26 Oct

I’m entering a tournament tomorrow, a small club tournament (maximum 14 competitors) that’s run by my former teacher. He runs a series of community education fencing classes in towns across Northeast Ohio. I entered two of his tournaments a year ago, and after losing every bout in both, I began wondering if competitive fencing was really for me.

Since then I’ve switched to a fencing coach who pushes me further than my former coach had. That was six months ago, and I’ve liked what I’ve learned in that time, believe I’ve really improved my skill with the foil. But there’s only one way to find out if I truly am better now than I was before — and that’s the reason I’m entering tomorrow’s tournament. Tomorrow’s tournament is a barometer, a means to gauage my development.

There will be six preliminary five-touch bouts, followed by a direct elimination bouts of 15 touches (I actually scored 14 touches in each of my DEs last year, which gave me what little encouragement I could get out of my performance). My goal is the same as that of any other fencer, the same goal I’ll have for every tournament I’ll enter — to win as many bouts as I can. I don’t know how many wins tomorrow is realistic, but I have to believe I can win at least one. Honestly, if I get shut out again,after six months of dedicated practice, that very well could be it for me.

So yeah, it’s a small tournament, but for me it’s a big deal.

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