Les Petits Contes

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A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fencing - passion and focus


It’s always so nice to see people passionate about their work and truly enjoying what he is doing.

James Wong is one such person. To be able to captivate us for 1.5 hours non stop from 7.30 pm, after a long day’s work, is not easy.

But he does it, with a lot of humour, pride and passion.

James Wong is the first Singaporean to be awarded the highest title from the International Fencing Academy - Maître d'armes (Master of Arms). He is also the founder of z fencing, and the coach for the beginner’s class.

‘’You are in good hands,’’ he said to us during our first lesson, when he told us novices about his past competitions at the Olympics Games, his achievements and awards.

Safety is definitely important, and surely we want to be ‘’in good hands’’ when we nervously wield awkwardly the foil and epee.

You can tell he enjoys the sport and imparting his skills and knowledge, in the way he taught us and sharing of lots of anecdotes. He has actually made it much easier for us to learn this complex sport by devising simple tools and tactics, using pencils, paper, and even a ‘’model’’ epee.

He peppers his lessons with jokes and lots of encouragement. Whenever I missed hitting him (ya, my bad aiming, bad posture, poor reflexes etc) and he would be pretty reassuring and encouraging.

Last week, he turned up for class limping and with an injured knee. Still, he carried on without complaints.

Sportsmen are passionate people, to the point of ‘’craziness’’. At least a few of my friends have commented that I am ‘’crazy’’. I am no Olympics participant, but what I do like is the discipline and focus that sports requires of us.

Fencing is a precise sport that requires mental and physical agility, and hence lots of focus. It is not brute strength at all, but cunning and strategy.

I can’t wait for this evening’s class. Already my coach says I am an aggressive attacker. Let’s see how I fare in tonight’s class on defence!

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