Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just an Update.

1. From previous post: I didn't take a month off. I got over my problem.

2. I fenced in the Fort Mill Open yesterday. Around 40 fencers. I was 7th out of pools. I won them all but one and that went past five. I lost by one touch. I had a bye....won first DE...lost second DE......missed upping my rating due to the loss. Always a brides maid, never a bride. That little rating change has been my goal for a couple of years. Yeah...I shouldn't have rating changes as a goal. But we all do and I will not hide it. Heck....if a miracle ever happens and I get that little rating change, I will feel remedial, as it took so long. I am disappointed, but I learned a lesson from my training partner. She had to fence the number one seed in her second DE. She was out matched and a foot shorter.....but......she fenced with such like such a warrior..... I was impressed beyond the telling of it. She of course does not see it. Even the guy's father who she fenced began to cheer for her. For me, I saw more of what I would strive to be in that bout from her than any other bout I saw. Maybe I am prejudice, as we are tight. But I do not think so. I would rather fence like her than have my little rating jump. I mean that.

3. Where I fence, there are 3 cities very close to each other. It is referred to as the Triad. In that small space, with all the small townships in between, there are well over a million people. In this area, there are around six people that compete in fencing and half of them don't do it often. There are no high level coaches. There is a low level club ( The one I help coach at.); what I think is a mostly dry foil club; and then some clubs with no formal training, or coaches with formal training. I have thought about the later clubs a lot lately. Mostly because I have tried to help at one of them. My success there has been very limited. This is what I have come up with. I see nothing wrong with recreational clubs. They are having fun and though we often forget.....that should always be the goal of fencing. I really do not see anything wrong with clubs that "play" at fencing. My thoughts there are similar to what I would term the "recreational club". Part of my reasoning for thinking this way is that eventually, a student/member there will want to have better training and seek it out. So in a small way, it is good for fencing. I do however, have a problem with people that have no formal training (either as a fencer or a coach) declaring themselves a fencing coach after reading a couple of books and then charging people money for coaching. That is wrong.

3. There is a famous and beloved armourer , named Dan. People use to flock to his table at meal time in the Olympic Training Center, so they could listen to his stories. (I was there for Coach's College.) I heard that he once said, " I can never give back to fencing all that it has given me." I love that. Sense I started fencing, I have tried to pay back the people that helped me and help grow the sport in the state where I live. I have done a lot for fencing in that regard. I will not go into it all. Unlike Dan however, I have reached the point where I am ready to say....Hey!...fencing.......we are even. I think I have paid fencing back enough for now.

4. Just looked at the results of the Fort Mill Open. I finished 9th out of 40. Yep...always a bridesmaid.....never a bride.


Fencing Bear said...

Ouch, that hurts. So close! But you know what that means. You fenced really, really well.

The Gray Epee said...

Thanks Fencing Bear.

Meredith said...

I always appreciate your thoughtful blog entries.

Just to address briefly the issue of people with no formal coaching experience charging to coach: I think at a certain point when someone is sinking a considerable amount of time and money into fencing, they deserve to be compensated somehow, even if it's just free club dues. As long as they are transparent about their qualifications (or lack of), everyone can learn from someone who knows just a little bit more than they do. After all, it's up to the fencer to decide whether they think that the coaching is worth it or not. Just my 2 cents.

That said, the USFA and the divisions need to do more to encourage and train lower-level coaches. Not everyone can afford these high-priced clinics or coaches' college. I think the clubs should help pay for their fencers to go, too, since it's really an investment for them.