Club tournament and a little about lefties

Another club tournament tonight. 3 victories, 1 defeat, 3rd place out of 5. Those in 1st and 2nd place have the same number of victories and defeats as me, the places got assigned by indicators. That makes me pretty happy with my result. Especially one of the victories – against a very strong lefty. I consistently perform worse against left-handed fencers (and I’m not alone in that).

Lefties have an obvious advantage in fencing: a righty would fence against a lefty somewhat differently than against another righty. On the surface, lefty has the same problem – he would fence against righty differently than against another lefty. That means that practice and experience is needed in fencing both same-handed, and opposite-handed opponents. Now, let’s suppose that lefties are about 10% of the fencers in the club. Let’s also assume that each fencer in the club fences each other fencer roughly equal amount of time. If we look at long enough time period (a year or more), that is a fairly reasonable assumption. That means that righties gain experience against lefties in only 10% of their bouts, while lefties gain experience against righties in 90% of theirs.

While this holds true for large clubs, or individual fencers who compete often and get a wide variey of opponents, situation can be very different in a small isolated club. If we take a small club with roughly equal number of righties and lefties, both righties and lefties from such club will be at advantage. Of course, this advantage by itself, doesn’t amount to anything. It takes technique, speed, talent, mental training, and a lot of other things, but with all of the above close to equal …

It can be very interesting to watch two lefties fence each other. I have seen several bouts where a weaker lefty fencer from a large club won against stronger lefty, who was the only lefty in his club. Sometimes it does come down to just having right experience.

I am in pretty good situation in that regard – we have several lefties of different skill levels in our club, and recently my coach started giving me lessons, alternating his hand between righty and lefty “modes”. One of the DE bouts I won at NAC, and today’s tournament are the first results of that.

Published in: on April 18, 2006 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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