You may recall that just before Christmas, I signed ZBoy up for an introductory series of classes. He took those and enjoyed them enough to get into the beginner class. And apparently he was good enough to be invited to join in the tournament they had this past weekend.
It's a different set up than the usual one - there's a metallic screen rolled out on the floor and taped down. It has various sensors for position in it. Then there's an electronic line to be hooked up to an overjacket full of sensors that tells the judge whether a jab is on or off target. There are also sensors in the foils themselves. All of this is so that one judge can rule on a bout, rather than the five it would take without the electronic enhancement.
He actually won his first bout! I can see where he could be very good at doing this. A lot of the other kids tended to wave their foils about like in a movie, but the point is to jab your opponent - not slash at them. Z was very good at waiting for his opening and lunging in there.
There was a lot of standing around and waiting, but the good students spent that time watching the other contestants and learning what worked and what didn't.
This was just before his final elimination. Fencing is hot, tiring work and during the elimination bouts, once the score got halfway to final, the fencers take a one minute break to cool off and collect themselves. Right after this picture, Z had his last bout, lost 5-3 (which is good!) and we left with him glowing. Z may have found his sport!