… and why they are the best thing that has ever happened to my training.
By David A. Rowe
I hate tournaments. I really do. I hate sloppy fencing. I hate ugly form. I hate awful judging. I hate crappy attitudes. I hate silly drama. And I really hate the politics. Most of all, I hate losing. I’ve lost because I was tired and exhausted. I’ve lost due to bad judging. And I’ve lost because the other fencer outclassed me.
What I really hate is losing to the guy who is better at playing the game than me. Everyone knows who I’m talking about; he’s the guy who probably never drills, has probably never seen a manual, let alone read one. He’s good because he’s an athlete. He wins not because he is a better martial artist, and not because he has a better grasp on the sources. He wins because he is better at winning tournaments. He is better at the playing the game.
For a long time, the only views I had regarding tournaments were negative. I thought they polluted the art. I thought they were silly. I thought the people competing in them had no idea how to fence in a so-called real sword fight. Having never really tested myself before, I thought I was pretty awesome. And then Longpoint 2011 happened.