Need more fencing advice?
Schedule a private lesson with one of our experienced fencing instructors. They can give you actionable advice and drills so you can take your game to the next level.
Advice for Fencing Parents
Practicing fencing at home may not be the best idea for new, young fencers. They need a coach to help them correct their mistakes. But there’s plenty they can do at home to become better fencers:
● Get exercise with push-ups, sit-ups, and other body weight exercises. Having a strong and healthy body will improve their athletic performance.
● Play other sports like volleyball or soccer. Participating in other sports can strengthen their footwork and overall endurance.
● Learn to play chess and play a musical instrument. They’ll have a better grasp on strategic thinking and get an intuitive feeling for rhythm and timing.
● Watch fencing videos on YouTube and enjoy swordfighting movies. Inspiring a love for the sport will help them stick with it!
Critical Thinking & Fencing Mindfulness
Approaching each fencing bout calmly and objectively will turn you into a better fencer. Here are some simple tips on how you can use your mental game to improve your fencing:
● Pick an actionable, positive, calming, easily repeatable word or phrase to help you stay focused.
● Right after your opponent scores on you, identify where they hit you, what the action was, and how you can either counter the action or prevent them from doing it again.
● Carefully study your opponent to identify exploitable openings. For example: Does their weapon arm leave six exposed? Do they take big steps whenever they’re about to attack? Do they pull their arm back in the middle of their attack?
● Test out different actions and footwork sequences on your opponents to see how they react. For example, if suddenly advancing and extending your arm provokes a parry, set up a disengage with that action.
Getting More From Lessons & Classes
● Figure out one or two key actions or techniques you want to work on during a private lesson and inform your instructor.
● Practice whatever you worked on during a private lesson in a fencing bout right away, whether it’s with your instructor or another fencer at the club.
● Come to every class with one or two actions that you’re going to focus on when it’s time for everyone to fence.
Preparing for Open Fencing
Open fencing at Swordplay LA is a great opportunity for you to get some extra practice. Here are some tips for how you can get the most out of these practice sessions:
● Set achievable and measurable goals before you arrive at the club. For example: “I will score at least three touches with a feint disengage” or “I will fence at least two 10-touch bouts.”
● Go through a 10-15 minute warm-up routine before you begin fencing. Your warm-up should make you break a light sweat, not exhaust you. A typical warm-up can include stretches, footwork sequences, and basic bladework practice.
● If you lose a bout, talk to your opponent or a nearby coach about the match. Ask them for insight about what the other fencer was doing right, what you were doing wrong, and what you can do differently next time.