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Old 08-06-2000, 12:54 AM   #14
Dojo: Two Rivers Dojo, York
Location: York, England
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 47
I have to agree with Tom on the fencing issue - I fenced for 7 years or so, primarily foil and sabre, some epee. I fenced foil competitively, though only once at a particularly large event (not in my nature - the whole 'competitive thing').

For what it's worth, I actually have some bad habits from fencing that take some beating for my Aikido, the main one is not standing with hips square on when in posture - too tempting a target area in fencing...

Couple points I'd like to add, just to add my pennies to the pile..

AikiTom wrote:

In sabre, the upper half of the body is the target area, and we used a lot of arm and shoulder cuts - could be "killing blow", but not likely.
Yep, but I also used to use a few head cuts too - similar target area to yokomen cuts I guess.. Also explains the scar you used to get with German fencers when they used to fence without protective gear (macho thing as opposed to sport).

In epee, the whole body is the target, and since the foot of the opponent is often closest, it was a favorite target, and again hardly a "killing blow" or "organ" being tageted, although I suppose you could bleed to death from a cut foot.
Epee is bad! For the non-fencers, imagine fighting with pokers. About as much flexibility as the epee!!

And, lastly, foil. I fenced with, and against, some nationally-ranked coaches and fencers, and never heard of or saw "organ" targeting or much concern for precision targeting as such. In fact, one fencer I knew used ma-ai well to draw in his opponent and then "flicked" his foil downward to the target, holding his wrist in the same place, much like someone casting with a fishing pole. It was very fast, in the target area, but not a killing blow.
Yes, very useful technique with foil - only of any use when fencing with an electric foil. When fencing with non-electric foils this doesn't give you the 'bend' that it needed to ajudge a hit..


Sunset Shimmering,
On Water, Placid and Calm,
A Fish Touches Sky
David Marshall
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