Saturday, April 27, 2013

A to Z: The Xceptions

Yesterday I wrote about fencing whites (the uniform of fencers).
Today, I want to mention the Xceptions. (Yes, I'm cheating, sorry.)
These are the men/women in black. Who are they and what gives them to the right to wear black?
They are the fencing coaches. They are the experts.
They are the exceptions to the whites rule.
The main coach of any club, or a master level coach, usually wears black, or at least a black vest.
Sometimes extra padding is worn on the sword arm, where a coach is most likely to be hit by wild beginning fencers.
The best coaches are master coaches, or maestros. My coach wore the black vest, but didn't consider himself a master level coach.
However, I did meet a handful of Master/Maestros at the USFA coaches training event I went to. They were . . . amazing, and all former Olympians. I felt awed to be in the same room as them, and then I got to fence with them . . . along with 100 or so other eager "grassroots" level coaches in training.
I'm not sure the USFA has events like that anymore. It was a long time ago (mid 90s). It was a time with the USFA was trying to build up the number of fencing clubs across America, in the hopes of finding a few Olympic hopefuls. (And no, I never wore black - I was a Level 1 and Basic Coach for beginners)
So, when I see the man in black (aka Wesley) in The Princess Bride, I don't automatically think "bad guy in black" - no, I think "Maestro," or "eXceptional fencer."
Have you ever met someone that you find exceptional?
Happy A to Z!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good point about Wesley.
So in the picture above, that is a gathering of master coaches?

Al Diaz said...

I didn't know that about coaches. That's cool. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What a unique experience to meet all those coaches.

Kathy Collier said...

Fencing has always intrigued me. I love watching it. Thanks for the information. I love learning new things. I'm a fellow A to Z Challenger.

Brandon Ax said...

Whole new look on The Princess Bride. Nice post.

Mark Means said...

I figured ninjas would be the exception! :)

Julie Flanders said...

I didn't know about this at all, how interesting. And I like your "cheating," it's creative. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - sadly I took a random photo off the internet, but I think it is, yes. I never took pics when I went to coaches camp.

Al - glad you think so. :)

Diane - it was unforgettable!

Kathy - nice to meet you! :)

Brandon - Thanks!

Mark - oh, that's who I should have posted about! and then I could have featured Alex.

Julie - Thanks! :)

jaybird said...

I am super friendly and love to meet new people. I'm happy to say I tend to meet exceptional people, all the time. I'm lucky that way.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Princess Bride, one of our favorite movies...