Thursday, January 18, 2007

Going to epee competitions in Seattle, might do some screaming.

Well in less than 24 hours I will be outbound to the epee fencing competitions in Seattle. Saturday morning the Mixed Epee has 69 pre-registered participants including 15 A rated men and is looking to be an A4 event USFA event (the highest rated event they have). There are 18 clubs represented including Nevada, Georgia, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, California and Canada. Sunday is the women’s epee with 22 fencers including Linda’s first competition (assuming we can find her some regulation breeches in Seattle).

I was supposed to be doing some final practice with a left handed epee fencer tonight only I am trying to recover from a cold before the weekend. Nervous? Heck yes! Facing 50+ guys rated higher than me. Unlike the women I don’t think fencing someone over six foot is going to throw them that much. Once again I will at the bottom of the pools, fighting against tougher opponents. I do however have a few advantages. Recently, I’ve decided that the calm strategic fencing is fine for Canadian competitions but when I go down to the US; it is time to open up a can of “Whoop-ass”. Ha ha ha! I remember Alex Edelman’s face the first time I drove at his knees, hitting his ankle. For some reason he thought I was insane. Hmmm, funny that. I’d like to come in the top 32; but there is little REALISTIC chance of that; other than that I suppose I would like not to be so badly bruised or injured that I can’t continue the next day. Honestly I just can't pass up the chance of having so many top epeeists and not at least trying to scare the living bejeesees out of them: Live the Dream!

On Monday, two male club members really offended me by assuming that if I could see someone was injured, I would hit that injury intentionally to win the bout. I told them if I thought someone was injured I would ask the ref that they be medically checked. They thought I was joking. “You know you would hit them” one said to me, “I’ve seen how competitive you are.” Yes, competitive to fencing someone’s best, not competitive as in possibly giving someone a lasting injury in order to win a bout. Linda said this was “male thinking.” I vacillated on condemning most males, that was until I found the same topic on the US Fencing Net where they gave two examples and asked, would you, knowing these weaknesses, intentionally change your strategy to increase the pain and possibility of injury of your opponent in order to help you win? Current poll says 26 people (all male but one) say yes, one person says no. To those who said “yes” I posed a counter question, “In a mixed epee competition, would you recommend a female who is facing a male without a protective cup, to maybe risk losing two points in order to deliver the strongest possible force full extension lunge directly into the man’s genitals, which are a legal target?” (my total commitment full force lunge has enough force to slide my whole body forward a foot and lift a male weighting 150 pounds off the ground – remember, I can do one armed naked pushups)). Of course, I don’t do that (push-up's: yes, groin destruction: no), though I did recently, after being very tired of one fencer who kept doing full aggressive lunges every single time, in an attempt to convince him to try something else, extended and locked my arm pointing directly at his crotch so that if he did a full lunge without engaging my blade first, he would impale his genitals directly onto the blade. He lunged anyway. I’m still puzzling out that particular choice. (And people call being lesbian a “lifestyle choice”? When a guy would rather get a point HIS WAY rather than avoid getting hit in the groin, doesn’t that seem like a “lifestyle choice”?)

Anyway, I plan to laugh a lot; and hopefully that won’t scare as many people as it did last tournament. Birgit Salas has just signed up for the women’s epee and her husband for the mixed so are you thinking what I am thinking? “Rematch! Rematch! Rematch!” Note to any guys who fence me; if you are one of those people who start yelling during points or matches – I can and will scream louder and higher than you can (I won a children’s screaming contest when I was 10 – not good at athletics – however, always had BIG MOUTH). So unless you want it to sound like a combination of trailer trash sex and a hissy fit, you might want to rethink the shouting factor.

See ya in Seattle.

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kathz said...

Good luck to both of you! I'll be checking for results and looking forward to the blogs when it's all over.

madfencer said...

GOOD LUCK! If Sherraine-Mackay is there have some great fencing and kick her ass! lol.

If you come across Ainsley Switzer can you say hi to her from me? She was in my poule at the commonwealths :) My names Helen Dack and i'm from Guernsey (and im a leftie if that helps her remember me lol)...although she probably wont remember me lol. She said my fencing was good for someone who has only fenced epee for a year when she spoke to my mum when I was fencing :P

Anonymous said...

No one I know would intentionally try to aggravate an opponent's injury in a bout just to gain an advantage. And, yes, I'm talking about men. We are not as bloodthirsty a gender as some would believe.

(OR it could be that the guys I hang out with are simply considerate wimps who don't enjoy inflicting pain and therefore will never become elite-level athletes. I'm willing to concede that sad possibility.)

That being the case, however, at some point you have to assume your opponent knows best for himself. If he's on the strip to fence, you shouldn't try to avoid a particular body part any more than you would normally pick on it. ... And every male implicitly accepts the risk for not wearing a cup. We are athletes, not babysitters for each other.

I immediately feel bad for every hard touch I land.

Elizabeth McClung said...

madfencer: I fenced Switzer at Nationals and probably won't again until may at the CSC (Whatever that stands for) - I am curious how your bout went as one lefty told me that two lefties fencing is like watching chickens flailing at each other (remember I wasn't the one to say that).

b.v brus - that's for redeeming male fencers - I too thought it a rather odd strategy but here is a quote from the discussion on "Yeah, I believe that I would in fact attack someone's weak wrist. Of course, talk and action are two different things. I wonder how many would continue to bind up someone's wrist while they were screaming in pain each time. This is more where the heart of the question lies. I think I would."

I agree that if someone is on the strip, I will respect that and fence them full on - however I will not change how I fence in order to focus on an injury and intentionally cause them pain - if I wanted that, I could always go into boxing, however, I am pretty sure DE's are not determined by knockout.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, it's not unusual for me to ask my opponent if he's OK after a touch, merely because I'm that kind of guy. My concern is genuine. I want to fence the heck out of whoever I'm facing, but in between touches (as I said earlier) I hate to hurt anyone.

I find it almost amusing when an opponent interprets my concern as some sort of brain-game insult, as though I'm trying to imply he's a wimp or something. In those cases the response is usually snappy and rude, and he might even try to hurt me on the next touch.

People are weird.

brianh said...

I always apologize after a hard or late hit, and find that the politeness is catching. I've been competing since 1980 and can never recall a bout when my opponent tried to hurt me, except for one woman with a prime parry followed by a flick to the groin. If I know it's coming I can defend against it and get the touch, so her tactic is counterproductive.

kathz said...

Looks like you fenced some pretty good fencers in the mixed epee and landed hits on all of them. 46th in a very strong field of 60 has to be a pretty good result for your first mixed epee contest. You seem to have been fencing some A-ranked men (I'm beginning to work out the North American ranking system.) I hope it was good fun and that you aren't too exhausted for the women's epee today. Good luck to both of you.

kathz said...

It looks as though it was a keenly fought tournaments, judging from the poule sheets and D.E. While it's a shame you didn't quite make the final eight, that ninth place looks ever so good to me. And I'm impressed that Linda got so many hits in at her first tournament. I hope you both enjoyed it and aren't aching too much today!

Wendryn said...

9th is a good place to be - great job!