Team Fencing Competition in Los Alamos

Yesterday, headed up to Los Alamos to participate in a fencing competion — my first in something like 20 years (except for that one afternoon in Fairfax sometime in the mid-'90s). The "unsanctioned" competiton (meaning not an official USFA event), hosted by the Los Alamos Fencing Club, was a team event, so I was fencing alongside two teammates from NMFF. Not only are they both usually épée fencers, but they'd spent the morning competing in the team épée competion.

There were a total of seven teams. The format for each team bout: three fencers on each team, rotating through so that eventually everyone fences everyone else on the opposing team. Each individual bout goes to a multiple of 5 touches (first to 5 for the first, first to 10 for the second, etc.) or until three minutes are up. First team to 45, or leading when the time for the last bout is up, wins.

Our first bout was rough, starting with me. My position in the team meant that I fenced the first and last bouts. So I led off, after a long, long time away from doing this sort of thing. We all fenced well, but ultimately lost that to that team by 3 points (or 2; there was some question about the scorekeeping).

It was undeniably a rush to get back into competing, but it was a frustrating reintroduction. I think that if we were up against them later in the day, warmed up and more in the groove, we would've done better.

We went on to face two more teams, both of whom we beat. The adverse affects of fatigue started to set in, but were offset by the rhythm of competing and, at least some of that training all coming back.

At the end of the day, by the way standings are compiled, we placed fifth. But I'm pretty darned sure we could've taken that team in fourth.

Last bout of the day:

On the drive back down from the mesa, the sun was catching the snow on the Taos peaks:


jraphael said...

More action shots! You know: grabbing your opponent's sword arm, turning over tables, slashing curtains, jabbing with candelabras until you can recover your dropped sword, etc.

gary said...

nice pants...