First Tournament

Sunday before last, for the first time after G-d knows how many years, I went to a real epee tournament. The tournament took place in one of fencing clubs in San-Francisco. It was a small local tournament – 32 fencers, mixed (both men and women) and limited by rating – only D, E and unrated (like me).
One of my colleagues who long time ago used to fence epee quite seriously (he had Russian equivalent of B rating) agreed to go there with me to help warm up, give moral support and make videos of my fights, so I could see my precious self from the side afterwords.
We got there a little early, which was good – practically the whole floor was free and I had plenty of space to warm up and stretch. By that time more people came, including couple of guys from my club. We took one of the strips with one of them and hooked up for a warm-up bout. On my first lunge I scored a perfect touch to the chest and my epee snapped – its time has come, I felt for several weeks already that it was bending too much too easily, so this was no surprise. My spare epee was lying at the end of the strip and while I was walking to retrieve it, I heard one of the Russian coaches sitting on a bench by the wall say to his neighbor “See, one more touch and he can go home” (yeah, right – I had four more spare epees in the bag, but nothing else broke that day). I don’t think he expected me to understand Russian, but I couldn’t get back to the strip for the next couple of minutes – I was laughing too hard.
But, getting back to the tournament – we had four pools of eight people. So, everyone had seven bouts inside their pool.
I won two bouts in my pool and lost five. And then lost the first direct elimination bout – started it well, but then made too many mistakes and the result was clear. My opponent told me afterwords that he though I had him, but it’s possible he was just being polite.
So, the results: I had lots of fun, took 26th place, got a good look at how the tournaments go here, looked at the skills of other participants, got a video of my fencing, looked at it and clearly saw a number of weak points I didn’t realize I had – plan for preparing to next tournament is already in place.

Published in: on September 29, 2005 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment