Australian Epeeist’s in Germany

Australian Epeeists competed in Heidenheim, Germany last weekend.

Seamus Robinson 114, Ross Austen 162, Matthew Baker 189.

Australian Foilist in France 

Australian Womens Foilist Joanna Halls competed in Marseille, France last weekend coming 40th

D.H.McKenzie 2008 Results

AFF #1 – DH McKenzie was competed and won this weekend.

For full results go to

A few highlights.

Mens Senior Sabre: 1st Simon Leitch QLD, 2nd Chris Nagle VIC,

3rd Joe Raciborski NSW, 3rd David McFadyen QLD.

Womens Senior Sabre: 1st Jess Brooks NSW, 2nd Min Yi Du NSW,

3rd Alex Carroll VIC, 3rd Isablle Robertson QLD 

Mens Senior Epee: 1st Victor Lewith VIC, 2nd Mathieu Meriaux ACT,

3rd Will Dollley VIC, 3rd Martin Camilleri VIC

Womens Senior Foil: 1st Jade Sarah QLD, 2nd Claire Daniel QLD,

3rd Sarah Berger VIC, 3rd Lishan Sung NSW

Mens Senior Foil: 1st Marcus Best VIC, 2nd Charles Hemery VIC,

3rd Craig Gourlay VIC, Steven Dooley NSW

Womens Senior Epee: 1st Catherine Mackay, 2nd Genevieve Hartley,

3rd Vickie Wilks, 3rd Sarah Osvath NSW

New Childrens Fencing Movie

The spiderwick Chronicles is to be released in Australia March 27, 2008.

A fantasy world comes alive and one of the heroine’s has some fencing skills.

View the trailer

Australian Olympic Qualification

As of 17/3/08 Australian Epeeist Amber Parkinson has provisionally qualified for the Womens Epee in Beijing. Ranked 37th Amber is on track for August!.

Australia’s other main contenders will have to rely on winning the Asian Zone Championships in Bangkok – April.  Fingers crossed…

For more information FIE

Australian Foilist in Portugal

Australian Mens Foilist Joe Slowiaczek came 108th in Espinho, Portugal last weekend.

Australian Foilist in Hungary

Australian Womens Foilist Jo Halls came 61st in Budapest, Hungary last weekend.

Austalian Epeeist in Greece

Australian Epeeist Amber Parkinson came 42nd in Florina Greece, last weekend.

Red Letter Night

It was a RED event at the FV dinner friday night, the Malvern Banquet Hall was a-blaze of red shirts, ties, ribbons, shoes and cocktail dresses.  An enjoyable evening was celebrated by everyone culminating in the celebration of the “60th years” for John Fethers, Joseph D’Onofrio, and Harry Sommerville.
Congratulations to all the award winners including the winners of the Caliburn Award: Dr Zoltan Vilagosh, Young Blood Award: Mr Jeremy Shelley, and Leonie Austen Award: Ms Sue Heistein.

Thanks to Thunderstruck Performance Gear for donating the prizes, which the 3 recipients will receive.

Thanks also to the organisers especially Genevieve Hartley, creating a successful event even with the 30+degree Melbourne weather.!

Here’s to a great year of Fencing.

Competition Sheets

Every competition needs result sheets, here are some for your use.

Poule [swordfighter-poule-sheet.doc] Sheet

Direct Elimination  [swordfighter-d-e-sheets.doc] Sheet

D/E Tableau [swordfighter-competition-d-e-sheet.jpg] Sheet

D/E Exhaustive [swordfighter-d-e-exhaustive-sheet.jpg] Sheet

Team Match [swordfighter-team-match-sheets.doc] Italian Relay Sheet

En Garde Program

“En Garde” available on FIE website. 

The FIE has the computer program for your club competitions.

Available to download here

International Olympic Committee

I.O.C. Website has quite good relevant information on Fencing, at this years 2008 Beijing games.

Read more IOC Website:

Modern Fencing on the BBC

The BBC has an interesting article on the development of Electronic Fencing, the art of the (Foil) “Flick” and ways to defend against it.

For more information read BBC Fencing

Although the article was written apparently in 2003.. it is still relevant.


FIE Rules for Fencing

The Rules for Fencing 2006 edition.

Translated by the British Fencing Association can be downloaded here;  fie-rules-for-competition-2008.pdf

Along with the updates from Jan 2008 here; fie-rules-for-competition-updates-2008.pdf

For further updates go to BFA website

Referee Hand Signals

Here are the referee hand signals universally used in competitions.

Download here fie-hand-signal-document.pdf

Available also from the

Australian Foilist in Russia

Australian Womens Foilist Jo Halls came 80th in St. Petersbourg last weekend.

Australian Epeeist’s in Sweden

Four Australian Mens Epeeists competed in Stokholm last weekend.

Zac Casagrande came 104th, Ross Austen 129th, Seamus Robinson 143rd and Mark Grant 195th.

Australian Epeeist in Russia

Australian Epeeist Amber Parkinson competed in St. Petersbourg last weekend coming 83rd.

Fencing – A History

The history of Fencing

Fencing first originated in preparation for duels between men for warfare.  Throughout human history, man has fought with weapons.  When technology changed so did the weapon and consequently the tactics.

A picture of a fencing “match” was uncovered on an Egyptian temple dating back to approx 1190 B.C. The Babylonians, andcient Greeks, Persians, and Romans all had some type of fencing.

The use of armour during the Middle Ages made swordsmanship almost obsolete.  The broadsword was in regular use but caused minor damage against armour, it only resulted in a hacking weapon requiring brute strength rather than skill,  making armour almost redundant.

The development of firearms brought swordplay into prominence during the 15th century.  Soldiers learnt skills with the sword, and fencing also emerged as a pastime for the nobility.  Fencing masters organized guilds, which taught secret moves to students.

The swords of this period were heavy, more effective in cutting your opponent with the edge.  The sword was a defensive weapon against thieves, and included tactics such as wrestling holds and disarming or immobilizing with tricks to set up for the killing blow.

Fencing as a “sport” requiring skill and speed, began when the longer and lighter rapier was developed during the 16th century in Italy. Because of the length of the rapier, opponents had to fight at a distance with quick controlled lunges, attacking the opponent with the point of the sword.  But the rapier wasn’t a good defensive weapon, so the fencer often had to use the left hand with a gauntlet to parry his opponent’s thrusts.  This lead to the “challenge” of ones opponent by hitting him with the gauntlet.

Under Louis XIV in France, with fashion changing so developed a new kind of sword. The rapier didn’t “fit” with the brocaded jackets of the era, nor the breeches, and silk stockings, so French courtiers adapted by wearing a shorter sword known as the court sword.  This turned out to be an excellent weapon for fencing because it was both lighter and stronger than the rapier, so it could be used for defense as well as offense.  As a result, the classic modern one-handed fencing technique we use today developed, with the left hand and arm used for balance.

A version of the court sword, the Foil, was developed for practice.  Another type of sword, the colichemarde, had been created for dueling.  The blade had a triangular cross-section, with slightly concave sides to reduce weight without reducing strength. The colichemarde evolved into the modern Epee.  The Three musketeers used this single weapon style defending the King and thus being the best fighters in the Kings guard.

The third  fencing weapon, the Sabre, was introduced into Europe in the late 18th century adapted from the scimitar of Turkey, by the Hungarian cavalry.  It was so effective that other armies began using it and it evolved into the cutlass, becaming the standard weapon for the navy.

The Sabre was a very heavy, curved sword, but changed into a lighter weapon with only a slight bend in Italy, late in the 19th century for dueling and fencing.  The modern Sabre is straight, like the Foil and Epee, but it still retains one cutting edge which can be used to make hits on an opponent.

Olympic Fencing

Fencing one of the first Olympic sports that has been on every modern Olympic program since 1896.  The Men’s Foil and Sabre events were on the 1896 program and the Epee was added in 1900.  Because of major disagreements about the rules, France and Italy refused to compete in 1912. The Fédération Internationale d’Escrime, (Standardised rules in 1913), is the governing body for international fencing, including the Olympics.

The Women’s Foil competition commenced in the Olympic program in 1924.  Only Foil was fenced for many years, until the Epee was added in 1992, and in Athen in 2004 an American won the first ever gold medal won for the USA.

There are 3 different sets of rules for the three weapons, relating to the differences in technique evolved out of their history.

 In Foil and Epee, a touch can only be made only with the point.  The entire body is valid target for the Epee, but in Foil a touch is scored only on the torso. In Sabre, a hit is made with the edgo or tip, only on the torso, arms and mask.  Fencing due to its speed is a difficult sport to judge, since it’s necessary to determine, first, whether a hit was made and, second, which came first when the two fencers score hits almost simultaneously.  The electrical Epee was introduced at the 1936 Olympics to score hits automatically.  Electronic Foil was added in Melbourne in the 1956 Olympics, and Sabre at the 1992 Olympics.

Fencing Clothing

Glove – The glove protects the weapon hand (the rear hand doesn’t need a glove).  The glove provides a non slip gripping surface.

Jacket – The heavy protective garment that protects the torso. Made from heavy canvas, quilted cotton, or Kevlar, fencing jackets are usually closed with zips. The front of the jacket dips into a v-shaped groin protector, with a strap that runs between the legs to hold the groin protector in place.  You “step into” a fencing jacket.

Plastron – The added protection under a jacket, in the form of a single or double-sleeved Kevlar undershirt.  Required for most competitions

Chest protector — Molded plastic breastplate, worn by women under the jacket

Mask – The wire-mesh helmet of fencing.  Never fence without your mask, as modern fencing weapons are predominantly dangerous only to uncovered eyes.  The wire mesh is darkened on the inside, to allow your eyes to focus past the grill.

Breeches – Suspender-based fencing pants. Required for high-level (national and international) competitions. Not required for training or classes

Bib – The heavy fabric below the mask, which protects your neck.

Socks – Not unlike Football socks the Fencing sock is knee high and traditionally white, Most Epee socks have a reinforced panel in the front shin section of the sock.

Shoes — Like every other sport, Fencing has its own shoes. Light and flat soled with a rolled heel.

Modern Fencing
Electric fencing was redeveloped In the 1970’s and has had slight modifications since.  The scoring apparatus has 3 options for each weapon, and are universally used in every Fencing Nation.

 Unlike historic battles modern fencers don’t harm their opponents but try to hit their opponent as many as 15 times and thus require more technical and tactical depth.

Fencing consists of 2 competitors who face off in a “bout”, they compete to score points on each other with their weapons. To beat an opponent, a fencer must use bladework, footwork, tactics and strategy. Fencing bouts are characterized by flurries of speed, highly aerobic movement, and lightning-fast blade movements.

Fencing Weapons

Fencing has three weapons, each derived from an historical ancestor.  Modern fencing weapons are lighter, safer sporting versions of the real thing

All weapons used in Fencing range from 90 – 100cm long, and typically weigh under 500 grams. There are a set of requirements to which each weapon must conform, for reasons of safety and fairness.

The Epee
 The Epee is a descendant of the dueling Rapier, and has a large hand-guard and a blade which has a V-shaped cross-section.  Epeeists often train to hit the opponent’s hand toe and leg, since these are the closest targets.

The Sabre

The Sabre is descended from the curved cavalry sword. It has a basket-shaped hand-guard that completely covers the hand, and a blade which is Y-shaped in cross-section.  Sabreurs often train to hit the opponent’s hand, since it is a close target, and the opponent’s head, since it is easy to hit with an edged weapon.

The Foil

The Foil is a synthetic weapon. It was originally designed by Fencing Masters as a lighter, safer training substitute for real weapons.  The Foil has a small, round hand-guard and a blade that is rectangular in cross-section. Foilists train to hit the chest, but a school of technique is also built around hitting the opponent’s back with a move that bends the blade in a curve (the “flick”).

Starting weapon

When teaching fencing, instructors often start new fencers with the Foil.  Because of its origin as a training weapon, the Foil comes with a set of rules, technique and conventions that translate easily to the Epee and Sabre.  As students become comfortable with the concepts of fencing, they can switch to the other weapons. Many students choose to stay with Foil, however, and it is frequently the most popular weapon at tournaments.

In recent times, high-level fencing has been increasingly taught by weapon specialists, and the “Foil-first” approach has been challenged by the successes of fencers who only ever fenced Sabre or Epee.

The Winner is….?

“And the Winner is?”

SwordfightersAustralia is running a “Guess the Olympic Winners” Competition.

 Who is going to be the most successful country in Fencing at the Beijing Olympic Games.  Do you have any inside knowledge?

Email with your 1st, 2nd and 3rd; Rankings and medal numbers.

Entries close 7/8/2008 (the day before the opening ceremony) 

The most correct entry at the end of the last day of competition will win a Swordfighter Prize.

You’ve got to be in it to win it.

Financial Health of US Fencing

According to an article on Fencing.Net  (6 March) The USFA is having to address related rumours to its financial status.  The article states that the USFA has budget debts of somewhere between $250,000 to 1 millon US Dollars.

Read more

AFF #1 Timetable 28-30 March 2008

Timetable and Results for D.H.McKenzie (full results)

Melbourne held at the “Fencing Factory”

Friday March 28th, 2008, Mens Sabre – 12.30, Womens Sabre – 1.30, Mens Veteran Sabre & Womens Veteran Sabre – 4.30.

Saturday March 29th, 2008, Mens Epee 9.00, Womens Foil 10.45, Mens Veteran Foil 2.15, Womens Veteran Epee 2.30.

Sunday March 30, 2008, Mens Foil 8.45, Womens Epee 10.30, Mens Veteran Epee 2.00, Womens Veteran Foil 2.30.

Attached is DHMckenzie Program which may be of interest.

The naming of the D.H.McKenzie tournament was an important dedication to one of Australia’s best fencers.  The following article was printed on the program available at the competition.

David McKenzie (1936-1981)

David McKenzie was an exceptionally fine young fencer who represented the NSW Amateur Fencing Association in the period 1954 – 1966 as a member of the Swords Club, based in Sydney and coached by Professor Joan Beck.

David’s education included Parramatta High School and then the Faculty of Law at Sydney University to graduate with a degree ub Law (LLB).  He also represented the Sydney University Fencing Club, and in that capacity his interests focused on establishing fencing as an Australian Intervarsity Championship event.  The success of that initiative is confirmed by the number of University fencers who went on the represent Australia.

Apart from his State titles, his fencing career included two Australian Foil Championship titles (1957 and 1965), representing Australia in Foil  at the Olympic Games of 1956 (Melbourne), 1960 (Rome), and 1964 (Tokyo).  He also represented Australia in Foil at the British Empire & Commonwealth Games in Wales (Cardiff) in 1958 and in 1962 (Perth).  After the 1966 Jamaica (Kingston) Games, those Games were identified as the Commonwealth Games.

David’s success as a fencer is confirmed by being recognised as a perpetual finalist in Australian National Competitions.  His precise and technical ability as a fencer also prompted presidents of bouts to be very sure of their analysis of an action before awarding a hit.  A classic example was the highlight of a bout in New Zealand in which David’s speed and precision with a riposte clearly identified he had effectively parried two attacks but failed to impress the president who ruled that the attack was not parried.  On the next attack David parried, held the parry, looked at the president and then riposted to gain the hit and convince the president to understand the error of his judgement – all done very politely, which was indicative of David’s characteristic answer to a problem.

For those wh knew David as a friend, it was apparent in the late 1950s, that his ambitions included management opportunities and his success within Law provided the expertise and opportunity to become President of the NSW Amateur Fencing Association.  In 1963, with the election of Laurie Harding-Smith as President of the Australian Amater Fencing Federation, David was elected Executive Vice President of the AFF and the sport of fencing established an upgrade of its image as an Olympic sport.  His perception of progress for the sport extended to creating Australian Junior Championships which, apart from extending the sphere of fencing, also provided the opportunity to identify the talented fencers of the junior category.

David’s involvement in the administration of fencing extended from the late 1950’s to the mid 1970’s, during which time he also represented Fencing as a delegate at Australian Olympic Federation meetings.  His success in sport administration is identified by the following elections and appointments: 1968 Assistant Manager Olympic Team (Mexico), 1971 Vice President of the NSW Olymic Committee, 1973 elected to the executive of the Australian Olympic Federation, 1974 elected as AOF member of the International Olympic Council, 1980 AOF representative at Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

David was the legal advisor of the Australian Olympic Federation and his appointment to the IOC also included legal representation on behalf of the International Olympic Council .  His elevation through the administration of a minor Australian Olympic sport, such as fencing, the NSW Olympic Committee, the Australian Olympic Federation to the International Olympic Council represents an extraordinary achievement  for an Australian fencer.  David served with great distinction, and was directly involved in the negotiations that were critical in terms of world-wide concepts of the Olympic Games which were scheduled for Moscow in 1980.

David was personally involved in discussions with the Prime Minister of the day, Malcolm Fraser, whose government supported a boycott of the Moscow Games.  He also personally negotiated with President Jimmy Carter of the U.S.A.   It is more than appropriate to recognise that David’s influence extended to ensuring that Australia did particpate in the Moscow Games and that Australia is now identified with Greece as the only nations that have participated at every Olympic Games from 1896 in Athens to 2004, also in Athens.

David was an exceptional fencer, a sportsman with high level ethics and a tireless worker on behalf of Australian Fencing.  It is fitting that his work should be acknowledged and remembered by the annual Australian Tournament which bears his name.

AFF #1 T-shirts

Tshirts were available to buy at AFF 1 in Melbourne (28-30 March)

Information will be available soon on the website on new products available.

FIE Letter – March

 To view the latest FIE letter regarding the upcoming Korean Mens/Womens Foil Tournament changes and information for interested manufacturers of fencing pistes.  FIE Letter March 

Historical Fencing

So what is historical fencing?

Well here is a bit of a look at some historical fencing from youtube

“Historical fencing shows in Sandomierz”  

Very well done and some scenes are quite difficult to recreate and look “realistic”.

Fencing Champions

History is an important thing!

Especially fencing history, and up til now it hasn’t been available on the web.

For Australian Champions

For World & Olympic Champions

Australian Foilist in Germany

Australian Mens Foilist Jozef Slowiaczek came 129th in Bonn, Germany last weekend.

Australian Epeeist in Germany

Australian Epeeist Amber Parkinson has come 115th in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany last weekend.

Sword Fighters Australia is proudly powered by WordPress and themed by Mukka-mu