PALABRAS SABEA (It means "wise words". It just sounds cooler in Spanish.)Taken from 1997 TFA Newsletters

March 1997

In speaking about fencing Coach Gerry Duran has said, "For most people it is not the most important thing in their lives but yet it should be nurtured as an activity which may help you deal with the rest of your life."

Just as fencing may help you deal with the rest of your life, so may some bits of advice that are good for life apply to your fencing. I hope you find the following quotes inspiring, helpful, or at the very least, amusing.

Do a thing three times. Once to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not." --Virgil Thomson

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm." --Walter Chrysler

"The process of learning can be given in four steps:
1. Act.
2. Look for the mistakes (criticize, evaluate).
3. Learn how to do it better next time.
4. Go to 1.

--from THE PORTABLE DO IT! by John-Roger and Peter McWilliams

"From error to error, one discovers the entire truth." --Sigmund Freud

Many fencers are also science fiction and fantasy fans. Those of you who fit in that category might be interested to know that science fiction author Ben Bova has not only wielded the mighty pen but the mighty sword as well.

He says it's been a long time since he has had a blade in hand but he has great affection for the sport. He once wrote a fencing story that was published BOY'S LIFE. The story, titled "Sword Play" was also printed in Mr. Bova's short story collection, ESCAPE PLUS (Tor Books, 1984). In the course of writing to me about the TAMPA'S FENCING ACADEMY web page, Mr. Bova sent me a humorous quote from the author of THE SNOW GOOSE, Paul Gallico, whose comment about the joy of fencing was, "There's nothing quite like the feeling of sticking six inches of steel into a good friend."

April 1997

"Our doubts are our traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt". --William Shakespeare

"There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity." --General Douglas MacArthur

"One can never consent to creep when one feels and impulse to soar." --Helen Keller

"It's all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation." --Dr. Rob Gilbert

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience inwhich you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."--Eleanor Roosevelt

"Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time." --Rene Aubergonois

May 1997

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But theyare far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction." --John F. Kennedy

"The ancestor of every action is a thought." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Follow your bliss." --Joseph Campbell

"What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and inbetween does what he wants to do." --Bob Dylan

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." -- Woody Allen

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic and power in it." --Goethe

"Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success." --Dr. Bob Gilbert

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." --Reggie Leach

June 1997

"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world." --Sheila Graham

"Luck is not technique." --Maestro Villard

"When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap." --Cynthia Heimel

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind." --William James

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." --Marcus Aurelius

"Swordplay is like conversation. You have to listen to your opponent." --Max Suba

July 1997

"A lot of successful people are risk takers. Unless you're willingto do that, to have a go, to fail miserably, and have another go, success won't happen." --Philip Adams

"Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash." -George Patton

"Become your opponent. Know him. Then, you'll know what's coming." --Max Suba

"And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the Bible were used to beat plowshares into swords." --Alan Watts

"There has been opposition to every innovation in the history of man, with the possible exception of the sword." -- Benjamin Dana

"Whosoever shall not fall by the sword or by famine, shall fall by pestilence, so why bother shaving?" -- Woody Allen

August 1997

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm." --Walter Chrysler

"Life resembles the sword of Damocles; the sword is ever suspended." --Voltaire

"There are words which sever hearts more than sharp swords; there arewords the point of which sting the heart through the course of a wholelife." --Frederika Bremer

"Love is my Sword, Goodness my Armour, Humor my shield." --Frederika Bremer

"You can't teach surprise." --Maestro Villard

September 1997

A DEFINITION OF SUCCESS:"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of children; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self;to leave the world a bit better ; whether by a healthy child, a gardenpatch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed withenthusiasm and sung with exaltation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived'this is to have succeeded." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Make yourself aware of your own weaknesses as well as those of your opponent. The good ones try to cover theirs up. The great ones use theirs. Use your weaknesses." --Max Suba

***This next bit comes from a sign on the bulletin board at Tampa'sFencing Academy. Maestro Duran based these "beliefs" on ideaspresented in the book, THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE: HOW TO WIN IN SPORT AND LIFE THROUGH MENTAL TRAINING by Terry Orlick.


1. It's "OK" not to always have the love and approval from all thepeople you find significant.
2. It's "OK" not to always prove to be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving.
3. Emotional misery doesn't come from external pressures which you have little ability to control or change.

4. You don't have to be anxious and preoccupy yourself about thingsthat seem fearsome.
5. You don't have to believe that your past remains all-important and that because something once strongly influenced your life, it has to keep determining your feelings today

.October 1997

"Covenants without the sword are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all." -Thomas Hobbes

"Sabre's my weapon, but I'm too discreet/ To run amuck, and tilt at all I meet." --Alexander Pope

"The world continues to offer glittering prizes to those who have stout hearts and sharp swords." --P.E. Smith

"Keep up your bright swords for the dew will rust them." --William Shakespeare, OTHELLO 1:2

"I'll make thee glorious by my pen, And famous by my sword." --Marquis of Montrose

"There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit. --Napoleon Bonaparte

"Prophecy today is hardly the romantic business that it used to be. The old tools of the trade, like the sword, the hair shirt, and the long fast in the wilderness, have given way to more contemporary, mundane instruments of doom -the book, the picket and the petition, the City Hall." --Jane Kramer

November 1997

"Failure is an event, never a person." --William D. Brown

"All brave men love, for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests." --Nathaniel Hawthorne "One man with courage makes a majority." --Andrew Jackson

"There is no security on this earth. There is only opportunity." --General Douglas MacArthur

"The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart." --Robert Ingersoll

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure." --Wendell L. Wilke

December 1997

I want to leave you at the end of this year and start you off in the new year with this message that came to me several years ago on a Christmas card. Although the message was specifically a Christmas one, it's very good advice to anyone no matter what his religion or philosophy of life is.

"This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Think first of someone else. Be kind and gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again." --anonymous

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