All posts by Frances Chow

Textbook: Wagner (GER) v Gu (KOR)

Keeping it classy today: a really nice attack from Benedickt Wagner in the face of lovely defense from Gu. Just a pretty exchange all round.

This whole match, from the round of 32 at the 2014 World Champs in Kazan, was great television. I’m going to start posting the Kazan videos, which we’ve edited out from the big feeds so they’re actually searchable and watchable.

Gu v Wagner march AbleSpanishChrysalis

The full match is available here:


On a razor’s edge: Samele (ITA) v Szilagyi (HUN)

It’s always fascinating to see consider how tense A-grade sabreurs are during matches, despite the immense physical skill and years of combat experience. It’s usually pretty obvious to an experienced observer from the increased size and reduced complexity of their actions, compared with the jaw-dropping speed, precision and sheer neatness they display during training. Then again, sometimes you get exchanges where my mum would watch a few seconds and say “Wow, they need to relax.”

In today’s epic hit, Luigi Samele faces off against Aron Szilagyi in a close semifinal at the 2013 Chicago World Cup. The initial exchange has got everything: perfectly coordinated fall-shorts,  lighting counterparries, powerful attacks – then this.
2014-10-01 Samele v Szilagyi small

It’s so long I’ve had to reduce the GIF size, so click on the image for the original full-size HTML5 version.

Smackdown: Kim (KOR) v Gu (KOR)

So I said no more Korean fencers until I got my hands on the final of Asian Games. Then I got my hands on the final of Asian Games. And boy oh boy, it’s a bar fight. There’s a lovely counterattack from Gu, but it seems Kim’s not in the mood to appreciate it. This is not a nice hit.

2014-09-30 Kim v Gu march SillyHarmfulIberiannase

Anyway, I love big comps. They have all the slow mo.

2014-09-30 Kim v Gu march slow mo low angle


2014-09-30 Kim v Gu march slow mo main


2014-09-30 Kim v Gu march slow mo front

Apparently they didn’t get to world #1 and world #2 by being pretty sabreurs.


Video: Breaking the march

Marching attacks have become more powerful this year, as updates to the FIE rule interpretations have given more flexibility to the attacker. We ran a workshop recently on how to take them down.

To illustrate, we made a video, using a compilation of successful defensive actions from the 2014 Coupe Acropolis in Athens. Starring Nikolai Kovalev (RUS), Daryl Homer (USA), Aron Szilagyi (HUN), Won Wooyoung (KOR), Veniamin Reshetnikov (RUS), Oh Eunseok (KOR) and Maximilian Kindler (GER).

Hope it’s useful!

Errhm? Impossible Ref Call of the week: Limbach (GER) v Szilagyi (HUN)

Just to keep the flamewars lively, I’m going to throw in an epic hit every so often where all of the awesome fencing leads to a totally ambiguous outcome. This lovely exchange is from the round of 16 at the 2014 World Championships between Nicolas Limbach and Aron Szilagyi, and suffice to say it goes to video.
Work it out amongst yourselves.


HTML5 version with slow-mo option is here.


Reflexes of a rattlesnake: Tokunan (JPN) v Reshetnikov (RUS)

So I was looking for counterparries for a little side-project I’ve got going on, and I stumble onto the bout between Kenta Tokunan and Veniamin Reshetnikov in the L16 team match between Japan and Russia at the 2014 World Champs. And damn, if almost every hit in that bout isn’t worth its own post. There’s an incredible 6-hit sequence which kicks off with this little beauty:

Tokunan v Reshetnikov counterparry 9 WigglyRashFrogmouth

I’ll link the original HTML5 with speed controls, because you need it.
I think I have a new fencer to watch.


Successful troll is successful: Occhiuzzi (ITA) v Kim (KOR)

OK, I know I said no more Koreans, but this is Occhiuzzi’s hit. I also know he was putting on a spectacular display of poor sportsmanship through the entire bout, but this hit almost redeems it.  Extra points come from the fact that Kim tried (and got away with) the exact same move at 14/14 against Montano in the previous round, but this time around he clearly neglected to correct for the age-and-guile factor. That counterparry:  oh man.

2014-09-25 Occhiuzzi v Kim counterparry RepulsiveGlassAgouti

Let me sing you the song of my people.