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#240683 - 03/23/06 03:43 AM whats the difference between kendo and fencing
maxduan Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 2
I'm a newbie in martial art,especially swords,can any one point out the differences between them,advantages and drawbacks

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#240684 - 03/23/06 10:37 AM Re: whats the difference between kendo and fencing [Re: maxduan]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
They are very superficially similar, and very different at the same time. They both contain two man sparring with designated target zones. The Fencing guys where a face mask to protect the face, but are mostly armorless otherwise. The kendo folks where somewhat more armor. The fencing guys tend to thrust a lot, the kendo guys do a lot more cutting.

What you are asking is a lot like comparing basketball to soccer. They have a little bit in common, like balls, nets players, a general goal of getting the ball in the net, but otherwise they are VERY different.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#240685 - 03/23/06 01:30 PM Re: whats the difference between kendo and fencing [Re: maxduan]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Both of them are sport versions of sword arts. As such, you have advantages (lots of actual combat, which is sorely lacking in the more traditional arts) but also disadvantages (taking advantage of the rules).

It's my opinion that Kendo is the more traditional of the two, while fencing is a continuously evolving Olympic Sport which will get you more competition locally, nationally, and worldwide. Unfortunately, the electronic scoring equipment and flexible blades in fencing has made some interesting tactics over the years (You want to flick your wrist over his head to bend the blade almost double and hit him in the back? Why not?), but, as has happened many times in the past, standard bladework (with modifications) is coming back in effectiveness.

I you want, I could go more in depth on each, but you get the idea.
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#240686 - 03/23/06 09:38 PM Re: whats the difference between kendo and fencing [Re: Benjamin1986]
maxduan Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 2
i would really want to know deeper

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#240687 - 03/24/06 12:13 AM Re: whats the difference between kendo and fencing [Re: maxduan]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Then I'm afraid you are gonna need to do some research into each and come back with better questions. I don't know where to send you for fencing, but the http://www.kendo-world.com website is probably a good place to start for kendo.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#240688 - 03/24/06 10:58 AM Re: whats the difference between kendo and fencing [Re: Charles Mahan]
Benjamin1986 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
The best way to learn about fencing is to go to a tournament and watch. If you go to the USFA's tournament site you can find what's going on in your area.

Where to start? This page can tell you essentially all the rules, so I'll go more into the training.

The standard way of learning to fence involves footwork alone for several months before they put a blade in your hand. It's a very unnatural position, essentially a crab-walk, but if done well, good footwork will make hitting you much harder and hitting them much easier. Unfortunately, a number of people don't have the attention span for this, and it is very difficult to teach a quarter of the class the basics while trying to drill bladework with the rest, so most fencing schools have started introducing the blade very early. The only people I know that do that anymore are parents (start the kid at 6, get him to the Olympics by 30) and universities. Universities have the advantage of the semseter system to teach beginners essentially one group at a time for an extended period.

Now about bouts, things are fast, too fast. Sometimes you will blink and miss seeing who hit whom. Therefore, the best bladework is just large enough to beat your opponent, so no slashing, no windups, just reach out and poke someone (which also happens to be my name for a style used by several epeeists). Therefore, it can be boring to watch, but heartpounding to play. As you get better, you begin to find that nothing you do can possibly get through your opponent's defense, so tactics give way to strategy, making them mess up in a game of physical chess. I enjoy it very much, and I think you will too.

The USFA also will direct you to schools in your area.

I hope that's enough.


Edited by Benjamin1986 (03/24/06 11:00 AM)
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#240689 - 03/24/06 11:44 AM Re: whats the difference between kendo and fencing [Re: Benjamin1986]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< It's a very unnatural position, essentially a crab-walk, but if done well, good footwork will make hitting you much harder and hitting them much easier. >>
Thank you for reminding me of that. I fenced foil in highschool and was accused of hiding behind my blade. (OK So I was thin.) The Kendo I have seen was done in a similar right-foot-lead left-foot-back fashion.

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#240690 - 03/26/06 03:30 PM Armor in Fencing & Kendo [Re: Charles Mahan]
Armed_Man_Piker Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 440
Loc: East Coast U.S.A.
Quote:

The Fencing guys where a face mask to protect the face, but are mostly armorless otherwise. The kendo folks where somewhat more armor.




It should be pointed out that the jackets worn by fencers are actually made with ballistic cloth of various materials (heavy canvas, nylon, & kevlar) that gives a specific amount of penetration protection (measured in newtons). The reason for this is that swords do break in fencing (repeated beats and parries will eventually ruin the temper of any blade, though it usually takes a very long time for this to happen). With a broken blade, a fencer suddenly has a real sword in his hands, and that can be lethal. Fencers have been killed in practice and competition because of this. The masks of today are also of a heavier wire mesh than they used to be.

So, in the final analysis, fencing is actually the only existing established combat sport or martial art which involves bouting with actual steel weapons (as opposed to mock swords made of wood, bamboo, or rattan). The lack of rigid armor is therefore somewhat deceiving.

And it's interesting to note that a 3-weapon fencing mask actually gives considerably more impact protection to the top and sides of the head than a kendo mask does (the fencing mask has a rigid frame of steel bars and wire, whereas the sides and top of a kendo mask are merely heavy cloth).


_________________________
And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable. --Sir John Smythe, 1590

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#240691 - 03/26/06 10:19 PM Re: Armor in Fencing & Kendo [Re: Armed_Man_Piker]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Don't underestimate two layers of heavy canvas or nylon (I heard the FIE stopped suggesting kevlar as it didn't have as much tear resistence as they liked) and two layers of slip-nylon on your side (under the jacket). I couldn't cut that stuff with my pocketknife (my Angelsword knife, yes, my Swiss army, no chance).

Also, while we're on the subject. Wear a cup to fencing. I've seen several guys actually on their knees after hits to the crotch, and one of them was even wearing a cup (did I forget to mention that the girls got points for hitting them there?).
_________________________
Fencing Club at UH

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#240692 - 03/27/06 11:44 AM Re: whats the difference between kendo and fencing [Re: maxduan]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
Max

"I would really like to know deeper"

What exactly "deeper" are you looking for?
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I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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