Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Training diary 13/03/12

Urgh, bad day on the piste. Mind you, a bad day on the piste is still better than a bad day anywhere else :)

Not much of a turn out at the club tonight, maybe 7 or 8 of us (excluding the 2 coaches and 3 under 11's). I only managed 4 bouts. 4 Defeats; zero victories.

G-Man: D+-8 - 15. My PM nemesis :-D I seemed to be off-target most of the time in this opening bout. Too many missed parries, and "overshooting" the target. I think I may also have been rushing my attacks.

Stretch: D+-4 - 10. Again that reach. Again those flesches. How does one beat a tall pommeller with a long reach? How does one beat his flesche? I've worked out that if I could keep in close it prevents him from flescheing, and forces him to shorten his reach. But... it's a bloody painful lesson!

T-Man: D9 - 10. Getting better. I varied my distance in this bout, sometimes keeping it, other times keep it (too) short. It seemed to throw him off. I also refused him my blade. In chatting to him later he voiced his (minor) frustration at not been offered the blade - afterall, one cannot beat-attack if there's nothing to beat ;-) Similarly he noted that I presented no opportunity for him to attempt a foot shot (although he did one). That's good news to me, as it means I'm advancing my arm/blade before my foot (and no, I scored no foot shot points tonight - I think I may becoming too predictable in that regard so I'm trying to hold those back).

G-Man (again): D11 - 15. Better. G-Man had a lesson with ADB so was probably a bit tired. This was a much slower, controlled bout. Clearly we were both thinking our moves through. ADB commented on it later as well. I scored quite a few points off his arm, which means that my accuracy had improved since the first bout. I also kept distance (generally). My disengages weren't too successful, nor my taking of the blade and parries. Clearly we need more work before 1 April. Must remember to ask ADB if we can work on those parries again on Thursday.

On a personal note, the outlaws arrived last week Friday for a 6/7 week "vacation" at our place. I suppose it's been nice having someone else around to entertain The Daughter and The Wife, but still...  

Tally Ho!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Training diary 08/03/12

Good training session tonight. There wasn't much of a turnout at the club tonight (only 10 of us), so we did 'free bouting' in a competition poules format. Two poules, 5 fencers in each. We didn't strictly follow the prescribed poule bout order as a few of us had lessons as well.

My lesson first: ADB remembered to time it this time, so the lesson was a respectable 20 odd minutes. Focus tonight was on my disengage. My circles (or "U"s?) were nice and tight, but as I said to ADB, it's a controlled environment, once we get to "real" fencing I tend to lose form. Something for me to keep an eye on is my left arm. I need to be aware of where it is, throw it back, etc. I tend to have it "hang", which unbalances me.

So now my 4 poule bouts (scores as best I recall):
  1. BMac: V5-4. Plenty of back and forth sparring and lengths of time between points. Plenty of doubles. Not too happy about the foot shot he scored off me, afterall that's my speciality shot! :-D
  2. Anerd: D3-5. Funny how he fences alot more aggressively with me. I noticed this in the last club comp too. Or perhaps it's just becuase I don't fence him very often that I've never noted his style from an opponent point of view. Good to fence him though.
  3. Stretch: D4-5. Scored the first point off him with a disengage to the outside and onto him exposed forearm. I can always see that forearm, but due to his huge reach (doesn't help that he's a pommeller either) can never quite get around his blade. Next point off him was scored due to his incorrect execution of a fleche. Mind you, the bout was decided with a fleche - his! I should have known better as he was practicing these against me on Tuesday night.
  4. SmallBlock: V5-4. Happy with this victory, as it's never easy to fence a leftie. Scored the first points again, which ensettled her. Most of her points were scored by charging, and my counters simply being wrong. I think my technique of dealing with lefties is pretty good: simply keep our blades lined up, let them lead, and counterstrike quickly (i.e. before they can make the touche).
That's all for tonight.

Tally ho!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Quarte and Sixte

As this is my last year (2nd of 2) in the state novice epee "circuit" (if one could call it that: there are only 3 comps all year), I'd like to have a fair crack at it - which for me simply means not losing too many bouts. So with the first comp coming up on 1 April, and me not wanting to be the April Fool, I have resolved to develop at least 2 solid defensive parries and at least 1 good attack.

I spoke to the more junior of our 2 club coaches last night about receiving a lesson a week for the next month at least to work solely on these. Fortunately she had her coaching gear with her (she doesn't always bring it, as sometimes she likes to be 'just' a fencer and do some sparring with the rest of us - fair enough).

It was a really good, almost marathon (40min!), length lesson. We mostly worked on my parry six. Finally, someone explained (and demonstrated) when to use it! Insert sound of Penny dropping here! I think my coaches have always just assumed I'd know when to use it - and the other 7 parries. So parry 6, followed by parry 6 + counter on arm, then chest.

The lesson was closed with some parry 4 work. She seemed quite impressed that I seemed to get it right (mostly) as although the most basic of parries, apparently many folk get it wrong - or perhaps they merely get the counter-attack wrong? Anyway, the reason I got it right (and I didn't mention it to her - and she failed to tell me to do this): I was supinating my wrist. Although I've read about it, no coach has ever corrected my "straight" wrist. It was kind of a "light bulb" moment for me.

She also pointed out that my en garde was wrong - more specifically my elbow was too far out to right, thus exposing it and half my forearm. Funny, because I've suspected for a while it might be wrong, I just didn't think that was the problem.

Overall a good, albeit long, lesson. (Shoulders and back are bit sore today though)

Followed it up with a bit of sparring. Scored a good 3 foot shots off one of the more experienced epee-ists (final score 9-10 - a satisfactory score IMO given his level of experience). In another bout after being 6-10 down, I managed to pull it back to 10-10 with a series of arm hits before losing by only 1 point (14-15 - with doubles all the way up!).

All in all, it was a good fencing night - and good to be back. (The Missus had been preparing for an exam so I decided not to fence for the 2 weeks prior to that to assist with parental duties)

Tally Ho!