St David’s Day; Reffing in Welsh

As you may have noticed I’ve started taking refereeing fencing matches a lot more seriously than I have in the past. Today I was in Cardiff for the British Youth Foil Qualifiers refereeing a large number of foil bouts. That said the curious part of me couldn’t help but wonder if it’s possible to ref in my first language of Welsh. Don’t get me wrong I’m not certain how applicable this will be as unfortunately I can only count the number of fluent Welsh speaking fencers with two hands, and that’s only just. I’m not an expecting an Eic Davies style revolution, the man who translated rugby terms into Welsh and the father of ex-rugby commentator Huw Llywelyn Davies. But being a patriotic Welshman I can’t help but see if I can, in some way, promote the Welsh language for the very same reason I write these blogs in Welsh. Truth be told this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve attempted to referee in Welsh. While I was studying at Bangor I attempted to referee a fencing match between two Welsh language speakers although that was more of an off the cuff affair. I’d also like to make it clear that I’m not a Welsh language academic so don’t expect everything to be 100% perfect. And like the English language I’m going to have to adopt a few terms, so without further ado here goes;


Dydd Gŵyl Dewi: Dyfarnu trwy’r Gymraeg

Yn ddiweddar rydw i wedi bod yn fwy difrifol yn fy agwedd i ddyfarnu bowts cleddyfa. Er enghraifft heddiw roeddwn yng Nghaerdydd yn dyfarnu yn gystadleuaeth Ennill Lle Twrnamaint Ieuenctid Prydeinig. Yno wnes i ddyfarnu llawer o bowts ffwyl. Er ddweud hynny doeddwn i fethu helpu ond meddwl os oedd yn bosib dyfarni yn yr iaith Gymraeg. Yn anffodus dydw i ddim yn gwybod pa mor gymwys bydd hyn gan fy mod yn gallu cyfrif y niferoedd o gleddyfwyr rhugl rwy’n ‘nabod gyda dwy law. Dydw i ddim yn disgwyl chwyldro fel Eic Davies, y dyn wnaeth cyfieithu termau rygbi i’r Gymraeg, hefyd tad Huw Llywelyn Davies. Ond gan fy mod i’n Cymro gwladgarol rwy’n hoff o ffurfiau newydd i hybu’r iaith Gymraeg. Mae’n un o’r rhesymau rydw’n myned ysgrifennu’r blogs yn Gymraeg. Dydy hyn ddim yn dro cyntaf imi feddwl am ddyfarni yn y Gymraeg. Pryd oeddwn ym Mangor wnes i geisio dyfarnu bowt rhwng siaradwyr Cymraeg, ond doedd hyn ddim yn gwbwl difrifol. Rydw i eisiau pwysleisio fy mod i ddim yn Academig am yr iaith Gymraeg felly peidiwch ddisgwyl popeth i fod yn berffaith. Ac fel tarddiad Saesneg bydd rhaid imi fabwysiadu rhai termau, felly bant a ni:


My Venture Into Refereeing

Firstly I want to start with an apology as I haven’t been able to update this blog in a while. To cut a story short I’ve had a pretty busy November when various things went wrong, including my laptop. Thankfully it’s been fixed so hopefully I can continue with business as usual. Also during November I managed to obtain a referee qualification through Welsh Fencing and for that I’m extremely grateful. I have to thank Mark Ridsdale for organising the course and of course our fantastic FIE Referee Lynn Melia who ran it. I definitely felt I benefited from her experience, while she’s sent me on my way to becoming a better fencing referee.

I don’t know why but I’ve never been one to shy away from refereeing even though and let’s face it, it can be pretty unforgiving. Hardly a week goes by without someone bashing a reff in some sport or another while I’ll happily admit that I have accused the odd rugby Referee of being useless. Honestly what sort of megalomaniac wants to be a referee? This view point is of course entirely unfair because we depend on Referees to conduct games and bouts in a safe and fair manner, while they make playing sport easier. Admittedly at times they do get things wrong although who doesn’t suffer from human error especially in high pressure situations? Never the less I’ve never really avoided refereeing since I came back to fencing. During my first year as an undergrad I remember the then Men’s Team Captain encouraging me to do a qualification because “if someone disagrees you can always point to the fact you have level one”. I didn’t follow his advice though because I couldn’t find a course that was convenient. That said an opportunity came up to do a course in Liverpool while I was living in Bangor which was easy enough to attend. Although I didn’t take it because it clashed with a competition I helped run, something with hindsight I regret. So when I heard Welsh Fencing were doing a referee course I jumped at the chance and emailed back at soon as possible.

I’ve always felt that I’m a competent Referee although I’m willing to acknowledge my weaknesses. I remember turning up to compete at a Welsh Fencing team competition and reffing the foil one week, then turning up the next and reffing the Sabre. Both times no one questioned my decisions (even after I was hit on the head with a Sabre guard) although there was an incident during Sabre. We were fencing the lads at Vale who got overexcited. Admittedly I was at blame as I didn’t make my decision clear enough, as soon as I explained that I couldn’t award the hit due to a clash in the middle of the blades they soon became quiet. Then again my reffing style has always been very descriptive and based on a fencer I came across while at Bangor. Something I’ll need to address if I was to pass the course. I don’t know why but I’ve never been great with hand signals, possibly due to the ad hoc way in which I learnt the rules, something else that would need looking at.

I’ve always thought that fencing would be better if the referee would verbally describe the action because let’s face it they can’t be any worse than some fencing commentators. While if I’m reffing young children I want to describe the actions so they gain a better understanding of the sport. That said I fully understand why this isn’t adopted on the international stage. Fencing is a global sport and it would be unfair on the competitors if the referees were to conduct it in only one language. That’s where my favourite bug bearer hand signals come in. Hand signals are there so everyone can have a basic understanding. Also if every reff was to start explaining the action it would inevitably slow things down. So when you have hall times and the odd TV and Internet Stream to consider you can understand why hand signals take president. Another weakness of mine is that I was not as aware of some of the rules as I should have been. For example I couldn’t tell you what the length the piste was. While knowing the exact length of tape to insulate a foil has never occurred to me and I double up as an Armour. When I re-tape a foil my measuring device is the palm of my hand.

So on a cold November morning I ventured to the Welsh Institute of Sport armed with a phone, in which I’ve downloaded the latest material and technical rules. A notepad and for some reason an array of armoury tools, to cut another story short I wasn’t certain what to bring so I packed my backpack with anything that resembled the stuff found in the Leon Paul Referee Kit Holder. The day went swimmingly; it was a mixture of practical and theoretical advice and just what I needed to combat the weaknesses I mentioned above. Afterwards we did an exam which went well although I couldn’t help but feel cold. The room temperature was fine although I always feel a bit cold when doing tests. That said I now know what it feels like to be a first year Chemistry student as I’ve never done so much multiple choice in my life. The results were later emailed (and I passed, baby!) while I left knowing that I needed to do a bit of swatting up on hand signals and the odd rule.

The course was done in two parts firstly the theory (completed) and the second part, a practical at the Welsh Youth Foil, taking place the week after. But before I got there went to reff a Varsity competition at Aberystwyth University. No sooner as I had walked through the door I was nabbed by the ex-Aber club president and persuaded to referee Sabre. Five Sabre Team matches soon went by with clear instructions and little deliberation. It was excellent practice and something I found easier than practicing hand signals in front of a video. I left with a smile on my face and an acknowledgement of a job well done with the voices of “thanks”, “well done” and “good luck” still ringing in my ears, sadly this would have been wiped by the next morning.

I arrived bright and early, all freshed faced anticipating what the day would bring. It was only until I was handed the poole sheet, or poole sheets in my case, that I truly appreciated how much hard work goes into running a competition. I soon felt like Rhod Gilbert on one of his Work Experience episodes, especially the coach tour as I had a mental check list as big as Eamonn Holmes’ grocery list (or some form of gag) in my head. Having to organise ten under 10 fencers, who for many was their first competition was tricky. For a bloke who’s a lonely child this was a tall order, although you can’t accuse me of shying away from a challenge as with hindsight I would have agreed to take the poole again, mainly to see if I could run it better. With a little help from Lynn who helped check the plastrons (I still find that process a bit weird) I soon found myself in my stride. As expected some of the children were a little bit shy but I felt I conducted the poole in a safe manner. Don’t get me wrong I couldn’t get them to sit where I wanted, while I was triple checking the poole sheet like a mad man for fear I’d make a mistake thus affecting the results and plummeting everyone to their deaths (ok I might have over exaggerated but you get the picture). I was even building up a good rapport with the kids, but no sooner as I felt comfortable I was asked to move. I was asked to referee another age group which was fun as I got to see more differing styles while someone else took over the poole sheet. We then had three quarter of an hour’s break before I was given the under 10’s and under 12’s finals and semi finals. After a slight confusion over what score the Under 10’s were supposed to go up to (sorry) the first semi final went well and again I felt comfortable and ready to go through the sheets I was allocated. I even built up a correspondence with one of the parents as to when I wanted their child on the piste. But no sooner as I had finished the first DE I was dragged to do another age group then taken off altogether which was doubly frustrating. I ended up helping to make sure one of the fencers wasn’t covering while in between watching the Turin stream. But at the end of the day it did give me time for some self-assessment. I don’t know why, possibly my tone of voice or the way my mouth moves the air but I can’t shout or whisper in English, I can in Welsh but not in English. While again I could have made the odd decision clearer, I’m going to combine my descriptive and my newly adopted hand signals. Having said that I did pass, while I have been invited to the British Youth Qualifiers so it couldn’t have gone that badly.

All in all if you can find a course then I would highly recommend doing it. It was a lot of fun while I already want to see whether I can go up a level. Fencing needs more referees and it’s another skill I’ve added to my arsenal.

Antur Mewn i Ddyfarnu

I ddechrau rydw i am ymddiheuro gan fy mod i ddim wedi gallu diweddaru’r blog. Yn anffodus roedd mis Tachwedd yn hynod o brysur bryd aeth llawer o bethau o le, fel fy laptop. Mae wedi cael i drin felly ddylwn allu parhau. Hefyd ym mis Tachwedd wnes i gael cymhwyster dyfarnu trwy Cleddyfa Cymru. Mae rhaid imi ddiolch Mark Ridsdale am drefnu a’r dyfarnwr FIE gwych Lynn Melia pwy wnaeth rhedeg y cwrs. Wnes i elw o ei phrofiad, gan ei fod wedi helpu fi ddod yn ddyfarnwr gwell.

Ers imi ddod ‘nôl i gleddyfa dydw i byth wedi osgoi dyfarnu hyd yn oed os mae’n gallu fod braidd yn hallt. Bron pob wythnos mae rhywun yn cwyno am ddyfarnwr pêl-droed pam mae rhaid imi gyfaddef rydw i wedi cyhuddo ambell ddyfarnwr rygbi o fod yn anobeithiol. Pa fath o megalomaniac sydd angen dyfarnu? Mae’r safbwynt yn gwbl annheg achos rydym yn dibynnu ar ddyfarnwyr i allu cynnal gemau a bowts mewn ffurf saff a teg. Wrth gwrs maen nhw’n gallu creu camgymeriadau, gan i fod yn amhosib plesio pawb. Ond pwy sydd heb greu gwall mewn sefyllfa anodd? Er ddweud hynny doedd e ddim wedi dodi fi off. Yn fy mlwyddyn gyntaf fel myfyriwr isradd rwy’n cofio cyn capten y tîm cleddyfa yn awgrymu imi wneud cymhwyster achos “os bydd rhywun yn dalau wyt ti wastad yn gallu cyfeirio at y cymhwyster” Wnes i ddim dilyn y cyngor achos doeddwn i methu ffeindio cwrs cyfleus. Rwy’n folon deithio i unrhyw le ar gyfer cleddyfa, doeddwn i fethu cyfiawnhau taith tri diwrnod ben dant gan fy mod i ddim yn ffan o Dde Ddwyrain Lloegr. Er ddweud hynny roedd cwrs yn Lerpwl pryd oeddwn yn byw ym Mangor. Doeddwn i ddim wedi mynd gan i fod ar y rhin dydd oeddwn yn helpu rhedeg cystadleuaeth. Wrth edrych nôl rwy’n difaru yn faith doeddwn i ddim yna. Felly pryd wnes i glywed bod Cleddyfa Cymru am cynnal cwrs dyfarnu wnes i dangos fy niddordeb mor gyntaf ag yn bosib.

Rydw i wastad wedi teimlo’n cymwys wrth ddyfarnu er fy mod i’n cydnabod fy ngwendidau. Rwy’n cofio cystadlu mewn cystadlaethau tîm Cleddyfa Cymru. Wnes i ddyfarnu’r ffwyl un wythnos a sabr y nesaf. Ar bob achlysur wnaeth neb cwestiynu’n penderfyniadau (hyd yn oed ar ôl imi gael tariad ar y pen). Ar ôl un penderfyniad wnaeth y bois Vale cynhyrfu ond i fod yn onest arnaf i oedd y bai, doeddwn i ddim yn glir. Unwaith wnes i esbonio pam oeddwn fethu rhoi pwynt, tariad ar ganol y cleddyfau felly roedd yn amhosib dyfali a oedd pari neu guriad aethon nhw’n dawel. Ond mae’n steil o ddyfarnu gwastad wedi bod yn disgrifiol ac yn seiliedig ar gleddyfwr wnes i ddod ar draws ym Mangor. Rhywbeth fe fydd rhaid imi addasi os oeddwn am gael cymhwyster. Am ryw reswm dydw i byth wedi bod yn grêt gydag arwyddion llaw, siŵr o fod achos y ffurf ad hoc wnes i ddysgu’r rheolau. Agwedd arall fydd rhaid imi ganolbwyntio ar.

Rwyf wastad wedi credu bydd cleddyfa yn well os oedd dyfarnwyr yn disgrifio’r symudiadau. I fod yn onest fe allant nhw ddim bod gwaeth na rhai sylwebwyr. Gan fod gwell gyda fi ddisgrifio’r symudiadau wrth ddyfarnu plant bach felly maen nhw’n deall y sbort yn well. Er ddweud hynny rwy’n hollol ymwybodol pam dydy hyn ddim wedi cael i fabwysiadu yn rhyngwladol. Mae cleddyfa yn boblogaidd ar draws y byd felly fydd yn annheg os oedd y dyfarnwyr yn trafod mewn Saesneg, Ffrangeg, Cymraeg neu unrhyw iaith arall yn unig. Dyma pryd mae’n hoff agwedd, ac rwy’n ddweud hynny’n gwbl goeglyd, arwyddion llaw yn dod. Maent yn cael i ddefnyddio felly bydd ffurf bydd pawb gydag yn deall. Hefyd bydd gystadlaethau yn arafu os fydd dyfarnwr am ddisgrifio pob symudiad. Felly wrth ystyried amserau neuaddau, teledu neu’r we mae’n rhwydd gweld pam mae arwyddion mor bwysig. Gwendid arall ydy’r ffaith doeddwn i ddim mor ymwybodol o’r rheolau a ddylwn i fod. O’r blaen doeddwn i ddim yn gwybod beth oedd maent piste. Gan fod maent dap ffwyl byth wedi bod yn bwys gan fy mod i’n mesur e gyda’n llaw.

Felly ar fore oer ym mis Tachwedd wnes i drafaeli i’r Ganolfan Genedlaethol Chwaraeon Cymru. Wnes i lwytho’r rheolai materol a technegol diweddar i’r ffôn. Hefyd es i a’n pad ysgrifennu a nifer fawr o offer arfdy. Doeddwn i ddim yn siŵr beth i ddod felly wnes i bacio’r bag gydag un rhywbeth tebyg i’r cyfarpar mewn y Leon Paul Referee Kit Holder. Aeth y cwrs yn o lew gan fod y cyngor ymarferol a damcaniaethol yr union beth oedd eisiau i wellaf yn wendidau. Yn olaf wnaethon ni prawf a doeddwn i fethu helpu ond teimlo’n oer. Aeth y prawf yn iawn gan fod tymhered yr ystafell yn iawn ond dydw i fethu osgoi teimlo’n oer wrth wneud profion. Er ddweud hynny rydw i nawr yn gwybod beth mae myfyriwr chemeg yn teimlo fel gan fy mod i byth wedi gwneud cymaint o gwestiynau amlddewis yn fy myw. Roedd y cwrs mewn dau rhan, y theori (wedi cwblhau) ac yn ail y rhan ymarferol fe fydd yn cymryd rhan yn y Gystadleuaeth Ffwyl Ieuenctid Cymru. Ond cyn imi gyrraedd gwnes i ddyfarnu cystadleuaeth Farsity Clwb Cleddyfa Prifysgol Aberystwyth. Gwnaeth y gyn llywydd y clwb bachu fi i ddyfarnu’r sabr. Aeth pum gem tîm o’n blaenau gydag arweiniad clir a braidd dim cwynion. Roedd yn ymarfer arbennig o dda a rhywbeth wnes i deimlo’n rhwyddach nag ymarfer o flaen fideo. Wnes i adael gyda gwen ar fy wyneb a’r teimlad fy mod i wedi gwneud jobin dda. Roeddwn i dal yn gallu clywed lleisiau o “diolch yn fawr” a “pob lwc” dal yn fy mhen, rhywbeth fydd wedi mynd y bore trannoeth.

Cyrhaeddais yn gynnar yn amcan beth oedd ymlaen. Dim ond tan imi gael y ddalen Poole (neu daflenni Poole yn fy achos i) wnes i werthfawrogi faint o waith caled syn mynd i redeg cystadleuaeth cleddyfa. Doedd o ddim yn hir tan fy mod i’n teimlo fel Rhod Gilbert ar un o’i rhaglennu Profiad Gwaith, yn enwedig yr un daith bws gan fod gen i restr yn fy mhen mor fawr ag rhestr siopa bwyd Eamonn Holmes (neu jôc debyg). Roedd trefnu deg cleddyfwyr o dan 10 mlwydd oed, llawer yn cymryd rhan yn eu cystadleuaeth gyntaf, yn braidd o her. Am berson oedd yn blentyn unig roedd hyn yn dipyn o gamp, ond dydych fethu a chyhuddo fi o osgoi her. Gyda help Lynn, wnaeth edrych ar y plastrons (rydw i dal i ffeindio’r broses hon yn od), es i mewn i’n stride. Fel oeddwn yn disgwyl roedd rhai o’r plant yn swil, ond oeddwn yn teimlo fy mod i’n cynnal y Poole mewn ffurf ddiogel. Er fy mod i byth yn gallu cael nhw i eistedd ble oeddwn i eisiau. Wrth gwrs rhwng y bowts roeddwn i’n edrych a’r daflen poole fel gwallgofon rhag ofn imi wneud camgymeriad fydd yn effeithio’r canlyniadau. Er ddweud hyn roeddwn i’n dod ymlaen yn dda gyda’r plant, ond roedd i wedi cael i symud i piste arall er fy mod i’n teimlo’n fwy cyfforddus gyda’r sefyllfa. Wedyn cefais grŵp oedran hyn, ble oedd mwy o amrywiaeth yn arddull y cleddyfa, tra bod rhywun arall wedi cymryd dros y daflen Poole. Ar ôl hyn cefais frêc am dri chwarter awr o egwyl cyn imi gael y rowndiau terfynol y dan 10 mlwydd a’r rowndiau terfynol a cynderfynol y dan 12 i ddyfarnu. Ar ôl bach o anhrefn gyda’r sgôr (sori) aeth y rownd gynderfynol gyntaf yn dda ac roeddwn yn teimlo’n gyfforddus ac yn barod i fynd drwy’r taflenni. Ond cyn imi allu ddechrau’r DE nesaf cefais i lusgo i ddyfarnu grŵp oedran arall, wedyn cael i dynnu’n gyfan gwbl. Roedd hyn braidd yn rhwystredig, yn y pen draw wnes i helpu dyfarnwr arall i wneud siŵr nad oedd un o’r cleddyfwyr ddim yn gorchuddio a gwylio’r ffwyl yn Turin. Ond yn y pen draw cefais amser i asesu’n hunain. Nid wyf yn gwybod pam, efallai tôn y llais neu’r ffordd mae’n geg yn symud yr awyr, ond ni allaf weiddi neu sibrwd yn Saesneg, gallaf yn y Gymraeg, ond nid yn Saesneg. Hefyd gallwn i fod wedi gwneud y penderfyniad bach yn gliriach, rwy’n mynd i gyfuno’n steil ddisgrifiadol a’n un newydd gydag arwyddion llaw. Er ddweud hynny wnes i basio, gan fy mod wedi cael gwahoddiad i’r Gystadleuaeth Ragbrofol Ieuenctid Prydain, felly ni allai wedi bod mor wael â hynny.

I orffen os allwch ddod o hyd i gwrs fe fyddwn yn annog chi i wneud e. Rydw i yn barod eisiau gweld os allaf fynd lan lefel gan fod angen llawer mwy o ddyfarnwyr ar cleddyfa. Hefyd rwyf wedi ychwanegu sgil newydd i’ n arsenal.

Fencing Footwork: A Step By Step Guide

Footwork is incredibly simple, that said mastering it takes time, patience and practice. It is also an easy way to judge the standard of someone’s fencing so never underestimate the advantages of looking at someone’s footwork before you fence them.

(Disclaimer – I’m going to be concentrating on basic footwork. Possibly next week I’ll discuss cross steps, jumping, and other footwork solutions while evaluating their pros and cons)

Here’s my Step By Step Guide;

Moving Forward/Advancing

Footwork 1

Firstly before you start practicing footwork make sure you’re in a good en garde position. Ask yourself are your knees bent? Do your arms and legs feel loose? Are you working your stomach muscles?

Your en garde stance should look something like this fine gentleman on the right;

Footwork 2


Secondly kick out your leading leg which is again shown in the diagram.


Footwork 3

Thirdly you want to land your front foot so that your heel is touching the ground then transfer your body weight forward so your foot lands flat. Once your foot is on the ground instantly start moving your back foot. Ideally your back foot should cover the same distance as your front foot thereby maintaing your centre of gravity.

Footwork 4


And Lastly complete the step.



Moving Backwards/Retreating

Footwork 5

The technique to moving backwards is almost identical only this time you lead with your back leg instead of your front foot.

Firstly make sure you’re in a good en garde position.


Footwork 6

Secondly extend your back foot, angle it slightly so part of the sole is touching the ground.



Footwork 7

Thirdly transfer your body weight backwards. As you’re doing it start moving your front foot backwards. Your back foot should land flat to complete the step. Ideally your front foot should cover the same distance as your back foot thereby maintaining your centre of gravity.


And there you have it Footwork 8 one completed step.


Additional Tips

• Make sure your front knee is always pointing forwards.
• Always lift your feet.
• Train yourself to change speed by moving your legs faster. Ideally you only want to change the length of your steps if you’re desperately trying to avoid someone’s attack, to cover quick ground or as an attempt to stop someone from reading your footwork.
K.I.S.S = Keep It Simple Stupid
• Use a good en guarde position as a means to execute a variety of moves. Whether it’s a feint, a lunge, a step lunge, fleche, parry, riposte, ballestra or any other.

Troedwaith Cleddyfa: Cam Wrth Gam

Mae troedwaith yn hynod o syml, ond i feistri mae’n cymryd amser, ymarfer ac amynedd. Mae troedwaith hefyd yn ffurf haws i werthuso cleddyfa rhywun felly peidiwch gamgyfrif y fantais o edrych ar droedwaith gwrthwynebwr cyn i chi cleddyfa.

(Rwy’n mynd i ganolbwyntio ar droedwaith syml. Wythnos nesaf efallai wnâi werthuso camu ar draws, neidio a ffurfiau eraill o droedwaith)

Y Ganllaw Cam Wrth Gam;

Camu Ymlaen

Footwork 1

Yn Gyntaf wnewch siŵr eich bod mewn safle En Guard teilwng cyn i chi dechrau Gofynnwch ydy eich gliniau’n blyg? Ydych eich breichiau a choesau yn llac? Ydych chi’n defnyddio cyhyrau’r stumog?

Dylaf safle’r corff edrych debyg i hyn;

Footwork 2


Yn Ail symudwch eich coes blaen trwy gic fel y diagram.


Footwork 3

Nesaf rydych eisiau glanio’r goes felly bydd y sawdl yn cyffwrdd y llawr. Yn syth rydych chi eisiau trosglwyddo eich pwysedd ymlaen felly fydd gwadn yr esgid nawr ar y llawr. Unwaith mae e yno symudwch eich coes ôl. Yn ddelfrydol ddylai’r pellter fod yn union fel y goes blaen, bydd hyn yn helpu eich cydbwysedd.

Footwork 4


Ac yn Olaf cwblhewch y cam.



Camu yn ôl

Footwork 5

Mae’r dechneg bron gwmws y rhin peth a chamu ymlaen ond y tro yma rydych eisiau arwain gyda’r troed ôl.

Yn Gyntaf wnewch siwr eich fod men safle En Guarde addas.


Footwork 6

Yn Ail symudwch eich coes ôl fel y diagram, rydych eisiau ongli felly mae rhan o’r gwadn yn cyffwrdd y llawr.



Footwork 7

Nesaf trosglwyddwch eich pwysedd am nôl. Wrth wneud hyn symudwch eich coes blaen. Ddylai’r cam am nôl gyda’r coes blaen fod y rhin maent a’r estyniad gyda’r coes ôl. I gwblhau’r cam rhowch eich esgid ôl yn fflat ar y llawr. Yn ddelfrydol ddylai eich coes blaen symud y rhin pellter a’r un ôl i gadw cydbwysedd.


A Dyma Ni mae’r cam wedi cael i Footwork 8gwblhau.


Awgrymiadau Eraill

• Wnewch siŵr bod pen-glin y goes flaen yn pwyntio ymlaen.
• Codi eich coesau.
• Dysgwch sut i newid cyflymder trwy symyd eich goesau yn gloe. Yn ddelfrydol rydych dim ond eisiau newid maent y camau os ydych yn ceisio osgoi ymosodiad, cyfro pellter hir yn glou neu fel ffurf i stopio rhywun rhag darllen eich troedwaith.
C.P.Y.S = Cadw Popeth Yn Syml
• Defnyddiwch safle Ên Guarde fel sylfaen i greu symudiadau. Fel ffugio, rhagwth, rhagwth ar gam, fleche, pari, pari riposte, ballestra neu eraill.

Patience in Fencing

When I was mulling over what I was going to write this week, unfortunately I haven’t had enough time to do my post on footwork, I came across an article by thefencingcoach which is well worth a read. It discussed fencing slowly and how to coach others to do so. You can find a link to the article here. With that in mind I thought I’d discuss a similar topic, patience and more importantly how to implement patience in your game.

Let’s be honest we’d love to get on the piste, hear the reff mutter the words fence, dispatch five of the best trick shots imaginable and get the bout done in the same time it takes to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Unfortunately fencing doesn’t work like that as it completely ignores the dynamic of a fencing bout. It’s a trap that many people fall into and if I’m brutally honest it did hit me when I started fencing again. Impatience is a human characteristic and like every other aspect of the sport you need to train yourself to overcome it.

1) Keep assessing what your opponent is doing – Ideally you need to make split second decisions, if your opponent is advancing look at your options. Assess the distance, where the blade is etc. Keep your options open and work out what course of action will work best. To use an old analogy think of fencing like chess, yes you can move your pieces recklessly although the chances are you’ll get beaten by someone who has out thought you. So don’t forget to think and never fence by going through the motions.

2) Build muscle memory – Muscle memory is a form of motor learning; in essence it’s about overriding the body’s natural reactions and replacing it with something that’s more suitable and efficient for the task at hand. It’s especially important in fencing where the most obvious example is parrying. If you can get your parry riposte to feel like a natural reaction you’ve saved yourself some time. It’ll allow you to become more patient as your reaction time will be shorter.

3) Regulate your breathing – If you inhale quick, short bursts the chances are you’ll increase your heart rate and make yourself susceptible to mistakes and rushed decisions. If you slow it down you relax more while time will feel like it’s moving slower even if it’s not. Take enough air to fuel your mind and like the mantra of my rugby team, “iach gorff, iach feddwl” or in English “healthy body, healthy mind”

4) Keep your cards close to your chest – You don’t need to make incredibly large arm movements, keep everything nice and neat which will hopefully get you thinking about precision.

5) And finally DON’T PANIC! Which I think speaks for itself.

And there we have it, a couple of words which will hopefully be beneficial.

Amynedd Wrth Gleddyfa

Pryd oeddwn i’n dyfalu pwnc i ysgrifennu am yr wythnos yma, dydw i ddim wedi cael ddigon o amser i wneud erthygl am droedwaith, wnes i ddod ar draws erthygl gan thefencingcoach. Yno mae’n trafod cleddyfa yn araf a sut i gweithredu i bobl eraill. Mae’r erthygl ar gael yma. Nawr rwyf am drafod pwnc tebyg, amynedd ac yn fwy pwysig sut i fod yn fwy amynedd wrth gleddyfa.

I ddweud y gwir bydd well gyda phawb sefyll ar y piste, clywed y dyfarnwr yn ddatgan cleddyfa, cyflawni pump trawiad medrus a gorffen y gêm yn yr amser mae’n cymerid i ddweud supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Yn anffodus dydy hyn ddim yn gweithio gan i fod yn anwybyddu deinamig cleddyfa. Mae’n gamgymeriad mae llawer o gleddyfwyr newydd yn i wneud ac i fod yn onest wnaeth effeithio fi pryd wnes i ddechrau cleddyfa eto. Mae diffyg amynedd yn natur dyn ac fel pob agwedd o gleddyfa i adfer mae rhaid hyfforddi eich hun.

1) Aseswch beth mae’r gwrthwynebwyr yn wneud – Yn ddelfrydol mae rhaid wneud penderfyniadau mewn eiliadau, edrychwch ar eich gwrthwynebwr a gwerthuswch. Aseswch y pellter, ble mae’r cleddyf a mwy. Gadewch eich opsiynau yn agored a gweithredwch y weithred orau. Dychmygwch cleddyfa fel gwyddbwyll, mae’n bosib symid eich darnau yn ddi-hid ond bydd yn cynyddu’r siawns bydd rhywun sy’n canolbwyntio yn curo chi. Felly wnewch siŵr byth anghofio meddwl a pheidiwch cleddyfa yn ddi-nod.

2) Cof Cyhyr – Ffurf o motor learning sy’n osgoi adwaith naturiol y corff a’i chyfnewid gyda ymateb fwy addas. Mae’n hynod o bwysig wrth cleddyfa, pario ydy’r enghraifft fwyaf amlwg. Rydych wedi safio amser os ydych yn gallu creu eich pari riposte i edrych fel ymateb naturiol. Bydd hyn yn gadael i chi fod yn fwy amyneddgar achos mae eich amser ymateb wedi lleihau.

3) Rheoli eich anadl – Mae anadl bur a clou yn cynyddu curiad y galon ac yn cynyddu’r siawns byddwch yn gwneud camgymeriadau a penderfyniadau dwl. Ar y llaw arall os ydych yn arafu byddwch yn ymlacio gan fydd amser yn teimlo ei fod wedi arafu hyd yn oed os dydy e ddim. Cymerwch ddigon o aer i’r meddwl ac fel dywediad clwb rygbi Glynebwy “iach gorff, iach feddwl”

4) Osgoi symudiadau amlwg – Does dim eisiau gwneud symudiadau mawr gyda’r fraich, wnewch siŵr fod popeth yn daclus a twt.

5) Ac yn olaf PEIDIWCH BANIG! Sy’n disgrifio ei hun.

A dyma ni, cwpwl o eiriau rwy’n gobeithio bydd yn ddefnyddiol.

Fixing Fencing Weapons

For a fencer having the skills to fix and maintain weapons is incredibly important. You could be the greatest fencer in the world but if your swords aren’t working properly it’s game over, especially if you’re like me and live far from a recognised armourer. But fixing a fencing weapon isn’t a daunting task; it isn’t even that difficult if I’m honest. I’ve come up with a quick guide but before I get to it here’s my list of tools:

In my fencing bag I keep;
A 6mm T-bar Allen key, an adjustable wrench, cloth tape (blade), insulating tape (tip), cotton buds, flathead jeweller’s screwdriver, magnetic pick-up tool, pliers, small positive screwdriver, spare grub screws & springs, Swiss army knife, test box, towel and various bodywires.

While in my shed I have;
A small vice, bucket, chain, craft knife, hot air gun, junior hacksaw, junior hacksaw blades, kitchen roll, large file, lighter, masking tape, multimeter, superglue (Zap Thin CA), water, wet and dry paper and the contents of my fencing bag. I also buy spare parts (tips, wires etc) from the internet and competitions when I need to.

And now all the different Problems and Solutions:

Cleaning the Tip – In my experience around 75% of all foil failures are to do with the tip. Thankfully tips are easy to clean although it can be fiddly. To find out whether the tip needs cleaning plug it into a test box and tap the sword. If the green light becomes dim then the likelihood is that it needs a clean. To clean first take the tip tape off the barrel, either using your hands or with a knife. Keep your magnetic pick-up tool nearby as it’s a great place to store grub screws as well being useful if you lose any. Next use the jeweller’s screwdriver and undo the screws making sure to release the spring slowly as it can fly away if you’re not careful. Put the components to one side then clean the barrel by placing a cotton bud inside, circulating the bud with your fingers then remove it. The cotton bud should have a dark ring around the bottom which is the dirt and grime that’s been collected in the tip. Next put the tip back together and compress it when tightening the grub screws. Hopefully when you next test the weapon the light should stay the same shade of green.


What if that hasn’t worked – The flickering light might be caused by the tip becoming loose. To tighten first remove the tip tape and place the blade on a vice, make sure it’s clamped on the foible. Next get an adjustable wrench while pliers and the correct size spanner also work. Locate the indentations at the bottom of the barrel. Place your chosen tool there and rotate clockwise. Be careful as it is possible over tighten and split the barrel while over tightening can dislodge the brass contact meaning that a rewire is inevitable. While if you find the tip becoming loose time and time again, you’re better off doing a rewire.

The light stays on when I press the tip – This can be caused by either one of two things, firstly a trapped wire or lack of insulation. Both will cause the sword to ground itself. A very common mistake when constructing a sword is to place the socket above the wire thereby trapping it. To prevent this make sure to thread the wire through the base of the socket thereby preventing the wire from being crushed by the handle. It’s also possible to trap the wire with the handle by itself. Thankfully this problem is less common as new handles tend to come with larger openings. That said take care when attaching a handle. Trapping the wire will inevitably affect the insulation. After releasing the wire use a 6mm Allen key to remove the handle and pad. Then ask yourself what can you see? When I’m rewiring I prefer to place the top of the plastic sheeting inside the blade. But I see it less and less these days. One solution is pull the sheeting up but this isn’t always possible, failing that remove the socket and guard and place insulating tape on the tang so that it’s plush against the blade. Be careful that it’s not going to cover the guard in anyway. Also observe if there are brakes in the sleeving. If there’s a fault cover the break with insulating tape then reassemble the sword.

There’s no light – It’s going to be caused by either a break or a loose wire. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to locate and quickly fix a break that said if your test box isn’t lighting up it’s a given that you’re going to need to rewire (see below). But before you grab a heat gun, try another bodywire and if that doesn’t work check the wire hasn’t come undone. Fixing it will depend on what type of socket you have (bayonet or two pin) but it’s not unheard of for either to come loose. If you have a bayonet, wrap the copper wire around the screw and tighten it. For a two pin wrap the wire around the socket and tighten it with a pair of plyers and a screwdriver.

How to rewire a fencing sword – I could go into detail, and might do in future, but truth be told it’s been done in the past so rather than covering old ground I’ve provided the best step-by-step guides that I’ve found online. While Andy, the Master Armourer at British Fencing, provides an excellent demonstration. The foil version can be found here while the epee version is here.

Thankfully for sabre you don’t have to do either although a broken sabre blade will inevitably mean having to buy a new one.
Cleaning a dirty/rusty blade – More of an aesthetic fix, this applies to every weapon. I have heard various ways of removing rust from a fencing sword. You can buy purpose built cleaning blocks online, while I have heard people use scouring pads, wire wool and WD40. But for me the easiest, cleanest and cheapest way is to use wet and dry paper which is only 60p a sheet in my local DIY store. Get a bucket, pour a bit of water into it, dampen the wet and dry paper and scrub the blade. You will want to rinse the paper now and again to get rid of any residue while I have worn a rain coat in the past while doing this. Once you’re done thoroughly dry the sword with kitchen roll, easy.

The sword isn’t straight – Inevitably all fencing swords will bend in some way or another. It doesn’t matter how good your distance is, you can’t always account for your opponents. My preferred method of straightening is by placing a small towel on the floor, angling the sword on top and placing my foot on the bend. I transfer my weight over the sword and press down. You can correct any imperfections with your hands.

The handle’s loose – Peel back the pad to ensure you’re not about to trap the wire then place a 6mm allen key on top of the nut and rotate clockwise. If you get in a position when you can’t tighten it anymore, but it’s still relatively loose, the chances are the tang is too long and will need to be cut down to accommodate the handle. There are various ways of doing this, bolt cutters, dremmel and even an angle grinder but for a bloke on a budget I prefer the junior hacksaw that I was taught to use in Secondary School. Again place the sword in a vice with the blade clamped on the forte and free the wire from the socket. Next get a 6mm Allen key remove the handle and nut. Then carefully remove the pad, socket and guard while taking a lot of care with the wire. At this point I slowly release the blade from the vice and tape the wire down with masking tape so that the plastic sheeting is sitting on top of forte of the blade. Make sure you leave it in a curve so you’re not forcing too much pressure on the wire. Fencing wire is very delicate so by doing this you’re preventing it from moving about while you cut the tang. Next, place the blade horizontally on the vice again clamped on the forte. Then cut the tang being careful not to cross thread it. Now you want to file down any rough edges, after this reconstruct the sword. If the handle still doesn’t fit repeat the process until it does.

Setting/Canting a blade – Fencing is a sport where millimetres and seconds mean a lot, therefore you want to cover distances with the smallest movements possible. A good way to achieve this is by setting, or canting, your blade. In effect what you’re doing is bending part of the blade so when you’re on guard its closer to your opponent. Unfortunately everyone’s preferences differ. Some fencers prefer a small adjustment while others prefer their blades to be set at large degrees. But if you’re going to set any blade you’re going to need a sturdy vice, combination spanner/wrench and some brute force. Personally I apply masking tape to the circular part of the spanner/wrench to make sure it doesn’t scratch and ruin the tang. Clamp the forte into a vice and bend the tang with the spanner/wrench. It’s not going to be possible to bend every fencing sword with this method, for example you might need another method for maraging blades.

Trwsio Cleddyfau

Mae’r sgiliau i drwsio cleddyf yn hynod o bwysig i gleddyfwr. Allwch fod y cleddyfwr gorau yn y byd ond mae’n dda i ddim os dydych eich cleddyfau ddim yn gweithio. Ben dant os ysych yn byw ym mhell o gof arfau fel fi. Er ddweud hynny mae’n hawdd trwsio cleddyf. I ddangos hyn ysgrifennais canllaw ond cyn i mi ddechrau dyma’n rhestr offer:

Yn fy mag cleddyfa rwy’n cadw;
Allwedd allen 6mm, bocs profi, cyllell ‘Swiss Army’, ffyn cotwm, gefail, gwifrau corf amrywiol, sbaner addasadwy, sgriwiau grub a springs sbâr, sgriwdreifer pen fflat bach, sgriwdreifer positif bach, tâp brethyn (llafn), teclyn codi magnetic, tâp insiwleiddio (pen y gleddyf) a thywel.

Gan yn y shed gen i;
Amlfesurydd, bwced, cadwyn, cyllell grefft, feis bach, ffeil fawr, gwn aer poeth, haclif iau, papur cegin, papur gwlyb a sych, superglue (Zap Thin CA), tâp masgio, dŵr a phopeth o’n mag cleddyfa. Rwyf hefyd yn prynu rhannau sbâr (gwifrau e.e.) o gystadlaethau ar we.

A nawr yr holl Broblemau ac Atebion:

Glanhau pen y gleddyf – O’m mhrofiad mae tua 75% o broblemau cleddyfau ffwyl i wneud a pen y gleddyf.  Mae’r rhwydd i drin ond mae’n gallu fod yn lletchwith. Er mwyn ddarganfod a oes eisiau glanhau pen y gleddyf wedyn tharo’r cleddyf wrth iddo fod yn gysylltiedig i focs profi. Os mae’r golau gwyrdd yn mynd yn llai amlwg mae’n well glanhau. I wneud cymrwch y tâp oddi ar y faril, cadwch eich teclyn codi magnetig yn agos achos mae’n lle ymarferol i gadw sgriwiau grub. Nesaf defnyddiwch eich sgriwdreifer pen fflat i ddadwneud y sgriwiau. Wnewch siŵr i ryddhau’r sbring yn araf. Nesaf rhowch y cydrannau i un ochr wedyn glanhewch y faril trwy roi  ffyn cotwm  ynddo. Amgylchwch y ffyn gydag eich bysedd, ddylai fod cylch tywyll ar waelod y ffyn. Dyma’r baw a budreddi sydd wedi casglu ar waelod pen y gleddyf. Rhowch pen y gleddyf nol at i gilydd. Pam ewch i brofi’r arf ddylai arlliw’r olau aros yn gyson.


Beth os mae e heb weithio – Fe all y golau anghyson fod wedi cael i achosi trwy’r faril yn rhyddhau. I dynhau cymrwch y tâp oddi ar y faril a rhowch y cleddyf ar feis. Wnewch siŵr ei fod wedi clampio ar y foible. Nesaf defnyddiwch sbaner addasadwy, er mae gefail a sbaner meant cywyr hefyn yn addas. Lleoli’r danheddiadau ar waelod y faril a chylchdroi clocwedd. Byddwch yn ofalus achos maen bosib dros dynnu a dinistrio’r faril. Mae dros dynnu hefyd yn gallu achosi’r cyswllth press i ddadwneud syn golygu bydd rhaid ailweirio’r cleddyf. Gan os ydy’r faril yn dod yn rhydd yn aml mae’n well ailweirio.

Mae’r olau yn aros pryd rwy’n gwasgu pen y cleddyf – Fe all hyn fod wedi cael i creu gan gwpwl o bethau. Yn gyntaf gwifren gaeth neu ddiffyg inswleiddio sy’n achosi’r cleddyf i lorio. Camgymeriad cyffredin wrth rhoi’r cleddyf at i gilydd ydy rhoi’r wifren o dan y soced. I rhwystro hyn wnewch siŵr i roi gwyfren trwy waelod y soced, fydd hyn yn atal y ddolen rhag gwasgu. Mae’n hefyd bosib trapio’r wifren gyda’r ddolen heb help y soced. Diolch byth dydy’r broblem ‘ma ddim yn cyffredin gyda dolennau newydd gan fod gydag agoriadau mwy. Er ddweud hynny mae’n well cymryd ofal wrth dynhau’r dolen. Mae trapio gwifr yn gallu creu problemau i’r inswleiddio. Ar ôl ryddhau’r wifr defnyddiwch Allwedd Allen I ally symud y ddolen a’r pad mas o’r ffordd. Wedyn ofynnwch beth allwch chi weld? Pam rydw i’n ailweirio, rwy’n hoffi rhoi top y sheeting plastic felly mae’n tu fewn i’r cleddyf. Ond rwy’n gweld hyn yn llai aml ddyddiau yma. Un ateb ydy dynnu’r sheeting lan, ond nid ydy hyn wastad yn bosib. Fe allwch ryddhau’r soced o’r gard a rhoi tâp insiwleiddio ar y tang felly mae’n blwsh yn erbyn y llafn. Wnewch yn siŵr dydy o ddim yn mynd i gorcyddio’r guard mewn unrhyw ffyrdd. Hefyd edrychwch am unrhyw doriadau yn y sleeving. Os mae gorchuddiwch gyda thâp insiwleiddio. Wedyn rhowch y cleddyf nol at i gilydd.

Does dim golau – Bydd hyd wedi cae i achosi trwy doriad neu wifren rydd. Yn anffodus does dim ffordd rhwydd i leoli a thrwsio toriad. Er ddweud hynny os dydych eich cleddyf ddim yn goleuo’r bocs profi bydd rhaid ailweirio. Ond cyn i chi cael y gwn aer poeth, wnewch siŵr does dim problem gyda’r wifren corff ag os mae’r wifren ddim ynghlwm. Fydd trwsio’n dibynnu ar ba fath o soced sydd ar eich cleddyf, (bayonet neu dau bin) mae’n bosib i’r ddau ddod yn rhydd. Os mae’n bayonet rhwymwch y wifren copr o amgylch y sgriw a thynhau. Am ddau bin rhwymwch y wifren o amgylch y soced top a thynhau gyda sgriwdreifer a gefail.

Sut i ailweirio cleddyf – Fe allwn i fod yn fanwl, ac efallai wnâi yn y dyfodol, ond i fod yn onest mae’r pwnc wedi cael i trafod yn y gorffennol. Yn hytrach na ailddweud dyma’r canllawiau gorau ar y we. A ddau arddangosiad gan Andy, prif arfogwr Cleddyfa Prydain: Mae’r fersiwn ffwyl yma gan fod y fersiwn epee yma.

Diolch byth does dim rhaid gwneud hyn ar gyfer sabr ond fydd llafn wedi torri yn golygu prynu un newydd.

Glanhau llafn brwnt/llawn rhwd – Mwy o newid esthetig, mae hyn yn gweithio i bob arf. Rydw i wedi clywed sawl ffurf i gael gwared a rhwd o arf cleddyfa. Mae’n bosib prynu blociau glanhau ar-lein, gan fy mod i wedi clywed pobl yn defnyddio scouring pads, wire wool a WD40. Ond y ffurf rwyddach, ratach a glan ydy defnyddio papur gwlyb a sych sydd dim ond 60c y ddalen yn siop DIY lleol fi. Bydd eisiau arllwys dŵr mewn i fwced, lleithio’r papur gwlyb a sych a sgrwbio’r llafn. Fyddwch eisiau rinsio’r papur i gael gwared â’r gwastraff. Rwyf wedi gwisgo cot law yn y gorffennol wrth wneud hyn. Unwaith rydych wedi gorffen sychwch y llafn gyda phapur cegin.

Dydy’r cleddyf ddim yn syth – Mae’n anodd osgoi, bydd pob cleddyf yn plygu mewn rhyw ffurf. Does dim ots pa mor dda ydy ymwybyddiaeth chi o bellter dydych fethu cymryd yn ganiatad eich gwrthwynebwyr. I sythu rwy’n rhoi tywel bach ar y llawr ac ongli’r cleddyf cyn rhoi’n bwysedd dros y plyg gyda’n goes. Rydych yn gallu cywiro unrhyw wall gydag eich dwylo.

Mae’r ddolen yn rhydd – Tynnwch y pad nol i wneud siŵr dydych chi ddim yn trapio’r wifren, nesaf defnyddiwch allwedd allen a chylchdroi clocwedd. Os ydych chi fethu tynhau e rhagor ond mae’r ddolen dal yn rhydd y siawns ydy bod y tang yn rhu hir. Mae yna lawer o ffurf i dorri’r tang, torrwyr bolt, dremmel neu hyd yn oed angle grinder. Ond heb wario llawer mae gwell gyda fi’r haclif roeddwn i’n defnyddio yn yr Ysgol Gyfun. Unwaith ‘to rhowch y llafn mewn feis a’i chlampio ar y forte. Dad-cysyllwch a symudwch y cydrannau eraill mas o’r ffordd. Ar ôl hyn rhyddhau’r llafn o’r feis a thapio’r wifren lawr gyda thâp masgio. Mae gwell gyda fi cadw’r tâp felly mae’n sefyll dros y forte mewn cromlin i arbed pwysedd. Achos mae gwifren cleddyfa braidd yn eiddil felly mae’n well arbed e rhag symud. Nesaf, rhowch y llafn yn syth ar y feis. Cymerwch ofal wrth dorri’r tang achos y peth olaf rydych chi eisiau neud ydy cross threado. Nesaf ffeiliwch unrhyw ymylon garw. Ar ôl wneud hyn rhoddwch y cleddyf nol at i gilydd. Os dydy hyn ddim wedi gweithio ail-wneud y proses tan ei bod yn gweithio.

Setio’r gleddyf – Wrth gleddyfa mae eiliadau a milimetrau yn gallu fod yn sylweddol. Achos hyn rydych eisiau gorchuddio gyda’r symudiadau lleiaf posib. Ffurf dda i wneud hyn ydy setio’r cleddyf. Wrth wneud hyn pryd ydych on guard fydd pen y cleddyf yn fwy agos i darged y gwrthwynebwr. Yn anffodus mae pawb yn wahanol, mae gwell gyda rhai addasiad bach ble mae gwell gan rhai cleddyfwyr onglau mawr. Ond os ydych am fentro addasi set gleddyf bydd eisiau feis cadarn, sbaner cyfunol a nerth cyhyrol. Rwy’n rhoi tâp masgio ar y darn cylchdro’r sbaner i orfodi dinistrio’r tang. Clampiwch y forte mewn feis a phlygwch y tang gyda sbaner. Dydy e ddim yn bosib plygu pob llafn fel hyn a bydd eisiau ffurf arall am rai maraging.