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, February 26, 2009

blood ....!




Too much of fencing was a blur of tiredness. I knew I was too tired but I also knew the effect of a week off fencing. Anyway, I'd been tired for weeks - and I was determined to follow the epee course.

There were only three of us. The doc and the Man man seemed filled with energy and concentration. My mind wandered. The coach demonstrated a parry in seconde - "a strong parry", he said. I waved my epee around trying the move in mid-air. It seemed manageable.I tried it against the coach. Definitely a strong parry, and one I hadn't used before.

Things got harder with the next sequence which involved hitting the wrist, moving backwards and then parrying to another hit. I couldn't do it. And things got worse as we lunged and reprised at speed down the piste. At least, the doc and the Man man were speedy - I achieved a moderately paced shuffle with the occasional bend of the knees. After some encouragement, I repeated the procedure while waving my sword about. I wasn't sure quite what I was supposed to do with it but some kind of energetic display seemed to be required. In the one-hit epee at the end I achieved a surprising hit on the Man man, possibly because, given my previous incompetence, he didn't expect me to move faster than a slug.

I meant to go home them but the Man man offered to fence me on the electric piste. I knew it was a bad idea even as I said yes. His second hit was a textbook example of how to glide down an opponent's blade to land a hit. He landed it hard on the inside of my elbow, sliding his blade at an angle that reached just below my plastron. He looked shaken. "Are you OK?" he asked. It seemed that stoicism was required - and no blood was actually leaking through my jacket.

I tried to look brave and continued. Two more points, and he landed another hit in the same place. We continued. He hit me again and again. I tried to fight back and managed a couple of hits including one on his big toe. I tried to repeat the feat and hit the floor a few times. At last I gave up. We shook hands and I began to remove my kit. It was still early but the tiredness was winning.

Slowly I discarded my jacket, coiled my bodywire and put it with the protectors and glove in my mask.. I eased my plastron over my stiffening right arm. As I thought, there was blood - but not much. Just a graze - painful when touched and slightly swollen. I showed off my wound - it was the nearest I had to proof that I was a proper fencer. I'm not sure anything I did that night really counted as fencing. Then I put on my hoodie and jacket, slung my sword and rucksack onto my back and cycled off into the dark.


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3 Comments:

Blogger The Gray Epee said...

Sometimes the bruises hurt....they are always fascinating to look at the next day.

I often wonder how many people think women epeeist are in an abusive relationship.

Even though I know it is sappy, I cannot help but think sometimes that the bruises are marks of honor.

If not, they certainly have some interesting shapes and colors.

I am not all that happy with Man-man for hurting you.

I am heading for Atlanta tomorrow to fence in the North American Cup.
(A huge national tournament.) I am no match for the guys I will be fencing.

I suspect by Sunday we will both have some magnificent bruises.

2:05 am  
Blogger kathz said...

I knew I was too tired to fence and Man man didn't mean to hurt me, just to land a hit. He's particularly good at sneaking hits along the sword-arm - he has the advantage of being left-handed. I feel a bit better today (but still short of sleep, which doesn't help fencing or anything else).

I hope you do brilliantly in Atlanta and come back with reports of some famous victories.

6:38 am  
Blogger katie said...

Actually though I am not surprised it was the Man man that drew blood. Would you like me to kill him for you?

8:47 am  

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