Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: Classical Fencing Rule Book

Classical Fencing Rule Book by Grant Shymske moves into the rules and intricacies of classical fencing. If you stand on the side lines and watch the referee move their hands in multiple directions and don’t know what it all means then this is the right book for you. As with any martial art sport there are rules and in fencing these rules have developed over hundreds of years.

Fencing is stylized in the sense that it isn’t a knock down drag out sport. It requires considerable practice and precision to master. It also moves at lightning speed which makes it difficult to judge when parries and counter-parry's start to mesh together. Seasoned referees can judge the blade and the body positioning to call the right points.

Chapter 1: Glossary of fencing terms. The referee is known as the President.

Chapter 2: The measurements of the field known as the piste (2 X 14 meters).

Chapter 3: The fencers gear and armament. Items cannot be modified and can be rejected by judges.

Chapter 4: The process of starting and stopping fencing bouts.

Chapter 5: The list of manners and movements Presidents use to referee.

Chapter 6: The rules and areas that apply to foil fencing.

Chapter 7: The rules and areas that apply to epee fencing.

Chapter 8: The rules and areas that apply to sabre fencing.

Chapter 9: The honor code of fencing and how disputes are handled.

The book is not a particularly exciting read but provides lots of great information about the rules and technicalities of the sport. Students who desire to understand how the game operates, how decisions are made, and how points are judged should consider picking up a copy. Every student and referee should read this book at least once to gain a level of game understanding.

Shymske, G. (2012) Classical fencing rule book. Kindle Edition

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