Friday, April 5, 2013

A to Z: Epee

The A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. This awesome challenge is hosted by founder Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Tina Downey at Life is Good, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Matthew MacNish at The QQQE, Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Livia Peterson at Leave it to Livia, L. Diane Wolfe at Spunk on a Stick, and Nicole at The Madlab Post

My A to Z theme is fencing and swordplay, focusing mainly on fencing terminology, but with a few favorite movie fencing moments thrown into the mix too. Why: I love fencing and swordplay!

E is for Epee: One of the three competition weapons in the U.S.F.A. and Olympics. a fencing weapon with triangular cross-section blade and a large bell guard; also a light duelling sword of similar design, popular in the mid-19th century; epee de terrain; dueling sword.

Recomended Non-electric EpeeEpee with a French grip.
 
The target area for each weapon is different. The Epee target area is the entire body from head to toe with the exception of the back of the head and the back of the neck. The Epee is a point weapon where touches/points are counted when the tip of the weapon hits the opponents' target area.

The three competition weapons and those who fence with them have a tendency to draw stereotypes in personalities and manners. Epee fencers are often seen as graceful, ultra polite, quiet, and reserved.
(I never fenced Epee, but my coach and his youngest daughter did)

Four other "E" Fencing terms:
  • Engagement: when the blades are in contact with each other, eg. during a parry.
  • En Garde: also On Guard; the fencing position; the stance that fencers assume when preparing to fence.
  • Envelopment: an engagement that sweeps the opponent's blade through a full circle
  • Electrics - my second "main" term of the day, just for those who've asked about them, or thought that maybe electrics were like cattle prods . . . you know who you are :)

    Electrics are used for competition, and the fencers do not get electric shocks from them. They make it slightly easier for the directors (referees) to judge the competition.

     A wire from a box is plugged into a "body wire" that the fencer wears inside their jacket and running down their sleeve (on their blade side), which then plugs into the "electric" fencing blade with has a sensor on the tip. When the tip is depressed, a signal runs through the wires back to the box, which is also attached to a center box that lights up and lets the judge know who hit first.

    Of course, if you're in the Olympics, they have cordless electrics - way cooler.


    Why are electrics useful? Competition fencing moves fast.

    Why is the director still needed? A fencer, even if they hit first, does not always get awarded the point. The point is awarded to the fencer who has "right-of-way" and hits their opponent. The sensor helps the judge know if the "right-of-way" fencer actually made the touch.

    We'll get to "right of way" with "R" . . . trust me, it's an interesting concept, and one that fencers love to argue over before, during, and after competitions.

    25 comments:

    Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

    Electric sensors are a good idea. Like instant replay in football. Sometimes things happen so fast you can't be sure what happened.

    Dani said...

    A french grip... I'm leaning so much!
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Alex - yes, it's something like that, plus they have instant replay for the Olympics . . .

    Dani - yes, there are pistol grips and French grips and Italian grips, etc. The French grip is the simplest grip/pommel.

    L. Diane Wolfe said...

    Cordless is the way to go.

    L.G. Smith said...

    The epee does bring up the image of an elegant fencer, so true.

    jaybird said...

    "Engarde monsieur pussy cat!" Is yelled quite frequently over here at The Bird's Nest.

    I'm loving your lessons on fencing. Like Dani said, I'm learning a lot. Very cool stuff!

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Diane - definitely! Otherwise the cords are constantly pulling at the fencer during the competition.

    L.G. - yes!

    Jaybird - ahh, I forgot to mention that term . . . it might just come up on G. It means, On Guard . . .or Get On Guard . . .

    Melanie said...

    I'm actually pretty curious...is there a "typical" fencer personality? Like are fencers more jock-like or more like the martial arts dudes?

    Milo James Fowler said...

    Thank you for expanding my vocabulary! I've always thought fencing might be a fun hobby...and I could reenact scenes from The Princess Bride at the same time.

    Michael Di Gesu said...

    Hi, Tyrean,

    What an interesting post and theme! Glad I dropped by...

    Also, if you can DROP in at my blog on J day... there is a surprise for YOU!

    Have a great weekend and I'll see you on J day or hopefully before. I have some great intros you might have missed!

    Michael

    Laura Marcella said...

    Hello, Tyrean! Fencing is cool to watch though I never know what's going on! I think the person should get the point and then they don't and I'm all confused, LoL. This is a helpful post, though!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Melanie - I think fencers are slightly more like martial artists, but it's interesting because fencing seems to draw all kinds of people from lawyers to construction workers, students to teachers, chess players to triathletes. It just depends.

    Milo - Yes! Re-enacting the Princess Bride would be awesome!

    Michael - Thanks! I'll be by later today and hopefully more often before "J" day

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Laura - I'm glad it helped. The whole point thing really revolves around "right of way" and which fencer has established "right of way" first - it's actually supposed to help fencing be more realistic although many argue that it makes it less realistic.

    Mark Means said...

    Anytime I read "en guarde!" I always hear it in a French accent...lol

    Love learning more about these terms and this very cool sport.

    Julie Luek said...

    You may have said this during one of your posts, but do you fence?

    Claire Goverts said...

    Nice post, that was neat to learn about. I've always wanted to try fencing.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

    Laura Josephsen said...

    Oh, that's so cool! I'd never even heard of Epee!

    Julie Flanders said...

    I love that the Epee fencers are generally known as polite and reserved. The electric sensors are a great idea!

    Angela Brown said...

    The information being shared is quite intriguing. Does much of the terminology in regards to engagement in fencing carry over to swordplay with long/short swords?

    Michelle said...

    I'm quite chuffed because I knew the word épee... well, sort of!

    Tyrean Martinson said...

    Mark - Glad you're enjoying them!

    Julie - I have in the past, but I don't currently unless you count a little bit of footwork with a blade in hand around the house.

    Julie - yes, they are a great idea!

    Claire - You should! It's really fun!

    Laura - glad you think so!

    Angela - that's a good question, and something I'm looking into these days.

    Michelle - Cool!

    Chase Manhattan said...

    I first learnedly of an else and fencing doing crossword puzzles as a kid. Epee was the word I learned. Thanks for the interesting post!

    Christine Rains said...

    How interesting! I'm learning a lot here. I've always wondered what an epee was and now I know! :)

    Allison said...

    Huh... I always thought "en garde" was some sort of challenge--that's what we always said to each other before we started play sword fighting!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

    Arbalète Barnett said...

    Thanks for providing a good information.Fencing is an art of expressing your style of attack to your opponent style of defense and vice verse.So it is your sword on which you have to believe.Épée de ninja