Monday, September 20, 2010

RFC Event

Sunday I fenced in an RFC tournament. To say it was hot in the venue (no AC) would be an understatement. I have rarely been happier not to be a fencer who wears a lame.

The epee event had 18 fencers. Some had to drop out due to a long delay in starting. This could not be helped due to a computer problem and the fact that this was a tournament designed to test and train new referees. That sort of thing goes slowly.

I was tied for second coming out of pools. I won all my bouts. (Please note, that I had the easiest pool and the results would have been different had I been in one of the others. Just telling it like it is.)

My first DE was against a UNC fencer, who I beat 5-1 in pools. I made the same mistake I made in the first tournament of the season when I was fencing a woman. I was over confident. I told myself I would fence every fencer there like they were the best fencer in the event, but I did not. I am a slow learner. I had to come back from her 4 or 5 point lead in order to win. I did, but it was still bad on my part.

My second DE was also another learning experience. I started by looking for some way to set up an attack or a “take” that would work well against this guy. Shortly in to the bout I was down 8 to 2. I focused and started doing simple direct attacks and trying to use what Toomey said were my strengths. (Timing and distance.) To make a long story short, I came back, but lost the bout 15-13 or 15-12. I am not sure as the results are not posted. It was a decent comeback, but a loss non-the-less. If I had won this, I would have gone up in the ratings. I do want to fence this guy again!

As I was signing the score sheet, the ref (someone from out of state, that I don’t know.) looked at me and said, “Stuff”. He said, “Where I come from……we call it stuff. You got stuff!” That made me happy. It took the edge off my defeat for sure. I finished 5th in the event.

My training partner, Henri finished 8th and got her “E” rating. This was something long overdue and there is no one prouder of her than me. In the scheme of things, people may over look what this means. However, if you are a late blooming vet fencer and a petite woman to boot, competing in an Open event this is awesome! Only another vet could really understand this.

(Notes for Coach Toomey and Coach Dietz: Henri won this bout against a very tall C rated UNC women’s fencer. The actions she used to score were: She feinted low to the leg or foot to draw the attack and then fleched. She used this many times during the bout. She scored 4 or 5 touches on an in-fighting situation. You do NOT want her getting past your point! She lost a couple of points by attacking out of distance.

Other Things of Note

I got to talk to Coach Miller a lot. He was very supportive of us at the event, though he was there to watch his fencers. (Note: He could not coach his fencers at the event due to NCAA regulations. He could only observe.) I miss Coach. I wish I saw him more often.

There was a really good group of women epeeist from UNC at the event. These girls were friendly and had good social skills. (Rare for fencers.) ( Please note that I realize that I should call these young women……”women”….and not …”girls”…..however, at my age it seems more appropriate.) They are a good friendly bunch. I liked them all. In particular, I liked one named Shannon. She is personable and has good sense of humor. UNC has some tall ones in the bunch as well.

As proud as I was of Henri, I felt bad for the “C” fencer that lost to her. We all know that anguish.

I have often seen young male fencers fence Kerry and Henri(petite vet women fencers) and after winning a close bout seem smug or cocky. I just want to slap them in the back of the head and tell them they are idiots. I did not see this at the event Sunday. I just happened to think of that as I was writing. I hope I never seem this way to anyone that does not desperately need an ego deflation.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Noble or Bitterest

'By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by
reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest". - Confucius

I figured it out on a drive back from a tournament, as I sometimes do.

I wonder why I don't ever seem to figure things out on the way TO a tournament.

My attacks and takes have seemed useless of late. I seem to only counter and make simple direct attacks. I felt something was wrong. I thought it was because a fencer was new or had a stiff arm...or something. My actions I like to do just felt like they should not be done.

Well....the epee-sense was tingling and rightly so. I am out of distance to make my attacks or do my "takes". Yeah...yeah...yeah...That doesn't sound like such a difficult or great revelation. But it is....sort of.

I have been working on several things over the summer. One of which is getting my opponent to attack out of distance. Another is knowing my opponents distance as well as mine. I have been opening up the distance when I fence and my opponents are doing the same. I can't reach anyone.

There is a lot more to think about in this regard. If you are at the furtherest distance that you can attack and be attacked by your opponent, then only simple direct attacks and counters will work? I need to experiment with just getting in there and slugging it out? I will experiment this week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

More Notes

Retreat;retreat;long retreat...half advance.