Sunday, July 20, 2014
Blades and Such
“A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.
We must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat.... Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privilege.”
― Tim Minchin
Below are my opinions related to the subject of armory. Am I a great armorer? God no! I truly dislike doing any of it. However, I try to listen and learn from conversations with great armorers and some of my opinions are based on those conversations. One or two are based on personal experience.They are all subject to change.
(Of course, we are talking epee here.)
Often you will see people berated for going to strip and not checking tip screws first. I think going to strip with an LP tip is just as much a crap shoot as not looking at your screws and your chances of a yellow card are actually better. LP makes great stuff. It is just the contact springs. (Note; I haven't used one in over 4 years. Maybe they got better.)
I think if you do not have great upper body strength and are not fencing internationally, a standard LP blade is the blade for you. Lightest blade made. No need to buy FIE. Conversely, if you have great upper body strength (You are a bruiser.) then a Viniti is the blade for you. Some place in between, maybe a nice BF.
( The above is an over simplification, but I am going with it.)
I think that if you can wait, buy blades at national or huge tournaments from a vendor. Talk to them. Feel the blade. Learn something.
Standardize your weapons:
This is where buying a blade, not on line comes into play. They do not all feel the same. Same type of cant, grip bell guards.are great. Hard to do sometimes, unless you have a bunch of money to blow. If you are like me, you believe this, but are having a bit of trouble getting to that point. Which leads me to my next opinion............number your weapons. "1" is your best weapon, "4 "or "5" the least fave. Your on strip and a weapon fails. You do not need to be mulling over which of your weapons you just tried to glue down a popped up wire or which one has that slight "s" curve. You need to be concentrating on your game.
On a related note to armory:
I have had a problem with my en guard drifting into "4" for years. This summer I took a lesson with a coach and found out that in his opinion, by weapon was not canted severally enough. My elbow , "pooched" out, which caused me not to have my arm extend like a piston, Thus creating that tendency to drift into "4". The new cant isn't going to solve my problem alone, but perhaps if I practice enough, with this new cant I will get better.
(Editors note: This is kind of a strange post for me. Most of my journal is devoted to whining about being a late blooming fencer. I rarely post opinions like this, as I never feel like I have the knowledge to do so. It has been kind of liberating.)