11 Nov

I’ve developed a habit during my tournament bouts of yelling at myself, especially when I get to my DE. As a sports fan I’ve never liked seeing overt emotion on the playing field, so I’m not proud at all of my outbursts.

But yesterday I attended a North American Cup tournament in Cleveland, and I noticed almost immediately that yelling was pretty much the thing to do. It was like being at a convention for Tourette’s Syndrome — not ten seconds would go by without hearing at least one AAAH! erupting from a strip. Fencing has its origin in the most violent of blood sports, so perhaps that explains why fencers get filled with such energy when competing, and feel a need to expend that energy when landing a touch. Fencing is also a very spastic sport, a lot of patience waiting followed by a sudden lunge into action.

But I still want to get my yelling under control. Yelling at a high-level event such as a NAC is one thing, but at the beginner bouts I’m in I just think it sounds pretentious. I also think my fencing deteriorates when I start yelling — I get caught up in the emotion and start thinking speed and aggression is what I need.

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