Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lunge Into 08

Since the fencing season really started back in September (give or take), the first tournament of the calendar year is little more than a convenient demarcation. However, this particular tournament felt like more to me because it was the first tournament I've competed in since beginning training with our new coach. And it felt like a whole new ballgame, to use a phrase loosely.

As I wrote about previously: my tactics have been taken, placed in a jar, shaken vigorously and then dumped back on the strip upside down. That is to say, I am fencing differently. It is by no means second-nature yet, requiring still a great force of will on my part not to revert to passivity and relying solely on counterattacks. But the verdict: the new style, it works. I lost only one bout on Sunday. After making it through the pool undefeated and the quarterfinal DE, I lost the semifinal DE to one of my club mates. It was not a terrible loss, 15-10, and he beat me fair and square by continually taking over tempo and being faster than me. Another day perhaps, the score might be different.

The tournament did end on a high note, however. We had a fence off for third and even after a couple of mistakes that nearly cost me the place, I managed to win 15-14. I did feel like there was a lot of room for improvement in that bout though; I was still more reactive than I want to be. It's funny that after I got home and checked my RSS feeds, one of my quotes for the day was:

"Never confuse movement with action." - Ernest Hemingway

Which is very apt. Because I am moving a lot more, but it is not always producing the ownage of the strip that I'm aiming for. Sometimes I have to think so much about the moving, that it drowns out thoughts of attacking and/or defending. I'm hoping that once I can make the movement more instinctual the other aspects will follow.

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