Monday, March 2, 2009


I spent the last couple of days at the NAC in Atlanta.

A March snowstorm made the return drive an adventure.

I am beyond tired at the moment and have only been home a few hours.

Down to Business

I fenced Vet 50-59 Epee. There were only 35 entries in this event, however most of them were gods. There were a few of us lesser mortals there as well. In the initial seed I was ranked 32.

The only other time I have ever fenced in a NAC, there were well over fifty people in the event. That was two years ago.

One of the reasons for going was to try and gauge my progress...or lack thereof.
I should again point out that the guys fencing in this event flew in from places like Canada, California,....lots of places far away. These guys are NOT low rated fencers that just bopped on down to see what it is like to fence with fellow 50-59 people. They came to medal...or for points....or what ever the big boys come for. Me....I just came to test me.

In pools, I won one out of six. Oddly enough, that was a step up from two years ago.
On the other hand, no one beat me 5-0. Not even Dragonetti, who did that last time. Dragonetti did leave me with a nice purple souvenir on my weapon arm.

Pools sound bad, but I had fun fencing them, and(for me) I think I fenced fairly well.

There was a short guy in pools named Rene Castellanos. He is the master of the esquive. It was fun to watch him fence.

After pools, I had moved up one spot to be seeded at 31st. Someone else must have had a really bad day.

All to soon it was time for DE's.

To make a long story short, I won my first DE. That was progress I could evaluate from my previous NAC. I was pretty happy, as I did not think there was much of a chance of that happening.

I have to say, I don't much care for fencing to ten points. It is over too quick and there is not enough time to figure things out.

The next time at bat, I lost the DE and was done for the day. He was a great fencer and just beat the tar out of me.

There was something of interest in the last DE. It was the most physical of any I have ever had. It started with a card. In a touch or two, he went for me and I dropped to almost kneeling and extended. (I cannot do one of those skinny kid squats...even when I was a skinny kid. So this is my adaptation.) My opponent hit the scoring table. Sadly, he parried as he went by and I missed. There was another card. I am starting to think....Oh....bodily contact. SWEET! I am all about seeing who is going to bounce. I like that game. Towards the end of the bout, we both fleched and he bounced. He was a bit rattled. The Eastern European ref told me I must fleche further to the right.

In truth, I think this man was a good person and was not trying to mix it up with me. It was just a series of unfortunate events.

Even though I won my first DE, I only moved up to 30th place for the event. I had sort of hoped to be in the twenties. It just sounded better.

Wheel Chair Fencing

At this event, I got to meet a friend (face to face)who I met on
Darryl (Greybeard)had a stroke three years ago and could have easily died.

So, he no longer fences on his feet and has just made the switch to chair fencing.

He has become an inspiration to me and others.

Darryl has a dry wit and made learning more about wheel chair fencing fun.

I had a chance to learn more about this once and did not pursue it. I could kick myself for that now.

Wheelchair fencers are just fencers like everyone else. Their gloves smell just as bad. But, the armorers, refs, and others who put this together for them....THEY must be some special people!

I only had time to watch Daryl fence epee. He took eighth place and sixth in foil.

I wish that I could have seen them fence a RoW weapon. It must be awful to try and figure out who has the attack.

I also found out that in Europe, non-wheel chair people do chair fencing. That makes sense in some ways, as it would give wheel chair fencers more competition. It also sounds like a good training tool for non-wheel chair fencers.


I had an interesting discussion with an armorer concerning Leon Paul tips. I
never caught his name , but he seemed to know what he was talking about, and I am
going to give his advice a try.

I have been having a load of trouble with LP tips and the small shim test. I
thought it was just my poor armory skills and perhaps some sort of curse I was
under. He did not think so.

My last three weapons were all LP. Under advice from another armorer, I was
trying to standardize my weapons for maintenance purposes.

The armorer I talked to thought that the LP small springs "traveled". (Meaning: They have a tendency to unscrew.) The first thing he did was when he
replaced the small spring was to add a drop of Zap-a-Gap glue to hold it in
place. So far that is working on that weapon.

He recommended replacing the LP springs with FWF German springs. He said they were harder to screw in, but did a better job. Over the course of time, as these
weapons break down, I am going to try and replace the points and wires with
these German parts.


I was amazed at the number of people I knew at this event. I was also amazed at the number of people who knew me.

Carlos, for example. I only met him once. He said he remembered me due to my hair.
Folks from Coaches College were there. I shook hands and had a conversation with two people that I have no idea who they were. I also made a couple of new friends.

There were a ton of NC fencers there, and we had some fun in the venue together. I never made it to socialize outside the venue. The weather was awful, and I did not know my way around well enough.

Grace's son Tuck, did great in foil, and I see on the NC web site that John Rae did great. I will have to wait for posted results to see how some other folks did.


I had a good time, and I learned a few things.

It is fun to fence, and it is fun to watch good people fence epee. (Though it is equally fun to watch people fence bad or strange epee. Sometimes with surprising results.)

I may give another NAC a try in the future, though next time I may try Div III and see what that is like.


cobalt said...

After vets, Div 3 is a walk in the park. And I really don't see much of a difference anymore between 2 and 3.

Just stay out of the way of the spaz, and control the bout. IMO, if you know how to setup a good attack, you win.

NC fencing did good overall, a boatload of medals and strong results. Good sign for the next round of fencers.

Jin Ai said...

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and I was wondering if you are happy with the bag you discussed, because I'm thinking of buying one. I'd appreciate it if you could get back to me about it soon. Thanks,
Jin Ai
xlellox [at]