Thursday, April 3, 2008

WoodChuck Night

Tuesday I went to UNC and fenced, as well as had a private lesson.

One of the people I fenced with was a kid I have never fenced before. He is a "B" fencer and I have always admired his form. Crisp movement and his weight is always evenly balanced. His style is pretty; great technically and with an athletic flair. I never thought he would want to fence me, as I did not think I was in his league. We fenced and I did well. We did not keep score, but if he was not by much. It may be that he took it easy on me. I don't know. I fenced with my French, because I wanted to do my best against him. My foot work and my form were nothing to write home about, however I set some things up and my point control was good. At least this is the way I saw it from inside my mask.  I never know for sure if I am seeing things correctly from in there.
I have watched this young man fence a lot, so I pommeled from the beginning. In this case it was to deny him target. One of his favorite moves is a flick to the outside of the cuff using  the bell guard as a fulcrum. He is really good at it. You do not see him do anything to prepare to flick. Nothing gives it away. This is another great thing about pommeling. My hand is so far back, he could not use this move. There is nothing to hit.

He caught on to the pommel/French thing and did one of the things you should do when you fence some one that fences French. Beat their blade. Generally it makes someone get a death grip on their weapon and thus their hand and arm tense up. Coach Miller taught me this and it is one of the reasons I am trying to become proficient with a pistol grip. I figure he taught this guy the same thing. So when he kept trying to beat my blade I was ready. I disengaged and hit. Of course he had some other stuff I did not figure out. It was some sort of parry in prime, almost turn your back ...sort of thing. I need to watch him fence someone else. It is flashy.

I sucked with my lesson for Coach Miller. There must be some sort of fencing karma with me. I can fence well or have a good lesson....but not both. Part of the drill was to engage his weapon in eight...advance as he retreated and lunge to hit the elbow. My advance would be to big. This caused me to pull my weapon arm back, though I seem to be pulling it back even when distance is correct. Then I lift my point to high and I break it down into two actions rather than one. I have a tendency to sequence actions, in an effort to do things correctly. In this case it makes me slow. What I do as a 1...2.....should be ONE! Coach Miller must have the patience of Jobe. I would have taken my weapon and beat me to death with the bell guard.

I wonder if this crossed his mind on Wednesday when we had a group lesson. He asked if anyone had had studied martial arts. I raised my hand and he threw a punch to my face. I caught his hand with a mantis block. I wasn't supposed to do that, but I felt kind of good that all the old ways had not left me. He then asked me if I trusted him. I did. So he threw a couple of reverse punches to my face, stopping about an inch from my nose. Coach has a good , snappy punch. He was demonstrating how your arm should move when you are lunging. Fortunately, we all did well on our drills and he most likely forgot how bad I stunk the night before.

Coach is very interested in how things are going within the Division. I find that comforting. I could actually see our Division not having a single person that wants to be an Division officer. I have no idea what would happen if that was the case.

I spent a little time last night trying to figure out who would be the best people to run the Division. I made a mental list of all the people I thought were nice and easy to get a long with. Then I made list of people that I thought knew the most. At this point I realized it is not really those qualities that count. What would be most important is for the group to know that they can count on each other and to what limits that they could count on each  other. This type of knowledge only comes by having worked together. So that pretty much can't happen when you just toss a handful of random people together. I thought about having a club run the Division rather than a bunch of people that did not know each other. It had some merit, but did not disperse the board membership across the state.

Then I did the smart thing. I quit thinking about it and went to McKewl's and swilled Woodchuck and Guinness , while we had a coaches meeting.

We talked about hosting a tournament in May in our small space. ( Among other things.) I will not be helping this time at all. My youngest daughter will be getting married in early May and I need to put fencing on hold for a couple of weekends.

It was a nice way to end an evening.


rdautumnsage said...

This was captivating to read. Perhaps not being able to fence and do well at the same time in lessons with Coach Miller would be, that your taking too much time to think things through. Your mind tends to remain on the match instead of in the moment. Just a thought...

Congratulation on your daughter's upcoming wedding. Mine will be wed in a civil service in June. Her then husband is due to deploy to Iraq in Sept. They wanted to wait for all the wedding fanfare for when he arrives home from his deployment. It gives him something to look forward to while he's away. (Hugs) Indigo

epeeallday said...

sounds like things are looking good, if u see another older guy named holt tell him ill b seeing him again shortly and u too if i get into unc...more frequently that is.