quaker fencer

kathz isn't quite my name. I may be a Quaker. If I'm a fencer I'm a bad one and I don't do sabre. If I'm a Quaker I'm a bad one - but you've worked that out already. Read on. Comment if you like. Don't expect a reply.

Location: United Kingdom

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

cheap shoes and zombie walks

Sometimes there's a reason why shoes are cheap.

I'm not talking about trainers. Those I use for fencing aren't ideal, but good enough. The problem was cheap shoes I wore with a cheap outfit for a meeting at work. Of course, I didn't want the economy drive to show; members of the senior executive were meant to be stunned by my casual elegance: blouse with lacy collar, long full skirt with muted check and ornamental belt, lightweight cardigan and delicate brown shoes with high heels and buttons at the toes. When I set out, I reckoned I'd done well from a combination of charity shops and cheapest chainstores.

If the senior executive were stunned, it was probably by my occasional winces and unsteady gait. My toes hurt; although I'd slipped plasters into my bag as a precaution, the day didn't yield time to inspect the damage.

By the time I'd staggered on and off the train and back home, I wanted a stiff drink - not allowed on fencing nights. Instead, I slipped the shoes off to see stockinged toes caked in blood. In a hurry as always, I'd no time for careful bathing and antiseptic. Plasters and bandages would impede a fencing run. So I simply stripped my feet bare and, after the comfort of cool air, pulled on Leon Paul padded socks and familiar trainers.

How wonderful to wear shoes that didn't hurt. Struggling with exhaustion, I was slow but moved comfortably. Not that there was much moving. The younger fencers were playing a home friendly, and teams filled all the electric pistes. The rest of us fenced steam in pistes a third the normal length and half the width. Elbow jabs were more perilous than blades.

A small epee class focussed on how to look for errors and gain a quick hit. We guarded tiny pistes and practised in slow motion, taking turns to play "coach". When my turn came, I moved forward, arm outstretched as if unwisely aiming for the head, inviting a hit to the wrist from below.

I don't know what made me think of zombies - the pose? the deliberate clumsiness? I was tired and my toes hurt but I moved forward in a zombie walk, dragging my feet and swaying slightly till my partner collapsed in giggles. "I thought if I hit you your hand would drop off," she said, and giggled again.

It's not a recognized epee techinque but it worked - and could work again. Do you think it might catch on? For the painless collapse of fierce opponents, try THE QUAKER FENCER ZOMBIE WALK..


Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

Everything works one - I think you've used up your Zombie attack. It is odd how we can wince through the day to find a truely impressive blood stain at the end of the shoes, one which is best left lying around to convince housepartners that they are on a crime scene.

3:48 am  
Blogger kathz said...

shame - I though I'd finally come up with a successful non-violent fencing technique. The only problem is that when my opponent collapsed in giggles, I did too, so I didn't score a hit. But that might be seen as a triumph of co-operation ...?

But come to think of it, there is a drawback. I like stabbing people ...

8:30 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home