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

Friday, October 13, 2006

I feel like a fencer!

Being a real fencer - whatever that is - often seems impossible. There's the swords, the costume - I've even seemed the movies - but I can't take myself seriously, which is probably just as well.

But after a session of epee last night, for all the continuing tiredness, I began to believe in myself as a fencer. Just for a little while - but it was wonderful.

It stemmed from the encouragement of the coach. "Good," "brilliant" and "excellent" are his favourite words - though he does contribute "don't worry about it" when it's not going well. The tricks and moves he teaches all work. .

After coaching and a break, fencing good epeeinsts, I seemed faster than was possible for me (which means, not quite so slow) - and at times respondes without thinking or analysing. IThe tricks I'd been shown fitted in: I tried taking the blade to turn it and sliding down it to attach, or slithering over the guard before angling the blade to the wrist. I even landed three hits in a row. That stunned me so much I slowed down and missed every time.

A really good fencer asked - after a knock-about in which I barely landed a hit - if I was entering the next Open. I'm not in that league, and still tiring fast in the wake of the virus (carefully resting between bouts and taking breaks in training). Nor have I enough swords and body-wires - just one foil and one epee (both French grip - the best!) and a wire for each. But I wandered round in a daze of delight that a good fencer suggested competing outside the club. Me - a once-a-week fencer!

And that's a triumph of sorts.


Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

I think your dedication to fencing goes beyond the number of days a week you can dedicate to it (hey, you fenced ill!) - that's great that things came together and you sound like you are doing some tricky stuff - and yeah, nothing is quite as shocking as doing well. I think you would like doing a competition, even just to face such a variety of styles of fencing.

7:42 pm  
Blogger LeperColony said...

I like French grips too. Pistol grips never really grew on me.

I say go for the open. The worst you can do is lose. Which, as it happens, was the best I could manage!

11:48 am  
Blogger kathz said...

Thanks. I'll probably go in for the club championship again - perhaps one day I won't come last - because that's fun and does give me good experience. If I ever face a competition outside the club, I'd need to know that friends would be there with me, giving encouragement.

Glad that I'm not the only person who doesn't like pistol grip.

2:17 pm  
Anonymous Jim said...

In the US we have a rating system I will not bother to explain. Most days you fence like you are rated. Sometimes lower...bad day. Somedays you fence above your rating...you fence better than you have a right to. I think it is that way for most people. You are kind of like stock on a stock market and your value goes up and down, but generally ...up. I think that Kathz stock just went up! It happened once and it will happen again. Somedays...it will happen closer togther, with out as many bad days in beteween. Cub Campionship Dy, you will have people pulling for you in North America. Beth and I both!

9:37 pm  
Blogger kathz said...

Thanks, Jim. The club championship is the first Sunday in December and I have very modest ambitions. I would like to: win a bout, score more points against opponents than I did last year, come in a higher position than last. But above all I want to fence as well as I can, even if that's never going to be very good. And I want to enjoy the day and see good fencing by other club members. I'm cheered by the progress of members who started fencing when I did who are now doing well in regional and national competitions. They deserve their success too as they practise hard and give more time to fencing than I can. And they are always friendly and encouraging to me too.

9:27 am  

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