Coaching Thoughts


2 Nice articles courtesy of Epee Duck via Fencing.net on Fencing Problem Solving & Distance Concepts.

Check it out by hitting the links below..

Problem Solving

Distance 



Advanced Bouting Course #4


#4       Friday 16th August 2013. Melbourne University Fencing Hall.

abc-course-1st-feb-2013.jpg

 

 A.B.C

Advanced Bouting Course (Class IV) 

“Strength and Weakness Analysis 1.1.”  

Want to improve your Fencing bouting and make it to the next level? 

Come along to the next event of a series for 2013 of Advanced Bouting Courses, a collaboration between Australian Team representatives and Coaches Chris Jones & Olympian Scott Arnold, assisted by 2011 National Foil Champion and Coach Steve Glaister, and learn the secrets of timing and opponent manipulation.

Our fourth 2.5 hour class of Fencing drills, Theory and open discussion designed to broaden your mind and possibly change the way you see and bout for ever! 

For the fee of $20 per person, our 2.5 hour course will be held at Melbourne University

(Melbourne Uni FC Upstairs in East Basketball Court – on Tin Alley) 

This course - a combination of Theory, open discussion and Practical’s is targeted at all established competitive fencers.  [ Foil, Epee, Sabre ]

on Friday the 16th August @ 6pm. 

Please note you will need to bring your own equipment to fence the practical side of the session.



Advanced Bouting Course #2


Sword Fighters Australia is proud to announce the second installment of the Adanced Bouting Course

 Friday 1st February at Melbourne UniLink

This was be the first of 4 installments for 2013.

Following on from the successful introductory session in 2012. This event will focus on timing, preparation and continue the thread of last years session, advancing through some of the processes to improve your understanding, focus your fencing and your competitive skills.

Anyone interested is invited to attend future forums.

More details available, if you’d like more info or to register please email Chris chris@swordfightersaustralia.com



Fencing Article - Some Psychological Strategies


A nice little read of an article written by Joe Capristo (US ex competitive fencer / coach of a local club).

Gives a few ideas of Psychological ideas for competitive advantage.

Link Yahoo Article 



New Epee Screws


There are new screws on the market, that apparently are easier to keep the tip in the barrel, and easier to line up with the screw-driver, will be interesting to see if it changes the designs in the future..

epee-screw.jpg

Fencing.net Article Link 



Sword Fighters Australia Collaboration Forum


Fencing A.B.C

Advanced Bouting Course (class 1) 

Want to improve your Fencing bouting and make it to the next level? 

Want to know the secrets of World and Olympic Champions and learn from the people who have travelled this path.  

Come along to the first of a series of Advanced Bouting Courses, a collaboration between Australian Team representatives and Coaches Chris Jones & Olympian Scott Arnold, assisted by National Foil Champion Steve Glaister, and learn the secrets of timing and opponent manipulation. 

Our first 2 hour class of Theory, open discussion and practical’s designed to broaden your mind and possibly change the way you see and bout for ever! 

For the introductory fee of $10 per person, our first 2 hour course will be held at Melbourne University (Melbourne Uni FC Upstairs in East Basketball Court – on Tin Alley) -: Tonight October the 12th @ 6pm.

(NB parking is difficult around that time)

This course - a combination of Theory, open discussion and Practical’s is targeted at all established competitive fencers.  (min 2 years competitive experience), foil and sabre and épée.

There are limited spaces so be quick! 

See “Events” page above for application and entry details.

Download Sword Fighters Australia Collaboration Forum.

 

details also on the FV website 



Fencing “Right of Way”


A Great Article on the “Right of Way/Priority” in Fencing…

Courtesy of Scherma.org

Have a read; Link

Ed.

Wouldnt it be good if everyone was taught like this…? 



What makes a good “Athletes Parent” ?


Great article on www.thepostgame.com on what makes an Athletes Parent a “Good Parent”

Interesting read, check it out.. Link



Rule Change


The FIE has announced a change of regulation to the ruling 

t.28.1            If a competitor crosses one the lateral boundaries of the piste, they must step back one metre from the point where they left the piste; and if they go off the piste during an attack they must return to the position they occupied when they started their attack and then step back a further metre

[but cf t.29 still remains] A competitor who involuntarily crosses one of the boundaries of the strip as the result of any accidental cause (such as jostling) incurs no penalty whatever.



Injury Prevention


Fencing.Net has a good article on Common Injuries in Fencing and Prevention.

Commonly Elbow and Knee (Tendonitis).

Check out the link



Sabre… Dangerous?


Following on from a blog on 26th June,

The FIE has moved to improve the safety in Sabre, especially with the glove/gauntlet.

Fencing.net has an article on improvements being made Link 



Guide to Fencing Shoes


Fencing.net has a great article on which Fencing shoes to buy..

Its a pretty common question most coaches get asked.. so have a read of the link 



Fencing Victoria Referee Course


If you’d like to learn more about refereeing and get your first level.FV will be conducting a course on Sunday May 29th.A brief overview of the session.

 Unit 1 – Overview,

Unit 2 – The Role of the Referee

Unit 3 – People Management

Unit 4 – Environment Management

Unit 5 – Self Management

Unit 6 – Decision Making

For more details go to www.Fencingvictoria.org



Australian National Champions 2010


Following the Australian National Champions in Brisbane for AFF #4
The 6 National Champions kindly offered to answer a series of questions on their results and “Achievements” for the Competition and their careers.


Australian National Champion 2010Mens Foil Joe Slowiaczek NSW.


1. When and why did you start Fencing?
A:I started fencing as an after school activity in 2000 at Primary School.
I thought it looked a fun thing to do, my mother told me I wouldn’t like it…she was wrong!! 
 
2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favourite, and where would you love to Fence?
A:Countries I’ve competed in are;

Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey

I’ve also trained in Italy (Pisa & Rome) China (Shanghai and Guangzhou) Madrid and London.

My favorite country is probably France, but my favorite country I’ve fenced in would have to be Spain, there are lots of good fencing memories for me there because that is where in 2006 I achieved 3rd place in a junior world cup.
 
3. What was your motivation for winning the 2010 National Fencing Championships?
A: To start to return to the level I was at a few of years ago, and then to go on and improve.

4. Do you think Fencing in France in the World Champs helped you?
A: It’s been a while since I competed overseas, so it was a helpful reminder and incentive.
 
5. Now (that you won this year) what are your future goals? 
A: I would love to make it to the Olympics. 
 
 6. Why do you believe you succeeded this year?
A: I put it down to drive, motivation and experience this year, I have come close in the past and I knew that this year was the year for me.
 
 7. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years? 
A: I would have to say my fencing. I was more calm, controlled and driven at this comp than I have been in previous years.
 

8. Whats next for you in 2010/2011? (Training, Break, Travel?)

A: A short Christmas break, then back to training, I’d like to compete overseas next year, especially in Asia, but the cost is always an issue.


9. What competitions will you do Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2011?

A: This will all be determined by finances, but hopefully the Asian competitions.


10. Can you give us a motto/philosophy you follow in your fencing? (for future Australian champions)

A: History favors the brave, it has been a motto and a state of mind that I have tried to adopt throughout my entire fencing game. I have seen so many people lose bouts because they have been scared or hesitant in there actions, and I know I have won many points I possibly should not have won, by putting everything on the line and just doing what, deep down I know I can do.


11. If you could provide encouragement for Juniors coming through what would it be?

A: Even the World’s top fencers have bad competitions, try and learn from them if they happen, and not be discouraged, believe in yourself and know you can never stop learning.


Thanks So much Joe..



Fencing Video


There are a number of videos on the web, and this Youtube one is well done:  Youtube Link.
This is a slow motion foil fencing clip of Ota JPN v Sanzo ITA Youtube Link.
There are many videos on parries, footwork etc and sometimes its not so easy to pick the technically correct ones from the not so good ones! ;)
I suggest you speak to your coach after watching a few.  Fencing.net has a nice collection.

And then there are the zany!! search Youtube for Painmen Fencing. ouch.



Australian National Champions 2010


Following the Australian National Champions in Brisbane for AFF #4

The 6 National Champions kindly offered to answer a series of questions on their results and “Achievements” for the Competition and their careers.

 

Australian National Champion 2010Womens Epee Evelyn Halls Vic.

 

1. When and why did you start Fencing?
A:.
 I started fencing at school when I was about 10 – my sister Jo wanted to learn and they needed an extra person to make up the class.
 
 
2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favourite, and where would you love to Fence?
A:
 I have lost count of how many countries I have competed in (it has been more than 20 years since I started competing internationally!). My favourite place to compete is probably Budapest, as that’s where I won my first World Cup medal in 1997, only 18 months after switching from foil to epee.
 
 
3. What was your motivation for winning the 2010 National Fencing Championships?
A:
 I am always motivated to win the National Championships. In the past, my performances in Australia have not always been as good as overseas, so that’s something I am trying to make up for now! I’m always trying to set new goals to challenge myself – eg at the moment, I have 8 National titles to my name, so I’m chasing Helen (9) and Frankie (11).

4. Do you think Fencing in France in the World Champs helped you?
A: France was the first World Champs I’ve been to for 3 years, so it helped me reacquaint myself with fencing at the top level again.
 
5. Now (that you won again this year) what are your future goals? 
A:
 At the moment, fencing is third priority in my life, behind my family and my career, so my training time is limited and my fencing goals need to fit with the other things in my life. I would like to try and achieve some decent results in international competitions again, although it remains to be seen whether this is realistic. I would also like to try and win a National title in each of my teens, 20s, 30s, 40s (and 50s!).  
 
 
6.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?
A:
 I think that my understanding of epee fencing and my use of the correct tactics in all my matches allowed me to overcome my limited preparation.
 
 
7. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years? 
A:
 I was happier with the standard of my fencing this year, as compared to last year when it was not so pretty to watch ….
 

8. Whats next for you in 2010/2011? (Training, Break, Travel?)

A: Back to work and tracking down some great presents to bring a smile to Gabby’s face on Christmas Day! I need to try and find some time to improve my general fitness and also my footwork, which is not quite good enough for international fencing at the moment.

 

9. What competitions will you do Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2011?

A: Subject to work commitments, I would like to try and do a couple of World Cups, Asian Champs and World Champs.

 

10. Can you give us a motto/philosophy you follow in your fencing? (for future Australian champions)

A: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” (Thomas Edison)

 

11. If you could provide encouragement for Juniors coming through what would it be?

A: Fencing is a difficult sport to master – rather than trying to improve everything at once, I have found that the best approach is to focus on fixing your 1 or 2 biggest faults, tailor your lessons, bouting and footwork practice to target those for the weeks, months (or even years!) it takes to improve, before moving on to the next area for improvement, and so on, and so on …..

 

Thanks So much..



Australian National Champions 2010


Following the Australian National Champions in Brisbane for AFF #4

The 6 National Champions kindly offered to answer a series of questions on their results and “Achievements” for the Competition and their careers.


Australian National Champion 2010Mens Sabre Sutherlan Scudds WA.


1. When and why did you start Fencing?
A: I started fencing when I was 7. My mother found a pamphlet on a club called Notre Dame Knights.
 
 
2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favourite, and where would you love to Fence?
A: So, so many. I think about 20 at least. Paris this year takes the cake, that competition was amazing, the French know how to put on a good competition. As far as training goes, I want to continue fencing in Italy, as it is a wonderful place. Korea and China also interest me. But for competitions I am open to anywhere. Not Bulgaria again though. 
 
 
3. What was your motivation for winning the 2010 National Fencing Championships?
A:To be remembered. I had one a few National rounds over the last few years, but nothing really matters when compared to the championships. It means a lot to me to have my name on that sabre trophy.

4. Do you think Fencing in France in the World Champs helped you?
A: Absolutly! Perhaps not as much as the camp with the italian team before but I fenced World Championships very well, by far the best I have ever fenced out of Australia and it did my confidence a world of good.
 
5. Now (that you won this year) what are your future goals? 
A: I want to go to the Olympics, but not just to have one bout and then watch, I want to be competitive. I want to improve my ranking from 100 in the world to around 70, and start making at least top 64’s regularly at world cup level. And of course, keep winning National Championships.
 
 
6.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?
A: I trained hard. Simple but true, I don’t see myself as the most natural athlete in the world but I moved states and started training (gym and fencing) 6 days a week, often doing two-a-days. It’s the same approach I will have next year.
 
 
7. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years? 
A: I think I can attribute a lot to my new coach Antonio Signorello, he opened my eyes to the way sabre is fenced internationally and has improved my fencing ten-fold.
 

8. Whats next for you in 2010/2011? (Training, Break, Travel?)

A: Have a few days off till the weekend, then back to training. Summer will be mainly fitness and one-on-one lessons with my coach. In late January we will start fencing again. No breaks though, I am still to far behind the best in the world I need to take all the chances of catching up given to me. Then from January I will be back to full time training.


9. What competitions will you do Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2011?

A: I think we will do three world cups following April when Olympic qualifiers start. They will be Athenes, Madrid (Spain) and Varsovie (Poland). After that we have Asian Championship in July in Korea and then finally World Championships in Italy.


 

10. Can you give us a motto/philosophy you follow in your fencing? (for future Australian champions)

A: Success come to those who train the hardest.


11. If you could provide encouragement for Juniors coming through what would it be?

 

A: Stick with the sport, it is a growing sport, especially in Australia. If you become good at fencing it will not only be reflected in your Fencing results, but in all other areas of your life.


Thanks So much..



Australian National Champions 2010


Following the Australian National Champions in Brisbane for AFF #4

The 6 National Champions kindly offered to answer a series of questions on their results and “Achievements” for the Competition and their careers.


Australian National Champion 2010Womens Sabre Caitlin Taylor Vic/ USA.

1. When and why did you start Fencing?
A: I had been a dancer all my life and wanted to try something new. After watching Pirates of the Caribbean, I started fencing in February 2007. 
 
2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favourite, and where would you love to Fence?
A: I’ve only fenced in Australia and the United States (I’ve held off on world cup events until now in order to represent Australia internationally). I enjoy every country I visit and the ability to experience different cultures. I would love to fence in India. 
 
 
3. What was your motivation for winning the 2010 National Fencing Championships?
A: I really wanted to make a good impression on my new teammates, the coaches, and other Australian Fencing affiliates 
J

4. Do you think Fencing internationally France has helped you?
A: Training in France helped me tremendously: the coaches showed me different techniques, and the teammates taught me how to enjoy every detail in the sport of fencing.
 
5. Now (that you won this year) what are your future goals? 
A: After winning this year, I hope to help team Australia qualify for the Olympics and do well, both individually and as a team, internationally. 
 
 
6.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?
A: I have a passion for fencing, and work my absolute hardest to attain the goals I set for myself. 
 
 
7. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years? 
A: I trained intelligently, both on and off the strip, keeping all parts of my game at the highest intensity I am capable of at the moment. 
 

8. Whats next for you in 2010/2011? (Training, Break, Travel?)

A: I will continue studying at Brown University in the United States while simultaneously training for upcoming tournaments (collegiately, nationally, and internationally).

 

9. What competitions will you do Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2011?

A: I hope to do as many Junior and Senior World Cup events as I can this season.

 

10. Can you give us a motto/philosophy you follow in your fencing? (for future Australian champions)

A: Hard work, dedication, and a smile can get you anywhere if you put your mind and body to the task at hand. 

11. If you could provide encouragement for Juniors coming through what would it be?

A: Fencing is an amazing sport that offers opportunity, excitement, and the best friends you could ever ask for. Try your best and go for it!



Fencing book


If you are an interested parent or have just finished a fencing class yourself, and need more information on Fencing:  Here is a great little book to continue your interest in the sport.

Fencing: Steps To Success” Author Elaine Cheris

email chris@swordfightersaustralia.com to enquire about one!

Or Download the order form: Fencing Book Order Form

“Steps To Success”



Referee Interpretations


Fencing is a sport where refereeing is Ultimately important and ‘interpretation’ is fundamental to the match decision….
All 3 weapons have their unique technical points ( and are taught to include them ).
Here is one of them for Foil courtesy of Youtube:  Link 
The definitions / interpretations may have changed over the years.

What is yours for this one? ! 

For those who need to know the answer : Link as defined by Techneical Directoire  Mr Ioan Popp.

There are a number of Fencing clips now available via the web, and you may have found it difficult to find examples prior to the ability of “being able to broadcast yourself”… now it seems anyone can do it!
Good examples (previous example shown here) and others…unfortunately can be seen….
For discerning viewers, A Qualified Coach is a good person to ask if your not sure. 



Australian National Champions 2008


Inspiration of National Champions:

Following is an amalgamation / analysis of the Answers….
 
Dependant on where you started fencing (3 came from China) there are a range of ages when all started fencing, thus there is no perfect age to start fencing…anyone can win!.
All have roughly 10 years of competitive fencing, and most have won Nationals prior to 2008.
The Belief in Winning the Nationals: Practice, preparation and mental strength, belief in yourself, doing thorough footwork and being mentally prepared.
Inspiration: A couple of boxers and influential figures (U.S President Barak Obama) and guardians.

Most will take a break at the end of the season…. Working to pay the way for competitions etc.
International competitions should be the aim, but you’ll only improve if all the required preparation is done, fitness and mental preparation – preparing to win.
Words of Wisdom: Train hard, don’t get hit, self confidence and belief, practice basics at beginning and end of session, read and learn from other champions, hard work and discipline, train hard then harder… a common theme.
A description of fencing in a word: Fencing is a metaphor for life, its in the blood, its fun, its discipline.

Thanks once again to all the 6 Australian National Champions of 2008:
E. Halls, Z. Casagrande, Y. Ping, Z. Huang, S. Leitch, M. Du.
 
 

Christmas Gifts - Birthday Presents; Gift Voucher World is the place



Australian National Champions 2008


Inspiration of National Champions:

Instalment number 6 : Min Yi Du Winner of Open Womens Sabre 2008

1. Why did you start Fencing?
A: As you may know, I started fencing in China, where personal choice then was not really an option. I was simply selected for the sport by a coach. It would be appropriate to say that fencing chose me.

2. How many years have you been fencing?
A: 30 years

3. What was your inspiration for winning the 2008 National Fencing Championships?
A: Because I have a competitive desire, to be the best at anything I do. Maybe it is a kind of neurosis, I am not sure.

4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirations?
A: Maybe to be well placed or even win an international individual competition.

5. Why do you believe you won?
A: Well, I had put in a lot of hard work perhaps a little more than others. My training regime is quite strict and fencing in every sense is a part of my life. I suppose when you are that committed to anything I believe success naturally follows.

6. Who would you like to meet? (As an Inspiration to you?)
A: Muhammed Ali, I am impressed with his determination and self confidence.

7. What’s next for you in 2008? (Training, Break, Work?)
A:Perhaps a little break from training and more time for recreational fitness exercise.

8. What comps will you do (International) if any in 2009?
A: All the national competitions and at least one international

9. Can you give us some words of wisdom for future Australian champions?
A: Read as much as you can about the Autobiography of Champion athletes. Their stories are often inspiring and can teach a lot about determination, self confidence, self belief etc. Again, Muhammad Ali is a case in point. Believe in yourself.

10. If you could sum up Fencing in one word, what would it be?
A: Fencing is a metaphor to life.

Thanks So Much Min Yi Du, 



Australian National Champions 2008


Inspiration of National Champions:

Instalment number 5 : Simon Leitch Winner of Open Mens Sabre 2008 
 
1. Why did you start Fencing?
A:I saw it advertised at a local PCYC and went along with some friends from school.  Before i knew what had happened they got me with their jedi mind trick and had me fencing at other clubs as well…..resistance was futile…
 
2. How many years have you been fencing?
A:About 13 years, but that clumsy stuff i did for the first 4 years can hadly be considered ‘fencing’. 
 
3. What was your inspiration for winning the 2008 National Fencing Championships?
A: If i won a friend was going to buy me a Hungry jack’s Ultimate Double Whopper….i still have not received it and im getting pretty annoyed just thinking about it.
 
4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirtations? 
A: In 2002 we won a sliver medal in team sabre at commonwealth championships and i always hoped we could improve on that one day.
 
5. Why do you believe you won?
A: I trained much harder than anyone else for the last 10 years very consistently, and in the lead up to the competition i was able to prepare myself physically despite having hand surgery and a broken bone or two.
 
6. Who would you like to meet? (As an Inspiration to you?)
A: George Foreman

 
7. Whats next for you in 2008? (Training, Break, Work?)
A: Got to go back to work and train for some boxing competitions early next year.   

8. What comps will you do (International) if any in 2009?
A: Not sure, even the mention of international competition is making me feel pain in my wallet, as impossible as that may seem.  

9. Can you give us some words of wisdom for future Australian champions?
A: Practice the basics at the start, middle and end of a session, because the person who can do the basics faster, stronger and with better timing usually wins.  

10. If you could sum up Fencing in one word, what would it be?
A: Supercalafrickingawesome  

Thanks So Much Simon,

Keep an eye out for more instalments



Australian National Champions 2008


Inspiration of National Champions 

Instalment number 4 : Zhen ‘Harry’ Huang Winner of Open Mens Foil 2008

1. Why did you start Fencing?
A: I had been picked up at my school by the fencing coach
 
2. How many years have you been fencing?
A: I have been fencing 13 years
 
3. What was your inspiration for winning the 2008 National Fencing Championships?
A: I just concentrated on every single point.
 
4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirtations? 
A: I’ll try to do my best to win it again.
 
5.Why do you believe you won?
A: Because I am hungry to be the champion.
 
6. Who would you like to meet? (As an Inspiration to you?)
A: I wanted to meet Joe and Frank, they are strong fencers in Australia.

 
7. What’s next for you in 2008? (Training, Break, Work?)
A: I felt I am not fit enough.  I need more training to keep fit for next year.  

8. What comps will you do (International) if any in 2009?
A: I am not fit enough, I cant go to International comps at the moment.  
 
9. Can you give us some words of wisdom for future Australian champions?
A: Ambition. Hunger.

10. If you could sum up Fencing in one word, what would it be?
A: Resourcefulness

Thanks Harry, 

Keep an eye out for more instalments



Australian National Champions 2008


Inspiration of National Champions:

Instalment number 3 : Yuan Ping Winner of Open Womens Foil 2008
 
1. Why did you start Fencing?
A: I started doing basketball because I was selected by the basketball teacher, but then a fencing teacher found me and asked if I was interested in fencing.  I enjoyed the challenge of fencing and it seemed a “gentleman” sport.

2. How many years have you been fencing?
A: 12 years

3. What was your inspiration for winning the 2008 National Fencing Championships?
A: I had come to NZ to help coach at Hutt Valley Fencing Club and Susan (my Host) suggested I should fence and try to win the Australian Championship. 

4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirations? 
A: I want to attend the Asian Championships in 2010 and maybe in 2012 I want to attend the Olympic Games in London.

5. Why do you believe you won?
A: 12 years of hard work in China for 9 hours a day, six days a week.  I was focused during the competition on what I would need to do to beat each of my opponents.  And I ate a banana for breakfast. :)

6. Who would you like to meet? (As an Inspiration to you?)
A: My Mum.  I miss her.

7. What’s next for you in 2008? (Training, Break, Work?)
A: I travel tomorrow to Auckland to help coach some fencers there for a couple of weeks. 

8. What comps will you do (International) if any in 2009?
A: One or two Australian competitions, depending on my finances.

9. Can you give us some words of wisdom for future Australian Champions?
A: Train hard and don’t get hit.

10. If you could sum up Fencing in one word, what would it be?
A: Fun (and a challenge).

Thanks So Much Yuan Ping.

Keep an eye out for other instalments… 



Australian National Champions 2008


Inspiration of National Champions 

Instalment number 2 : Zac Casagrande Winner of Open Mens Epee 2008
 
1. Why did you start Fencing?
A:
  I had always wanted to try it but didn’t get the opportunity until my second year of university. The beginner’s course was cheap so I thought, why not? 
 
2. How many years have you been fencing?
A:
  About 12 years.
  
3. What was your inspiration for winning the 2008 national fencing championships?
A:
  Quite simply, from the first time I went to nationals in 1997 I have wanted to be the epee champion. I like to win.
 
4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirations? 
A:
  Keep winning competitions. Make the Australian team for Commonwealth Fencing Championships (2010). Qualify for the Olympics (2012)
 
5. Why do you believe you won?
A:
  Hard work, experience and being in the right frame of mind for the competition. 
 
6. Who would you like to meet? (as an inspiration to you?)
A:
   John Eales, former Australian rugby union captain (I have actually met him, it was great).

 7. Whats next for you in 2008? (training, break, work?)
A:  Straight back to work (need to pay the mortgage). Back to training this Saturday. Small break for Christmas. 

8. What comps will you do (international) if any in 2009?
A:  If I could afford it, I’d do the world cup events in the middle east and Europe. Unfortunately, I cant’ afford it, so I will likely do ‘Challenge Australia’ (provided it occurs) and Asian Championships in Qatar (provided I make the team).

9. Can you give us some words of wisdom for future Australian champions?
A:  There is no substitute for hard work and determination.
 

10. If you could sum up fencing in one word, what would it be?
A:
  Discipline 
 
Thanks So Much Zac,

Keep an eye out for more installments



Australian National Champions 2008


Sword Fighters Australia brings to you a series of Interviews with the

Open National Fencing Champions of 2008 (Sydney).

Entitled : Inspiration of National Champions

Instalment number 1 : Evelyn Halls Winner of Open Womens Epee 2008

1. Why did you start Fencing?
Evelyn’s Answer: I started fencing when i was at primary school. My sister (Jo) was keen to take up the sport but there were not enough students interested for the class to go ahead - until my parents volunteered me!
 
2. How many years have you been fencing?
A:. I should decline to answer that question on the grounds that it makes me feel really old - however, I will say the answer is a number larger than 20!
 
3. What was your inspiration for winning the 2008 National Fencing Championships?
A:. I have only returned to fencing in the last month or so (after taking 14 months off) and only have time to train once a week. My inspiration was to prove to myself that i could still be competitive and to win my first national title since my daughter Gabriella was born!
 
4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirations? 
A:. The demands of my job and looking after my daughter mean that my future aspirations for fencing are likely to be minimal. At the moment, I am just happy for fencing to be a part of my life again.
 
5. Why do you believe you won?
A:. I think that I managed to use my skills of distance and timing effectively and made very few mistakes (which fortunately made up for my lack of fitness!). Also, I couldn’t have won without the support of my husband Peter in encouraging me to start fencing again and looking after Gabby during my competition.
 
6. Who would you like to meet? (As an Inspiration to you)
 A:. There is no one in particular I would like to meet. In a fencing sense, I always love watching the great epeeists - in particular, Pavel Kolobkov. More generally, I would be interested to meet Barack Obama - to discover what he is like behind the public persona.
 
7. What’s next for you in 2008? (Training, Break, Work?)
A:  Next for me is work, work and more work!! I’m also looking forward to celebrating Christmas with Gabby, now she is starting to understand what it’s all about.
 
8. What comp’s will you do (International) if any in 2009?
A:  I’m unlikely to do any international competitions next year. It’s possible I might decide to go to the World Cup in China in May. The main problem is that I find it too hard to leave Gabby, even for a weekend!
 
9. Can you give us some words of wisdom for future Australian champions?
A: My advice to future Australian champions is to train hard. And then train harder. Also, to figure out what it is you want from fencing, and what role it should play in your life. My advice to those with international aspirations is that you don’t need to go overseas to become a good fencer - there is plenty of work which can be done right here at home.
 
10. If you could sum up Fencing in one word, what would it be?
A:  Fencing is in my blood (and in Gabby’s too!) - not one word, i know!

Thanks EvelynKeep an eye out for other installments.. 



Fencing Tip of the Week


July 2008 [17]

Counter Parry Riposte

Definition; An attack that follows the parry of an opponents’ riposte.

Intent: The intent is to parry the attack and hit with your riposte.  One of the most important facets of fencing is a planned or second intention response.  CPP is a classic example.

Practice: Lunge at target (board or training opponent), and remain in Lunge position, then practice a Parry and Riposte, vary the type of Parry.   The Lunge is purposefully performed to get a reaction so must be threatening in intent.

Tip: Its all timing and distance.  Judge the lunge and remain balanced to parry and riposte at the correct distance.



Fencing Tip of the Week


July 2008 [16]

Coupe / Cut Over

Definition; A double movement - An attacking move, blade cuts back over/through opponents and then quickly forward to touch the target. 

Intent: A surprise attack, often catches the opponent off guard when cutting through their blade.  Intent can be a fast purposeful controlled movement which is performed, catching the opponent in a forward foot movement.

Practice: small cutting movements are faster and harder to stop, practice a quick cut and strong thumb movement towards the target without a blade first. Forearm strength is also very useful to quicken the forward movment.

Tip: When using a practice board, keep the point stationary on the target after hitting, helping to control “touch”.



Fencing Tip of the Week


July 2008 [15]

Fleche

Definition; An Arrow, generally faster than a lunge, the bodyweight leans towards the target and both legs spring the torso towards the opponent, whilst the back leg crosses over and the body weight lands on it first.

Intent: Very fast attack striking at correct distance in an arrow like movement.

Practice: In matches try not to use too often, this keeps the surprise factor.  Often in Epee it can be a great alternative to lunging if repeatedly getting hit in a counter attack.  Practice in a lesson getting the point out before starting the fleche.

Tip: A straight line is faster than a curving one, keep the blade horizontal at eye height making it more difficult for opponent to judge the distance of the point moving forward.



Fencing Tip of the Week


July 2008 [14]

Parry Octave (8)

Definition; A defensive action, blocking the blade in low outside plane, hand supinated, forearm (and thus) tip below the hand.

Intent: Block an attack into low line towards leading leg / hip. 

Practice: Start En Guard in position 6, sweep blade inside, down and out, stopping in alignment with outside of thigh (a ‘ C ‘ shape for right hander’s).  In front of  a mirror, draw a ‘ C ’ from top to bottom.

Tip: keep the elbow down and slightly ‘tucked’ in this will result in a stronger forearm block and reduce larger movements from occurring. 



Fencing Tip of the Week


June 2008 [13]

Point in Line

Definition; Priority gained (prior to opponent) by extending point and Arm first and maintaining a horizontal plane directly at opponent.

Intent: Take priority prior to opponent, catching opponent into performing a counter attack, often performed whilst stationery, or during one step back.

Practice: Fast controlled movement of the point and blade ending in a stationery blade, with a partner, practice the Point in Line before the lunge of the other fencer begins

Tip: A controlled hand and still point make the action more effective and observable to the referee.  A mirror is an effective tool to keep the blade steady and observe the referees sight of the action (side view).



Fencing Tip of the Week


June 2008 [12]

Parry Seconde (2)

Definition; Low line Parry, in outside line, hand pronated at pelvis height, point level at thigh / knee level.  More commonly used in Sabre, when defending the gauntlet.

Intent: To Parry down and outward quickly, often used as a variation and unexpected.

Practice: Defender stationary, attacker lunges at gauntlet, defender quick wrist & forearm  movement inside and down in parrying action, followed by riposte preferably to attackers (Sabre & Epee) wrist / arm.

Tip: Try not to twist the elbow too severely, which can lead to tendonitis and similar injuries.  As with most effective parries, a simultaneous small backward step, is very effective in increasing distance and allowing more time for the parry + riposte.



Fencing Tip of the Week


June 2008 [11]

Counter Attack

Defintion; An attack performed after the opponent’s. (In Foil and Sabre it will not receive a point unless the opponents attack misses).

Intent: To preferably stop an attack in its tracks, thus taking over and achieving a hit.  Often in Foil and Sabre, the intent was to start first but didn’t in the referee’s opinion. In Epee a counter attack is performed to hit first as the target is closer than before.

Practice: An understanding of what is an attack is important before attempting, lunging into an attack is a practical situation, however the best scenario is that the first attack misses.  Stand just outside lunge distance with a partner and wait until the opponent starts attack, then lunge into it aiming for the chest (or weapon arm)

Tip: A fast counter attack is usually more successful, so short sharp movements directly into the chest



Fencing Tip of the Week


June 2008 [10]

Parry Quinte (5)

Definition; A parry in a high almost horizontal line (point away from body) above and in front of the mask, hand pronated with point in a position above hand, commonly used in Sabre.

Intent: To defend a head cut, full intention is to defend / parry and block blade completely, followed by a fast forward moving (usually head cut) riposte.

Practice: makes perfect, like every move in Sabre, if it’s not right, it won’t be able to be repeated successfully. Start slowly.

Tip: practice without a blade, to begin thumb and forefinger together “twist inside” from en guarde up to thumb inside, whilst raising the elbow up, stop hand at head height.



Fencing Tip of the Week


June 2008 [9]

The Balestra

By Definition; A ballistic forward hop / jump, usually preceding an attack

Intent: Surprise and speed to catch the opponent unprepared or unawares. Faster than a step forward and more controlled than a jump, the acceleration gained by a balestra ensures a faster lunge or fleche

Practice: Move each foot independently, start with the front toe, lift foot up and down in quick motion ‘slapping’ the foot flat on the floor, the back foot jumps forward in the force used to bring the front foot down 

Tip: Practice both left and right handed, which improves coordination, the shorter the balestra the faster the lunge follows.  For a right hander lift front toes up and down then whole foot and then slap it down on the floor.  Practice  jumping forward with the back foot, then both at the same time.



Overtraining


Training; such a word conjurs up so many thoughts, laps of an oval or hall, repeated actions, fast & slow movements, weights, blood, sweat, tears and so on… But what is the perfect training schedule?

The general consensus is the more you do the better you get. 

But take note here of an article via fencing.net on the Chinese Fencing Team [link here



Fencing Tip of the Week


May 2008 [8]

The Parry Sixte (6)

By Definition; a circular defensive movement, starting in En Guard position and circling in an outward movement finishing in (the original) En Guard (6) position, hand is slightly supinated, used to defend an attack.

Intent: Hiding intent is an important facet to a strong fencer.  Defensive changes of parries are very important.  Full control needs to be maintained during the entire action to control the attackers blade.

Practice:  Face a mirror and practice circling the point inwards and up towards outside line, stop fractionally in 6 position before riposte begins.

Tip: Practice often, by mixing up defensive parries makes a fencer unpredictable.  Keep the elbow down and use forearm to stop sideways movement.  Use a stiffer blade (in the beginning)  to control the circular movement…



Fencing Tip of the Week


May 2008 [7]

The Disengage  By definition; is an offensive action using a spiral or circular blade movement towards the target, evading the defence, with a continuously forward moving arm, and touching. 

Intent:  The purpose is to evade your opponents defence.  Also to make your opponent try to parry the attack, then evade the defence with a deft movement, continuing the attack and touching.

Practice:  One of the most important moves to master.  The smaller (and faster) your movements are the harder they are to see.  Draw the smallest circle you can with the tip clockwise and counter-clockwise.  The blade should continue forward towards the target during the disengage action. 

Tip:  practice, practice, practice.  Stop each disengage movement (completely still) before practicing the next one, control is the key to using the Disengage upon command. …



Fencing Tip of the Week


May 2008 [6]

The Riposte

By definition; is an offensive hitting or touching action immediately following a defensive parry.  

Intent:  Is immediate and aimed at the target, timing is essential, speed comes with technique and through repeated practice.

Practice:  With purpose, the fingers should start first, then the arm straightens from the elbow. Once the target is pinpointed the acceleration of the hand directs the blade directly at the target.   

Tip:  Touch is key in fencing, practice leaving the arm fully extended and point of weapon touching the target; muscle memory will lead to ‘an instinctive feel’ of distance and touch, before withdrawing back to en guard position…



Fencing Tip of the Week


May 2008 [5]

The Parry Quarte (4)

By Defintion: is a defensive action moving the opponent’s blade from one line to another by a blocking action performed with the bottom third of the blade.  For a right hander the blade moves left from an open en guard (position 6) and it is opposite for a left hander.  The hand is slightly supinated (with the point facing forward towards opponent).

Intent: Direction is important, knocking the opponent’s weapon sideways (or down) away from an attacking position.  The weapon stops for a moment in time in the Parry 4 position, (before usually moving forward to riposte).

Practice: With purpose, the fingers should start first, then with forearm strength knock the blade away.  Relax entire body before action begins; therefore not ‘telegraphing’ your intent.

Tip: stand in front of a mirror and move weapon arm side to side, elbow down, keep the hand in alignment with each side of the body, increase speed, but stop stationary in each side for a split second.  Keep the weapon point facing forwards towards target.



Fencing Tip of the Week


April 2008 [4]

The Beat

By definition; is an offensive action moving the opponent’s blade from one line to another by a bouncing action performed with the top third of the blade.

Intent:  Direction is important, knocking the opponent’s weapon sideways or down away from a defensive position.  Ideally a reaction is sought to evade the opponents defence, or to startle and attack swiftly to score a point on an opponent.

Practice:  With purpose, the fingers should start first, then with forearm strength knock the blade away, the hand and point should then move swiftly towards the target and touch.  Relax entire body before action begins; therefore not ‘telegraphing’ your intent.

Tip:  Place a blade in front of a practice target (or a practice partner).  Bounce the weapon off the opponent’s, to gain feel and touch.  Then increase speed of the beat and of the forward moving arm, eventually a situation will be reached where the opponents’ reaction is not fast enough to stop the touch occurring…



Fencing Tip of the Week


April 2008 [3]

The Feint Attack

By definition; is an attack into One line with the intention of switching to another line before the attack finishes.

Intent: Direction is important, the desired result of a feint is a reaction from the opponent, either by hand, foot, body movement or perception.  Confusion is a great way to score a point on an opponent.

Practice: With purpose, the arm should start first, fore-mostly determining distance of the target, secondly creating the line and direction to the false target.

Tip: When beginning, plan the intended target to hit and practice false attacks, start slow and finish fast.  The closer the 2 targets the easier it is to hit… 



Fencing Tip of the Week


April 2008 [2]

The Lunge 

Defined as “An explosive foward movement of the front hand and leg”.  The lunge is a fencers best weapon.  It should be aimed straight at the opponent for best effect. 

The lunge starts with the finger and thumb moving the point and the arm extending stright from the elbow, the front leg kicks forward from the toe and extends straight towards the target, the back leg pushes down and extends straight giving forward momentum.   The body’s ‘centre of gravity’ moves forward until gravity takes over, the weapon arm is thrust forward with the momentum of the lunging leg.  The weapon point hits the target and the attack finishes with the downward movement of the front leg due to gravity or individual stretch or reach.

Relaxed: Relaxed equals speed.  It is also more deceptive if your oppponent doesnt see tension before an action.  Thus the hand fires forward before any other visible movement.

Practice: The general conception is 200-300 repetitions of an action trains the muscle memory, including error training - where the body adapts to changes and the mind reintroduces the learnt processes.  So training correctly is very important

Tip: Begin with back foot against a wall and lunge keeping the foot in place.  Build different lengths of lunges; small, medium, large & Slow to Fast.  Keep head facing forward with Torso upright and the back leg locked straight, return to guard with balance, the front leg lands last.



Fencing Tip of the Week


April 2008 [1] 

En Garde

Defined as the Fencing Stance, the fencers stance is imperitive to everything in the sport.  Like a tree without roots, there is no fencing without a base, and the front and back legs provide that ‘trunk’.  Front and back legs are determined by the weapon hand.  A 90 degree position ‘L shape’ is created by the feet with the front foot (and knee) facing forwad.  By standing at least shoulder width apart, a fencer can bend the knees and get more power with a deeper bend.

Relaxed, essential to speed is a relaxed stance - not slouching but upright.

Practice, the more comfortable a fencer is in the en garde position the more natural fencing becomes.

Tip: Practice jumping into the en garde position, when walking forward & back, then again when steping forward & back.


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