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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Foster and Straker (Read 7701 times)
DebbieJ
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #85 - Feb 13th, 2017 at 1:28pm
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Hi Moo and SnowLeopard!
Moo, that was hilarious! Though I bet you gave that cocky kid sme food for thought because it sounds like you kept up with him pretty good and surprised him as well. I would think call that a wake-up call. LOL!
And yes, I've watched fencing on TV and know it is nothing like the staged TV fights one sees. Finesse is correct like in the BBC show, Luke Pasqualino who played d'Artagnan is a tall, slim guy. His style of fighting is quick footwork and changing direction. Watching him handle a blade was a pure joy. The fight master gave him an A+. Luke and the other boys had what was called a boot camp where they trained with masters for everything including riding horses. They did all there own stunt work and everything. No doubles were used at all which was awesome.
Also something I forgot to add when we were talking about sabres and cutlasses and foils. What popped into my head, as far as sabres went, was the scimitar which was used especially during the Ottoman period. It's a backsword or sabre with a curved blade. I always thought it was a wicked looking weapon.
Oh SnowLeopard, my Fibromyalgia is nothing compared to you having a heartvalve & AF. I developed this problem from being a very fast typist in one of my jobs for a local print shop I had for 12 years before I quit. My former boss was not sympathetic and I had to work through the pain which came from my hands and arms burning constantly to the point I could hardly drive. Both my pcp and chiropractor wanted me to take at least a month of to rest when it first happened but, he who shall not be named, would only give me a week. Needless to say after a few more years without any help, since I was the only typesetter, I finally quit. My job at the library for the past 20+ years is much better. I wear many hats. LOL! Now I take a muscle relaxer and a supplement for it. As long as I don't overdue too many things I'm okay. But sometimes I forget and lift something too heavy, try to clean something where I'm bent for too long a time, sit too long, type too much, yadda yadda and the ache stays with me for quite awhile. Or sometimes I have to see my chiropractor to correct it. Unfortunately when you have Fibromyalgia, TMJ goes along with it which I have that as well and have to wear a mouth guard almost all the time as I grit my teeth. 
Now as to those fight scenes...  Wink
  
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SnowLeopard
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #84 - Feb 13th, 2017 at 10:18am
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I should have said - Thanks Moo for the ifo on timing. So we can expect Straker to reach a decent fighting standard (i.e. not get slaughtered) in about three months, practising a couple of time a week. The aliens will be happy to wait that long to make their attack (yes there'll be one), let the humans set up their puny little base, expend resources, then before it's able to defend itself properly they blow it to pieces! Except, of course.........
  
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SnowLeopard
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #83 - Feb 13th, 2017 at 7:19am
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Maybe we're all overgrown squirrels, Moo! Wink

Loved reading about that! Glad you, er, expanded that man's horizons a little. D'Artagnan would have been proud!

Debbie, shame about the fibromyalgia, it must be really frustrating for you, the way it restricts your mobility. I have some problems myself (new heart valve + AF) so I can sympathise.

Now about this duel. I think, since it's an area I am almost totally unfamiliar with, I will keep it to the basics for now, and perhaps appoint Debbie as fight arranger!  Wink
  
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Moo
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #82 - Feb 13th, 2017 at 2:49am
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Fresh meat is exactly what we were. Back in the mid-90's. The group of us were all patrons of a cigar shop in Sanford, NC. One of the regulars was a newspaper editor and had fenced in college under the tutelage of the coach that headed the North Carolina state junior Olympic team. His former mentor had lamented that all his athletes were fencing each other so often they had no surprises left. Our editor friend said he'd see what he could do and presented it one Tuesday night. Our group was a mixed bag of mostly stubble-headed bikers (myself included) with varying backgrounds and absolutely no experience.

Our editor friend taught us the ropes and we practiced a couple times a week for about three months in a dank basement with only one overhead bulb. Our lanes were marked on the floor with chalk. The coach loaned us the equipment and we took each other on with gusto. We learned a lot from our editor.

When the time came we all piled into a couple cars and drove up to near the Virginia border to a facility the team used. I was in riding boots, jeans, a black t-shirt and do-rag. Left my cigar in the ashtray near the back door. I was chosen to take on the state jr. champion. He was good but quite cocky. Each time he tried to lock my blade I threw him out of the lane. No points but amusing. At one point he did this leaping and shouting thing and charged me. I sidestepped him and as he went past I gigged him in the backside. His coach was on the floor laughing. Eventually he bested me five points to my four. I scored on his foot and other spots he didn't anticipate. Once our stint was finished, we gave the coach back the equipment and I went out and finished my cigar. Checking into the cost of buying the equipment, I discovered it was similar to getting into golf. I had enough other hobbies with a capital outlay requirement so we all just scratched it off our bucket lists. It was immense fun, even for an overweight smoker. It is of advantage in competition to have an excess of upper body strength so when your opponent forces your blade you can really give it hell in return. Otherwise, it is very much a finesse thing and you have to adjust your style continually throughout. It is not the clang, clang thing you see in the movies. You advance, retreat and shift constantly but there is no way to follow a pre-conceived plan. Very much second to second. After a few bouts you don't even have any idea what your rearward arm is up to back there. It's kind of like a squirrel tail. It just does stuff to keep you balanced. Odd we have that kind of mental/physical ability with no prior training.

That's the story... Recalling it all has made me laugh bigtime.
Moo
  
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DebbieJ
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #81 - Feb 13th, 2017 at 2:08am
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LOL, Moo! I should have said cutlass.
I wish I could remember the name of the fencing master who was on the set of the BBC show but that's why he said that the Musketeers techniques were close to the foil and epee ones. Except when they fought on horseback with those slashing motions which he said were close in style to what would happen when one used a sabre. Though like I mentioned above the light cavalry sabre wasn't even invented until 1796.
I could picture Porthos using a cutlass as in a few Musketeer movies (especially the Disney live version) Porthos had been portrayed as once being a pirate. The BBC version of Porthos was a big guy and loved to wear a bandanna like a pirate. He could handle almost anything. Also the actor portraying the character was the first African American to play Porthos.
As far as competition goes I only have notes from what I've gotten off the internet. I more or less am familiar with Musketeer style of fighting which of course is slightly different from competition. Gosh, the list I have printed out that shows all the different styles in competition was mind boggling. I'd never remember all of them.
I, for one, would love to hear that funny story you mentioned.
I doubt now I could do fencing even if I wanted too as I have Fibromyalgia and have to be careful of what and how much I do. Sometimes the exercises my chiropractor used to give me made me worse. I have to be careful how much I lift as well. Oh for the days when I had no worries in that department.
But aside from that our local community college doesn't offer fencing. Another college that is well known throughout the U.S. is based in my town of Beaver Falls, PA. It's Geneva College. They don't offer fencing either.
I got a kick out of you saying your group was used as fresh meat for the jr. team. LOL! Grin
  
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Moo
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #80 - Feb 13th, 2017 at 1:44am
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Hi Debbie and SnowLeopard,

The shorter thicker blades used in all those pirate movies is actually a cutlass. The cavalry saber that came along much later has the point and blood groove with heavier blade so it can be used as a close-in stabbing weapon when the opportunity presented itself. Otherwise, the slashing was the primary function as is dictated from the saddle.

The foils used in all those Musketeer movies was more of an epee foil and the fancy footwork that goes along with it. In competition, you have a narrow lane to stay within and you use the pommel end as much as the tip in order to turn your opponents blade away from you while you drive your own tip home. It's more forward and back with the feet as your shoulder is turned toward the attacker. You present the least surface area for them to contact and you keep that rearward arm moving to offset the changes in balance as you shift side to side. In competition, you can score anywhere you can touch that spring loaded tip to your opponent. The upper arm is the closest target but that pommel can push your tip away. The forward knee and foot is also fair game. Some fencing competitors will hop and shout to throw the opponent off. I have a funny story about that for another time.

If you check your local community colleges, you can sometimes find beginner courses in the physical education sections. If nothing else, it helps you with balance and learning to move more fluidly. Our group met in an old hotel basement in North Carolina and the equipment was donated with the proviso that we learn the sport and provide ourselves as fresh meat for the state junior Olympic fencing team. They had fenced with each other so long they knew each others' moves. We were a bunch of middle-aged smokers but we put on a good show for them. Great fun...

Moo
  
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DebbieJ
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #79 - Feb 12th, 2017 at 8:07pm
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Hi SnowLeopard! I was reading what you and Moo were discussing.
Personally, and I used to love watching martial arts and am a big Bruce Lee fan, I don't know if I would say Kendo is all that much like fencing except perhaps in the footwork.
I've watched nearly every Musketeer movie or TV show on the air and think there's a big difference between the two, having seen the way sword fighting has been portrayed on TV.
Kendo uses bamboo swords (Shinai) and protective armor (bogu). Like I said, the footwork may be similar in some aspects. Or perhaps it's just watching them using bamboo swords that throws me off.
I have seen movies where sabres have been used. Now I'm talking about the type a pirate would carry which is thicker and heavier. Not the type the cavalry would use since the original Musketeers novel was set between 1625-1628 and from what I've read up on the light cavalry sabre wasn't invented until 1796.
But like Moo said the sabre is more a hacking or chopping weapon. Not the style of fighting a Musketeer would use. Their blades are lighter weight but used with enough force behind the swing in a slashing downward, upward motion or lunge can be just as deadly.
Plus their arms would tire more easily using a heavy sabre in place of a sword.
Though you could say that the way one handles a sabre is very similar to the fighting style using a Musketeer sword, because of the way the body moves with it.
I've gained most of my knowledge of fencing to use in my Musketeer stories also from Wikipedia and quite a few other sites.
Fencing, and I'm sure Moo could tell you this, boils down to two main areas. Footwork and managing your weapon. Some of what I have printed out came from a fencing master who directed the sequences for the BBC show The Musketeers and that's how he breaks it down.
When the Musketeers fight on their feet they use techniques that are close to the foil and epee styles - keeping their opponents at a distance with the blade. On horseback, they're closer to the slashing sabre style (lighter cavalry blade). Which as he said isn't a surprise since the sabre in fencing grew out of cavalry fighting. He said there are big differences between modern fencing and the fighting on the screen. Musketeers' duels are conducted in large, swashbuckling swipes for maximum entertainment value. Unlike the light, quick moves used in the sport.
Take d'Artagnan's character. He is light on his feet and excellent at changing direction. Which is a big part of what always made his fight scenes.
The following I have are the basic moves he mentioned.
Offensive movies: Attack, Feint, Lunge, Beat Attack, Disengage, Continuation of Attack, Remise, Flick.
Defensive moves: Parry, Circle Parry, Riposte, Counter Attack, Point In Line.
These he broke down to describe each of the movements and have been very useful for me when I write fighting scenes.
Though I try not to do too often as they can get somewhat involved. LOL! If you don't have those, just post here and I'll break them down for you as I no longer have the website I got them from. But Moo could probably answer that question more than me. I would have loved to have learned fencing but they never offered that in school.
I actually found tons of stuff on the net pertaining to modern fencing which I printed out for my own use. But find myself sticking to the basic elements. As fencing back in the 17th century wasn't as modern as it is today making use of the many other elements now involved.
Hoped some of that helped but with someone like Moo who actually took up fencing, you have someone's brain to pick right there.
  
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SnowLeopard
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #78 - Feb 12th, 2017 at 9:35am
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Kendo does sound like a distinct possibility! It sounds a bit more like the sort of way the Musketeers would use their swords, but I'd take advice from Debbie on that.

We do have a nearby kendo club, but I think I'll stick to archery - though I haven't done that in a very long time. Wonder if I can still string my bow…?

  
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Moo
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #77 - Feb 11th, 2017 at 3:59pm
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If Straker's house keeper is proficient in martial arts, she could teach him Kendo, but that would be applicable to sabers only. The foil is a stabbing weapon and scoring is accomplished by pressing the tip-mounted switch to indicate a stab wound. The saber and most other versions is a hacking or chopping weapon and scoring is along the long blade surface. I did some fencing with foils back in the 90's. It was quite challenging but a lot of fun. That lane you have to stay within feels like it's only shoulder width apart at times. If you have it available in your area, it's worth checking out. The equipment is pricey though.

Moo
  
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SnowLeopard
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #76 - Feb 11th, 2017 at 11:16am
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I had a quick look at the Wikipedia entry on fencing, and decided that they would use foils - glad I made the right choice! I've also decided that Ed had tried it once before, many years ago, but as he says 'was pretty useless'. So they start by watching Nina and partner working out, then Nina has a go with both of the 'newbies'. She comments that Ed is trying to use his foil like a sabre. When he gets home, he's going to talk to his housekeeper about practising. Later on, he'll be very glad he did that.

In the meantime he's got a meeting with the ILFC at their new construction site in Plato. He'll talk to Victor, current ILFC boss Dr Sue Grant, and an officer called Colonel Koenig. These three are the only ILFC people who know what'sreally going on next door…
  
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DebbieJ
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #75 - Feb 11th, 2017 at 3:32am
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If it were my decision, Moo, I'd pick foils. Sabre (saber) make me think of pirates. But since I'm a Musketeer fan I'd pick foils to begin with. Should be an interesting clash.
  
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Moo
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #74 - Feb 10th, 2017 at 7:55pm
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Foils or sabers?

Moo
  
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DebbieJ
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #73 - Feb 10th, 2017 at 5:14pm
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Oh you have to have Straker fence with Paul too. LOL! Perhaps the housekeeper could help give him an edge or too against his boss.
  
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SnowLeopard
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #72 - Feb 10th, 2017 at 11:20am
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He'll have to take some lessons from his housekeeper - a martial-arts and fencing enthusiast (specially chosen by SHADO security, of course. Her duties aren't limited to washing the dishes   Shocked  ).

All I know about fencing myself is what I've seen Captain Picard do in the 'Enterprise' gym - so I had to read up about it. Educational this, isn't it   Wink

Now let's see. Will my plot have the two of them duelling in earnest... Yes of course, it has to!
  
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DebbieJ
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Re: Foster and Straker
Reply #71 - Feb 9th, 2017 at 1:45pm
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Hi SnowLeopard!
I bet Straker will take to fencing like a duck to water. LOL!
  
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