Close bouts

Close bouts

Post by Kevin Joel Hai » Wed, 27 Mar 1996 04:00:00


Please, I need help.
        In the past year of fencing, I have been eliminated in the DE's
by scores of 15-14, 15-12, 3-4 (Yes, it was 3-3 after nine minutes),
15-13, and 15-14.  Only once this year have I been thoroughly trounced,
by Morgan Burke whom we all know, 15-6.  My latest 15-14
loss saw me actually score the last touch with one light but I was so
darn happy to have finally won my critical bout that I proceeded to throw
my arms in the air, scream "Yes!" and fall over backwards in total
release without delay.  I know in my heart that I won, but the ref was
justified in disallowing my touch.  I lost the next touch.
        Now that I've shared my embarrassment with you all, I ask you
people who always seem to win their 14-14 bouts: what is the mental state
needed to win a close bout?
        No comments about celebration through jumping are required.  I
have already tortured myself thoroughly with that image.

Kevin Haidl
University of British Columbia
--
Kevin Haidl
Armourer, UBC Fencing Club
Vancouver, BC
Canada

 
 
 

Close bouts

Post by David W Neev » Thu, 28 Mar 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>    Now that I've shared my embarrassment with you all, I ask you
> people who always seem to win their 14-14 bouts: what is the mental state
> needed to win a close bout?

Don't give a rat's behind about winning. Score, what score? It's 0-0, and you
want to get the first touch. In all close bouts against fencers of equal or
superior skill that I've won, that's been my state of mind. In fact, in
tough bouts which I'm seriously intending to win, I rarely end up losing
14-15, because I ususally end up *** because I'm so tense, becoming
frustrated and mad at myself for ***, and end up getting blown out.
My best bouts generally end up being against people who I'm not expecting to
beat, so I just go out there without putting any pressure on myself, try to
do my best, and end up surprising myself.
    It's really difficult to get yourself in the proper state of mind when
you've got a rating or something similar waiting on the far side of the
strip (at times I despair of ever being able to do it with any consistency),
you've got to put your desire to win aside and just go out and fence for
the next touch.

                -Dave N.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Neevel        | "This is no place for an entymologist."

                    |                         --Dana Sculley
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Close bouts

Post by George Edward Kolombatovic » Thu, 28 Mar 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> Please, I need help.
>    In the past year of fencing, I have been eliminated in the DE's
> by scores of 15-14, 15-12, 3-4 (Yes, it was 3-3 after nine minutes),
> 15-13, and 15-14.  Only once this year have I been thoroughly trounced,
> by Morgan Burke whom we all know, 15-6.  My latest 15-14
> loss saw me actually score the last touch with one light but I was so
> darn happy to have finally won my critical bout that I proceeded to throw
> my arms in the air, scream "Yes!" and fall over backwards in total
> release without delay.  I know in my heart that I won, but the ref was
> justified in disallowing my touch.  I lost the next touch.

How was the referee justified in disallowing the touch?  I can see a
referee possibly holding up some card, but I can't understand how a
referee would disallow a touch in this situation.  

Was there more to it.  Did you turn your back during the action that
scored the touch?  Did you use your unarmed hand?  

George
_____________________________________________________________________________
George Kolombatovich                 Director of Fencing, Columbia University


 
 
 

Close bouts

Post by Solomand » Sat, 30 Mar 1996 04:00:00

I agree with the one touch at a time philosophy, but it is nice to win.
The first thing that you might want to examine is why are all of these
bouts so close?  It is unlikely that you are fencing a series of fencers
that are at the exact level of skill that you are.  Some fencers get too
relaxed if they build up too big of a lead, or if they are even running
even, which is followed by a loss of momentum.  Others only fence well if
their back is against the wall.  Do you fit into one of these categories?
I would suggest some self analysis to see if there is some systematic
error in your strategy, attitude, etc...  There are certainly
opportunities for a number of momentum changes during the course of a
bout.   The most important thing about "one touch at a time" is
maintaining the same level of intensity throughout the bout, not saying to
yourself "I am up on this one, I can take it easy, " or "OHMIGOD!  I have
to throw every thing I have at this one or I am dead meat!"

The only concrete suggestion that I can make is based on my personal
experience... During the course of a 15 touch bout there is usually one
particular action that I have found to be effective against my opponent
(especially if I get to the 13 or 14 touch mark).  Try and pay extra
attention to what works and what doesn't.  Most people have some very
strong reactions that they fall back on when pressed, or during critical
periods of a bout.  By this I mean that they might fall back into doing a
particular parry, moving in a particular rhythm or making a particular
preparation.  When I am in a DE bout and it is crunch time, I go back to
whatever has worked for me most consistently against that opponent.  The
worst thing to do at the end of a bout (in my opinion) is to suddenly try
something new.  As I mentioned before, if you have scored 14 touches, what
you are already doing is working just fine.  It may just be a matter of
doing the right thing at the right time.

Good Luck,
Joel Solomon

 
 
 

Close bouts

Post by David W Neev » Sun, 31 Mar 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> I agree with the one touch at a time philosophy, but it is nice to win.

The idea behind the "don't care about winning" state of mind is not
that you really don't care if you win or lose, but that you don't let
yourself get into a tense "everything's riding on the next touch" state
of mind. Doing so can affect your fencing, maybe by making you too aggressive
("I've got to get the touch NOW"), maybe by making you too cautious ("I see
an opening, but can I risk getting hit if I don't make it?"). If you get
too wound up worrying about whether or not you're going to win a bout, you
won't be able to maintain the necessary level of calmness and the
willingness to take risks that you need to fence your best. Hence, although
the outcome may really mean a lot to you, you need to put yourself in a
state of mind such that it doesn't affect your ability to act on the
strip.

                        -Dave N.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Neevel        | Don't worry. I think I've got some duct tape

                    |                         Red Green
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Close bouts

Post by Matt Lessing » Sun, 31 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
>         Now that I've shared my embarrassment with you all, I ask you
> people who always seem to win their 14-14 bouts: what is the mental state
> needed to win a close bout?
>         No comments about celebration through jumping are required.  I
> have already tortured myself thoroughly with that image.

My situation is somewhat different than yours, since I am a sabre fencer.
I assume that you are epee, possibly foil.  (If you're a sabre fencer who
had a bout go 9 minutes, I'll eat my sensor!)

If I am one touch away from losing, my mentality is that my opponent has
to earn the last touch - I'm not going to "give" it to him.  Very often
there are repeated simultaneouses (is that a word?), and if the score were
0-0 I might attempt a defensive maneuver (parry, check, etc.) which is
risky, and if all my opponent can do is attack well, I'm playing right
into his hands.  I'll never know if he can stop MY attack.  On the other
hand, if my opponent has 14, I am going to attack until he shows me that
he can do something to stop my attack.  He has to be able to play defense
as well as offense if he's going to beat me - that's my mentality.    

I'm not sure how that mentality would carry over to epee.  I guess my take
on it would be that your opponent would expect you to act defensive (if he
has 14), but instead you should take the offensive.  Don't let him fleche
and double you out.  Make him earn it.  If he can stop YOUR fleche, for
example, he has earned the last touch.

This is a two-sided coin, though.  If YOU have 14, your opponent will
expect you to try and fleche in order to double him out, and so he'll be
ready for it.  Be patient.  It'll come, just like the other 14 did.  But
think about how YOU feel when your opponent has 14, realize that that is
how your OPPPONENT feels when you have 14, and act appropriately.  

By the way, in my last bout which I won 15-14, I jumped in the air and
grabbed my mask.  I just meant to pull it off, but I yanked so hard it
went flying a few feet in the air and landed near the director.  I'm glad
my director was more lenient than yours was.  :)

-Matt

 
 
 

Close bouts

Post by I Hai » Sun, 31 Mar 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>My situation is somewhat different than yours, since I am a sabre fencer.
>I assume that you are epee, possibly foil.  (If you're a sabre fencer who
>had a bout go 9 minutes, I'll eat my sensor!)

        Actually, I'm a foilist.  Yes, a 3-3 bout over nine minutes is
pretty weird.  Some of the time was chewed up by his repeated weapn
failure.  I'd beat, his weapon would go off target.  Unable to duplicate
the fault however, the ref could not force him to change weapons.  Mostly
though, we just had great difficulty hitting each other.  We both kept
very careful distance and were prepared for the others offensive tactics
(we had been in the same pool).  In the thrid period I decided I wanted
to risk winning the coin toss.  I lost the toss and the next touch in
overtime.

Kevin Haild
(borrowing his brother's account)