Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Know the Drill

The Drill:

Engage in four. Advance. Lift the bell just far enough to make the usual two points of contact. DO NOT extend. Let the lunge carry you to target. ( In this case, the elbow.)

This drill is just like the one I do often engaged in eight and hit the thigh ( except for the circular capture)

I had a bit of trouble with this one in my private lesson on Tuesday. However, Coach was pleased that I managed to do eight drills in 13 minutes. That is pretty good for me and I felt good about myself. I am sure Coach Miller could have picked me apart with my usual mistakes if he had wanted to do so. I often play ( on the ride home) the " What was coach REALLY thinking during the lesson game". Perhaps he just knew I needed a positive lesson. Perhaps I really did okay.

Wednesday night I had one of the best and most unusual group lessons I can remember. It is difficult to explain verbally. Part of the lesson was on developing "style". There was foot work....there was body to offer invitation by letting your head drop. ( Oddly enough I had trouble with the head drop , as I display " attitude " when I move my head like this and that is not what we are shooting for.) There was dropping the blade with your fingers as you retreat...not the arm...the blade....constant motion....little energy....skipping....stopping your opponent with a small advance and a very slight feint......moving and showing different parries and positions. It is in retrospect to much to comprehend and absorb. These actions are part of controlling the bout, as well as style.

All of the above also lead into further uses of time to control the bout. This in turn lead into a lesson on using the " Passivity Call" when facing an opponent that you respect. ( Read " respect" as someone that can clearly beat you.) That was fascinating. Sadly, I fence at a divisional level, which means the refs tend to not make a passivity calls due to being unsure of themselves. Still, this is a wonderful tactic for a Vet fencer fencing a kid that is college age. I have had it work for me, though unintentionally , before. Though, before I never knew how to make it happen.

Last week I was in Mexico so I had no fencing. In my hotel room I tried to balance a Mexican coin on a stick and practice my 6 and extension. It was not fulfilling.

I ( for some reason ) thought about all the creative people I know that are fencers. There are musicians, artist and writers. I can see the romantic draw to these people that fencing has. ( I am one of those people.) Yet I find it odd, sense fencing is not very creative. It is expressive, but not creative. I think it is expressive in the same way dance is expressive. Though in dance you are trying to express "something" through your actions and in fencing your actions are showing insights into your personality.

On the other hand, if you are down 11 to have nothing to loose by trying something " creative".

Obviously, epee is the weapon closest to being creative. ( No ROW and greater target area makes it that way.)

Okay....weird topic....but I was bored a lot in Mexico.

This weekend I may fence in a small tournament in Charlotte. There are only 6 people registered at this time and I am no match for most of them. However, I just want to fence and try some of the things we worked on Wednesday night. I just want to have a little fun. Sometimes that is the best kind of tournament.

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