Friday, January 14, 2011

Fencing: Touché

        Touché!  Simply the french word for "touch", "touché" is the admittance that your opponent evaded your defense and his weapon succeeded in scoring to a legal target.  Thus the conversational use of the word outside of the realm of fencing is a statement that "ah, you got me!" 
      Although modern fencing with its body cords and electric scoring equipment complete with lights, buzzers, and wired weapons certainly make officiating the sport more accurate, their is an elegance and lesson in humility to simply know when you have been stabbed and to acknowledge it to your parter.  
       I am reminded of a scene in the movie "The Seven Samurai" where two samurai are practicing with bamboo sticks as simulated katana swords.  One of the samurai thought it was a tie, the other corrected him and said "No, sorry, but you lost."  They had a second contest with the same results.  The samurai who had insisted he had not lost on both occasions became insulted and insisted on another duel but with live blades.  The results were again verified except now the winner lived, and the loser lay dead.   Arrogance can impede the recognition of when you have been bested.  Touché!

1 comment:

  1. Similar scene in The Last Samuari (but the character doesn't need to be killed to get the point of the excercise).