I had my first proper fencing bout today after two weeks of reffing on the sidelines and not having time to dig in properly. I also got to be El Presidente on another bout, which was only marginally less taxing than fighting! My opponent was quite experienced but in the end I annihilated her with a pretty decisive coup-de-fin at 5-3. The fights went on for quite some time as well (the other teams having had 2 additional matches before we were even done) with quite a few rounds where we both mananged to stab each other simultaenously (not a good thing if it ever is for real).
My opponent was also quite crest-fallen when she picked me and discovered I was a lefty. It's actually very easy to flick a right-handed opponent's blade to the left side and then riposte at the open torso. Added to the fact I seem to be quite accurate at hitting what I'm aiming at with a blade (which is good because I can't hit the broadside of a barn with anything else) makes up for spending a good 5 minutes looking at foils and trying to decode drunken and blurred scrawlings of "LEFT" from "LUFC" (Leicester University Fencing Club).
Of course it took me many bouts to realise I could try parrying to my left and quickly stabbing my opponent rather than always parrying to the right, riposting and either getting countered or dodged. But I won, and from my POV it was almost like something out of a movie - a really long, tiring fight that ended with a good finishing move on my part.
Next week is exams - but alas I can't make it. Fortunately I can take the exam the week after, assuming I get back from the trip to London I'm planning before a ridiculous hour.