Back of mask questions

Back of mask questions

Post by David O'Dani » Wed, 07 May 2008 06:31:31


I finally got a clear-visor saber mask from Blue Gauntlet. There is a
material-covered metal strip or bar or whatever, sticking out from the
top, going straight back. Is this to be bent down or left as is for some
reason?

Also, the back is just 2 thin elastic strips connected by velcro. What
of any back of the head padding? Would just sewing stronger material to
the straps & maybe putting a towel or something in back, held by the
straps, work?

By the size chart, I needed a large but it is a bit big. I was thinking
that also a towel or other back of the head padding and stronger &
tighter back straps might make it fit more snug & stable. I assume that
a medium would have been too small though; going by the chart on the
site. Is a loose mask ok or does it need stabilizing, tightening up as
it were?

Thanks

Bo

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by Zebee Johnston » Wed, 07 May 2008 07:30:27

In rec.sport.fencing on Mon, 5 May 2008 16:31:31 -0500

Quote:

> I finally got a clear-visor saber mask from Blue Gauntlet. There is a
> material-covered metal strip or bar or whatever, sticking out from the
> top, going straight back. Is this to be bent down or left as is for some
> reason?

> Also, the back is just 2 thin elastic strips connected by velcro. What
> of any back of the head padding? Would just sewing stronger material to
> the straps & maybe putting a towel or something in back, held by the
> straps, work?

The bar and straps are designed to keep the thing on your head and
centred because if you cop a decent whack to the head - cut or thrust -
then the mask can move.  If your opponent has been taught to not stop till
you are bleeding on the floor, the second attack could hit face not mask.

Even without being whacked, the mask can move distractingly as you
move unless properly fastened.

The bar is moldable so you can adjust it to a snug fit on the back of
your head.  Put the mask on and bend the bar to curve around
your skull.  Not too snug or getting in and out of the mask is
difficult, but snug enough that you have to spring it out a little to
get your head in.

Padding will depend on what you are padding against.   Generally
thrusting systems don't bother targetting the back of the head because
you'd have to be doing some really really weird things to get hit
there.  (So don't pad, and don't do silly things!)  Cutting systems in
the round might get the odd whack there, so adding some kind of
padding might be useful.  Ask the people you are fencing with as to
what a good padding type and shape would be.  They will have a much
better idea that random people on the net as to the likely attacks you
are protecting against.

Zebee

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by John Hoskin » Wed, 07 May 2008 07:35:07

Quote:

> I finally got a clear-visor saber mask from Blue Gauntlet. There is a
> material-covered metal strip or bar or whatever, sticking out from the
> top, going straight back. Is this to be bent down or left as is for some
> reason?

It's to be bent down, behind where the back of your head will be when
you're wearing the mask.

Quote:

> Also, the back is just 2 thin elastic strips connected by velcro. What
> of any back of the head padding? Would just sewing stronger material to
> the straps & maybe putting a towel or something in back, held by the
> straps, work?

It is not usual to have any padding at the back of the head. When I say
"not usual," you may read that as "I have never seen any mask anywhere,
live or in photos or as a diagram in the rules, which had padding
there." (The strap is now mandatory, however.)

Quote:

> By the size chart, I needed a large but it is a bit big. I was thinking
> that also a towel or other back of the head padding and stronger &
> tighter back straps might make it fit more snug & stable. I assume that
> a medium would have been too small though; going by the chart on the
> site. Is a loose mask ok or does it need stabilizing, tightening up as
> it were?

Perhaps it seems too big because you have not bent the metal tang down
yet? That tang in combination with the elastic bands are supposed to
keep the mask on. Mine wobbles a little, but it's still in contact with
my cheeks/jaw, which is good enough. I can also get it on and off
without having my glasses go too wonky each time.

With the tang down and the straps in place, it shouldn't wobble too
much. If it's loose it'll distract you and, I'd imagine, provide less
protection. Regular masks can be squeezed a bit to fit the face more
snugly, but I don't have any experience with clear-visor masks. Ask around.

Which leads me to this: usually fencers buying equipment have some
knowledgable friends, clubmates, or a trainer who can offer answers and
advice. You sound like you're studying fencing alone in the desert
somewhere, depending on mail deliveries from the Acme Company for all
your equipment (masks, sabers, roller skates, anvils, electric fans,
etc.). Is there no one there to help you (e.g., let you try their mask)?

--
John

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by John Hoskin » Wed, 07 May 2008 07:45:50

Quote:

> Padding will depend on what you are padding against.   Generally
> thrusting systems don't bother targetting the back of the head because
> you'd have to be doing some really really weird things to get hit
> there.  (So don't pad, and don't do silly things!)  Cutting systems in
> the round might get the odd whack there, so adding some kind of
> padding might be useful.

Zebee, what do you mean by "systems" here (thrusting systems and cutting
systems). Are you referring to a school of attack? Some kind of training
machine? A group exercise ("in the round")?

I'm an epeeist who's learned the sport in German (with some French),
although my native language is English. I'm afraid I'm quite in the dark
about this terminology.

--
John

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by Zebee Johnston » Wed, 07 May 2008 09:37:42

In rec.sport.fencing on Tue, 06 May 2008 00:45:50 +0200

Quote:


>> Padding will depend on what you are padding against.   Generally
>> thrusting systems don't bother targetting the back of the head because
>> you'd have to be doing some really really weird things to get hit
>> there.  (So don't pad, and don't do silly things!)  Cutting systems in
>> the round might get the odd whack there, so adding some kind of
>> padding might be useful.

> Zebee, what do you mean by "systems" here (thrusting systems and cutting
> systems). Are you referring to a school of attack? Some kind of training
> machine? A group exercise ("in the round")?

Not everyone does modern fencing as per the olympics.

Some people use fencing equipment (such as masks) to study historical
styles of fencing, or they make up their own rules to have fun with
swords.

Some people use rules that don't have cuts, so modern epee is a
"thrusting system".  Some use cuts (eg modern sabre).  I mostly fence
a system that is mainly thrusts (late 16thC Italian and Spanish) so
wear different protective equipment for that compared to when I'm
doing earlier Italian which has more cutting.  The swords I use are
much heavier and longer than a modern fencing sabre, and a whack on
the elbow with one of those is unpleasant....

"in the round" means not using the modern piste, but having free
movement in any direction.  If you are doing a lot of stepping off the
line of engagement, especially if you are fencing with more than one
opponent, then a cut to the back of the head can happen.

Zebee

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by David O'Dani » Thu, 08 May 2008 03:13:49

Thanks for responding, Zebee & John.

Yes, off in nowhere, just attend an annual WMA seminar/campout weekend,
that is scheduled this year for June 7th & 8th, in OH.

I know from past years of borrowing masks with mesh that I could not see
out of them (also legally blind, 20/200 in left, total blind in right).
I had made due when the drills were pre-set for such as German Longsword
and dagger & rapier; and not much else that we wore masks for. Last year
was my first ever 'bout" though with Regimental Highland Broadsword. For
loose play bouts of course, masks were used but not for the 10 lessons
of Angelo & other drill. Anyway, in the bout, I could barely tell the
general location of my opponent & rarely where his sword-arm was, much
less his waister.

After getting tired of being hit at will & no touches of my own, trying
to bout with techniques from the system (combinations), I just began
making non-stop flurry of attacks & covering positions & moving forward;
in otherwords, bouting blindly. Or as my teacher & opponent there, Chris
Thompson, put it, "Berserker style", I managed to score 3 whole touches
vs 21 but glad to have gotten even 1 point.

Bouting in an open field, non-stop, 5 minutes I think time, judges AND
our calling our opponent's touches, in an open field, traversing, moving
all over, unlimited. ;-)

Thus, I had wanted a "clear" fencing mask to be able to at least see my
opponent in future.

Other potential loose play eventually may be with Shillelagh/Bata Irish
stick-fighting & maybe German Longsword one of these years.

Otherwise, just me back here at home. 99% of everyone else here, if it
is not football, basketball or baseball, they could care less. Also why
I don't have anyone to train with in Karate either.

Bo

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by Barbara Baile » Thu, 08 May 2008 06:24:02


Quote:

> Otherwise, just me back here at home. 99% of everyone else here, if it
> is not football, basketball or baseball, they could care less. Also why
> I don't have anyone to train with in Karate either.

Where is "here"?
 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by Chris Zake » Thu, 08 May 2008 06:33:06

On Tue, 6 May 2008 13:13:49 -0500,  an orbital mind-control laser

Quote:
>Thanks for responding, Zebee & John.

>Yes, off in nowhere, just attend an annual WMA seminar/campout weekend,
>that is scheduled this year for June 7th & 8th, in OH.

>I know from past years of borrowing masks with mesh that I could not see
>out of them (also legally blind, 20/200 in left, total blind in right).

My one concern with using a clear visor mask in a WMA environment is
that the clear plastic may not be designed to take that kind of abuse.

I don't know that it *won't* but you probably ought to take some
practice hits at it before you actually go into combat. It'd be bad to
discover the hard way that the plastic holds up fine against fencing
saber hits, but shatters into sharp bits when hit with a longsword or
wooden waster.

        -Chris Zakes
                Texas

"If I've reached the place where I'm a good influence on anybody, it's time I
cultivated some new vices."

        -Oscar Jensen in "Space Cadet" by Robert Heinlein

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by David O'Dani » Sun, 11 May 2008 15:11:03

"Here" being the far Western tip of KY.

Ok, thanks. I'll ask those at the WMA seminar next month, June 7-8th &
anything needing a mask, test against the mask I've got. I don't think
that they will do any free bouting with any heavy or stiff waisters or
sticks. The ones used for the broadsword bouting seemed to be maybe 2
strips of bamboo I think, not even a full shinnai diameter of thickness
of the waisters. I doubt that they would break anything. The German
Longsword & Shillelagh/bata will probably not be in loose play free
bouting for this seminar. They have another one in the Fall that I've
not gotten to yet, where they do bouting with the batas/shillelaghs but
not so far in the Summer one. So far, just pre-arranged drills of
techniques for longsword & bata.

For some such drills with longsword, we would wear masks "just in case
of an accident" but have ran the drills without masks, similar to
running the Angelo's 10 lessons with broadsword waisters (all
pre-arranged & thus no masks worn).

A time that thee was a class on Italian rapier & dagger, we had masks
for the drills though. We probably should have worn masks for a wooden
dagger game last year from highland dagger but no one managed to get
poked in the eye. It was a game of re-enactment of a Scottish legend of
an "Unpleasant Wedding Guest" who realized that all of his worst enemies
of other clans were gathered n 1 place and all drunk & thus not paying
attention, so he drew his dagger, stabbed as many as he could on his way
out & jumped out a window. No one knowing who the unpleasant wedding
guest is at an particular running of this game, I think we ran it 3 or 4
times. As soon as they reveal themselves & begin attacking, everyone
else is to try to react & realize in time to counter attack. Sometimes
they would escape, once the attacker was overwhelmed by others with
their wooden daggers multiple hits.I think 1 guy forgot to attack more
people & escaped after just 2 stabbings or maybe even just 1. Another
forgot to escape & had tagged 11 other people but hung around too long.
All in all, hilarious great fun, even if arguably foolishly hazardous
without masks. ;-)

Bo

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by Zebee Johnston » Sun, 11 May 2008 16:27:41

In rec.sport.fencing on Sat, 10 May 2008 01:11:03 -0500

Quote:

> else is to try to react & realize in time to counter attack. Sometimes
> they would escape, once the attacker was overwhelmed by others with
> their wooden daggers multiple hits.I think 1 guy forgot to attack more
> people & escaped after just 2 stabbings or maybe even just 1. Another
> forgot to escape & had tagged 11 other people but hung around too long.
> All in all, hilarious great fun, even if arguably foolishly hazardous
> without masks. ;-)

I doubt it was that foolish with daggers.  High strikes are not usual
with daggers after all.   Especially if you have any form of grappling
involved as lifting your arm up is asking to have it grabbed.

Zebee

 
 
 

Back of mask questions

Post by David O'Dani » Mon, 12 May 2008 03:09:58

<Bo former post>: "All in all, hilarious great fun, even if arguably
foolishly hazardous without masks. ;-)"

<Zebee Wrote>: "I doubt it was that foolish with daggers. High strikes
are not usual with daggers after all. ? Especially if you have any
form of grappling involved as lifting your arm up is asking to have it
grabbed.

Zebee"

Yep, that's why I said "arguably" though but still with the expectation
that someone would be shocked; thinking of that old quote about "fun
until"... ;-)

Though those wooden tent stakes that some of the daggers were, did
arguably cause some minor scraps on bare arms. The *** knives would
have been better. Only 2 were ***, including the one I brought.

2 years ago, they tried to have a "hat & mug" event with shillelaghs,
some Irish game, where with a stick in 1 hand, a mug in other, both try
to knock the hat off their opponent & keeping theirs on whilst also not
spilling their mug. So 2 ways to loose, loss of hat or spilling of
drink. However, they had forgotten their plastic mugs & were going to
try with just drinking cups for both mugs AND hats but they gave up on
the event for that year. Also, they never could decide between some
wanting to use nurf batts or cut-in-1/2 pool noodles or something OR
real sticks, some wanting safety & others realism.

They had talked about doing a test-cutting course with gallon milk-jugs
filled with water but the Highland Broadsword instructor isn't
supposedly going to be able to make it this year so there's no telling
what other unusual event, if any this year, that they may come up with.

Bo