Art of Fencing, Art of Life

The Influence of Yelling in Fencing on the Final Result – Groundbreaking Research

The Influence of Yelling in Fencing on the Final Result - Groundbreaking Research

The sheer volume of fencing videos on social media channels like YouTube, Tiktok, and Instagram Reels, offers us a gold mine for analysts doing theoretical research on the sport of fencing.

A couple of such recent studies inspired me to conduct my own research. I decided to take a deep dive into the videos I saw online, and today I’m proudly announcing the outcome of my rigorous study of these fencing materials.

This groundbreaking, unprecedented, data-driven analysis details the influence of Yelling in Fencing on the Final Result! It’s something we’ve all seen happen in matches, but until now, we didn’t know how prevalent it was or what influence it had on the players and observers. 

I believe this deeper understanding of a singular aspect of matches will revolutionize the sport of fencing and drastically change its future. 

Let’s dive in. 

Research Methodology

Unlike other studies that limited their scope to a single weapon, I set a goal to expand the boundaries of my research and address all three weapons – foil, sabre, and epee. This choice is rooted in my belief that all three weapons are vital to our sport. 

But that’s not all. My research also expands to age groups beyond Seniors, who are usually the subject of the most intense research, to all Modern Fencers  – Youth, Cadet, Junior, Senior and Veterans, And in light of the recent decision of the USA Fencing Board of Directors to include the Y8 events at the regional level, it addresses the youngest group too.

Getting good data is the heart of quality quantitative research. That’s why I watched hours and hours of fencing bouts online and in person. Keeping meticulous notes, I was careful only to take down information that was directly relevant to the subject matter, ensuring clean data. In addition, I had support from fact-checkers, who double-checked my material consistently to ensure that the information was accurate. 

Several factors were of particular interest to this research: the number of times a fencer yells, the sequence of yells, the strength of yells (measured in decibels), the duration of yells (measured in seconds), the repetition of yells (measured in a number of yells separated by an inhale).

Here we go!

Major Findings

Finding #1 – Amount of Yelling

First of all, the most important finding is the following: In every category tested, across ages, weapons, and genders, the last person to yell during the bout is the one that wins. 

Conclusion: This incredible finding can be implemented into your own fencing – if you want to win, ALWAYS strive to be the last one to yell! 

Finding #2 – Youth to Senior

The least yelling category of fencers is the Y8. The most yelling category is Seniors. 

Only Seniors can become Olympians. 

Conclusion: If you want to become an Olympian, you must become a Senior fencer first. It’s very important that you don’t stop fencing at Y8 or Y10 age but continue to yell all the way to Seniors.

Finding #3 – Overall Competition

In 95% of cases, the winner of the entire competition is the one who yells the most. 

Conclusion: In any competition, strive to be on the winning side.

Finding #4 – Non-Yelling

In almost all bouts that I observed, with a small exception (less than 0.01%), a fencer who did not score didn’t yell after the decision by a Referee. 

Conclusion: strive to be the one who can yell after the referee’s decision.

Finding #5 – Touches and Yelling

In most of the cases (70%), the winner of the bout yelled more than the loser, at least by one yell more. Also, a side result of this finding was that a fencer who scored more touches always won.

Conclusion: If you want to win, try to score more touches than your opponent. 

Finding #6 – Weapons

Sabre fencers yell more than Epee fencers in their respective age categories. 

Finding #6A (complements Finding #6)

However, if we compare different categories, the picture is changed: Y8 sabre fencers yell less than Senior epee fencers. 

Finding #7 – Veterans

Veteran Epee fencers yell no more than 10 times during the DE bout in Veteran competitions.

Finding #7A (complements finding #7)

However, this changes when a Veteran Epee fencer enters a Senior event. In that case, they might yell more than 10 times.

Finding #8 – Idle Time

No fencer yells after they disconnect from the strip. Similarly, I didn’t see a single time when fencers yelled during their weapon check on the strip. 

Finding #9 – Team competition

In the Team competition, not only do fencers on the strip yell, but the whole team and even the coach yells. In larger competitions like the USA’s NACs, Junior Olympics, and Summer National team events, parents yell too. In the Olympic Games, I failed to recognize all parents in the crowd of spectators, so for the Olympic Games, the research is inconclusive on that front.

Finding #10 – Language considerations

Fencing coaches yell in their native languages. The most common phrases were “Bravo!”, “Davai!”, “Way to go!” and “Referee, No Touch!” Less common phrases are not publishable, and some resulted in a black card.

Finding #11 – Tied Matches

A fencer that tied the score yells louder and longer than the one that scored a touch when the lead was already 8 points. 

Finding #12 – The Winning Yell

Fencers who won with one point only yell louder and longer than those who won with a difference of 5 touches and more. 

Finding #13 – Zero Point Matches

Fencers who won their bout 15:0 never yelled. Typically, a salute and handshake is the way the bout ends in these cases. Also, per our analysis, such bouts were the shortest.

Finding #14 – Refs & Coaches

Referees never yell, even at the conclusion of the final bout. Coaches, however, do.

Finding #15 – Cadets vs. Juniors

Cadets and Junior fencers yell the same. We didn’t find any significant differences. However, we found that the same Cadet fencer will yell fewer times in the Senior category.

Finding #16 – Jumping

In many cases, the winner of the tournament also jumps up and down in addition to yelling.  This leads us to speculate that being light on your feet is important in fencing.

Finding #17 – Losing & Winning

Across every kind of category and weapon, we found that fencers can win when they yell and that they can lose when they yell. But a surprising discovery was that you can win when you don’t yell, and you can lose when you don’t yell either.

What’s next in this research?

There is still a lot of work to do in the field of this research, with a lot of data analysis to be performed and applied to many additional situations and scenarios. However, armed with the current scientific knowledge from my research, I am sure you can perform at your best and reach high in this wonderful sport of fencing.

Good luck yelling (or not) and winning!

Parting Words

As we showed through this research presentation, there are some fascinating things out there to be explored, and there are plenty of additional areas that still need to be addressed. One particular area of interest is how yelling impacts fencers in the long term. 

As we just received a generous grant to conduct this additional research, we plan to share its results on April 1st, 2024. Stay tuned.

Please help us in our efforts to better understand this important physiological expression of fencing emotion by answering the following question in the comments section:

Which finding resonates most with you as a fencer, a coach, a teammate, a referee, a parent, or an observer?


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