Well day 1 has come and gone.  We started the day out arriving at the Georgia World Congress center in Atlanta at 8am.  We immediately made our way to the armory to check Shawn's fencing equipment.  First off Shawn's borrowed Epee fencing mask failed inspection.  So off to the vendors in search of a new mask.  Fortunately at these events the vendors have some good prices that make buying equipment a little more enticing.  So we went ahead and purchased a couple more body cords, a lame, cuff, and an epee mask.  Ouch!! there goes 200 bucks.  Oh well it would of been 250 if we done it mail order. 

Next we inspected the freshly purchased equipment and had no issues in the armory.  Everything we needed to complete for the event was done now so all we had to do was wait for the pools to start. 

Fencing time came around real quick.  Shawn went into his first event a bit on the nervous side.  That was understandable because the last time he competed in an epee event was last year at the Atlanta regional's.  We had a number of problems with his epee weapons.  A fencer is supposed to have two weapons.  Right before each bout the weapon is inspected for the proper tip spacing, and compression rating as well as electrical connections.  If any of these fails the fencer gets a yellow card.  If a fencer gets more than one yellow card he could have points taken away from him.  So the fencer needs to fall back on his second weapon.  Shawn ended up with 3 failed weapons across 7 bouts.  We need to work on getting him to inspect his own weapon before entering the fencing area.  Needless to say he ended up with one red card which ended up with a point against Shawn. 

Shawn fenced 6 bouts in the pool for epee.  He lost the first 5 bouts which discouraged him in a lot of ways.  Then he had a little longer wait before his 6th bout so he had some time to think about his mistakes.  Shawn's opponent in this last bout was about a foot and a half taller than him.  This kid had some serious reach over Shawn.  This was not going to be an easy bout for Shawn at all.  But this did not discourage him he ended up with a 5 to 4 win and we were all very excited.  Even Shawn's coach was a little surprised that he was able to pull off such a good win. 

Well the pools ended and now it was time for the direct elimination tournament to begin.  Shawn's first opponent was another kid that seriously looked like a 17 year old rather than a 12 year old.  This kid was almost 2 feet bigger than Shawn.  In the direct elimination tournament the fencers do 3, 5 point bouts.  The first fencer that wins 2 of the 5 point bouts advances to the next round.  The first bout went to Shawn's opponent in a 5 to 2 loss.  But this did not discourage Shawn, he went on to beat his opponent in a 5 to 3 win.  So now it was getting exciting, both fencers won one bout each and they were going to have to fence a 3rd bout to determine who should advance to the next round.  Shawn fought hard in this last bout but he ended up a little short and lost 5 to 2.

Well we were very proud of Shawn for doing so well.  He showed some great courage in doing his best.  And above all he had a lot of fun.

Check out Day 2 of the USFA Summer Nationals for more information on Shawn's progress in the event.

Well it is getting close to the Summer National fencing event that my son Shawn is competing in.  The event is being held at the Georgia World Congress center in Atlanta. This is a huge event. There are over 4,000 fencers competing! It is the largest group of fencers in the nation. This is the event Shawn has been training so hard for (I hear a rocky theme song somewhere). There are 40 fencers from his school that are competing as well.

Shawn will be competing in the Y12 Epee event on Saturday and the Y12 Saber event on Monday. He will be tossed in a pool of other fencers to fence multiple 5 point bouts.  The better he does in these bouts the better he will place in the single elimination tournament.  Once in the single elimination he has to win 2 out of 3, 5 point matches to advance to the next round.

Epee fencing is all about speed and precision. The idea is to stab your opponent before he stabs you. Any part of the opponent’s body is a target. You can even stab him in the shoe if he sticks his foot out to close to you. This may sound a little easy to the untrained couch potato but you have to remember that the opponent can use his weapon to ward off your attack. Often times the bouts are on the defensive side just waiting for the right opportunity to lunge for the attack. This particular event has not been Shawn’s strongest but during his last tournament in Atlanta Georgia he did very well even though it was his first time fencing Epee. So we anticipate an even better performance from Shawn this time around.

Saber fencing is also about speed but focuses on slashing your opponent instead of stabbing. The target area is not so open like Epee. You can only strike the head and upper body including the arms. The opponent’s weapon can also be used as a defense mechanism to stop attacks. Shawn has improved significantly in fencing saber. It is truly his strongest and most well liked weapon to fence with. We believe Shawn will do very well in this event.

Well wish Shawn some good luck!!!

Shawn Fencing

Well I ran in a relay Marathon today in the Valley of the Sun Marathon.  I had the first 6.2 mile leg of the run.  It started out on a 1 mile run down hill.  Antother 1 or 2 was flat.  The next 2 miles was uphill and it was very tough for me.  The remainder of my part was downhill and I was very glad.  I completed the 6.2 mile journey in around 58 minutes.  Once the results are posted I will know the exact times.


The results are in and our relay team took 1st place in our division!!!  See the results for the relay here