That was the first Fencing tournament my folks ever saw. They drove up from Abilene and I warned my dad, "these tournaments can last until midnight sometimes". He said, "I know I won't stay up that late." It lasted until 5:00 AM, I won it, and he stayed up the whole time.
that must have been 1971. The next year, my folks came up to see the tournament again. It was much better organized and they had better equipment, but they added more weapons, and it lasted until 5:00 AM again. I still won it.
This was the first tournament that I ever saw in 1977. I was not yet fencing, and my older brother had been taking lessons from one of SMU's finest sabre fencers, Ted Sarosdy. Ted was the heavy favorite to win that day to make him the champion three consecutive years and ownership of a traveling trophy. His rivals were primarily from UT and SWTX. The SWTX team consisted mostly of young, athletic fencers (Howard Williams if my memory is correct) that were short on experience. However, on that day they had a ringer--John Moreau was already an established national star in epee, and on that day he decided to prevent Sarosdy's permanent ownership of the traveling cup.
Not knowing the game, I could not follow the action as my brother tried to explain it to me- but one thing was obvious to all. Moreau was in a different league when it came to speed. At the end of the day, Sarosdy was outmatched physically, and couldn't adjust. John won the match, and, facinated, I signed up for classes with Bill Towry within days.
In later years, I remember a TX State Championship where John decided that he wanted the 3 weapon trophy. Few could stand in his way on the epee or foil strip. But by that time, Howard Williams, Paul Anderson, August Skopik, my brother Dennie, and myself were fencing a sabre game with complexity that even Sarosdy didn't posess. John, dangerous as alway, didn't make it past the second round. Most of us had learned to not give the faster fencer the option to attack by constantly pressuring him (something learned by fencing the even faster Clarence McCraw). John won the 3 weapon trophy that day, but all the sabre guys took pride that he didn't win a bout against those of us that were serious about our weapon. John still had his occasional wins against us in sabre- but not that day.
Post by katyblades on May 26, 2008 14:11:20 GMT -6
You are giving me a lot of credit. I was always two steps behind ya'll in saber, but I held my own in the other two weapons.
My best saber moment was leading "Augie and the kids" to the 1986 saber team Van Buskirk, (Garreth Sarosi and Randall Sims). I told them that I was fencing epee, and they need to win every team bout and put it over because I would get tired and they may need me to win the bout. I fenced about 20 epee bouts, plus the team saber. It came down to Paul Anderson, Howard Williams and Jim Jackson versus us with Andy Shaw presiding. Five touch bouts with each fencer fencing the other, and the first team to five wins would win the event.
I lost to Howard, but the young men fenced well and it ended up Paul Anderson and I for first. I had been fortunate to beat Paul in the prior three bouts in the finals I had fenced him, including one where Howard had lost to Paul in a B tournament and I promised him it was okay because I would beat Paul and give him a chance to do it over. I beat Paul 5 - 3, but fleches were legal and I promise I did a fleche after my parry with an indirect riposte every time. It was like slow motion.
It was good, because I had lost to Al Peters 11 - 9 in the epee and ended up in 3rd place. Al and I had several bouts like that over the next several years with a different person winning. I also won the foil that weekend on Sunday with about 80 competitor. Come to think of it, I also ran the darn thing with my wife and many others helping me, so since we finished early (by 8 pm) both days with manual scoring and pools in an all pool event except the top 16 DEs it must have gone pretty well. I know I was pooped.
I signed up for fencing as a Freshman at SWT (now Texas State) in 1976 because I didn't want to just sit around and do nothing but work and pull down 13 hours of sedentary classwork.
After having signed up for everything else I wanted to take, I was leafing through the catalog looking for a swimming, diving, track, soccer, rugby, or even a golf class, that would fit into my schedule. I found a class on fencing. And, being the "intelligent posterior" that I was... and still am, I asked the student adviser behind the desk if it was a misprint and shouldn't it be under range management. (Get it? Fencing... cattle... range management?) He didn't get it. He said "No. Fencing, like Errol Flynn, Swords, and all that stuff." I told him "Cool", and to sign me up.
So now I have a beginning foil fencing class for an hour on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The first day is my new Coach, Lew Smith, telling us some basic vocabulary and rules, telling us what book we needed and what to read. We did a little foot work and got to hold a foil and hit some carpet strips on a wall. O.K., so far so good. Lew pats everyone on the back, calls us by name (which he'd already memorized) as we were leaving, and giving everyone this fat, happy possum, glad-to-see-you grin (A Lew Smith trade-marked expression). This was great! No laps to run, and no kicks in the butt! I loved the guy!
Well, then comes Wednesday's class... and we all get to put on these club half-jackets and club masks (which were nasty and smelled BAD), and we get to poke someone with a dry foil for a few minutes. That was FUN; despite the nasty gear!
As I'm walking out the door of my second hour ever having even touched a fencing weapon... ever, Lew comes up and starts patting me on the back and telling me how glad he is to have me on the team and what a great time we'll have fencing at the Mustang Open this weekend.
"Huh? What, Coach? You mean that big tournament in Dallas that you mentioned? What do you want me to do, carry equipment or something?" He said no, he had already signed me up on the team roster to fence foil. Huh? "Bring a sleeping bag or a blanket, $5.00 for beer, a bottle of Gatorade, and some spare clothes, and the club will take care of everything else." You don't turn Lew down... You gotta know the guy to understand, but you just can't turn Lew down! It is not possible.
So, all of a sudden, I'm in a car pool on a Friday night leaving from the Salle to go up and eat dinner from a bulk jar of chunky peanut butter and a couple of bags of bread, and sleep on a floor in some parent's house in Dallas. The next thing I know it's Saturday morning and I'm handed an electric foil, being stuffed into a full club jacket (Which didn't fit, was dirty, and smelled VERY BAD!)
Then, I proceeded to have my hind end kicked and handed to me on a plate! I don't recall having scored a touch. I recall vividly that I was humiliated! I was walking away from the strip thinking that I could still go to adds and drops and sign up for swimming. Lew comes up (with that grin) and starts patting me on the back and telling me how good I did. I was gonna tell him he was out of his mind and that was the worst I'd ever done in anything I'd ever done, when he handed me this other sword and started telling me how you hold it this way, it didn't have right of way, you stool a little further back, and the first one to reach out and hit scored.
I was asking him "what does this matter, I quit" but, he interrupted me and said I needed to learn this because he'd already signed me up for epee, and I was starting in 5 minutes... WHAT?!?!?!
I fenced until my freakin' legs fell off. And then I fenced some more. I took eighth place.
Thirty two years later and I've never regretted a moment of it... except for that first foil pool.
Thanks, Lew! Thanks for everything, Buddy! You changed my life!
"I won that in 1971 and 1972, as well as the Texas State Collegiate Fencing Tournament in both years.
"I also trained with Dr. De Gaul at SMU who started the Mustang Invitational. I fenced with his folks enough that he adopted me as an honorary Mustang even though I was from the University of Texas.
"My father had never seen a fencing tournament. They were from Abilene and I suggested they come to Dallas to see the Mustang. I warned him that these tournaments could last until midnight. He said, "I know I won’t stay that long!" The tournament started about 10:00 in the morning and finished at 5:00 AM the next day. There were lots of electrical problems with the equipment, as the gym was not air-conditioned. One match of note a little girl with braces would light up whenever she was touched (sparks in her braces). She could really parry! I won the tournament and he stayed the entire time.
"The next year, they came to the Mustang again, it was better organized but they added other weapons and it lasted until 5:00 AM again. He stayed up.
"The SMU Mustang Invitational also had a perpetual trophy. I won it two times and didn't even take it in 1972 because I was moving to California. It was about 1 1/2 ft square with a cup in the middle and a fencer on two corners. I used it in my trailer to hold my deodorant and spindle my checks. I wonder where that trophy is now.
"Years later, when I moved back to Texas, the Mustang Invitational (College only) had turned into an Open and I attended only because I loved and respected Dr. [Eric DeGall]. He had basically adopted me even thought I was a Tea Sip to be a Mustang. And since I won it two times, he considered me his pupil. I entered the tournament, basically just to say hello and pay my respects.
"When I got there, I discovered Dr. [DeGall] had had a stroke and wasn't doing well. I spoke to his wife, she remembered me and asked her to tell [De Gall] I was there just because of him.
"She left and came back in the afternoon. She told me that she had told Dr. [De Gall] I said hello and a tear rolled down his check. At that point, he was unable to speak. I was touched."
minaesfanjani: please contact me by MINA_IEEE_E@YAHOO.COM
Jul 22, 2019 0:09:48 GMT -6
minaesfanjani: Hello, I am mina and I am 31 years old ,I am going to go Edinburg Texas until next Month, I was a member of national team of IRAN,please help me for finding a club because I have time there, i wana doing fencing
Jul 22, 2019 0:08:46 GMT -6
schlager7: Bryn Ralph teaches at the junior college/
Mar 10, 2018 10:19:42 GMT -6
Thomas: Does anyone know of any fencing in Tyler, Texas?
Jan 10, 2018 12:45:06 GMT -6
pditty: Hello! Looking for any information on instruction for a child in the Tyler, TX area? Thank you!
Oct 1, 2016 18:42:43 GMT -6
mmezest1997: Hello - moving soon to Texas. My kids participate in fechten here in Germany. They are interested in continuing when we move.
Apr 10, 2016 9:33:24 GMT -6
navyfencer: To finish post started about Art Olsen, He was the originator of the "Silverton Highlands International Fencing Tournament. He will be greatly missed.
May 13, 2015 7:20:54 GMT -6
navyfencer: A sad note to older fencers, Art Olsen of Durango CO passed away in Dec. 2014. He was a friend to all, a classical fencer extrorda
May 13, 2015 7:16:19 GMT -6
navyfencer: Does anyone know the whereabout's of Patrice Caux
May 13, 2015 7:09:57 GMT -6
navyfencer: Does anyone know the whereabout's of Patrice Caux? I fenced with him during our early years in Denver
May 13, 2015 7:07:42 GMT -6
greekfire: Gyroscope balls? Who carries them?
Mar 19, 2014 6:26:24 GMT -6
bobb121: Has anyone used one of those Gyroscope balls before
Mar 18, 2014 10:41:58 GMT -6
joevisconti: What are you asking, torque?
Feb 19, 2014 7:35:44 GMT -6
torque: hey i heard about this but i never got any mor einformation! is this still living!?
Feb 11, 2014 16:48:17 GMT -6
schlager7: A lot of clubs won't go younger than 10 or 12, but a few take students as young as 7. (I know because there are competitions for youth 8 & under at some tournaments).
Aug 22, 2013 8:52:30 GMT -6
clapous71: HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE
Aug 21, 2013 16:03:30 GMT -6