Monday, January 25, 2010

Knowledge Flow

An interesting week in fencing this week.

I will dispense with notes on fencing in Greensboro to some extent.

Suffice it to say I helped with some kids classes, including foil, which means I was involved with all three classes this week.

Tuesday, I had a good lesson with Coach Miller. By good, I mean I did well and he bragged on me.

Another good thing that happen Tuesday, was that Josh offered me some very good advice on problems I was having with an action. It is extremely rare that he does that and it may have helped a lot. During his instruction, I had several revelations. He showed me how to take a blade in eight and fleche. For some reason, it never occurred to me to do it from eight. I have no idea why. The night was filled with simple revelations like that. Things that are simple, but for some reason had escaped me.

Matt helped my training partner and some of the knowledge gained there was passed on to me.

It was a very meaningful night for learning.

I bouted poorly that night. Part of it was my own depressed mental state and part of it was that I was working on smoothing out my blade action in attacks, as well as working on combining slight extensions of the blade as I advanced and retreated.
(This is difficult to explain. It is something Tommy is working with me on.)

I fenced in a CFA tournament in Charlotte this weekend.

I did poorly in pools, winning two and loosing two.

My first DE was against the young man that won the tournament. I lost and was done for the day.

Even though I did poorly, I enjoyed the event and the fencing.

More meaningful than the fencing were various conversations.

I talked with coaches and gained valuable information on things to work on and possible upcoming opportunities to train.

Nicole was used as an example for me to immolate, on relaxing when out of distance.

Again, another simple action to practice that had never occurred to me.

The list of information gathered is to much to record here.

I have felt for many months that gaining knowledge in fencing was slower in coming, yet in one week, there was a huge influx.

I also found that I was wrong in a belief I had. Oddly enough, I had just discussed it with a coach at this tournament, when I was dramatically proven wrong.

I have often heard good coaches state that "fencing is fencing" or "it is all the same stick".

I never truly believed that. I thought that once you were technically proficient in a weapon, THEN it could "all be the same stick".

However, I watched a sabre fencer win an epee tournament, primarily due to his knowledge of distance and experience gained from fencing another weapon.

So I was arrogant and clearly wrong in not believing what coaches I respect have always said. Lesson learned.

I talked with a Mid-South coach a little about doing drills. I told him that my training partner and I were "drill masters" and tried to explain the " Coach...Coach" game and scoring methods and tactics used in competing in drills with Coach Miller. I am afraid I made a fool out of myself by doing that. I often wonder if I sound "goofy" when I talk to people who have been fencing/coaching for a long time. He may have taken me seriously. Humor as a training tool is often a foreign concept.

I am afraid that the " Coach....Coach" game will always be as esoteric as the " unstoppable thrust".

1 comment:

stu said...

As a counter to the point about fencing being fencing, I'd like to submit as exhibit A my complete lack of any point control, picked up somewhere in the course of twenty odd years of sabre. Also my friend Olly's strange inability to win foil bouts, despite being rather good at sabre and epee. The distance varies, the tactics vary, and the details of technique vary. There are certainly fundamental attributes that bring success at all three, but the last ten percent of success is down to focussed, weapon specific, practise.