Saturday, June 21, 2008

An Interesting Week and Good Day

Last Saturday I was at our beach house for a long weekend. I took time to drive down to Wilmington and fenced at Cape Fear Fencing Club. I fenced with Paul Perkins and Greg Spahr. I did well. I feel like a year ago, I would not have done as well as I did, so I am happy that I see some improvement. I started with my French grip, but switched to pistol grip and did even better. I was grateful to them for letting me fence and that I got in some strip time.

 Wednesday I fenced at home at the Downtown Fencing Club. I worked on under the cuff shots. I had some luck with that in Wilmington and wanted to try and perfect it. I really could not make it work in practice for some reason.

 Thursday I fenced at Chapel Hill. (Do I get around….or what?) I really did not fence at all, but had a private lesson with Josh.

 Friday night I helped set up for the North Carolina State Games fencing competition. I had reservations about helping, but I am glad I did. Robert is a good guy and they were very appreciative.

 Thursday I fenced in the Games. (This is sort of like a version of the Olympics with many different sports on the program.)  Out of the 45 people that pre-registered 35 showed up to fence epee. This was an A2 event (I think) and there were some high level fencers there. (At least from my perspective.  It is a relative sort of thing.) I did well in pools and finished second behind Nick the “A” fencer. It was the first time I got to fence Nick and I enjoyed it. I saw him “wax” a couple of people and it was my hope that that did not happen. It did not. I got 2 touches on him and it was a moral victory of sorts. In one of my first bouts I used my pistol grip and lost 5-4. I had intended to try and use it more, but the French always lent itself to certain situations. I needed to make up some indicators, so I pommeled and used it to gain back some ground on a weaker fencer. I used it against a UNC fencer, as he liked to flick using the bell guard as a fulcrum. When I pommel, my hand is not where it needs to be, for that to work. I beat that young man 5-3.

 So after the dust of pools settled, I had a bye and was seeded 13th out of 35 fencers. That does not sound all that good, but I was up there with the higher rated fencers and I felt pretty good about it.

I know that pools do not mean all that much. I looked at some of the people that were seeded under me and I knew that I would have had to have had a REALLY good day to beat some of them. Now, as I said, pools do not mean that much, but I figure they must mean something. So I was kind of happy with my results.

 In DE’s I fenced the 20th ranked UNC guy I beat in pools. Sadly, he got smarter and my game did not work as I hoped it might. I lost and I was done for the day. I will say that my coach was WAY cuter than his coach.

 There were a few negative comments about this and that at the Games. Mostly (as usual) from a couple of people that took no part it putting it together and never seem to take any part in any sort of Divisional effort. I have always felt if you don’t do anything to help; you should forfeit the right to criticize. On a more positive note, there were refs from a lot of clubs and people helped with cleaning up from all over.

This was a "starter” event in the State Games for fencing. And I am happy that Robert Thomas got us this far. It can improve, but it had to start some place. This was a GOOD start.

I would also say that I felt a sense of community at the event. Everyone seemed to get along. I did not notice anyone being an ass. It was nice.

I had to hang around to get our club equipment back, but it wasn’t bad. I talked to a lot of folks and felt very at home with all of them.

I thought it was a day well spent and I enjoyed it.


rdautumnsage said...

Sounds like you've been playing a few houses lately hon. I'm pleased to hear your enjoying yourself these days. I've long ago discovered no matter how well anything goes, there will always be a few bad apples in the mix. It does seem to always be those who don't do a thing to change anything either.

Sorry I haven't been around , my computer is keeping me imprisoned in TECH hell these days. I loved the pictures you posted of you and Jaime at her wedding. (Hugs) Indigo

jdobbinsjd said...

Not sure who you are talking about not helping.  But as far as I know if you aren't appoached or given information about helping, then you can't volunteer.  While I applaud Robert for pulling this off, I hope that they are able to make it an event that people will look forward to. It would have been nice to see more clubs represented.  I don't think any one should fence in a situation that they consider unsafe. As Woody put it some people are real "dicks", not sure who he was refering too, but often the biggest ones are the ones that put on the happiest face.
All that being said, it was as usual great to see you and your sidekick, the beautious Henri. It is always good to see the "youngun,"  glad he is back around this summer.  We are looking forward to seeing him in CA.

cobaltblade said...

Hmmm...where'd Woody go?

All of this's kinda got me thinking of is Team America World Police.  (First quote)

kentjamesr said...

This kind of got blown out of proportion. The negative comments were not that bad.     Just two people talking to each other and I happen to over hear it.

It had nothing to do with sliding sabre people.

Everything after that of course, still stands in my book.

ncfence004 said...

Why Jim I do believe you're trying to stir the pot!   <jk>  It was a fun day, very relaxed with everything running on time....and I only saw one incident of poor sportsmanship!

cobaltblade said... I was just joking...mainly because...well, I had just watched Team America again.  And the deletion of a comment...well...I couldn't resist.  Think there's an Internet Rule on that.

Why shouldn't there be complaints about negative comments?

And why shouldn't there be open discussion between who made them and the people complaining.

Negative remarks don't necesarily imply meanness or hatred.  They just imply a situation where there is a chance to succeed by solving the problem at hand.  Those who run fencing tournaments are in a service business after all...

Really...I wish more people around here would be direct and honest, and less fearful of confrontation.   I mean, being nice is good.  But there are times when it pays to be a little bit more forward.  Otherwise, we're all gonna be sitting around talking behind each other's backs for a while.

And yes...I'm avoiding work right now :P

kentjamesr said...

"Really...I wish more people around here would be direct and honest, and less fearful of confrontation.   I mean, being nice is good.  But there are times when it pays to be a little bit more forward.  Otherwise, we're all gonna be sitting around talking behind each other's backs for a while."

I do avoid confrontation. But it is not because I fear it. Most of the time it is not necessary. Confrontation rarely changes another persons mind. People will think what  they will. More importantly, once I reach a point of needing to confront someone it tends to be a bit "over the top".

"Direct and honest".........I think I qualify there.

If anyone wants to know my opinion ( generally ) all they have to do is ask. But I do prefer ( most of the time ) to be asked. It lets me know someone is actually interested.

cobaltblade said...

"Confrontation rarely changes another persons mind. People will think what  they will."

Really?  Kind of a fatalistic premise if you ask me...

I can go through several historical examples in which confrontation has changed some people's mind:

- Gandhi and Indian Independence
- Martin Luther King Jr. and African American rights in the US
- War for Independence in the US

To name just a few...I know these are probably just small exceptions that didn't change the world much at all ;)

And if we want to take a more direct line towards relating it to fencing:

Everytime you fence, you have to confront yourself on a misconception.  And you are never going to be 100% correct.  There's always something you misapply or misunderstand.

Everytime you coach, you have to confront your student on their misconceptions of fencing.  Otherwise, they'll never improve.

True, some people have a hard time changing their mind (sometimes even ourselves).  But that doesn't mean we should immediately give up or never try to change anyone else's mind.

Idealistic, maybe.  But there's plenty of idealistic fencers (Some of stranger ideals than others but *shrug*).  Heck, Ron is probably one of the best examples.  Ask him sometime about some of the struggles starting the UNC team.  He had to confront a whole lot of people in the administration.  And I'm pretty certain he still has to confront people every day.