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, March 14, 2007

return of the epeeists

This evening, there was a shortage of foilists. Two of the three electric pistes were taken over by sabreurs while the third was epee territory.

I felt slightly out of practice. My wrist ached more from the weight of the weapon - or perhaps that was the effect of the first few minutes in which my opponent took control of my blade pretty thoroughly, even spinning it out of my hand on one occasion. (That's the penalty for using a French grip, but I still prefer it.) But then, something happened.

I remembered a friend fencing sabre telling me of useful advice she'd had - "Don't imitate your opponent - play your own game." I realised it applied to me. I'd been imitating my opponent and it was never going to work because he was using strength I didn't have. So I risked a few tricks a coach had shown me some weeks ago - tricks which had never worked for me in the past. And when I provided an opening to invite an attack, it worked. My opponent came straight at me and I was able to catch him quickly before he could attach my blade. I was thinking much more and working out tactics. I was also staying still at times, watching for openings, or threatening one attack and changing course to do something different. I still lost more points than I won (it wasn't a proper bout) but something had clicked and I was winning points I would have lost a week or two ago. I was fencing tactically and I knew what I was doing.

Against other opponents it was harder, but I still kept my head and surprised myself with some of the hits I managed - to the wrist and forearm as well as down to the knee, despite some wobbly blade control. I'm aching now - and I've a fine supply of bruises for tomorrow - but it was one of those occasions when I felt I'd progressed. (Of course, the unofficial bout at work helped boost my confidence.)

And now I need - (if only I had time!) - to work on arm and wrist strength, speed and point control. An early night might help too.

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Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

Sounds like one of those really good practice nights - way to out think them - an wrist hits, cool!

One problem I had was when I felt like I was unable to surprise even myself anymore (stuck in a rut) and it sounds like you moved to another level of fencing yesterday - getting tricky, now they will be upping their game too.

11:28 pm  
Anonymous Jim said...

Go Kathz! I hope you can find a few moments a day to work on arm strength and point control. Talk to your coaches about it. I love it when people make progress. ( Okay...not the ones I competing against. ) But my intellectual friend across the pond....I am VERY happy for you!

I hope I get a couple of times where things " click" in the near future!

10:36 am  

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