The SCSon and I fenced with the club tonight. We started with the traditional hour of cardio/warm-ups/games/foot work.
Then came the call to SUIT UP!
I was ready in reasonable time and collected a couple other fencers also dressed to start a strip (a strip minimally requires two fencers and a judge). From there succession rules follow two patterns: "King of the hill" where the winner stays up until defeated. Or "two up, two down".
I fenced the first bout against what I would rate a 16yo middle-ish club fencer. To explain further, he 16-ish with a couple years fencing experience. He beat me 5-3 which sets the expectation for me at the low end of the scale ( 50+, 50# overweight, ~1yr experience) IOW, I don't feel bad losing to him and thanked him for the bout.
An Olympic contender took my place on the strip and handily whupped the guy that whupped me. No surprise.
I connected up and explained to the OlyContender.. "You will win this bout, I have no doubt. But I will score 2 touches because of my inexperience. I will serve up some attacks you will have never seen and you will not expect!".
He scored several (4 or 5) easy touches avoiding my parries to touch my sleeve. no argument - his points. But I caught on to his game and scored a couple parry-ripostes. Final score 10-4. However while he clearly won the bout, I doubled the predicted 2 touches, I'm happy for the result. I also hope the bout has some "rope-a-dope" influence on said ringer. He won but I was truly glad for the bout and enjoyed it immensely! I truly hope I can stories of "I fenced him when..." I also hope to see him win Olympic gold in the next couple rotations!
My strategy, if you can call it that, is the frontal attack! Six foot, two fifty with a blade on a double advance lunge puts the opponent into the approximate position of standing in the way of a freight train! It works in the short run... but it's a loser once they catch on.
I then shifted to a different strip to watch the SCSon take on the strip leader. He won that bout and took on a club noob. The noob explained his lame (prounced "la-may") had some dead spots which could affect scoring.* The SCSon however had at least a foot of reach on the noob so said noob didn't have much of a chance. The SCSon won handily.
Since I'd judged that match, I was the natural challenger to succeed the loser. The SCSon protested "we're playing two up two down?" "Nyet You face me!" I said as I plugged in. Big Will chimed in "you face him or you face me!"
The final bout of the night was between the SCSon and myself. I tend to play a aggressive game. That works for me in the short term but against me in the long term as exhaustion becomes a factor.
I won the bout but was at my physical limits at the end of the bout. If he'd been a bit more aggressive, He'd have won.
Fencing is equal parts mind and physical game. The mind has to take physical limits in to account. Fresh and energetic? Play aggressive! Bit tired? Play defensive. But the opponent is expecting that so counter that with.... Fencing is at least as much mental as physical!
This evokes the"cost of wins" question brought up in the movie "Money Ball". However the currency here is stamina rather than dollars. "Okay that freight train thing worked for the first 6-8 points, Those are pretty expensive maneuvers. Now you're out of gas. What are you going to do to make it to 15?
Gawd I love this gam3!
* the noob explained "this is the smallest lame in the closet". I commiserated "I have the same problem but at the other end of the scale. ;-)