John H wrote:In Gordon’s defense on this, there is still a divide on the sport side between those who only wish to win tournaments/the Olympics and those who wish to keep to the true spirit of fencing. Sound Familiar?
Good point John.
I think it's fair to say that both in modern fencing and Hema we fight with Sword Simulators, not swords. They replicate different types of swords, and may replicate them more or less closely, but nothing really different in principle.
I think that in both modern fencing and in Hema we have people who's focus is at being good at competitions, and people who just like to study swordsmanship and only use freeplay to further that. There may be differences in the proportions, but nothing really different in principle.
In Modern fencing and Hema there are people who study books / treatises do see how other people do/did fencing and those who do not. again There may be differences in proportion, and obviously the modern fencers study more modern books as a rule, but again no difference in principle.
Both have some people who will 'game' the rules, and make some effort to prevent this.
Personally I much preffer smallsword to foil, because I like the history and it feels more 'Martial' to me The example I was preparing to use was commanding. I know that Gordon knows that it can be effective, I have seen him have a sword taken out of his hand in freeplay (I even have access to the video), and I preffer the use of the left hand and turning of the shoulders to be allowed.
But arguably by banning the use of the left hand, modern fencing forces you to learn to use the point even when the distance makes that hard, and that can be seen as martial in it's way. I can find you a quote from a treatise from 230 years ago, written by a naval officer who was concerned that young gentlemen should learn fencing because it stands them in good stead in boarding actions, and he says you should not learn commanding because it is less effective than using the sword.
Its all a matter of prefference really. Mine is for historical stuff and personally I only do modern fencing as well becuase I don't have the chance to do Hema stuff every week, but I don't see it as fundamentally different