Saturday, November 3, 2012

Unlearning and the Vet Fencer





It is no surprise that young fencers pick up a lot of things faster than a guy my age. One of the hardest things for a older vet fencer (I think.) is to unlearn something. My coach always says," Practice make permanent". It is so true. My en guard was never fixed early on and it is a constant battle for me now. Last lesson, we worked on parries. I was taught to parry as you retreat. Now I am working on retreating and waiting till the last second to parry. This is hard. This very hard. Not only do I have to unlearn something, but I have to trust my 60 year old  hand speed and reflexes to actually be able to do this against a fast younger fencer. Hard...very hard.

It is amazing to me the things my coach teaches me. How he explained that he could use the "parry as you retreat" against you.  Makes sense. I am not sure I will ever reach a level where I can take advantage of something like that in a bout situation. Still....this is the kind of thing I find fascinating about fencing.