I went to the UNC epee tournament. It was my first tournament of the season and I knew going in ( by looking at the preregistration ) that I was going to get the beat pretty bad. That is not good for the ego, but I believe that if you are going to become a better fencer, you need to fence people better than you are.
Pools: I do not know the ratings of the people I fenced. I will wait until the results are posted to analyze things with a fine tooth comb. I was in a pool of six. ( Counting myself.) I got beat 5-4;5-1 and 5-4. I beat two people. One was 5-0 and one was 5-3. I think my indicator was a +1. Not real impressive! The two people I beat were obviously fairly new, by the way they fenced. The kid that ate my lunch must have been around 15. He was one of those fast little guys, that unfortunately was damn good fencer besides.
Moving On: There were around 30 people at the tournament and the DE’s were posted in a manner that was forgein to me. There were close to 60 slots with a bunch of "buys". I had one as well. I did not get it! I was looking over a guys shoulder and saw that I was seed 22 and was up against the 11 guy. The guy in front of me was looking at my name and said’ " This guy ( me ) will win this bout. He is really good!". My mouth fell open and then he saw I was standing behind him . I said, " Thank you" and smiled. It was the high point of the tournament for me. This guy beat me in pools 5-4. I have no idea what he saw...or thought he saw...but I am going to allow myself to think it is a good thing. I need a little ego repair.
DEs: I hook up on the strip. I am facing a ( I guess) 20 year old guy my size. I had talked to him briefly outside were it was cool.
He looked at me and said, " Are you tried Pops?"
My eyes got wide and I thought to myself, " You did NOT just call me Pops!"
" No...I am fine. " ,I replied. " Are you tired?"
" No " , he said.
I raised one eye brow and said, " You are about to be."
He said, " Bring it!"
It was on.
He scored the first point. I tied it up. It went back and forth, a lot of doubles and the score was tied around 6 -6. That is when he tried a toe shot and I popped him in the mask. I am ahead by one. The next touch I tag him and I am ahead by two. He attacks and every time he does, I counter for the double. It was easy. I could have done it all day. Sadly, it was when the score was about 10-8 a wave of smartness flowed over him. Sadly the back wash of stupidity flowed over me. He saw that he could not win by attacking me, so he stopped. He would not attack. I know this game. I PLAY this game! But like an idiot, I do not just stand there and wait him out, I attack. He beat me 15-12. He had good things to say about my counters. I do not know how this guy finished up, but I know he won two other DEs. If I get beat, I prefer it to be by some one who does well that day. It kind of takes the edge off.
There is a lot I could say about this tournament and our fencers there, but this post is long enough.
I went to this tournament with the idea it would be a lesson and it was. I did not have any gloomy, beat-myself-up feelings on the way home. None at all. I felt okay...not good...but okay.
I am sure before the season is out, I will have one of those wallow-in-self-pity drive homes. I just hope I have a happy drive home this season to balance it out.