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mase
-14th February 2005, 22:05
I was just wondering how long people had been fencing before they entered there first competition?

I know this will vary due to amount of practicse and natural ability, but i just wondered in a rough ball park type time frame;)

Rdb811
-14th February 2005, 23:44
Depends at what level - I take it you mean Opens /

vil
-14th February 2005, 23:54
For me it was about 6 months before I tried my first open (Sussex in 2002). I got soundly thrashed (71st out of 72), but it had a positive effect: it opened my eyes to a level of fencing that I never even knew existed before that point and, being a fairly competitive sort of person, I resolved to get there myself. For a different person it might have had the opposite effect - it can be a bit scary to find yourself fencing the (then) UK no. 2 at your first ever competition! So I reckon the right length of time really just comes down to you and what sort of person you are, in the end.

sparkymark567
-15th February 2005, 01:07
That's impressive vil, 6 months!
I can't remember how long before my first competition, it was a long time ago.

It's a good idea to get competition experience early on. Regardless of ability, you need practise at competitions in order to achieve results in the future.

Perhaps start with county/regional competitions, then work your way up....smaller opens, bigger opens, etc.

Be careful which opens you choose. Ask other fencers about what to expect. Also, consider which competitiions run a plate (should you not make the initial cut). Finally, aim to enjoy all the competitions you enter. Don't worry too much about how long you've been fencing, just go for it. Nobody will care about your ability.

I once talked to guy (at an open) who had been fencing for only 6 weeks. He enjoyed the competition and nearly everyone adimired him for taking for part.

vil
-15th February 2005, 01:22
Originally posted by sparkymark567
That's impressive vil, 6 months!
It would have been a lot more impressive if I was half as good as I thought I was... :o:

Boo Boo
-15th February 2005, 08:37
I did my first competition within 3 months of starting (that was the BUSA individuals), my first major open within 6 months of starting (Birmingham).

Boo
(had a bad influence who dragged her to these things... ;) )

ChubbyHubby
-15th February 2005, 08:46
Originally posted by Boo Boo
I did my first competition within 3 months of starting (that was the BUSA individuals), my first major open within 6 months of starting (Birmingham).

Boo
(had a bad influence who dragged her to these things... ;) )

and you think the bad influence had your fencing in mind?

Exgeordielass
-15th February 2005, 08:48
Haven't got round to my first Open yet but did the Surrey Women's Epee on Sunday - first competition outside the Club since I started fencing in September 2003. Very proud not to finish last.

Thinking of making the Isle of Wight my first Open!

Boo Boo
-15th February 2005, 08:58
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby
and you think the bad influence had your fencing in mind?

Not that he will admit...

....beware of "strange" men offering lifts to competitions... :confused: :rolleyes: :tongue:

Boo Boo
-15th February 2005, 09:00
Originally posted by Exgeordielass
Thinking of making the Isle of Wight my first Open!

Think that would be a very good choice - haven't done it myself, but it has a very good reputation for being a lot of fun :)

Boo

Robert
-15th February 2005, 09:08
Originally posted by mase
I was just wondering how long people had been fencing before they entered there first competition?


I fenced on and off for about 12 months at University. But when I came back to fencing (about 4 years later) I started competition almost immediately (at the MOFT).

I think it depends more on your local fencing than on your ability. If you have a good local club with high quality fencers you can spend longer preparing for competition. The weaker your clubs are the earlier you need the competitive experience.

Robert

Tarmac
-15th February 2005, 09:32
3-4 months... back in my sabre days...
got a sound whipping and came 2nd to last - but loved it!

Just dive in... it's great fun :)
(but learn the rules - nobody told me that before i started!)

pigeonmeister
-15th February 2005, 09:53
First comp for me was after a few months I think, it was a steam competition for U10's in Birmingham in 1991. I think about 6 people turned up and I came 2nd!

I did the Welsh and Bristol when I was 13, got murdered but was a real eye-opener. I wouldn't do either of them til you've had best part of a years experience.

I'd do a comp where you either get two rounds of pools, a guaranteed DE or there is a plate. That way you get lots of fencing however you do.

It really depends on how well you think your improving- after 6 months I would just do the nearest competetion to where you live. I know people who went from the bottom 3 of the Birmingham one year to getting L16's in comp like H+W, Wrexham, Isle of Wight the next. Maybe you should enter a big comp, get used to the intermidating atmosphere, and then you will find a smaller open much more accessible.

pinkelephant
-15th February 2005, 12:20
London Schoolgirls 38 years ago, after fencing for about a year.

D'Artignan
-15th February 2005, 12:24
First comp was Craiglockhart c.1988. Seem to remember my foils were bigger than me! Been fencing about 4-5 months IIRC (probably not).

PS the new avatar is much easier on the eye, mase

mutley
-15th February 2005, 13:01
My 1st comp was the sussex novices where i really surpused myself by comming 3rd(and did the expected happy dance) and that was just over a year after 1 started fencing, flushed with this new confidence i went to the next open i could find

it was the slough open

i didn't come 3rd

although i did have a really good time and was stunned by the level of fencing i saw and went away to practice much harder nad infuture ask if it was an "easy" or "tough" competition before entering, my advice would be to enter a novice competition if they have one near you 1st as i think that going to an open could seriously rock your confidence

Take it easy

Mut

Moppet
-15th February 2005, 13:27
My first ever competition was a little foil competition (argh! Unclean! Unclean!), which I won. :) :party:

My first epee competition was the British Championships in Norwich which I didn't come last in. :):rolleyes:

I was thrown in the deep end and quickly learnt to swim! ;)

Mop.

J_D
-15th February 2005, 13:33
The Bristol Open is my local competition, and I always recommend that our club members enter. This is on the basis that it's a baptism of fire..it won't get much tougher..and there's always the Plate.

The other side is that when they get knocked out early they can lend the organisers a hand :tongue:

mase
-15th February 2005, 13:40
Thanks for the info people appreciate it, and keep it coming:)

Now for the stupid question of the day award, whats a plate?
No not the one you eat your dinner of you cheeky little scamps:grin: The one people refer to in this thread?

Cheers

Moppet
-15th February 2005, 13:41
A plate is like a mini competition for the people who didn't make the cut to the DEs.

It's great fun to do and most of the people who do them are friendly and out to have fun. :)

mase
-15th February 2005, 13:42
Like a kind of knock out type thing?

Moppet
-15th February 2005, 13:49
Knock out type thing?

Tarmac
-15th February 2005, 13:59
people start to get knocked out after the poules.

if you don't seed 128th or above at the larger comps you'll invariably be 'cut' out of the comp.
the people who get cut.. sometimes have an option of competing for the 'best of the worst' prize...the plate

been there... done it...enjoyed it...
but never want to do it again :tongue:

if you make it into the 128.. then then 'knock out' begin there too.. you lose a fight.. you're out.. home. gone. kaput.

Rdb811
-15th February 2005, 14:00
Surrey Epee Team - November 1997 so two years after I'd started fencing and some 6 months after I'd switshed to epee). (I think - it may have been the following year - it's all starting to blur)
.
We (Streatham B) ran into Wimbledon in their pomp and got stuffed 9-0 (the competiton had been truncated to DE and rubbers as the individual had overrun) . We only lost 9-0 as Wimbledon were kind enough to play out the dead rubbers. That was it for the day.To cap it all, someone ran into the back of us on the way home.

In those days we had no culture of going to competitions (apart from one international) - my first actual Open was the Ridley Martin in December 1999.

madfencer
-23rd February 2005, 12:47
i have a 'lovely' 'losers plate' sitting at home. great stuff. i won it at the channel island senior chamionships last yr. 'yay' (that was sarcastic btw). nah, they are fun jst annoying if you diont win em!! only ever done that one though!!

hmmm.....how long before my first comp....i would say bout 2/3 months into my fencing. i think it was prob. something like the island novice foil championships. (came 3rd out of 3 or 4 in my age group :dizzy: lol.)

Degen
-23rd February 2005, 15:36
did my firts comp after six months and was promptly told by my coach that i wouldn't do well so felt really great when i went up for my first bout:upset: .

randomsabreur
-23rd February 2005, 15:45
First comp was about 3 yrs after I started fencing, although I had done a couple of school matches before that! Was bedfordshire county championships and I came last.

About 2 years later did EM regionals and came 2nd of 2.

Then came last in U17 mixed Bristol LP, very low in Merseyside open and BYCs (mixed).

Finally got points in 1st Hamlet open mixed in I think 1998, last in WS, then L8 of about 16 at Bristol.

Now look where that's got me, loads of money and several years later and I'm always competing.

Wish I were a cadet now, serious prizes at some of the LPJS e.g. Bristol. I want to win a DVD player, playstation or similar dammit!

StRogue
-23rd February 2005, 16:35
I entered my first event after four months of joining my club, but only at the behest of my coach who thought I'd have a wonderful experience. He was right; had a blast! I did finish 13 of 13. Got the most touches off the #1 seed (who lost rather quickly in the elimination rounds).

I got out on my first elimination bout, but I can hold my head up high, the girl who beat me went off to win the whole dang thing. A few of us went out to eat afterwards and just hung out. Nice group of girls there. Lots of fun. Learned a lot.

I'm use to competitions (rugby, volleyball, softball, etc.) so coach knew I could handle it. How soon you enter your first competition also depends on you, how comfortable you are with getting yourself out there, prepared or not prepared. It's really a frame of mind.

So what I finished last. I'm now in a ranking on our area website. Better to be on the map than not at all.

Charli

Boo Boo
-23rd February 2005, 16:38
Originally posted by randomsabreur
Now look where that's got me, loads of money and several years later and I'm always competing.

It got you loads of money???

Boo
(running off to learn how to fence sabre)
(oh, maybe putting effort into learning how to read properly would be better....)

randomsabreur
-23rd February 2005, 16:45
I wish!!!!

I would be rich if I didn't fence! Don't want to know how much I have spent over the past 5 years!

sabre_ferret
-24th February 2005, 00:25
My first comp was after 3 weeks, and I`d only ever used a gimp stick. My first fight I got spanked 5-0, then the next was 4-1, but then I came up against another novice and won 5-0. Confidence up, I did ok, won on DE then got well beaten in the 2nd DE.
This was in the sabre though, and I`d never picked one up before, so I was pretty chuffed, and did OK in the Eep and Gimp Stick after that, cos my confidence was sky high. It definitely got me really in to it, and now as I come up to a year of doing it, I`m pretty glad I went to a comp nice and early, cos you learn more at a comp than in a month of lessons I reckon.....

Honk
-24th February 2005, 09:11
My first (and only) was the Bristol Open after about 4 months :eek: My coach and captain told me it would be a trial-by-fire and they weren't lying!

After my 4th pool fight I had a grand total of 2 hits... but managed to win the last one which meant I was about 18th from last out of 160 odd :)

It was great but I've rearly been so exhausted, as a novice one tends to make up for lacking technique by expending more energy

dilznik
-24th February 2005, 12:16
My first tournament was about 5 months after I started in San Francisco, and I was foil fencing left handed. I came in fourth from last and was wonder just how bad were those other three guys.
As far as opens, do you mean open level but maybe you have to fit a certain criteria, or open level and any doofus can fence, or is Open the Brit term for "super hardcore tourney where olympians practice on the unwashed"?
My first open level/any doofus tourney was my third tourney where I soundly pulled up the bottom third, but at least I made a guy look really stupid when he came out swinging and lost 3 points to me in the 10 seconds before the first break.
First "real" tournament (open level but fit a criteria) was probably the Bavarian Championships where I always rank dead middle (switching to right-handed helped).
Superhardcore was probably in Ingolstadt last year where the whole Turkish National team (among other international fencers) decided to come and take turns thrashing me. I got, of course, dead middle.

rpryer
-24th February 2005, 12:30
In the UK, open means just that - anyone (over 13, and a BFA member) can turn up and compete.

They vary in standard - Birmingham and Bristol, for example, would be 'super hardcore', whilst Cambridge and Wrexham are a lot smaller and less serious.

My first comp was the BUSA foil and sabre in my second year at Uni.

I've been encouraging some of our beginners from September to enter the Nottingham, just for the experience of fencing new people. A couple of them thought that they would have to be really good to enter and this put them off, whereas others are happy to count success in hits scored rather than fights won.

chortler
-24th February 2005, 12:33
Haven't entered a competition as of yet, although I keep thinking about it.
Just a couple of things stopping me - Fencers in my club don't wear breaches, and I'm not a member of the BFA, so it will be expensive just to get to a point where I could enter a comp.
Plus, I afraid of making a total tit of myself!!

Dave Hillier
-24th February 2005, 12:40
Originally posted by chortler
Haven't entered a competition as of yet, although I keep thinking about it.
Just a couple of things stopping me - Fencers in my club don't wear breaches, and I'm not a member of the BFA, so it will be expensive just to get to a point where I could enter a comp.
Plus, I afraid of making a total tit of myself!!

Don't worry about making a tit out of your self. Opens are generally very friendly and people will try to look after you (off piste when you are fencing you are fair game).

As for breeches, you will need them if you want to fence electric as of next January.

So go on join the BFA do some comps, they're fun, really.

septic_belgian
-24th February 2005, 14:00
My first comp was the Surrey Novice Foil and Epee and I had a blast. I had been fencing for about 18 months and I was not sure what to expect. It was a nice and friendly competition and we had lots of people from Guildford there and it was great to have that team support.

The next tournament I did was the Norfolk open which was very friendly but I got a serious thrashing in both foil and epee but at least I did not come last which was cool. The only downside was the awful referring in the Foil plate, but not much you can do about that.

My next tournament was definitely a baptism of fire. I entered the Bristol in sabre after fencing sabre for less than 2 months after just under 2 years of foil and epee. It seemed that I was one of about 6 guys without go fast stripes.

I was so nervous when plugging in for my first poule fight that my knees were shaking which I preceded to loose 5-0 in about a whole 7 seconds. But I still came out of it grinning ear to ear and somehow managed to win 2 poule fights and make it into the DEs.

Anyway, go and try a local comp to get the initial taste of competition and I am sure you will love it once you try it!

Tarmac
-24th February 2005, 14:13
Originally posted by chortler
Plus, I afraid of making a total tit of myself!!
it's when i'm off piste that i worry about that! :tongue: :grin:

mattv
-26th February 2005, 19:50
I started fencing at the end of last September and i'm now going to my first competition at Nottingham