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.

Name:
Location: United Kingdom

Thursday, June 14, 2007

d'Artagnan, shoes and wire-nibbling









I would have liked the d'Artagnan shoes. Mind you, "d'Artagnan, by Adidas" doesn't sound quite right.


The d'Artagnan fencing shoes aren't what he wears in the pictures. I ended up with a pair of Kappa trainers - half price in a sale. Unfortunately the rather strange logo is in the shade Kappa call "hot pink". I looked for a different colour - black, blue or red - but in my size it had to be hot pink. I don't think d'Artagnan would have been seen dead in Kappa trainers.


I'm not yet sure about them but they're ever so comfortable and a good fit. I haven't yet decided what makes good shoes for fencing - these are lighter, which makes movement easy, but I'm not sure they offer all the support for movement I'd like. I think I want shoes that will make me fast - perhaps winged boots like Hermes' would do the trick.


Anyway, I got to fencing and found myself facing that difficult opponent who takes control of my blade with such ease. After losing a couple of points, I tried to remember the advice I'd been given. "Come en garde in sixte," I muttered - and tried a beat befire parry, opposing forte to foible, sliding my blade over his guard.

I was too slow, of course. Eventually, somehow - I don't know how - I forced my way forward and landed a clear hit on his chest. We both stopped. The hit hadn't registered on the box. We switched swords for a moment - plainly mine was at fault. Problems with the blade-wire, I assume.

I was loaned a pistol grip and then, when I found that hard, a grip that should have been easier. But it didn't feel right. Just as before, I found that anything other than a French grip felt wrong.

"Shake hands with the grip," I was advised, as I tried to remember how to place my hand round the metal prongs. But it slowed me further. The simple French grip can feel like an extension of my arm - anything else is an object I carry in my hand and I have to think how to use it.

I stopped. I'd been using my second epee. My first had suffered spring problems and then lost two of the bolts and nuts for fixing the body wire. I thought perhaps someone could show me how to transfer them. A sabreuse came to my rescue, using a hairclip to unscrew the bolts from the second epee so that they could be transferred to the first. She didn't just show me how it should be done, but nibbled back the coating on the wire so that the metal thread would wind round easily. It was fiddly and I'm afraid she lost some fencing time helping me. Wire-nibbling could be misinterpreted, we decided - and evolved a fantasy: we would approach men in bars to ask, "Would you like me to nibble your wire?" "Can I nibble your wire?" could even be a slogan on T-shirts - who would admit to ignorance of such an obviously well-known practice?


With my first epee restored to health, I staggered stiffly back to the epeeists. (I'd been sitting on my legs and had slight cramp.) I managed to fence a couple more men. The wonderful first epee should have brought me luck and victory. But I was still tired. I think my opponents felt sorry for me. It took all their care, generosity and slow-motion fencing to ensure I got one or two hits.

I must find time to exercise and practise.




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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim said...

Post here and show us your progress on exercise and practice. It may help you stay on it!

3:12 am  
Blogger kathz said...

Alas, work has been taking over ... and now the housework needs sustained attention. I'm also trying to catch up on the sleep I missed in the past month. More worryingly, my right wrist is slightly swollen - probably too much time at the computer but I hope it won't affect my fencing.

I'll try the odd lunge as I hoover, perhaps ...

8:48 am  

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