I finally have sufficient equipment to fence at the club on a regular basis.
A normal Monday night class will have some 20-40 participants but tonight we were only 6: Two youth ringers, probably nationally ranked. The SCSon (very low experience) and a young lady with a lot more experience. Your humble host (over 50YO and at least 50# overweight) and a young man under 10YO.
An instructor split us into teams for a team match: Team A: Nationally ranked ringer #1, The young lady and the SCSon. Team B: Nationally ranked ringer #2, The sub 10YO young man and your humble host.
Before we get to the action, I need to explain how team scoring works. Each bout is to 5 touches. But if your team is behind, your fencer has to make up the deficit plus make the five touches to end the bout. In other words, the first match ends at 5. Say the losing team scored three. That means the next fencer on the losing side has to score 7 (2+5) to end the bout. The leading team only has to score 5 to end it.
My team B jumped out to an early lead. I scored good points against their ringer probably because I'm so inexperienced. My moves were so in-elegant and out of his expectations, they worked. IOW, a couple touches were ugly but hey, a touch is a touch. But I also scored reposting off a couple major league parry 2s.
My bout with the SCSon was good from a proud papa standpoint. I saw a lot more aggression and follow through. He's younger and faster and should be able to whup my butt any day of the week. And that day is coming closer with every practice.
The final bout featured Team A ringer vs Team B sub 10YO. "David vs Goliath" might be an apt description. Said ringer has a ton of experience plus at least a foot of reach on said sub-10YO. Sub 10YO didn't stand much of a chance but he entered the match with a 10 point team lead. That meant he only had to score 5 touches while said ringer had to score 15 to win the match.
Team B's sub 10YO held his own in the face of superior skill and experience. He never gave up and even tried some interesting sumo inspired footwork to distract his opponent.
They battled back and forth with each scoring points. Eventually the score was tied at 44:44. Next touch wins and it really could go either way.
In the end Team A's ringer scored the match point. What a match! Team B's sub 10
YO never backed down. I am proud to call him "Team Mate"!
Dang I was happy to participate and compete with these young and upcoming fencers. We all shook hands and I hope to see my competitors at the Olympics in the coming years. Good luck and good fencing to those heading off to Nationals in the next few days.