Although this is a foil lesson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSBmGC6z_E0), it is a good example of a solid working lesson for an experienced young fencer. I chose this particular lesson because the fencer demonstrates what we are trying to achieve in our daily fencing academy practice.
Note the depth of the guard position that facilitates:
- the absolute stillness of the upper body
- the upright torso and stability of the shoulders and hips allowing the athlete to move easily in either direction
- how each step forward starts with an extension of the front knee and heel clearly touching the floor first.
We are surrounded by visual feedback of very poor technique when we go to fencing tournaments, where the ‘win at all costs’ mentality prevails. While this is often effective in the younger age groups you will find that the athletes achieving the best results are the one who have fighting experience and technique. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you create and act on if you don’t have enough technique (control) to deliver the hit
Practice this footwork on your own, it is very simple: advance, advance lunge, start the advance pause on the front heel finish the advance lunge, recover and retreat
You know how to do all these things, we demonstrate them for you and remind you constantly. Now you have something you can look at over and over again at your leisure while you practice. Use your phones to take video and watch your video until your footwork matches what you see in the video.
The fact is no one practices enough, most think of their fencing only while they are at fencing and few are dedicated enough to improving their skills to really work at training. Now suddenly we have a lot more time, take some of it to think about getting better at your skills. Most of us are fencing because we enjoy it and want to be good. You don’t have to have world level ambition to want to be good, but you do have to practice and think about your practice while you are doing it!