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Army September 15, 2011
By LCpl Mark Doran
SWORDS will clash as fight-
ers battle for the annual
ADFA Fencing Tournament in
Canberra on October 15.
ADFA and the Australian
National University (ANU) have
been fencing rivals for close to
10 years and a grudge tournament
on the side will settle if ANU can
keep the perpetual trophy they
have kept for the last three years.
A member of the ADFA
Fencing team, OCdt Robert
Grover, said the tournament was a
good opportunity for club members
to show off their skills in the sport.
"The competition will also
give us more on-the-spot train-
ing as we will be facing different
opponents in varying situations,"
OCdt Grover said.
"Fencing teaches you to take
a step back, so you don't get
stabbed, and to observe the situa-
tion which also applies in military
situations where you stay calm and
take a step back before you attack.
"It is almost like a child's
game as every kid always wants to
swordfight with sticks and fencing
is the next level up, it allows you
to fight in a controlled environ-
ment with metal swords."
Sword fighting as sport has
existed since ancient Egypt and
jousting and tournament com-
bat was a popular sport in the
By the mid-19th century, duel-
ling was in decline as a means of
settling disputes, partially because
victory could lead to a jail term.
Emphasis shifted to defeating
the opponent without necessarily
killing him, and less fatal duelling
forms evolved using the duelling
sword, or epee de terrain, an un-
edged variant of the small sword.
Later duels often ended with
crippling thrusts to the arms or
legs, and fewer legal difficulties
for the participants. This is the
basis of modern epee fencing.
OCdt Grover started fencing in
high school when he was just 16
and said he had a break at the end
of Year 12 as his studies became
"I met OCdt Nick Tonkin, who
is the other Army member of the
ADFA Fencing Team, and he was
the state champion when I came
to ADFA, so I joined the team as
well," he said.
"I am using the foil at the
moment to improve my skills in
all the right areas and will soon
be moving onto the epee, as it is
faster and a more technical style
of fencing with different rules.
"I would like to think fencing
helps me with my dance moves
out on the town, but my friends
would beg to differ.
"Fencing is a great sport to
play after work to relax and I am
looking forward to future trips
The three weapons
used in fencing:
Foil: A light and flex-
ible weapon that relies
on outsmarting your
opponent and estab-
lishing the precedent
of attack. Hits are
scored with the tip
of the weapon and
the target area is the
chest and back.
Epee: A slightly firmer
blade making for more
aggressive bouts. Hits
are scored with the
tip, although the entire
body (including the
face) is considered
Sabre: A cutting
weapon that relies on
defence. Hits are
scored with either the
blade or tip with every-
thing above the waist
is considered a target.
Cool running: Capt Henry Stimson, 19 CE Wks,
catches his breath after crossing the finish line of
Photo by Cfn Max Bree
By Cfn Max Bree
ARMY men secured second and third place at
the City2Surf fun run against a tough field of
ADF runners in Sydney on August 14.
Capt Henry Stimson, 19 CE Wks, finished the
14km event in 49min 21sec, narrowly beaten by PO
Brad Hetharia who stormed home in 49min flat.
"I had him in my sights most of the way," Capt
Stimson said. "But he had the better legs."
Capt Stimson's preparation for an ironman
event at the end of the year equipped him well for
the race, but he was not initially aware of how well
he finished. Apart from finishing second among
ADF runners, he also finished 86th overall. Some
85,000 people competed in the run.
"I didn't really know [about placing second] at
the time," he said.
"It's a good little bonus.
"I'm pretty happy with the time and where I
Lt-Col Paul Byleveld, HQ 8 Bde, finished third
The RAAF dominated the women's with Cpl
Cassie Fien flying through the finish in a blister-
ing 50.35, while Jodie Barker, APS, and RAAF Cpl
Jessica Robson rounded out second and third.
Capt Anne Bortolussi, 8CSSB, took fourth place
in a respectable 01:05.31.
Ready to face off
Drawing swords: OCdt
Robert Grover, ADFA,
is ready to take on his
opponents at the ADFA
Photo by LCpl Mark Doran
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