Sunday, April 20, 2008

As I Ever Was

Generally, when I go to a tournament, I start thinking about my journal entry on the drive home. I really did not do much of that this time.

I fenced in New Bern this weekend. Friday night, I drove down to Topsail Island and spent the night at my house. I had a bit of work I wanted to do before I left for the tournament.

The venue was nice, though I don't much care for carpeted surfaces. The people were friendly as usual. I always feel welcome there. ( I am often amazed at the people who know my first name. For the life of me , I can't figure out why they would remember. I tend to think of some fencers as " tall left handed ECU fencer....things like that.)

I went to this tournament thinking I could win it. I did not think it was likely, but I thought it was possible. It was a low level tournament. Some of the folks are very good fencers, but do not travel enough to pick up higher ratings. There are also the wild people that have weapon arms as stiff as a board.

I did not win. I finished in the top eight, which sounds pretty good until you find out there were only seventeen people fencing.

I was awful in pools.

My first direct elimination bout was against a strong fencer. He is physically strong and a good fencer, though his "takes" are a bit wild......they work.  In the middle of the match I was about four points down. I remembered about not going nuts when some one gets two points ahead from fencing in Divisionals last weekend. I worked him and stayed calm. I caught up and it was 14-14. I could tell he was more nervous about this last touch than I was. We jockeyed around and he tried his take. ( Which is sort of like a " Lift 7".)
I disengaged. He tried the same take. I disengaged. He tried that take one time to often and I disengaged and hit him. 15-14. I won and it was a very good bout. Justin the ref, even said that it " was a joy to watch." That made me feel good.

My next DE was against a college kid from ECU. I swear he was six four! There are two of them about the same height, only one is left handed. His reach was so long, I could not get to him. He was not  very good, but he was beating the tar out of me. I finally figured out how to fence him. He would chase me if I ran away. If I only had figured this out earlier in the bout, I would have done better. Hitting some one as they take an advance forward is my favorite thing. He won and Jim headed for a shower.

I watched our new Division Chair win the tournament. I had never really watched him fence before. He is faster than you think. He would almost always prefer to take/attack the blade, but will make a first intention attack if you are in range. He prefers a fast "press' attack or the wilder "take" like his student I beat in my first DE. His weakness is his foot work. Just some notes here, to remind me if I ever have to fence him in DEs.

I did reflect on some things on my drive home. I reflected on how I figured out what to do with the tall ECU fencer kid, though it was to late. This seems to happen to me often in tournaments. I figure it out, but it is beyond the time needed to catch back up.

I also reflected on how very much I have learned about fencing. And even though I feel like I have learned such a great deal, I often feel as if I have only scratched the surface. I don't know anything.

I thoughtI would do better, but I am not going to beat my self up over it. I will take a lesson from a couple of recent DEs. Stay calm and be patient.

I had a pretty good time.

New Bern is having an outside tournament on an island. It will be on my birthday. I will be 56. We will see how things play out. I may go.

I am not a big fan of country music. I do like looking at the girls in their videos though. I do like a couple of male singers as well. One is Toby Keith. I have the following song on my MP3 player and have it listed as Jim's theme. Listen to the words.



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