First of – a huge thank you to Joonas my Fencing Sensei!
I tried fencing which was a sport I wanted to try for years but have never had the opportunity to. Joonas took me under his wing and got me involved in the USYD club.
After a couple footwork exercises (which really got my heartrate going), Joonas gave me the crash course in Fencing.
There is 3 kinds of weapons, which differ in their shape, scoring rules, hit areas and techniques:
(don’t ask me about the exact differences – there was a lot of them with lots of tiny nuances)
The quick theory lesson was followed by a safety intro (after all, those are weapons) and the basic attack and defence techniques.
…and off we went.
Gear on, helmet up, connected up with wires (so Joonas could tell how often he hit me) and Epee in hand – here I was in a, what felt like, darker parallel universe (the world looks more gloomy looking through the helmet) – facing a man with a skinny pointy weapon who wanted to stab me.
The first couple advances I was flailing around trying to protect myself, jumping back and forward like a chicken on red bull, but loved the speed and finesse which went into each (of my opponent’s) attacks.
Once I got hit a couple of times right in my ribs and far too often on my exposed right wrist, Joonas slowed me down and told me to use my head. Seems so simple, but it worked. Slowly my head (and probably also adrenaline) adjusted to the new circumstances and it became a much better match with lots of defences, full focus (the level of concentration is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced) and back and forth attacks.
3 hours later we stopped with sore ribs, drenched in sweat and a burning shoulder struggling to hold the <800 grams Epee.
Completely beaten up, I could not have been happier to have tried fencing. What an experience!
… and I’ll definitely try to go back again for some training 🙂