Mastermind is a regular magazine column in which we quiz a Beijing personality on general knowledge as well as on a subject in which they consider themselves to be a specialist.

Contestant: Michael Hong Fu, owner and founder of Cafe Flatwhite
Specialist Subject: Fencing

1) How many types of weapons are there in fencing?
3 √
2) Fencing has been one of only four sports to be included in every modern Olympic Games, since which year?
1896 √
3) Fencing was also a sport in the original Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. True or False?
True √
4) Is there a time limit on a fencing bout?
9 minutes + 1 minute √
5) The tip of the fencing weapon is the fastest moving object in sport. True or False?
False √
6) Why are fencing suits white?
To help in recording score √
7) Many ballet positions are derived from fencing. True or False?
True √
8) Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games, was a fencer. True or False?
True √
9) What is a ‘lame’?
The blade ×
10) What does it mean if you’re given a black card at a tournament?
 A serious foul ×

FINAL SCORE: 8/10
VERDICT: Michael’s strong knowledge of the subject demonstrates that he is not only an insider of Beijing’s food and beverage scene, but one might say he is also an expert in fencing.

Answers: 1) Three: foil, sabre and epee, 2) 1896, 3) True, 4) Yes, 5) False, it’s the second fastest one after the marksman’s bullet, 6) To help to record the score because in earlier times touching was recorded with a piece of cotton at the tip of the weapon dripped in ink, 7) True, 8) True, 9) The vest-like jacket worn over your uniform when performing an electric bout 10) You have committed an offense so terrible that you’re being told to leave the tournament.

Read the rest of the July/August edition of the Beijinger here or pick up a copy at your favorite hangout.

More stories by this author here.

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Photos: Uni


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