Hi, This may not belong here, but I thought I'd introduce my self in the main section. I also have some questions to ask... I'm a returning fencer. I fenced altogether for 15 years. And I've since quit for 15 others. I'm now 43 and I've decided that I wanted to fence again. So last weak, I bleached my suit and forced my way into my fencing pants, I checked my épées and I went to a cool club. ... Man, I realized that I'd been craving it so much! The rattle of the iron, the mask, the anticipation, the psychology, the reflexes... And I beat 2 people, including a coach! I mean, not only after 15 years of no fencing, but also of very very bad health and life habits... My already aching right knee (I'm a leftie) went berserk after. An old fencing wound from a weak tendon. I'm treating it right now. But mmhhh, the smell of the duel... Especially when I planted the tip of my epee so well in my opponent, so precisely that the blade bent in a near circle. That feeling that "I pierced him: He's dead and I'm not... this time" I was doing well on the local Québec and Canadian circuits during my competitive years. Then, I travelled far and wide, I practised Asian fencing, but only sporadically European fencing. When I realized that my competition hopes were over, I switched to martial arts (jiu ji tsu). Then, 10 years of no sports, letting my muscles atrophy. When I went over to fence last Friday, I thought my head would explode because my body just didn't seem able to cope with high energy efforts anymore. But I pushed on. The physical distress calmed down after a couple of matches. My legs are in bad shape. In fact, I attempted a flèche and I fell crashing into the scoring box... That reminded me to remain humble for the rest of the evening. Nevertheless, my muscles panicked and ached so much that I could have walked with a cane since. Especially, I never realized before how much I'd missed escrime. I missed the camaraderie, the duelling spirit, the shock and the sport. I'm glad to be back among you. Anyways, so Hi! I may come here to chat and ask questions. Of which I have a few right now. -First, do you think there's a New Balance shoe that is suited for fencing? I'm asking because I have long wide feet and knee issues. I presently have a pair of New Balance shoes that are incredible. It's like wearing clean slippers after a shower. Plus they grip to the ground like magnets. Their only defaults are too soft a fabric above the toes, and a heel that's not rounded enough for the attacking foot. (It is slightly curved though, and it's so cushiony that you can roll on it without strain.) Otherwise, the construction is flawless. And they make their shoes in my size... -Second, I have pain on my lateral tendon, on my trailing (right) leg knee cap (patella). I had that pain when I competed in my younger years, and I still have it. Do you think that a patellar knee band strap is a good idea? -Third, an old coach suggested that I do this to get back into it. Do you agree? He said that I should fence with a French grip, so as to exercise first my fine dexterity and footwork. And only after I've gotten back into shape, get back to a pistol grip to add lateral force. It appears like not a bad plan. I never fenced with a French blade before honnestly, or never enough. I was initially a sabreur, until I succumbed to the charms of the épée. ... Happy to meet you all. Please feel free to comment in any way on my questions or on whatever.