparation... don't bet on it.  
|>
|> Has anyone heard this explanation from the director before?  
|>
|> "He did not have an EXTENDED arm, but an EXTEND(ING) arm which IS an  
|> attack Mr. Nielson, touch against."

An extending arm does constitute an attack, if you are suggesting otherwise.
Even worse, a *retracting* arm can constitute an attack with some directors.

My coach has pointed out to me that it is possible to maintain the right-of-way
when using coupe' even while your arm is pulling back.  The reason is that
a normal retraction of the arm results in a return to the en-garde position
and consequently a loss of right-of-way (* is the hand):

                         /
                        /
                 *-----/

But with coupe', the pulling back only occurs with the forearm at most, and
the upper arm remains extended, thus:

                 *
                  \
                   \
                    \------

These two forms of pulling the arm back are not the same, and some directors
go so far as to say the latter does not constitute a loss of right-of-way,
since the (upper) arm remains extended, and the motion of the forearm is a
necessary component of a special attack that threatens the target, rather
than a feint, remise, or change of line.

It may seem like a pretty liberal interpretation of arm extension, but it's
not entirely unreasonable.  The spirit of the right-of-way rules is that the
fencer who is controlling the tempo and action has the right-of-way, and the
fencer who is reacting does not.  If you attack into a coupe', you are
definitely reacting to an agressive action.  You can successfully argue that
because your opponent's elbow was bent, it should be your right-of-way, but
this could be seen as an attempt to capitalize on a loophole in an overly
strict interpretation of the rules, rather than good technique in the spirit
of fencing.

A good attack on the preparation should be made before the other fencer
has established his final line of attack.  This is not the case when you
attack into a coupe' or flick.

-- Morgan Burke

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by ROLAND J. POULI » Sat, 13 Mar 1993 23:25:10


es:
Quote:

es:

(ROLAND J. POULIOT) writes:
>>>I don't mean to open up the proverbial can of worms, but my zeal for the
>>>concept of right of way prevents me from being silent.

>>>The so-called flick attack is not an attack at all, if you look at the
>>>threat as the extension of the arm point to valid target area. Generally, the

>>O.K. First off, let me say that I do not profess to being an ultimate
>>This, to reitterate, does not invalidate the attack. As long as, from
>>this bent arm the attack procedes with a straightening of the arm and
>>a threat with the point ( although if someone is hit before the arm is
>>straightened, you would be fully justified in calling that an attack

>I was just reading what I had posted and wanted to clear up any
>potential misunderstanding of the above. What I meant to say is that
>there is no right of attack before straightening starts, but after it
>starts on one side, they have priority even before full extension of
>the arm ( so the arm does not have to be STRAIGHTENED as I implied
>above, but rather merely STRAIGHTENING. Sorry 'bout that.

>M.A. MacKenzie

(stuff deleted)

The wording in the USFA guidelines (not neccessarily the FIE)
indicates (but does not state clearly) that in order for any movement to be
an attack, the arm must be extending, but the point must be threatening
valid target before the extension begins. This is where my problem with the
flick attack comes in.

My concern is not with people who use the attack well, it is with those who
misuse it and make fencing not so much fun. The tall fencer who bends their
arm and marches towards you without ever extending it, and just as you put a
stop hit in, they attack. It is difficult to discern if the arm was moving
forward during the march. When I direct, I only give precedence to the flick
attack if the point was brought into line (threatening valid target) before
the opponent's action.

There is a difference between a flick and a coupe. I think it was mentioned
earlier, but I'll mention it again. A coupe is a disengage over the top of the
blade. It is useful when the opponent keeps the blade low, when it is
difficult to try a disengage. It is not an attack of its own.

As far as improving one's fencing skill, I think the flick attack is to be
avoided. It isn't a "clean" attack. That is, you could have two lights and
have to worry about the way the director saw it. It is more worth the time to
work on attacks that generally produce only one light. This observation comes
from years of fencing with poor directors in the Georgia division. A director
can't argue with one light. I think one can get by not using it, but of course
one should be able to defend against it.

This didn't open enough worms....

Let's try...

I think fencing should be judged for form as well as points....

Roland Pouliot
(The Absentee Fencer)

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by e_mo » Sun, 14 Mar 1993 05:45:46

Quote:

> I agree with pretty much everything you have said.  I think it's a  
> generally poor attack and certainly doesn't augment the art.

> But, as far as directors being worth their title and calling it a  
> preparation... don't bet on it.  

> Has anyone heard this explanation from the director before?  

> "He did not have an EXTENDED arm, but an EXTEND(ING) arm which IS an  
> attack Mr. Nielson, touch against."

> Therefore it is necessary to understand the limitations of this attack  
> (i.e. it hinges upon exact distance), so that if you have the director I  
> got at J.O.'s you can beat them without the rulebook.

> Thorin Nielson--
> NMSU  

Well, its the way its being called in international tournaments so
according to the FIE it is a completely valid attack.  Fencing does
evolve somewhat, and here is one of the evolutionary steps.

You'd better just learn to deal with it, since for now, the FIE is
recognizing flicking as completely valid.  So no use trying to look to
the FIE rulebook as recourse...there is none.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    Ed Mou                                                         +

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 
 
 

Flicks (& Right of Way)

Post by Liam O Forb » Sun, 14 Mar 1993 05:27:06


Quote:
Burke) writes:

> My coach has pointed out to me that it is possible to maintain the
> right-of-way when using coupe' even while your arm is pulling back.  The
> reason is that a normal retraction of the arm results in a return to the
> en-garde position and consequently a loss of right-of-way (* is the
> hand):
>                          /
>                         /
>                  *-----/

> But with coupe', the pulling back only occurs with the forearm at most,
> and the upper arm remains extended, thus:

>                  *
>                   \
>                    \
>                     \------

> These two forms of pulling the arm back are not the same, and some
> directors go so far as to say the latter does not constitute a loss of
> right-of-way, since the (upper) arm remains extended, and the motion of
> the forearm is a necessary component of a special attack that threatens
> the target, rather than a feint, remise, or change of line.



If I interpret this discussion correctly, you are discussing what has long  
been a pet peeve of my instructor, right-of-way with a coupe.  Here is his  
explanation of how it goes.

Fencer A extends to an attack.  Fencer B reacts with some sort of defense,  
hopefully a parry or counter parry.  Fencer A begins the coupe.  The arm  
is pulled back while the tip is pointed upward.  Thus a disengage over the  
blade almost.  Then Fencer A brings the point back down and the arm is  
extended straight again.  If the bend in Fencer A's arm comes at the  
elbow, the only way a stop thrust can take right-of-way is if it is  
extended before Fencer A begins to bring her blade back into extension.  
If the bend in Fencer A's coupe is at the wrist, a much harder move to  
perform, then the stop thrust has to land before Fencer A brings her blad  
back into extenstion.  

When teaching a coupe to beginnners, this is approximately how he explains  
the right-of-way.  In fact he says it about 3 times in a row then again  
and again at miscellaneous periods during the practicing of the move.  He  
claims this is what is says in the rule book.  Considering I've never seen  
his copy of the rule book, nor have my own, I don't know.  
--
-Liam