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Thread: Crash Course in World Cup Tournaments

  1. #1
    That Guy Craig's Avatar
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    Crash Course in World Cup Tournaments

    New article written by Army Fencer:

    After only three years of competing seriously on the national circuit, I had the daunting task of traveling alone to the Middle East and competing against the best fencers in the world. Not surprisingly, I made my fair share of blunders...
    [Read the full article]

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    Very interesting.

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    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    Mentions reading his blog, but without a link....

    -B
    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

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    The word "blog" is a very hard to distinguish link.

    The link, btw, is http://patient-touch.livejournal.com

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    That Guy Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oiuyt
    Mentions reading his blog, but without a link....

    -B
    The word blog is a hyperlink to it.

  6. #6
    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    Ah, fooled by the lack of underlining. Should have mouse-overed (overred? Problems with verbizing non-verbs... :) ).

    -B
    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

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    Senior Member Frank Pratt's Avatar
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    Why would there be no vendors at a World Cup?! Was his comment about the lack of vendors specific to the regions he traveled to recently, or are vendors at WC events hosted by countries that have more vendors that the U.S.?
    Frank Pratt
    Rome Fencing Club; Rome, GA, USA

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    I rather liked the comment about "black market Ukrainian blades"...

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    Senior Member downunder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt
    Why would there be no vendors at a World Cup?! Was his comment about the lack of vendors specific to the regions he traveled to recently, or are vendors at WC events hosted by countries that have more vendors that the U.S.?

    I've been to plenty of WC's that don't have vendors.

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    Armorer DHCJr's Avatar
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    As been said, many times there is none or one vendor.

    The 'black market' has been going on for much longer than I have been around. When the Soviet Union came; at the end of the tournament, every fencer would sell everything including the shirt off their back for blue jeans or hard cash. They knew they would have all new gear for the next tournament. The armorer would sell all the spare weapons. I once got a complete Foil, all Uhlmann parts for $50.

    The armorers sideline for all the former Soviet republics is to sell off blades. They even have 'Official cards' from the manufacturer. When they bring the blades with the team they are reported as 'Spare blades', in case of breakage. We all know that you need a couple hundred spare blades for a team when you go to a competition.
    Donald Hollis Clinton, Jr.
    DHCJr@juno.com

    To Teach is to Learn (Japanese Proverb)

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    Senior Member smurfette's Avatar
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    One would think that the "rest of the world" might as well be the wild nether-regions of the universe. It is of course important to travel smart, especially when spending a lot of money to compete internationally. But is it not hard to "smell the flowers" when one is exerting so much energy making sure one has supplied the child with all of the necessary US produced foods, staying "aware" of everything, and increasing the population of overly-resistant bacteria? If you forget the child's Propel, why not live on the edge and try (the Oh so exotic) Isostar powder -- it's sweeter, but damn good.

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    Senior Member veeco's Avatar
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    I think I agree with Smurfette. Mo, I know your post was made with good intentions, but it reads more like a laundry list of why it is dangerous to travel, and will act more as a deterrent for parents and fencers than anything else.

    Sure there are places that are more "dangerous" than others. Those places can be found in the US also.

    For sports drinks, the powder stuff is the best, you can carry a greater amount of it than the bottled stuff.

    Regarding carbonated water, there are lots of round non-carbonated water bottles: evian, vittel, for example.
    • Epee is the Louis Vuitton bag of fencing: only the best can get it, and the rest of the masses must content themselves with cheap knockoffs (sabre, foil)
    • To not recognize the power of the French grip is to be in denial

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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfette
    One would think that the "rest of the world" might as well be the wild nether-regions of the universe. It is of course important to travel smart, especially when spending a lot of money to compete internationally. But is it not hard to "smell the flowers" when one is exerting so much energy making sure one has supplied the child with all of the necessary US produced foods, staying "aware" of everything, and increasing the population of overly-resistant bacteria? If you forget the child's Propel, why not live on the edge and try (the Oh so exotic) Isostar powder -- it's sweeter, but damn good.
    Danger can flourish just as easily on home ground. One of my clubmates was in the round of 4 at a Div I NAC in Ohio a few years ago and finished her bout to find that someone had stolen her purse out of her fencing bag, leaving her with no cash, credit card, ID, car keys . . .

    And she's a grown-up, so she had no mummy or daddy to set things right.
    Your life is not a prize you get at the end of it. But I did get a champagne sabre for my birthday.

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    Senior Member Army Fencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo
    (a lot of information from someone who's a much more experienced world traveler than me)
    Those are very good points.

    I tried to make my article quick and humorous, not comprehensive. I figured that it would stick a little better that way.
    Don't let 'em drop it. Don'tlet'emdropit. Stop it... bebop it.

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    Gav
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    I found Army Fencer's article quite amusing. Well done for him for writing it.

    I've travelled all over the place - never been to China or the Americas though - and I have to say that reading some of Mo's comments about travelling in Europe made me chuckle. You would honestly think you were in a different country!

    Gav's top tip #1: ALWAYS travel as light as possible. Your bag will inevitably be heavier on the return trip so don't bother to take extra kilos. Remember that some carriers can be absolute bastards for extra charges. IF that means no hair dryer, granola bars, moistureiser then learn to live without. Don't travel with foodstuffs if you can avoid it. Some places can be funny about that and, in my experience food never travels well.

    Gav's top tip #2: Leading on from food in bags... If you are going somewhere exotic (e.g. Middle East, Africa, India etc) don't eat the local food if you have to compete the following day. Just don't bother. Get the curry afterwards when it won't matter that you will be sitting on a toilet for days on end. Don't forget that the reason that a lot of these places will serve you spicy food is to disguise rotten meat - although poor food preperation and hygene is more of a problem. If you are staying in a good hotel then eat there and eat something you recognise. Of course you never know - you might just be unlucky.
    After the tournment go nuts! If you have the time eat the local food and take in the sites. You ARE in a different country.

    Gav's Top Tip #3: ASK ASK ASK ASK ASK ASK. If you know people who have been there before - ask. If you know people who have eaten there before - ask. If you have local contacts - ask. If you have access to consular officials - ask. Is there a tourist information point - ask. Identify people you can trust - and ask questions. Oh, and be polite and patient. There's not much worse, when you live in a tourist area, than having to deal with ignorant foreigners. If people start getting bolshy then don't pursue it; just drop whatever is your problem.

    Gav's top tip #4: "When in Rome..." Yes, that's right, you are in a different country. Expect a different attitude. Go in with the attitude "why can't it be like my country" and expect things to get ugly*. IF you are female and travelling somewhere with different customs make sure you are aware of what is acceptable. If people have told you that miniskirts are not an option then don't pack miniskirts. Just cos you get away with X at home doesn't mean you will get away with X elsewhere.

    Gav's Top tip #5. Enjoy yourself.
    I am The Hairy King of the Scots. You may kiss my Royal Seal.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rcmatthews's Avatar
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    My top travel tips

    1) Don't wear a fanny pack, or call it such in the UK

    2) Don't look at a map in the open
    Ich steige ab, Hab keine Zeit, Muss jetzt zu den anderen Pferden, Wollen auch geritten werden

    C'est pas la chute, c'est l'atterrissage.

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    Senior Member jjefferies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr
    As been said, many times there is none or one vendor.

    The 'black market' has been going on for much longer than I have been around. When the Soviet Union came; at the end of the tournament, every fencer would sell everything including the shirt off their back for blue jeans or hard cash. They knew they would have all new gear for the next tournament. The armorer would sell all the spare weapons. I once got a complete Foil, all Uhlmann parts for $50.

    The armorers sideline for all the former Soviet republics is to sell off blades. They even have 'Official cards' from the manufacturer. When they bring the blades with the team they are reported as 'Spare blades', in case of breakage. We all know that you need a couple hundred spare blades for a team when you go to a competition.
    Isn't there a paragraph or sentence somewhere in all the USFA forms that we sign when going to a world cup/world championship that says you agree NOT TO BUY or bring back blades/equipment. Somewhere I remember signing something like that before a vet's world championship.
    J Jefferies

  18. #18
    Just Joined gatogris's Avatar
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    Also in certain countries DO NOT ASK THE POLICEMAN ON STREET FOR HELP, this especially includes simply asking for directions. You will find yourself hit up for some made up broken law or rule and he can "help you" by take your cash payment for the fine on the spot. Better to ask regular people you see working in a store. If you need a cop, go into the local police station, or have your hotel help you out. We have gotten really great local tips from our hotel clerks and bell boys.

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    Senior Member Schiavona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfette
    One would think that the "rest of the world" might as well be the wild nether-regions of the universe. It is of course important to travel smart, especially when spending a lot of money to compete internationally.
    I think what MO is trying to point out is that traveling to another place is dangerous, or can be. The places you go may not be especially dangerous, but speaking as some one whose town is over run with tourists every summer, visitors stand out. Predators look for those who stand out. Just a fact of life.
    John Matus
    Anchorage Fencing Club

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    Senior Member smurfette's Avatar
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    Good point -- the "target" thing definitely is not fun. Though sometimes being overly vigilent can also serve to make one more of a target.

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