Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Real Skills of Electric Sabre

You might have noticed that I'm a fairly obsessive sabre fencer, and I've decided that you should be too! As such, given that the modern sabre game is entirely electrical in its scoring, you'll need to know the essential skills of the electric sabre game. No, not those silly things about parries and ripostes and footwork- the real skills of electric sabre:

  1. Fighting for a box. It is a sad fact in this universe that some people want to fence epee. These strange individuals also seem to think that they need an electric scoring box, on the basis that "it's all about when you hit someone". Usually around the time you want to practise. Essential skill tip- barging them out of the way isn't nearly so useful as simply pointing and saying "oh look, your tip-spring has come out" and then running past them.
  2. Heat Management. It's not so much a fitness issue as an "I'm dressed like a turkey about to be roasted" issue. You will sweat. You will feel like dying. You will drink all the water you'd brought for the day after the first bout. Essential skill tip- if the bout hasn't gone well, lean over the score record sheet shortly after removing your mask. The resulting waterfall of sweat should obliterate things nicely.
  3. Shouting. The right of way system hasn't actually changed, but presidents sometimes spend more time watching the lights than the fencers, so the shout that tells the world you've got the hit is a vital component of any fencer's armoury. Essential skill tip- One you have the hang of shouting, go the extra mile, literally. One French acqaintance of mine would set off on a little victory lap after every good hit. Try calling him back to tell him that you've given the hit the other way then.
  4. Style. As we all know, you get extra points when fencing for style (Though strangely, they never seem to show up on the final scoresheet. It must be some sort of mistake) For maximum NuSabre chic, make your technique look as little like somebody fencing sabre as possible. The no guard en-guarde position is always a favourite for, while hitting with the edge of the blade is practically verboten. Essential skill tip- The real pros might want to try Ratneswaren's habit of putting both hands above his head mid-hit. Presumably it's to lull the opponent into thinking that you've surrendered. Or because he has some castanets hidden where no one has noticed.
  5. The double teapot. It used to be that sabre looked like you were singing "I'm a little teapot" complete with the actions. Nowadays though, your hand is more likely to be on your hip at the end of a hit, when you whip your mask off and tell the president they've got things wrong, then somehow manage not to get carded for it. Essential tip- For best effect, demand that they go to the slow motion replay. This is especially fun if there isn't a slow motion replay.
  6. Bouncing, flunging and stop hitting. See point four.
So there you have it. The essential skills of electric sabre, all bound up in one neat package. Now, who's looking forward to the Yorkshires?

1 comment:

Lisa Damian said...

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