The free-flowing, bouncing skip footwork which is becoming ubiquitous on the FIE circuit is not without its detractors. Personally I love it: it allows a lot of flexibility with speed and momentum on the attack, and it’s fun to watch. That said, there’s definitely still top-order sabreurs out there who prefer a more grounded approach. The best example is surely the 2014 World Champion, Nikolay Kovalev.
Regular readers may have noticed a certain selection bias towards the Korean team (largely because wherever they go, spectacular sabre happens), but there are other fencers out there I like just as much. Nikolay Kovalev is right at the top of the list. He’s just so freaking neat. Check out the footwork here: controlled, balanced, responsive.
That’s not to say he can’t jump when he wants to:
I’ve already posted this in our initial Epic Sabre Hit compilation, but here it is again just because it’s so damn great:
Ice cold. Ouch.
The complete match has just been posted on our YouTube channel, and is basically more of the above. Well worth a watch.
Won Wooyoung might be flashier, but Kovalev’s game is the one I most want to emulate.