Everything fascinates me about fencing, however at the moment the thing I find fascinating is the thought process. More importantly, the thought process when you are fencing your best.
My new friend in the UK, finds that she can channel anger (in some form) to make herself fence better. I have read about another person who posted on the fencingnet discussion boards, who evidently did the same thing. I can never do that. I need to be as emotion free as possible.
Evidently I have two ways mentally to do my best in a bout. One is to be in a state of flow. This is also called being in the zone. It is (to me) where there is little awareness of conscious thought or emotion. I have only experienced this twice in fencing, where it lasted the entire bout. I had it happen more than that in martial arts, but that was over an 18 year period of time. A high level fencer wrote in the fencingnet discussion boards that he found that he was most often in the zone" when he was fencing an E fencer." I understand his point, but I believe that he merely hasn't hit one of those times yet...or can't.
The other is total concentration. This is also hard to verbalize. It is like solving a puzzle, only the information needed is coming in at a blinding speed and you are willing yourself to keep that information coming and each physical movement is based upon that input. Until the point where you close distance or your opponent closes distance. Then the whole Zen arrow thing takes over, like being in the zone.
Of course, as Sun Tzu wrote "the best way to win a battle is to be strong." Perhaps if you are technically a strong fencer and you are physically strong in all ways possible, perhaps these types of things are less noticeable...or needed. Or perhaps the thought process is so different from person to person that it is not truly something that can be discussed.
My head is starting to hurt just thinking about it.