Epee Fencing 10
Competitive fencing is very different than fencing as an exercise or as a PE class or even practice bouts. I see some fencers who may be very good when practicing bouts in a club environment but get psyched out when competing in a large tournament. This chapter will help you prepare for that tournament.
- Jul. 2014
Clash of fencing style
One of the frustrating aspect of fencing competition is losing to someone that is ranked lower. I don't mean an occasional loss. Everyone have a bad day or a bad bout once in a while. I am referring to losing to someone consistently. My coach in college calls this a clash of style. I had a teammate who is less experienced but beats me every bout. In my case, this fencer has a very strong beat. Most fencers will beat your blade with a tap (on a scale of 1 to 10) say 3 but this fencer's beat feels like a 10. This throws off my game. I was not able to adapt my strategy sufficient to win. In a typical tournament, the first round is usually a round robin. This means you are assigned to a group of 6 fencers and everyone will fence every other person. The results are ranked. The person with the most win will be ranked first and so on. In this format, you can lose 1 bout and still come out on top. The next round begins the direct elimination. The fencers are paired according to the ranking and the winner will move on and the loser is out of the match. If you are unlucky enough to come up against someone whose style conflict with yours, you are out. On average, you may be a much better fencer, but never the less, you are eliminated.
Regardless of winning or losing a bout, a competitive fencer must keep his or her cool and be respectful of his opponent and judges. Occasionally, a judge may make a bad call just as in any other sports. Don't let this be a distraction and lose your focus and reputation. At the end of the day, it is only a game. Winning is good but it is not at all cost.
A top Russian olympic fencer was caught cheating by rigging his weapon. Yes, cheating does happen in every sport even fencing. He was a great competitive fencer and in my opinion did not need to resort to cheating. Unfortunately, he went down a path that ruined his reputation and eventually lead to his suicide.
Abide by the fencing etiquette. Before the start of a bout, solute the director, the judges and your opponent.
During the bout, follow the directions of the director and stop fencing immediately when a halt is called.
Finally, win or lose, at the end of the bout, remove your mask and shake hand with your opponent.