Saturday, March 22, 2008


Friday night I fenced Tommy. We fenced for about a half an hour. I think we fenced for about 20 minutes straight. I was ready for a rest, but he kept me going for another ten. I finally had to show him the white flag.

I will not live long enough to see Tommy hit the double nickel, but I hope he is still fencing.

I also kind of hope some eighteen year old works his butt off.

I can imagine him fencing at 55. I wonder if he ever imagined what it would be like to fence me if I was 18.

Tommy was going to work with me on a couple of things. We worked on distance and second intention , as well as setting the touch up. We talked a bit about the French grip. We talked about not changing my game , but adding to it.

Tommy is maturing. ( Yeah...I know you are reading this. Don't get the big head!) The maturing Tommy had thoughtful and insightful suggestions. I will think about them and work on them. I will make them mine.

I gave Tommy a French grip tip. I told him that if he uses a French grip with the intention of pommeling, that he should not do that until touch 2 or 3. The reason being is that your opponent finds his distance and then you change it. It is a big advantage. I don't think Tommy heard me. Tommy is the superior fencer by far. However, when he learns to listen to other people, he will not be maturing...he will be mature. It may be worthless garbage, my brother. If it is, toss it out. But listen first, then toss it out.

You will never meet anyone with more energy and love of fencing than Tommy. He has a enormous  positive attitude concerning himself and fencing. We give him a hard time about that sometimes, but I understand it. It is one of his greatest strengths in fencing.  He sees himself a certain way and he becomes what he sees. Huge strength! Annoying sometimes, but a huge strength.

I worked on my angulated cuff shots with Tommy, but they were not anywhere near as successful as they were the last time we fenced. I knew they would not be. He adapts quickly.

For me it was a good night. I got to fence with one of my favorite people to bout. Tommy is family.


epeeallday said...

of course i listened when u said that about the french grips, i stilluse one from time to time and i remember that was one of the first things u told me awhile ago right before i began using russians....still one of the first things i do to mess with distance and dont worry, my heads in check thanks to toomey ;) i remember where i come from, i always will.

cobaltblade said...

Yep, when you get real mature Tommi, you might actually push back on calling a girl back from 2 hours to 3. :P

Tommi, you do adjust pretty if you can just keep focus for every bout in an entire tournament.  That's the dealmaker right there.

The change of distance is a pretty good insight.  Actually, an even more fun trick is switching the grip back and forth in the middle of the point(Yes, it's's not an orthopedic grip so therefore your hand position doesn't have to be fixed...see Luigi Mazzone)  

Personally, I wouldn't do it.   Seems like one of those things that could mess up your own distance while you're trying to mess up your opponents.  Then again, I'm a "control" fencer and not a "finesse" fencer, so the chances of me ever using a french grip outside of club is slim and none.

Now me doing it and me coaching it are two different things :P