Today, a friend and I did some fencing in the park. He is pretty new to rapier; though he has been irregularly active on the heavy field for a while now.
I taught him a concept and then tried to give him the stimulus to use the concept. We would fight freely for a while until demonstrated something not right, at which point I repeated the process.
Later, I told him I would open up on him. I don’t think I fully opened up but I did lift my game and I noticed something. My game didn’t change very much – mostly, I took more of the openings presented.
This made me realise, my hard game has changed in the last eight months – I hit my opponents less than I used to and they hit me much less than they used to.
I used to accept that fencing was by its nature chancy and even very good fencers would often be hit by poorer ones – I accepted losing often as long as I won more often even against very low level opponents. This is no longer acceptable – nowadays my focus is more on not being hit than it is on hitting. My new goalpost is complete control of the fight.