Stick Fighting Controversy, and a possible solution.

Bob Hubbard

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Stick Fighting Controversy, and a possible solution.


The controversy several months past regarding match judging, etc have had me thinking. This is not intended to rehash any past matches issues, but look at some of the problems in judging a match and determining points. Each judge has their own idea of what constitutes a strike, some don't see well, sometimes there are miscommunications between people, etc. The end result is, points aren't counted, and controversy ensues.

So, what can be done about it?

Well, we could set up 5 cameras (1 on each side, and 1 above) and do "Instant Replay". That though would slow the matches down and cost quite a bit, especially when multiple rings are in use.

We don't have high-tech sensors and futuristic bio-sticks to do the "Laser Tag" solution where each fighters armour would announce a valid point being scored.

So, what about going low-tech?

In the past, fencers would wear white, and points would clearly show as the red of the persons blood would stain the jacket. Could there be a way to do something less lethal with stick fighting?

2 idea's come to mind.
- Chalk
- Paint

We already often employ felt edged training weapons with chalk to demonstrait cuts and strikes. Why not use the same idea with stick fighting? A small felt "bag" could be fitted over any padded or live stick, colored chalk (coded to each fighter) could be applied, and then each strike clearly seen at the impact zone.

The same basic idea could also be used employing waer based paint (maybe paintball fill?).

Either method would show clearly where the strike landed, and indicate some level of impact (more transfer = harder strike). This would also eliminate loss of points due to not enough clear views of the strike. Downsides include the mess, possible cheating (wiping), and the chance for false positives as build up occurs. Fighters might be required to bring several uniforms to minimize the chance of last matches points counting this match.


Thoughts?
 

Rich Parsons

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Stick Fighting Controversy, and a possible solution.


The controversy several months past regarding match judging, etc have had me thinking. This is not intended to rehash any past matches issues, but look at some of the problems in judging a match and determining points. Each judge has their own idea of what constitutes a strike, some don't see well, sometimes there are miscommunications between people, etc. The end result is, points aren't counted, and controversy ensues.

So, what can be done about it?

Well, we could set up 5 cameras (1 on each side, and 1 above) and do "Instant Replay". That though would slow the matches down and cost quite a bit, especially when multiple rings are in use.

We don't have high-tech sensors and futuristic bio-sticks to do the "Laser Tag" solution where each fighters armour would announce a valid point being scored.

So, what about going low-tech?

In the past, fencers would wear white, and points would clearly show as the red of the persons blood would stain the jacket. Could there be a way to do something less lethal with stick fighting?

2 idea's come to mind.
- Chalk
- Paint

We already often employ felt edged training weapons with chalk to demonstrait cuts and strikes. Why not use the same idea with stick fighting? A small felt "bag" could be fitted over any padded or live stick, colored chalk (coded to each fighter) could be applied, and then each strike clearly seen at the impact zone.

The same basic idea could also be used employing waer based paint (maybe paintball fill?).

Either method would show clearly where the strike landed, and indicate some level of impact (more transfer = harder strike). This would also eliminate loss of points due to not enough clear views of the strike. Downsides include the mess, possible cheating (wiping), and the chance for false positives as build up occurs. Fighters might be required to bring several uniforms to minimize the chance of last matches points counting this match.


Thoughts?

In thoughts of blade work, touching is fine. So paint/chalk/etcetera would work.

For electronics and contact something wouldhave to be done for pressure, and then there would be issues about were the sesnors calibrated properly. Otherwise no pressure sensor then it becomes a game of tag for speed only with no real technique for body placement.

As to the rules, well, I have judge empty hands where it was said clean and clear contact. Then the judges there would call points for slaps and glove barely contact. It was not clear and clean in my mind. Many times I would "Vote" for the guy who had the technique and body placement to have "Scored" a better shot (* Meaning in my opinion more damage, aka clean and clear shot *) versus the guy who may have been a hair of a nanosecond faster but was only making light contact.

When ever there is a competition and rules there will an issue of someone complaining about the rules or judging. Make it free for all, and the last one standing, screw the rule, and see who wins. Then there is no question. But now you have issues of who wants to risk their life or health against antoher "White" belt who may or may not have any fights or training time.

The Paint Ball style has potential, as a certain amount of impact would be required. The deliver system and implementation would be the issue. A clean delivery system that is consistent and still allows for the person to continue fighting/sparring after contact.
 

tellner

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The Dog Brothers/WEKAF approaches may be the only decent ones short of "The guy who walks away is the winner."
 
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Bob Hubbard

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What I'm looking at here, is someway to not mimmick blade fighting ie: kendo or fencing, or leave people injured or worse, but take the 'opinion' and 'I didn't see that' out of the sport.
 

tellner

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Honestly, I don't think you're going to be able to. You can have judges who will be fallible. You can have fighters acknowledge the touches which will be even more unreliable. Chalk will fly all over the place; trust me, I've tried it. You could do a fencing-style electric suit which would be expensive and would need to be exceptionally sturdy.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Bob this would be really difficult to come up with. Sparring with padded weapons is fun as a training exercise but as a sport it is too similar to point fighting for my liking. WEKAF gear is the next step up and definately is an improvement over padded stick sparring with a little more risk. Personally I like to spar with rattan, fencing mask, elbow and knee pads and let the sticks have effect or in other words feel the result of the action. Add in grappling, trapping, disarms, etc. and you have alot of fun. However, to have more than a few matches can be really taxing on the body. (really taxing)

None of the above though is the same as a real encounter.
 

Bill Bednarick

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Breakable sensors on top of armor and agreed to target areas.
Head and face, arms, hands, legs, and body. Glass sensors that take the approximate poundages of the unarmored target to break, like perhaps glowsticks.

Head shot for body hit? Ding ding head shot is a kill match over.

Short time limits, and first fatal injury wins.

Mutual kill is a mutual loss, back to the losers brackets.

You have to get away from the tippy tap touch sparring while insuring the fighters defend themselves.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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You know Bill you might have a good idea with the breakable sensors ala what they use on mythbuster's etc. I wonder what the costs are on those?
 
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Bob Hubbard

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Copying my reply to someone else on a different forum:
=====


Your timing of this has me thinking.....

Does this not also mean accepting lossand moving on? It hasn't happened

to me, but how should one feel if victory was snatched from them?

Accept that you can't always be the winner, regardless of rank and or
experience.

I was asked to post something 'good', so I did. Any other timing, eh.

Accepting legitimate loss, yes. But when it's not, then something is
wrong. I've been on the floor, landed solid points only to see them
declared for my opponent, or not at all. To pick on 1 recent public
example, Rick vs Tim, 2 sets of judges, as well as people from at least
4 different forums have seen the footage of the match, and there was no
clear concupiscence on the winner. Now, if each time a solid blow had
landed their helmets had flashed, it would have been easier to count the
points and there would have been less controversy. Again though, I'm not
intending to rehash that old argument, but simply use it as an example
of where some visual system would have done well.

Remember, I'm talking point fighting competition here. Not real
fighting, forms, or the like.


Can Laser Tag equipment be adapted to stick fighing situations?
Not as such. Until the day someone really does invent a sport
lightsaber....a cool idea to me, but not likely in my lifetime. But the
basic ideas, when you are hit you a-feel it and b-your body armor
flashes and c-it's counted by a computer, does sound like an idea for
the future. Obviously, you'll feel the hit. That's a non-concern here.
It's the unbiased detection and accounting for of strikes. If you can
program it to detect strength of impact, all the better. It would also
see to the fraction of the second who hit first, eliminating many of the
points lost to the "clash" determination.

Personally, I can see this system, it's components, etc. We have some of
them around today. I just lack the scientific background to to the
engineering on it.


Dosn't someone already make training knives with a chalk marker?
Yup, and I've used them.


It's messy. I say that well trianed judges and competitors who know how

to accept losses with dignity would negate colored chalk.
You're right, it is messy.
And in a perfect world where everyone was mature, and honest, and rules
were clear and evenly enforced, we wouldn't need it.
But, the world isn't perfect, man is a flawed animal, and so, a solution
is needed.


A good referee knows how to control the contest. When they don't,
controversy ensues.
Controversy ensues regardless.


Not to mention the problem in that most basic laundering habits or
products will not remove such stains. No product removes 100% of
stains. If they even get 90% out, that's well above average.
I used to play paintball regularly. Wore the same military BDU's each
outing. I've come home covered in paint. A good detergent, and maybe a
few extra long washes and you couldn't tell I'd been shot up. The
'messy' system would of course encourage competitors to wash their gear
more often though, which is always a good thing right?
 
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Bob Hubbard

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Bob this would be really difficult to come up with. Sparring with padded weapons is fun as a training exercise but as a sport it is too similar to point fighting for my liking. WEKAF gear is the next step up and definately is an improvement over padded stick sparring with a little more risk. Personally I like to spar with rattan, fencing mask, elbow and knee pads and let the sticks have effect or in other words feel the result of the action. Add in grappling, trapping, disarms, etc. and you have alot of fun. However, to have more than a few matches can be really taxing on the body. (really taxing)

None of the above though is the same as a real encounter.
I'm looking at the sport aspects. For training, we can just use felt and chalk and the honor system with our partners.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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Breakable sensors on top of armor and agreed to target areas.
Head and face, arms, hands, legs, and body. Glass sensors that take the approximate poundages of the unarmored target to break, like perhaps glowsticks.

Head shot for body hit? Ding ding head shot is a kill match over.

Short time limits, and first fatal injury wins.

Mutual kill is a mutual loss, back to the losers brackets.

You have to get away from the tippy tap touch sparring while insuring the fighters defend themselves.
I like this idea.

Problem with those breakables, they are messy, and can get pricey.

But, there are electronic impact sensors. I just remembered watching a show that explored the Oklahoma City bombing, that used computers and sensors to measure explosion and debris effects. I've no idea if they are able to detect the much lower impacts of sticks but it may be possible. The only downside I see is the need to go full force, with rattan, which would require armoring the fighters up, and risk real injury.

Another problem is, people like me that think "sword" when what we're swinging is an instrument designed not to cut, but impart serious blunt force trauma into out opponent.

What my sci-fi geek mind envisions here is a wearable hightech mesh, which will detect and measure the force of impact as well as the target zone, then translate that into something fitting the situation. In a sport match, it could just tally points and time of impact, or it would rate them based on real world lethality. Score sheets would list "kills", "incapacitates" and "hits" based on solid medical data. This might also attract the video gamers to join in. Making the guy who got hit's *** light up...well, that's just funny. :D

This same system could also be used to simulate swordfighting by detecting edge and point and flat of the blade contacts and award accordingly.
 

Carol

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As a contact lens wearer, I don't like the chalk idea at all,,.for practice or for a tourney. If a marking substance is going to be used, I'd rather have it be something like lipstick, which is what the no-lie training blades use.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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As a contact lens wearer, I don't like the chalk idea at all,,.for practice or for a tourney. If a marking substance is going to be used, I'd rather have it be something like lipstick, which is what the no-lie training blades use.
Eye protection would need to be worn to protect against any foreign marking substance, be it powder, paint or paste.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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Eye protection would need to be worn to protect against any foreign marking substance, be it powder, paint or paste.
"Making the guy who got hit's *** light up...well, that's just funny. "

Thought of a funny......guys who get killed alot in matches...could be called 'glowbugs' or 'fireflys'. "Hey GlowBug!" would be a running insult.

This could be fun. :D
 

Carol

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Eye protection would need to be worn to protect against any foreign marking substance, be it powder, paint or paste.

I agree but sport eye protection is usually not an airtight seal around the eyes...making it very easy for dust/powder to still irritate the eyes.

I dunno, it may be more of a personal pet peeve :D
 
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Bob Hubbard

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I'm very particular about my eyes since that botched LASIK several years ago. Something combining the ideas around swim goggles, paintball goggles and safety goggles could be combined. With some events only using certain equipment anyway, this wouldn't be an unusual thing.

Again, all this is more sport based though.
 

Bill Bednarick

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I like this idea.

Problem with those breakables, they are messy, and can get pricey.

But, there are electronic impact sensors. I just remembered watching a show that explored the Oklahoma City bombing, that used computers and sensors to measure explosion and debris effects. I've no idea if they are able to detect the much lower impacts of sticks but it may be possible. The only downside I see is the need to go full force, with rattan, which would require armoring the fighters up, and risk real injury.

Another problem is, people like me that think "sword" when what we're swinging is an instrument designed not to cut, but impart serious blunt force trauma into out opponent.

What my sci-fi geek mind envisions here is a wearable hightech mesh, which will detect and measure the force of impact as well as the target zone, then translate that into something fitting the situation. In a sport match, it could just tally points and time of impact, or it would rate them based on real world lethality. Score sheets would list "kills", "incapacitates" and "hits" based on solid medical data. This might also attract the video gamers to join in. Making the guy who got hit's *** light up...well, that's just funny. :D

This same system could also be used to simulate swordfighting by detecting edge and point and flat of the blade contacts and award accordingly.

True the blade aspects would be lacking as many blade techniques relay on cutting. Chops and trusts should still be applicable however.

Messiness shouldn't be an issue as glowsicks are sealed. I haven't priced them but I seem to remember the little ones being very cheap.

Even on a holodeck with computer aided scoring there would still be some turd claiming they could take the hit/cut/thrust and continue.

It's a game and the nature of games is there are winners and losers.
Winners play the game better, that's why they win.

Are they the most skilled paintball shooter, point sparring fighter, stick fighter? Maybe, maybe not.

But they are better at the GAME.

And games have rules and refs, all of which can be gamed to achieve a win.


A wise man once said is if it's worth winning, it's worth cheating for.%-}

If that isn't ok then maybe the GAME isn't important to you.

I haven't done much sport martial art activity, I did play alot of competitive paintball and it was fun but I no longer care enough about winning to play.

And this may upset some but I personally don't find the idea of cheating dishonorable in anyway.
Real conflict has no rules and what a sport may consider cheating is normally considered using better tactics and superior strategy.;)

I do however like getting feedback to evaluate my abilities and I don't need to game or cheat to get that but I also don't expect to win games doing so.
I get my prize by knowing exactly what I can and can't do and that can't be gamed.
 

tellner

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The problem with the breakable sensors is that they'll break with any hard impact, including against another stick.

I'm afraid that if you want to do this and keep the price under "unChristly" you're just going to have to go with a referee and four judges. It isn't perfect, but the technological fixes are all expensive and fragile.
 

Bill Bednarick

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The problem with the breakable sensors is that they'll break with any hard impact, including against another stick.

I'm afraid that if you want to do this and keep the price under "unChristly" you're just going to have to go with a referee and four judges. It isn't perfect, but the technological fixes are all expensive and fragile.

The sensors go on the mask and armor in the generally excepted target areas.

You nick the face not breaking any sensors while someone lays a caveman across your temple breaking the ones in that target area seems like a pretty easy thing to score to me.

It eliminates the "I hit you first" BS. No break, no hit.

Taps and light hits to non-vital areas are garbage in a fight with sticks, and marginal at best when considering the stick a "blade".
Simply put if you can't run you must fight and a nick to get a fight stopping injury on the opponent is the only realistic option.

But it really comes down to what you are doing.
Gaming or training to fight.

It doesn't really matter much to us anyway Todd, since we train to get better and gaming the results isn't part of the drill.:)
 

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I dont know how many of you are involved in other martial arts. But I know that for the Olympics. The World Tae kwon do Federation is working on a sensor Outfit for the sparring competition. I dont see why that setup couldn't be used say with smacksticks or a like item. It would cause about the same blunt force and have the same effects. I sure it wouldbe expensive but Isure one of these days it will be more affordable just like everything else. Besides dosen't Fencing use a senor outfit???
 
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