Aux Armes

One of the things I started this blog for was to talk about progress as I took up fencing, hence the name.  The two main arms used are the fleuret where only part of the body is a target for scoring points and the épée where the whole body is the target.  The first picture shows two fleuretists in action whilst the second has two épéeists.  I am an épéeist and have been training with Strasbourg Escrime since September.  Compared with the little training I did with Brixton Fencing Club there has been more emphasis on getting the positioning and balance right than in training particular named movements.  There has still been plenty of combat and it has been enjoyable.

Last night Strasbourg Escrime had a contest and I went along.  It was partner fencing, kind of like tag team fencing.  Each team was made up of one fleuretist and one épéeist.  After warming up, it is important the body is warm as we make sudden movements which could damage muscles if done cold, we fought a round robbin as a team against another three teams.  This gave a figure for the number of points scored by a team and number of points scored against them from which the organisers calculated who would play against whom in what part of the tournament.  The third picture shows this calculation hapenning.

Normal training is done with other beginners which means the combat is essentially with people at the same level as me.  The tournament included a lot of people from the club including very experienced fencers who had represented the region or country.  Fencing is something in which the mind is very important.  I started off poorly as just as I was about to start combat against one of the more experienced fencers I found my sword did not work and I had to rush to change it.  This put me in a poor frame of mind for the contest and I started badly, not wnning any of the points in my first two matches.  Then by the third I’d had some time to compose myself and started winning points if not matches.  This meant we did not start fighting the best other teams, which was good, and we progressed through three rounds before losing to one of the semi-finalists.  One of the teams who I hadn’t scored against at the beginning were the winners which made me feel better.  It was good experience fighting against better fencers and I think I learnt more about combat in these matches than I have in the ones at the end of normal training.  Fencing is on hold now until next year.

Mash for Christmas

There are a lot of interactive advent calendars this year.  Manchester City have a great one which has a different goal behind each window every day, like this one today, with the Goat scoring against United.  The Word, which I posted about the day before yesterday also have one with a different video behind the door every day.  One or two have made it to the videos I have posted here.

I haven’t really followed much of the ‘mash up’ stuff that has been going on but here’s one featuring Blondie, Paul McCartney and Jennifer Lopez.  I particularly like the use of ‘the Tide is High’ by Blondie and the water with all the pretty fishes at the beginning.


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