Saturday, January 9, 2010

First Week in Fencing for the New Year


I was to help coach the "Intro" class in Greensboro. First class of the year after our break and no one showed up, so I worked on repairing body cords. A few people showed up for sabre.


I went to help with the kids epee class in Greensboro. There are around a dozen of them and just getting them dressed and outfitted is an ordeal.

Coach showed up and had a group lesson! I would have never guessed. I thought it was over for him in Greensboro, but he said he would be there intermittently until the season was over, and, or they sold their house in Greensboro. This is a good thing for Greensboro.

Tommy will coach the competitive class, when his schedule allows as well. (CFA Greensboro satellite location.....that is kind of a joke...and kind of true.)


Saturday was a different sort of day for fencing.

I went to Mid-South Fencing for a Foil Open House.

Prior to that event, Matt Cox gave a reffing seminar on foil. From my perspective, it was perfect.

I don't fence priority weapons often enough to be proficient in reffing them. In the two clubs I presently belong to, there is no way to become proficient. I fence epee. To become a decent ref in RoW weapons, I would have to fence them regularly and be at a club where a ref might have the time and desire to coach me. There are too many things in the way of doing something like that at this juncture, and it would mean not devoting myself entirely to the weapon I love.

I would have liked to have been a three weapon fencer. As a late bloomer in the sport and given my present age, I don't think this is possible. Still, I like to learn what I can....when I can.. about other weapons and a review of the little I know about them is always welcome. The ref seminar was just what I would have hoped for.

The format for the day was:

Ref Seminar
Group Lesson
Private Lessons
Open Bouting

The group foil lesson given by Peter (a foil coach from Ireland) and Stephen was a good one. It was a mixture of low level techniques and games. (I learned a new one to take back to the kids in Greensboro.) Even though the actions taught in the group class were basic, I struggled to do them correctly. Struggled and failed ...a lot. was fun.

It was cold, and we walked down the street for lunch. They had some really good soup that was perfect for the day. While we were eating, Margaret from Salle New Bern came in, and I invited her to have lunch with us. I now have a new friend in the New Bern club, the next time I am down that way.

I fenced a little and yacked with Grace and company, while waiting on my private lesson. I like her.

There were three coaches giving private lessons and all of them good. I picked Stephen for my private lesson. I had never been coached by him before.

The coaches were troopers. Some of the foilists took private lessons from all of them. Coaches were a bit worn out, but they hung in there.

Stephen is a patient man! We did a two part drill, that ended with an "open eyes" drill. I was clumsy. My parry 4 was an epee parry 4....when I could remember to do it. In was a bit too strong for an epee parry 4. I am being kind to myself. It was a good basic lesson. Even though it was basic, I struggled with it.

I would look at that skinny little blade and think...."this doesn't feel right". I would do a Circle 6 and think, "the bell guard is not big enough to pick up the point".

This all sounds bad, but there is some good in it. I never felt like I had the right mind set to fence foil. Even though in epee, I like to parry.....something does not click with me and foil. I think it goes beyond just a lack of experience. Maybe not.

There was good in this. Some of the things that drove me away from foil and into the arms of epee were that I just could not stand my constant clumsiness and failure at it. It is so very odd, that I actually went to Coaches College for foil. ( Note: I did not go to Coaches College because I wanted to be a coach...or teach foil...I did it because the club was losing a foil coach and needed someone to help out.)

Even at my age, I found it was possible to mature a little. My clumsiness and failure did not bother me nearly as much.

I may look into dabbling a bit in foil.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Thanks for coming, and thanks for the great feedback, Jim!