I’ve been fencing for more than eleven years, and I’m not bad. I’m not a ‘ranked’ fencer because competitions make me crazy. Really. Very crazy. Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot of excellent advice from fencers over the years, especially the meistro of the Pacific Fencing Club, Harold Hayes. Specifically, I need to be in a position to take advantage of the other fencer’s errors. If the other fencer is good, my opportunity to make a touch may only last some fractions of a second. I need to be relaxed and in a good position to take advantage of it. If I am tense, I’m ‘leaning’ in one direction, expecting something specific. If I don’t get it, I have switch gears, and that takes time. If I am relaxed, I can react to a wider range of possibilities.
In the same way, I have to be prepared for writing opportunities. I have to be on both my feet, and balanced, to be ready for a window of opportunity. It’s lucky when one of those opportunities arise, but my responsibility is to react in a timely and appropriate manner in order to see that window, extend my blade, and lunge.
If I have done everything right, touché!