A light sabre vs. a heavy épée


I think my kids secretly want to become Jedis. At least they want sabres. And an épée.

I think it partly has to do with the fact that Áron Szilágyi won the first gold medal for Hungary in the 2012 Olympics in men’s individual sabre. I think it also has to do with Googling that for 40 years only Hungarians won men’s individual sabre titles in the Olympics. Or maybe it’s just they light the fights in Star Wars. Or maybe it was the old photos of great-grandpa Cohen with full fencing gear. Quite possibly, a combination of all of them above resulted in Justin and Matthew asking me really kindly to enroll them in fencing.

Justin and Matthew were born in Hungary and spent their first 5 years there. They are very proud of their Hungarian heritage. This is the first summer Olympics that they can remember, and they are super excited about it. They did quite a bit of research about the Olympics starting in May, dedicating the last project/theme book of the year to the Summer Games, and Matthew got fencing. While doing his research, he realized that 13 Hungarian fencing olympic participants were Jewish. Add that to great-grandpa Cohen and his brothers being involved in fencing, and there was interest.

Justin has been playing soccer, but he doesn’t really like it. So when his brother asked me to enroll him in fencing, he wanted to join in. Of course Justin loves horse back riding and swimming as well, and he runs with Kevin… can you see the pattern? Signing him up for épée made sense. In case he realizes he likes shooting, too, the switch to modern penthatlon will be easy. Hungary’s former president, Pál Schmitt, the one that had to resign because of plagiarism, won two Olympic golds in épée, and no matter what happened afterwards, that feat was something he should always be remembered for. So Justin is starting with it in September.

In case you didn’t know, épée is a modern form of the duel sword. Out of the three weapons, épée is the most enjoyable to outsiders, I believe. It’s also something that, as I mentioned above, will be allowing Justin, a super sporty kid, to make transition to another sport they like watching.

Matthew, on the other hand, was quite specific in what he wants to do. He wants a sabre, and wants to learn that. Like great-grandpa. After talking to a local club, they immediately took Justin, but when I mentioned that Matthew has mild CP, and while it doesn’t impact his everyday life any more–thanks, botox!–he is not the most flexible kid right now. The lady on the other side of the desk was thinking, looking through papers, made a quick phone call, and then finally said, “It’s okay, master Hungarian Name is more than happy to work with him.” Seriously? A Hungarian master. I asked, and she said, “Yes, he is from Hungary, he has been in Israel about 8 years now.” What are the chances?  Then the lady said, with a smile, “Not everyone has to become an Olympic or Maccabiah champion to find joy in fencing. I’m sure they’ll both like it.”

Then she handed me a shopping list.

To be honest, winning the Olympics does seem to involve a lot of joy!

20 Responses to “A light sabre vs. a heavy épée”

  1. Eszti says:

    Hajrá a fiúknak 🙂 Jó volt olvasni….

  2. Bozót says:

    I knew I had to learn a new word today 🙂 Thanks!

  3. Jon Hayenga says:

    Love those two photos. Happy guy. 🙂

    Sounds like your two youngin’s are hooked.
    WOW, what are the odds of finding a Hungarian trainer? 🙂

    Just trying to catch up on some Olympic coverage I have taped and they were taking one of the Irish equestrian riders off the cross country course in an ambulance. Hope all is okay there. That is the second rider I have seen that happen to. 😮

    Best of luck to Matthew and Justin. 🙂
    Hugs, Jon

    • Hevel says:

      I just read about that in the news. Equestrian events are dangerous. No wonder I dislike horses.

      • Jon Hayenga says:

        I really like horses, but I have a silly fear(?) of them.
        First time I road one the saddle slipped and I feel off. Then the second one I road was taller and that on top of my fear of heights keep me on edge for the whole ride. :p

  4. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    This makes me smile! Good luck to Justin and Matthew! I love reading about your kids. 🙂

    (Some of my family members have wanted to be Jedis since they saw Star Wars. :-))

    I love watching the Olympics…I think they are so exciting and the athletes sure do inspire…everyone…but especially kids. I like that. Those athletes encourage all of us to get out there and do our best…be dedicated…learn something new…be willing to practice and practice..and so much more!

    GREAT post!
    HUGS! 🙂

  5. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    I wrote a long comment and hit “post comment” and it disappeared. Darn. 🙁

    I will try to remember what I said. 🙂

    This post is great! It made me smile! Good luck to Justin and Matthew! What exciting fun is ahead for them!

    I love how the Olympics are inspiring to all of us…but especially to kids. 🙂

    And the athletes encourage all of us to get out there and try something new, dedicate our time and effort to something good, practice-practice-practice, and so much more! 🙂

    PS…I have some family members who have wanted to be Jedis since they saw Star Wars. 🙂

  6. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    HA! Oh well…now you have lots of comments from me! 🙂

    OOH OHMYGOD and WOW! That Danell is a hottie! :-)!!! thanks for the link! 🙂 A body like his SHOULD be shared!!!! 😀


  7. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    Yes, I am inspired! VERY inspired!!!
    Ha! That’s one way to put it! 😉

    I remember a male 20-something model who said that his Mom was shocked when he modeled underwear…because as kid he was mortified if anyone saw him in his underwear. It was a cute story. 🙂

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