Monday, April 19, 2021

In Response to Criticisms of "Just Another Fencer"


I don't usually release a second article before the next month but the previous article Just Another Fencer seems to have caused some contention, at least among some circles. To wit, and in answer to those particular contentions, I present the following:

There is no editor who goes through and reads my posts before I post them. They are all my writings, there is no one else who writes them, just me. I also rarely edit them once they have been posted. I also tend to write about subjects that I feel passionate about, and so write straight from the heart, meaning that there will occasionally be some passionate language which will be present, but also means that they are subjects that I believe in. These are my fencer's ramblings, so my opinions.

Some of my statements in my articles have been accused of being provocative, indeed some of my entire articles have been provocative, I find this to be a good thing. I do not want some passive reader just mulling through my words, I want them to be engaged, I want them to think. Sometimes this requires a little provocation.

Where there is some sort of statement made, there will be an argument and conclusion to back it up. You only need to read further along. To find these arguments and conclusions, you need to read the entire thing, not just skim over the article or you will miss something.

In certain circles, the previous article was claimed, by some parties, to be "mansplaining" and "condescending." This was not my intent. I have the greatest appreciation for the female fencer, indeed of any fencer. It is not an easy skill to use, and that you have chosen to take this up and follow it through, this instantly gains my respect, regardless of your skill level. 

I use personal anecdotes, because these blogs are personal to me. They come from my personal experiences. I write because I have been inspired from some part of my life, something has happened which has resulted in me having a think about something long enough to write it as a blog. They don't happen over-night, I tend to think about these things for extended periods of time, however they remain personal.

I teach my students as individuals. Yes, there is a certain core set of skills, but even those are modified to suit the individual should they be required. Short, tall, long armed, short armed, slim, not so slim, even with certain disabilities, each one of these will make a difference, and will require some sort of modification to their fencing style. This is how I teach. I have been teaching this way for at least two decades.

There was a claim made that what I meant when talking about the opponent was "just another MALE fencer." It was not what I wrote, so it was not what I meant. I do not take gender characteristics into account. I do not fence female fencers any different than I fight male fencers. Let me be clear. I do not fence female fencers any different than I fight male fencers. 

The only thing that makes any difference is their skill level, and how they fence. I will be cautious with all opponents at first until I have had time to read my opponent, and see what they do. Then I will make the decision how I will play my game, but it will have nothing to do with their gender. The game that I play against my opponent is directly in response to the actions the actions that they choose to give me. Again, nothing to do with their gender.



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