Olympic style dagger fencing

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Louie, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Olympic style dagger fencing


    "This new fast paced extreme sport was developed to add the main gauche (dagger) to epee style fencing. The additional blade provides an intense workout for the body and mind as each fencer attempts to score a touch on his or her opponent.

    Electronic Olympic fencing began with the foil around 1930 and followed by the epee in the 1960’s. Thirty years later electronic saber was introduced around 1990. Weapons and uniforms are wired and tethered to a reel and make a green or red light energize for legal hits, while a white light will illuminate for touches outside boundaries.

    With the new method of “wireless fencing” the technology now exists for the electronic dagger. This website is dedicated to the advancement of this weapon for international team and individual competition.

    Wireless Dagger Fencing is wired in tandem with the epee and utilized as a secondary weapon during a wireless bout. There is no restriction as to which hand the dagger must be held during a bout, the dagger can be utilized in either the left or right hand. The same general guidelines apply to standard epee fencing with the exception of the piste which is a 20’ x 20’ square allowing the fencers to attack from various positions.

    Standard Dagger Fencing is wired in tandem with the epee and utilized as a secondary weapon during a wired bout. The opponents are tethered and use a standard regulation grounded epee strip 6 feet wide by 44 feet long.

    Competitors wear standard protective epee clothing consisting of jackets, knickers, gloves, masks, and additional hard plastic frontal protection to absorb the blunt of the dagger.

    In Olympic style fencing there are different sets of rules for each of the four weapon categories reflecting subtle differences in technique that developed from their perspective historical backgrounds. In foil and saber a touch can be scored only on a limited target area with only one fencer on offense at any particular time known as "right of way." In foil and saber if both fencers record touches at the same time, the points awarded to the attack's initiator.

    In epee a touch can be made only with the point of the weapon and the entire body is a valid target with no right of way. The weapon originated from actual dueling swords but the sharp point is replaced with a button to score a touch. Aiming for arms and legs particular to epee stems from an era in which killing someone was not considered “good form” and most duels ended with first blood drawn. In order to see a true hit during an actual duel the opponents wore white, the standard color of the epee uniform today.

    With the addition of the dagger both fencers still can gain points for simultaneous hits and there are instances when all four weapons could be triggered at the same time. As in epee a competitor in dagger wins by scoring 15 touches in three minutes however, if the third three-minute period ends with neither athlete recording 15, the fencer with the most points wins.

    In team dagger competition the first three-person team to score a total of 45 touches wins but if the ninth and final bout between the teams ends before either reaches 45, the team with the most points wins when the time is up.

    The events for competition are as follows:
    Men's and women's individual dagger
    Women's team dagger
    Men's team dagger

    Open invitation to all participants

    Dagger has less restrictive rules for footwork and physical contact than saber or foil. In dagger a corps-a-corps (collision between fencers) is not penalized unless initialized with intent to harm or if it is excessively violent. There are no restrictions on crossing of the feet or use of the fleche attack in dagger when passing the opponent.

    When fencers pass each other in dagger fencing the attacking fencer may score up to the point he or she passes the opponent. The defending fencer has the right to one continuous riposte with either epee or dagger and may still score after the attacker has passed.

    The precise attack of the dagger is vulnerable to counterattacks to the hand so a full standard saber guard is required on the weapon. High level dagger is often a game of provocation, with each player trying to lure the other with the epee and fletch with the dagger hand. Distance with the dagger is most important than with any other conventional weapon due to the short length and exposure of the arm".


  2. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    Yeah, I actually stumbled across this accidentally early last week. I was surprised when I saw it start to get linked to in some of the MA BBS's a few days later.

    Seems really interesting. There may be some drawbacks, similar to what is usually quoted for Olympic Style Fencing in general, but, on the other hand, more power to 'em. I'm glad they're spending some time thinking about this stuff. And, if nothing else, it brings more attention to the whole concept of dagger and knife in WMA.

    Peace favor your sword,
  3. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Kind of a neat idea, really. If that's what floats people's boats, more power to 'em. :)

    Best regards,

  4. Inveton

    Inveton New Member

    Greetings to all!
    Thank you for the positive feedback on Olympic Style Dagger Fencing. Please check out the website www.daggerfencing.com for the latest training videos and a peek at the very first wireless dagger bout.
    The kids really get this sport!
    David Budzynski
  5. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Thanks for the link. I like seeing the bout done in the round. What rules are you fencing under?

    Best regards,

  6. Inveton

    Inveton New Member

    Dagger Fencing Rules

    Thank you for looking at the website.
    Rules for Olympic Style Dagger Fencing are basically the same as Epee.
    Double touches are permitted and a tyical bout is scored at 15 points.
    When utilizing wireless equipment the "piste" is about 22 feet square.
    A standard "strip" is used for tethered scoring equipment.
  7. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    That's fantastic! I remember getting into discussions about the possibility of off-hand weapons back when I fenced (I did Olympic-style epee, but had some friends who did historical recreation fencing as well).

    I'd stick with wireless though. The thought of wiring up two different weapons for each individual makes my head hurt.
  8. Inveton

    Inveton New Member

    Thank you for the feedback!
    My wish is to finally synergize the gap between Olympic fencers and Historical fencers with this new sport.
  9. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Eh .... no. Historical fencing is firmly based on the practice of sword arts as they were originally intended. This is not. Though it's certainly a good one for the kids and would give them alot of transferable skills if well trained.

    The Bear.
  10. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Hi Inventon
    Good luck with your project.

  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Any significance to the fact that one fencer (the one in black in the second clip) is right lead and the other is left lead? I'm struck by the fact that, in fencing theory (based on my very limited experience in Western fencing), the lead foot and longer weapon correspond. Same concept is imported into Filipino eskrima, likely from Western fencing. And one guy seems to adhere to that. The other doesn't. Usually the one getting scored on.

    Obviously, this is only a snippet. And I'm not trying to draw any major conclusions about what you do based on that. I just noticed it and it got me curious.

    The other thing that surprised me was that the defender parries the first sword attack with his dagger, the shorter of his two weapons (but the closer, as I said above). Then tries to counter with the longer weapon, but to no avail.

    I'm no expert in Filipino espada y daga. I'd say it's my weakest weapon combination. So take what I'm about to say with a pillar of salt. But my instinct would be to do most of my defending with the longer weapon and then try to create an opening for the shorter one (in the rear position). To make that work, though, I'd have to use a lot of angling footwork and not adhere to the strip.

    That may also come from boxing theory as well, though. The jab (the longer weapon) creates openings for the rear weapon, which (when the opportunity arises) slips through and does real damage.

    My experience in Western swordplay is limited to a brief stint with a very SCA-influenced fencing club in college and a more technical stint with a fencing club a couple of years ago. (Exclusively foil the second go around.) So I'm mostly just curious.


  12. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    No Stuart, you actually would use both weapons for attack and defence. The two weapon style only works if you have been trained to use both hands independently. The practioners in the video have not and that is why it looks cumbersome. It takes ALOT of training to be able to do it. I've only seen one or two people who have been able to do it well, sadly I'm not one of them.

    The Bear.
  13. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    In Rapier and Dagger styles, the dagger is used for parrying and is frequently specifically named "Parrying Dagger."

    It's also good for transferring blade engagements to free up your rapier (so I've been told) and for convincing your opponent to not try to pass the point and to, instead, stay in your optimum range for your longer weapon.

    Peace favor your sword,
  14. David

    David Mostly AFK, these days

    More fun than Wii MotionPlus!

    This sounds as if it was designed specifically to complement the Hakka Boxing southpaw stance and rear-hand parrying :)
  15. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Hi Kirk,
    The treatises contain techiques where the dagger is used to attack as well as parry.
    If you look at Di Grassi, rapier and dagger.

    When he wards with his sword only, it is requisite, that

    making a slope pace, he lift up his sword, and bear it

    outwards, or else, as soon as he has found the enemy's

    sword, that with his dagger he strike at the temples of his

    enemy's head, staying his sword with his own : or else

    instead of striking with the Dagger, therewith to stay the

    enemy's sword, and with it, (increasing another straight

    pace) to deliver a thrust : but it is very commodious to

    strike with the Dagger.

    The Bear.
  16. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    Yes, of course they do.

    Please forgive me if it seem I was saying otherwise.

    Peace favor your sword,

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