Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I fenced in a tournament this weekend at CFA. I did okay in a pool of five, winning three and losing one. The one I lost to was a left hander. That had some impact, but mostly he was just the superior fencer.

I placed high enough to where I should have had a good chance at winning my first DE. I fenced a young man that was left handed and not a very good fencer. His en guard was neither in four nor six, but somewhere in the middle. He had one action. (A lunge…not a real good one.) I lost to him 15-14. Needless to say, I feel pretty “sucky”.

I was up something like 6 to 3 and I thought I would just double on him for a while and let him panic when the score hit double digits. It was going okay for a few touches and then he caught me and passed me by one. The score was 14-13.He did his lunge and I did a take in two that was beautiful and tied it up 14-14. I have a good take in two. This was the first time I had used it. The next touch I went to counter his lunge and he got the touch. Game over.

Colleen said I gave up control by going for the doubles. Maybe so, but I do not know how I would have had control.

My plan for going into the tournament was to stick with simple direct actions and counters until I felt comfortable trying more complex actions or actions I have been working on. (Or until need dictated a change.)

I think what made me loose and was not using my new or more complex actions. I think what made me not use them was:

A.Being too conservative
B.I was a coward. I was afraid I would fail and they would get the touch.

I am not sure what to do about this. I just do not seem to have a game plan.


cobalt said...

Meh, dunno about that. Reading all of that, it sounds you had a game plan.

What Colleen means by you having control is that you had a strategy that was clearly working, and he couldn't defeat. If I remember the kid from the pool correctly, his attack was a bit awkward and fairly easy to pick up on. The awkwardness though can lead to issues.

Every good fencer can tell a situation they've lost to a worse fencer because the worse fencer did something "weird"

I'd also throw in that you need to work on dealing with lefties.

Courtney said...

i used to have that feeling all the time. now it is something i work against actively when i fence. my brain says "no, dont do that, you might get hit" and i have to say to my brain "so what if i get hit? i may lose this bout, but i have learned something for the next one."

you never know what you are capable of doing on strip until you just let yourself get out there and just fence. when you let yourself hold yourself back, you're only hurting you. and remember, in the end, it's just a game. you have bad days, you lose some bouts, but you can move on to the next tournament, the next bout.

Thomas William Jensen said...

Boy, been there; done that. Courtney and Cobalt are absolutely right but that doesn't take the sting away. In our club there's a young fencer who's relatively new and extremely quick with a long lung and not much defense.

I've found I can usually beat him if I'm particularly attentive to distance. I stay well out except for quick, occasional feints. Eventually, he comes in. I have more time to parry or he misses completely. As he pulls his arm in recovery I counter attack if I haven't riposted from a parry already. Maybe that's pertinent.