Sunday, October 1, 2006

Yin and Yang

Brief over view of the weekend long tournament I went to:
The parts of the tournament I fenced in were low level and the attendance was small. So, it is no big deal.That is okay. It was exactly what I was looking for. I fenced in an unrated foil competition and an "E" and Under epee competition. I decided not to fence in the open epee, as I saw an "A' was registered and because I was not sure I could fence it and have enough left for the "E" and Under epee part. I fenced the "E" and Under epee part because I thought I might have the best chance of winning there. It did not have that many people preregistered, so I thought I could hang there better without tiring out. When you are in your mid-fifties, you need to think this way once in a while.
I came in dead last in the foil part and I took first place and gained a "E" 2006 in the epee event.
Foil: I got the crap kicked out of me in the pools. I thought it would go this way. I know all the elements of fencing foil, but cannot put it together to do well. I fenced a guy from ABF in my DE. He was less than skilled. I was up 6 or 8 points. It was easy. I fenced him like I was fencing epee, but only the shining part was target. Then I took it to far. I make most of my points in epee while retreating. Woody calls it my " fade away." I also "counter" in good for foil. Sadly, when I do this I loose ROW. I lost this DE 15 to 14.  I should be ashamed and I am! That is one of my biggest problems in foil. This was my first real tournament where I fenced it. I was not expecting much. I took my licking like a man and I plan to get more of them. It is part of my plan to become I foilist. I have to do it, even though it just kills me to get creamed. I will try not to whine about it. I do not love foil, but I must make myself become a foilist. Epee has ruined me and I am going to have to really work to become a "okay" foilist. I will pick up what I can, wherever I canand I will go get the crud beat out of me until  something clicks or I just can't stand getting the crud kicked out of me anymore.
On the bright side, my little buddy Henri tide for third place. Go Henri! You ARE the man! Or you would be, if you were a man.
Epee:  I did not do that well in pools, but I was tired enough to relax in DE's. I did not scrape by in any of my DEs. My lead was significant.
My first DE was against a guy who beat me 5-4 and smirked as we shook hands. I beat him something like 15-9. The second DE was against the other E , he was a nice guy and had refed foil the day before. I wanted to beat him to make myself feel better for my poor showing in my first foil tournament. I did and as I remember it, the score was 15-11. The last guy was a kid ( 23) from Virginia Tech and a U. I won 15-9. .In all these bouts, once I got far enough a head, I pommeled and went for the doubles. I remember at the start of the final bout thinking," That kid REALLY wants this "E"...and Heck...I would not mind second so bad." I often wonder about people thinking about winning and rankings and how that might effect the bout. I guess you really never know the whole story.
I wanted to find out if I was an " E" fencer and this small tournament was enough to make me believe I am. I also have some renewed hope that I may can get a "D" rating before there are no more letter ratings. Maybe...maybe not..but I have hope. It is a goal of mine. So is getting an "E" in foil, though that one may be a long time coming.
Taking first place in the little epee part also helped with the shame of how badly I didin foil. I could hold my head up when I left.
Some tournaments you fence to learn and some you fence to measure yourself against other people.
I found that I can fence three or more  15 point DE's with out getting to tired  to do well.
I found that I need to change my foil French grips to pistol grips, but I am keeping my French in epee. I know how to use them.
I found an attack I am going to work on in foil, by watching a guy fence.
I found that the guy that called me "Pops" did not show. I wanted another shot at him. I will get it before the season is out.
I found a first place at my age, even in a little tournament, makes for a nice ride home.
Seems like I had a lot more to say here on the ride home, but I guess that is enough for now.


fencerkath said...

well done in the epee contest.  I'm glad I'm not the only person left who fences with French grips - I can't manage pistol grips in either foil or epee (possibly because it's not close enough to holding a pen).  

I don't see what's so bad about losing a DE 15-14 either.

And after being so self-critica, how about the important question: did you enjoy it?

kentjamesr said...

That is the important question Kathz. The answer is was a great weekend.

shazna02 said...

Congrats on your win - really cool the way you used not just your skill but your tournament experience to go tactical in the DE's - really really super win!