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, January 03, 2007

happy stabbing

Certainly, I was out of practice and out of comdition. I wasn't alone. Quite a few fencers admitted a surfeit of mince pies and unusually tight breeches. It was good to be back.

In two weeks the new beginners arrive and the coaches will be busy. This week attendance was sparse so the coaches went round offering one-to-one training. I got about 15 minutes' advice and practice in epee. First, the coach made me lunge properly - something I've been hesitant about lately. I'll never have the good, deep, long lunge I would like but within a minute I knew I could do better than I had. Then I was taken through a series of hits, parries, ripostes and counter-ripostes - just right to get me back in practice. Finally I was shown the trick of keeping my arm still for a moment after my opponent's parry so that I was ready to sneak in a quick hit just as he started his riposte. It's not going to be easy in a bout but I'll look for a chance to give it a try. An added advantage was working with a left-handed coach; mostly I fence right-handers.

Apart from that, I did some incompetent foil. I've forgotten how to hit so small a target or to establish right of way. Then it was time for more epe. I ws relieved to find that my blade-wire had survived its encounter with tinsel in festive fencing. Apart from that there were conversations - mostly "How was Christmas?", "Did you go out for New Year?" My answers - "quiet" and "no" - were not exceptional. Many had enjoyed both quiet and staying in.

It was an ideal evening, in other words: not just talking to friends but getting the chance to stab some of them.


Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

Foil to me feels like playing tennis on a singles court after playing a lot of doubles - there is that "oh yeah, can't hit there, feeling" - that sounded like a good 15 minutes with your coach, I have to try the trick with holding the arm still.

4:12 am  
Blogger B.V. Brus said...

Remember, deep and long lunges may seem impressive, but a shorter lunge executed with perfect timing and control is truly beautiful.

12:58 pm  
Blogger kathz said...

Once I tried the trick of keeping my arm still before the quick hit on my opponent's attack, I realised I'd been caught with it quite a few times. There was a moment of recognition when I thought, "Ah - that's what happened."

Brian - thanks for your encouragement. I'd like the timing and control too ...

9:09 pm  
Anonymous Jim said...

Returning to fencing after the holidays seems similar to returning home after a very long trip. Good read you again Kathz!

I miss Brian's journal as well. I understand his predicament though. I understand it very well.

1:17 pm  

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