National Questionairre- The Sword Fighter Dozen


Champions questionnaire 2015

                                               ‘The Sword Fighter Dozen.’

Australian 2015 National Champion: Yuan Ping  – Womens Foil.

 

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A:  I have been fencing for 20years, In China, I was chosen by my coach to start fencing. It took 3 years to feel competent. 

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A:  I have been competing at National/International level for 16years.

3: What made you choose your weapon? have you fenced the other 2?

A:  Since I started to do Fencing I have fenced with the Foil. I havent fenced the other 2 weapons.  Because I was a member of the Chineses National Team before 2008, then moved to NZ, and a professional Fencer only chooses one weapon to focus on as the rules and technique are different in those three weapons.

4: Where is your favourite place to compete or to train?

A: For competition I would like Europe, for training I would like Europe, N.America and Asia. 

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A: I dont have a coach or training partners since I moved to NZ in 2008.

6: What are your plans for 2016? work / training / competition?

A: To coach young fencers, training overseas and to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympic Zone Qualifying Event.

7: Do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)? Have you modelled your fencing on this person or anyone else?

A: Maria Valentina Vezzali (ITA)

8: What (if any) cross training activities do you play/train?

A: I haven’t been training for many years since 2008, because here (NZ) there is no training at my level and no coach. 

9: What did you do differently if anything this season to previous ones to result in your national’s win?

A:  Not sure about anything different.

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

A: I coach myself and bought training stuff to put in my garage, so train on my own in there. 

11:  What advice would you give to potential Australian champions?

A: I hope Australian Championships will one day move back to Sydney, as its much easier for overseas fencers, but I’d like to say the venue in Canberra is great, which the most professional national event in Oceania is.

12: What is your favourite thing about fencing in Australia, 

A: Australia has nice food and lots of fruit, I can also meet up with friends.. 

 

Thanks very much Ping !



Australian National Champions 2014 - The Sword Fighter Dozen


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire,

the 6 2014 Open Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win. 

Australian 2014 National Champion: 

Ned Fitzgerald – Mens Foil.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competitive?

A: I’ve been fencing for about 8 and a half years. I started because I’d seen sword fighting in a couple of my favourite movies and wanted to see how it was done. I also gained interest because I saw it advertised somewhere for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. I started out quite slowly, certainly taking my time to gain results at state competitions. My first good result was at U/15 national championships in 2010, so it took me about 4 years to establish myself.

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A:  I’ve been competing at national level since 2008 and at an international level since 2011.

3: What made you choose your weapon? Have you fenced the other 2?

A:  The club at which I began fencing is a foil-only club, so I didn’t have much of a choice! However I have fenced epee and sabre as well, strongly disliking the sabre but managing to get some surprising results in epee.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A:  It depends what kind of training. I really like doing physical training (running, sprints etc) at my club because of the lovely parks surrounding it, but I prefer fencing at venues which have pistes laid out already, such as North Melbourne.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A:  Your coach and training partners are absolutely essential, no matter what weapon you fence or what kind of athlete you are. Always respect them and listen to what they have to say, because their feedback and advice could prove to be a vital ingredient to your future success.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2015 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A: I will be undertaking year 12 during 2015, so I won’t be fencing as much at training because I need to focus on my studies. As a side note, it’s very important that you maintain a balance between fencing and other commitments such as work and school. It’s amazing how tedious fencing can become without these things in your life as well, and vice-versa. After school, I hope to travel to Europe to train and compete with the friends I’ve made through my experiences, after which I would like to attend college in the US where they have a brilliant college fencing program. My main fencing goal, however, is to make the 2020 Olympics.

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A:  I haven’t really modelled myself on any particular fencer. I watch quite a lot of fencing on YouTube and have thus seen some of the things the world’s best fencers do, and I kind of take bits and pieces out of their strategies and try to use them in training to see if it works. A lot of my fencing is based off these observations and experiments.

8: What if any other cross training activities do you play/train?

A: I try to go to the gym as often as possible. For fencers 16 and over, the gym is a great way to get faster and stronger and hence allow you to fence more effectively.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A:  For this event I felt like I needed to fence my absolute best to get a good result, so I simply fenced as hard as I possibly could and believed that I could potentially beat anyone I would come up against. This mindset allowed me to concentrate completely on my fencing without worrying about whether I would win the bout or not.

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

A:  Lessons: Monday and Saturday

Physical training (e.g. running and sprinting, body weight exercises): Thursday, Saturday/Monday, Friday

Fencing: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday

Gym: Wednesday, Saturday

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A:  Focus on fencing technique rather than speed, especially in lessons and drills. Speed will come with practicing using correct technique, but technique will not come from simply attempting to fence as quickly as possible. The importance of this can’t be emphasised enough.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A:  It kind of sucks how barely anyone really knows or cares about fencing. But for those who do know and care about it, there’s a very close-knit community in Australian fencing which is nice to be a part of.  

 

Thanks very much Ned! 



Australian National Champions 2014 - The Sword Fighter Dozen


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire,

the 6 2014 Open Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win. 

Australian 2014 National Champion: 

Sarah Osvath – Womens Epee.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competitive?

A:  I have been fencing for over 40 years now, starting in my last year of primary school when fencing was offered as an elective sport by my teacher Susan Grant-Taylor, at the school I attended in Wainuiomata, New Zealand. I was captivated by this unique sport straight away and it took several years to feel competent.

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A: A long time and continuing… Nationally in NZ as a school fencer,(foil as females fenced only foil in those days), Under 20’s (National champion 6X).Interestingly my first International competition was travelling to Australia to fence in the Australian U20 Championship. Internationally, representing Australia at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in 1994,1998,2002,2010. Many Women’s Epee World cup events between 1995 and 2002. World Championships 1995,97,98,99 and the first ever Women’s Epee event at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. I have fenced in all but one Australian National Championships since 1988-2014 and a good 80% of the Australian open circuit events over this period.

3: What made you choose your weapon? have you fenced the other 2?

A: I actively made the decision to fence/train/receive individual lessons in epee in 1993 after nearly 20 years of foil. My height and speed whilst a disadvantage in foil could be an asset in epee. . I had moved for personal reasons to Melbourne from Canberra and had the accessibility of training with Vlad Sher,the National epee coach. Women’s epee was relatively new on the International scene and without the complication of referees and with a fairly even standard worldwide success was possible. The epee gamble was worth pursuing and certainly the correct decision for me.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A:  Anywhere as long as there are other passionate, committed fencers who want to train determinedly and aspire to continually improve and become the best they can be. Any competition big or small is a strong drawcard.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A:  A coach is of the utmost importance – one that you respect and who respects your endeavours. There should be a big investment by both of you, a few risks and hopefully many rewards. Personally, I have only had two epee coaches, Vlad Sher from 1993-1997 whilst I resided in Melbourne. Since living in Sydney from 1997, my coach is Simon Jin. (That is a lot of individual lessons).

Training partners are extremely important and valuable to me.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2015 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A: As well as achieving gold at the 2014 Australian Open Championships, I secured 2nd place at the 2014 World Veteran Championships in Hungary. My ambition is to become Women’s Epee Veteran World Champion within the next few years. (i.e., to join Vici Wilks as World Champion)

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A: I’ve been around a long time and have constantly developed my fencing. I haven’t modeled myself on any one particular person but I do have many International fencers I openly admire. This includes Imke Duplitzer, Laura Flessel-Colovic, Kaido Kaberma and Pavel Kolobkov but the list is actually quite long.

8: What if any other cross training activities do you play/train?

A: I also play competitive field hockey, twice a week during the hockey season (April-September). I enjoy a 90mins bike ride each Sunday.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A:  Winning the Australian National Championship again was a big thrill. Having previously won in 1995,1997,1999 and most recently in 2003 I thought that this top title was a little elusive for me having lost several finals to take silver but in any case usually a podium finish.(Spanning 20 years).

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

A: I train at three different University Fencing clubs here in Sydney, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday evenings incorporating a lot of bouting plus individual lessons. Saturday afternoon I attend a 2hr Fencing Speed & Agility specific class followed by a session of bouting.

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A: Work out your plan, train hard with as many fencers as possible. Strive towards realistic goals. Recognise that there are peaks and troughs with your results and that basically you get a return proportional to your effort and work load. It should have a definite fun component.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A: The worst thing about fencing in Australia is the demise of selection on merit for National team representation.

The best thing about fencing in Australia is the talented, experienced coaches and fencers that provide the opportunity to develop a firm basis for achieving on the World stage. Also our proximity to fencing in Asia.

 

Thanks very much Sarah! 



Australian Veteran Champions 2014 Questionnaire


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire,

the 6 2014 Veteran Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win. 

Australian 2014 National Veteran Champion: 

Nigel Nutt – Mens Foil.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competitive?

A:  I started in 1980 at school in Sydney. I was drawn by the one on one aspect of the sport, and the opportunity to compete. A compabt sport without being full contact, and without the subjectivity of grading in other martial arts, I found Fencing unique.

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A:  I Fenced State and National championships from 1981 onwards. Took me several years to get out of a first round at nationals, but there has not been a year since 1981 when I have not competed in some from at a national level in Australia or overseas. My first overseas competition was NZ championships in 1987, and my first truly international competition was the World Student Games in Germany in 1987.

3: What made you choose your weapon? have you fenced the other 2?

A:  Always trained in foil, and enjoyed the rhythm and tempo of foil more than the others. Have always competed in epee in parallel with foil, and on a number of occasions seen more success in epee than in foil. Dabbled in Sabre in the late eighties, but the passion never stuck.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A:  Tough to call. Cavaliers club in Perth probably pips other clubs for pure enjoyment and mileu, but currently am enjoying coaching at a start up club in ACT called Maison Escrime with Mat Meriaux. I have very fond memories of Macquarie, Uni, Sydney Uni and Swords Club.

5: How important is competition in Australia for you?

A:  Fencing competitively keeps me in the sport,. Without the opportunity to compete, I would have retired a long time ago.

6: What are your ambitions for 2015 and beyond? Travel / competition?

A: I’d like to compete in the World Veteran Champs (50+) from 2016 onwards.

7: Do you have a favourite location to fence (National/Internationally)?

A: No

8: What if any other cross training activities do you play/train?

A: Have always found squash a wonderful cross training sport: competitive, great for fitness, and hones my spatial awareness and positioning skills.

9: What if anything has changed for you as a veteran fencer in 2014?

A:  I have recalibrated my sporting goals and self-expectations. I still fence to enjoy and to win, in that order.

10: What is your weekly training routine/partners etc?

 A: 90% coaching, 10% fencing in a typical year. I limit training to two evenings a week, and I avoid starting too early in a season. This stops me burning out, and keeps me hungry for the sport.

11:  What advice would you give veteran Australians?

A:  Stick at it: I admire and respect those around me for their longevity in the sport as much, if not more, than those wining the medals.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Veteran Fencing in Australia?

A: Best thing: Friendship. I love mixing with other Vet fencers. Worst things: gaps between rounds too long, and the comps take too long to run relative to the small numbers. I understand why, but I still think there is room for a faster comp.

Thanks very much Nigel!



Australian National Champions 2014 - The Sword Fighter Dozen


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire, the 6 2014 Open Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win.

Australian 2014 National Champion: Donghwan Kim – Mens Sabre Champion.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competitive?

A:   I started fencing when I was 13. My parents are both Olympic fencers and coaches, and my father suggested I start. 

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A:  I started competing at open national level in Korea when I was 15. I also competed at the 2007 Cadet World Championships.

3: What made you choose your weapon? Have you fenced the other 2?

A:   When I began fencing, sabre in Korea was very weak so I wanted to help make it stronger. I learned a little foil from my father when I first started.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A:  I loved training at Yang-Woon middle school where I first learned to fence, but now Sydney Sabre feels like my home.

5: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite fencer internationally?

A:   I used to train with Gu Bongil, under the same coach in Busan, and I really admire his fencing. He is very smart. I would love to be able to lunge like Gu, but I’m too inflexible!

6: What are your ambitions for 2015 and beyond? Travel / competition?

A: I want to go on the FIE circuit as soon as I can. I also want to go to some competitions in Asia to get some more experience.

7: Do you have a favourite location to fence (National/Internationally)?

A:  I like to travel, but I haven’t been able to go to many overseas comps yet. So far the best one I’ve been to was Singapore. I like the food there and the refereeing was very good.

8: What if any other cross training activities do you play/train?

A: I run for cross-training, and I play baseball (outfield).

9: What if anything has changed for you as a fencer in 2014?

A: 2014 is the first time I have competed since I left the Korean circuit in 2011 to join the army. It feels really good to be back into fencing.

10: What is your weekly training routine/partners etc?

A:  I do some footwork and bouting. I also coach for around 30 hours a week. I also watch a lot of international matches to study the fencers.

11: What advice would you give Australian fencers?

A:   If you want to win, you need to keep practicing the basics. Keep working, even when it is boring. When you are fighting, don’t rush and always think about winning.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A:  The best thing is my club. Sydney Sabre has given me a lot of support, and I’m really happy here.

 

Thanks very much Donghwan !



Australian Veteran Champions 2014 Questionnaire


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire,

the 6 2014 Veteran Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win. 

Australian 2014 National Veteran Champion: 

Iain Davidson – Mens Epee.

1: How long have you been Fencing? 

A. 40 years on and off, 

What made you start? 

A. Started because my brother was fencing

How long did it take for you to feel competitive? 

A. Took 2 years be competitive

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level? 

A.  Since 1978

3: What made you choose your weapon? 

A. Chose epee because the hits aren’t up to someone’s interpretation. Have fenced foil and sabre as well

Have you fenced the other 2?

A.  Have fenced foil and sabre as well 

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A:  Adelaide Swords Club 

5: How important is competition in Australia for you?

A:   I like to see competitive fencing so more international comps in Aust would be good

6: What are your ambitions for 2015 and beyond? Travel / competition?

A: Depends on my body 

7: Do you have a favourite location to fence (National/Internationally)?

A:  Canberra AIS   

8: What if any other cross training activities do you play/train?

A:  Regular gym attendance - RPM, cardio, weights, twice a week footwork/fencing training

10: What if anything has changed for you as a veteran fencer in 2014?

A:  I won! first time competing at national level since 2009

11: What advice would you give veteran Australians?

A:  Look after your body and keep developing

12: What is the best / worst thing about Veteran Fencing in Australia?

A:  The best thing is the history of the competitors and the worst thing is we only fence for 10 hits

 

Thanks very much Iain !

 



Australian National Champions 2014 - The Sword Fighter Dozen


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire, the 6 2014 Open Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win.

Australian 2014 National Champion: Claire Daniel – Womens Foil Champion.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A: Fencing was something I wanted to do ever since taking up the violin in primary school. I would play games which involved using the bow to poke my friends in orchestra, this being the upside to not making it to the first desk. I did not realise it was possible to learn fencing in Brisbane until I went to high school in 2003 where it was offered as an afterschool sport. In the first few years I don’t ever remember worrying much about whether I was competent or not, I just enjoyed it.

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A: My first national competition was the Australian U/15 Championships in 2005. My first international competition was the Junior Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia in 2009.

3: What made you choose your weapon? Have you fenced the other 2?

A: Foil was the weapon we learnt at school and I stuck with it. There were many more girls fencing foil than were fencing sabre or epee in Queensland at the time so state competitions in foil were much more fun. I have fenced the other two for fun at the occasional competition, in particular University games.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: I very much enjoyed training in Pisa but I have not yet had an opportunity to return. Otherwise a club night in Brisbane when all the foilists come out and we can set up lots of pistes is just fine.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A: Good training partners are essential and I improve much more quickly when I can train with someone who forces me to change how I fence in order to win points. The relatively small number of experienced training partners in Brisbane and also across Australia in women’s foil is currently a challenge. My coach has also been very important.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2015 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A: I have been fortunate to win a John Monash Scholarship and with this I am intending to study a master’s course at University College London starting September 2015. The course looks at digital data or ‘big data’ analysis and its applications to town planning. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to access more training partners and a greater variety of competitions that living in London for a year will bring.  Around preparation for this I will continue working and training in Brisbane.

7: Who if anyone have you modelled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A: I have modelled my fencing from the input of different coaches I have had rather than an individual fencer. My favourite fencer for many years has been Nam Hyun-Hee of Korea. I also enjoy watching Elisa Di Francisca of Italy and Inna Deriglazova of Russia. 

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?

A: I do not currently play any other sports. I sprint, lift weights and do various other exercises to improve my fitness for fencing.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: It was the first national competition for more than five years that my friend Katie also competed in and it is great to have her back.

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

A: I train as much as I can fit in around work. This typically involves two squad sessions and two club sessions a week (which is about all there is available in Brisbane anyway), and three or four separate fitness sessions around that.

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A: It is not easy to balance full time work with training and competing nationally and internationally. Fencing at any level in Australia, but especially the level required to win national championships let alone compete at international competitions, requires a huge investment in finances, time and emotion. This can be heavy, especially on nights you are tired from work and failing to fence as well as you think you should. It is easy to get upset and frustrated.

At times like this it helped me to talk to my coach and other athletes who had similar experiences. With the onset of frustration it helped to go back to the simple things that I could still do well and enjoy in order to build confidence before attempting to deal with the more complicated situation again. On nights it was really bad it helped to accept that it was okay to take time out.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A: The best thing about fencing in Australia is the great attitude towards training and the passion Australian fencers have for their sport in general, as non-professional athletes we are almost all here because we love it. The worst thing about fencing in Australia is, as always, the long distances to travel and the isolation from the rest of the world.

 

Thanks so much Claire..



Australian Veteran Champions 2014 Questionnaire


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire,

the 6 2014 Veteran Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win. 

Australian 2014 National Veteran Champion: 

Abby Nutt Womens Epee.

1: How long have you been Fencing?

A. 1982 when I started high school as they had fencing at my school.

What made you start? 

A. My brother Nigel was already fencing and he used to come home and practice on me with sticks. My goal was to start fencing so I could beat him. I still haven’t reached my goal. Got close this year with a 5-4 result.

How long did it take for you to feel competitive? 

A. Probably straight from the start! 

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level? 

A. I started fencing Nationally when I was about 13 or 14. Internationally was after I finished school in 1988/88.

3: What made you choose your weapon? 

A. When I was about 13 or 14 they brought the ruling in that girls could fence épée from the age of 15 so I started as soon as I could. I fenced both foil and épée for many years until my coach said I should choose one weapon to excel in so I chose épée. You don’t have to rely on a good referee to get hit. 

Have you fenced the other 2?

A.  I still fence foil in national Vet competitions and occasionally at other times. 

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A:  Macquarie University Fencing Club.

5: How important is competition in Australia for you?

A:   Very. I love competition. I fence differently in competition than in training. Competition makes you more determined to do well.

6: What are your ambitions for 2015 and beyond? Travel / competition?

A: I would like to do well in the Open national events as I’m recovering from an elbow injury which took me out of competition for close to 2 years. I would like to compete at more overseas veteran competitions including the next Commonwealth Veteran Championships and ultimately I would like to compete and do well at World Veterans when I am old enough.

7: Do you have a favourite location to fence (National/Internationally)?

A:  Nationally I really like fencing in Canberra. It’s a great venue and they run the competition well. Internationally I like going to places I haven’t been before.

8: What if any other cross training activities do you play/train?

A:  I play soccer and touch footy. I’m also a member at my local gym.

11: What advice would you give veteran Australians?

A:   Keep fencing. Doesn’t matter how old you are. You don’t have to be overly competitive if you don’t want to. Fence for the enjoyment of it.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Veteran Fencing in Australia?

A:  Best - very friendly people. Worst - not enough women fencing.

 

Thanks very much Abby !

 



Australian National Champions 2014 - The Sword Fighter Dozen


Following on the tradition of the National Champion questionsairre, the 6 Open 2014 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2014 National Champion: Seamus Robinson – Mens Epee Champion.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A: Almost 30 years. About 6 months to feel competent. 

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A: 25 years. 

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2?

A: Its the most realistic and natural as well as free. Also Foil. 

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: Germany.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A: Essential.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2015 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A: To compete at Asian and World Champs 

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A: Kolobkov, German and Russian fencing schools.

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?

A: Running, body weight exercises, cycling, skateboarding.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: Smaller than the last few.

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

A: Train whenever I have time. 

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A: Be the first to arrive and last to leave the club, and Fence the hardest Fencers as many times as you can.     
Practice footwork.
Always try to improve.
Go overseas.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A: Close to friends and family. Far from high level comp and training.

Thanks so much Seamus..



Australian Veteran Champions 2014 Questionnaire


Following the tradition of the National Open Champion questionnaire,

the 6 2014 Veteran Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win. 

Australian 2014 National Veteran Champion: 

Jenny Bonney-Millett –Womens Foil Champion.

 

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competitive?

A:  I have been fencing since 1981. Something I had always wanted to do. I was BORN competitive!

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A: My first national comp was the Australia Day Tournament 1984. Other than the Australian Uni trip to NZ in 1987, my first big international comp was the World Championships in Budapest 1991.

3: What made you choose your weapon? have you fenced the other 2?

A:  I have fenced and competed at various events in all 3 weapons but seriously train and compete in Foil - nothing beats the elegance and class of this weapon.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: Paris is my home away from home for training! The Racing Club and Tour d’Auvergne are my regulars.

5: How important is competition in Australia for you?

A:  Very important. We need to build an maintain a high standard and generally grow the sport to where it becomes recognised as something Australians actually do.

6: What are your ambitions for 2015 and beyond? Travel / competition?

A: Senior Asians and Worlds and World Vets. For as long as possible.

7: Do you have a favourite location to fence (National/Internationally)?

A: Where the medals are!

8: What if any other cross training activities do you play/train?

A: I run. Lots.

9: What if anything has changed for you as a veteran fencer in 2014?

A: Recognition on the world scene as a really serious contender.

10: What is your weekly training routine/partners etc?

A: 2 club nights a week and 2 squad sessions. With whomever turns up. Not a lot of variety, as everyone does the same thing. 

11: What advice would you give veteran Australians?

A:  Veterans comps are great fun - good fencing and nice people. And definitely a way to keep going with your sport.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Veteran Fencing in Australia?

A: NOT ENOUGH WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thanks very much Jenny !

 



Australian National Champions 2013 “The Dozen”


Following on the tradition of the National Champion questionsairre, the 6 2013 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2013 National Champion: Kristian Radford – Mens  Epee Champion.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A: I started fencing almost 13 years ago at my high school in Adelaide. I’ve felt competent at a few points over that time, but I’ve always realised at a later point that I was mistaken. I just hope that I will continue to improve. 

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A: I entered my first Under 15 and Under 17 Nationals in 2004. Open Nationals was in Adelaide that year so I fenced that too. My first international competition was Challenge Australia in 2006, and I first fenced overseas in 2009 at some Junior competitions. 

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2?

A: I started off in foil, and I have fenced all three weapons at times. I had some minor success when I first tried epee, but the main reason I decided to focus on it when I was 16 was simply that I enjoyed it more than the other weapons. 

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: I like competing anywhere my family and friends can come and watch. For training, I enjoy the State Fencing Centre in Melbourne because of the built-in fencing pistes. It’s a luxury!

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A: Both groups of people have always been vital to my fencing. I’ve worked with a number of coaches and spent time living and training in different places, and I feel that my fencing is a product of all of these influences.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2014 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A: I tend to take things one step at a time. Next year I’m hoping to compete at the Asian and World Championships for the first time 

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A: I’ve always loved watching great fencers, both Australian and international athletes. But success only came for me after I stopped trying to fence like other people and became comfortable with my own way of doing things.

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?

A: I’m not playing any other sports at the moment.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: There were quite a few differences. The biggest thing was that the Men’s Epee event was fenced over two days, which I haven’t had to do at a national competition before. Also, I really liked that the Men’s Epee finals were broadcast online.

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

A: The exact composition changes frequently. I’m currently living in Melbourne, and at the moment a typical week involves fencing with the State Squad twice a week and training at VRI Fencing Club twice a week. 

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A: Don’t be afraid to lose bouts at training. Training is for learning, not for winning.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A: The worst thing is our distance from the rest of the fencing world. The best thing is the passion for the sport shared by so many people in the Australian fencing community.

Thanks so much Kristian..



Australian National Champions 2013 “The Dozen”


Following on the tradition of the National Champions questionairre, the 6 2013 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2013 National Champion: Diana Sher  – Womens Epee Champion.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A: I have been fencing for seven years. My father, Vlad Sher encouraged me to start. I was not overly enthusiastic to begin with. I think the first time I felt really competent was when I won my very first medal at the U15 State Champs. At that point I realized my passion for the sport.

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A: Nationally I have been competing for around five years and around three years on the International Junior circuit. 

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2?

A:  As my father is the National Epee Coach he taught me Epee from day one. I never had the chance to try the others.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: My favorite place to train and to fence is Paris. The training there is really intense and everyone takes it very seriously. The atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. Being over there encourages me to train. Spending time in Paris isn’t too bad either.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A:  I think I have a very unique situation. My coach is also my father. Maintaining a healthy and solid relationship between father and daughter, as well as strong relationship between coach and student can often be hard. Dad and I have to work especially hard at it.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2014 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A:  2014 will mark my official start as a senior fencer. I have had some good results in juniors, and I am hoping I can use the skills learnt to tackle the senior division. I plan to take it competition by competition, and see where the road leads.

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A: I do not have a favorite international fencer. I admire athletes who are dedicated, committed and passionate about what they do. Also I admire different characteristics from a variety of fencers on the international circuit.

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?

A:  At present there are no sports that I participate in other than fencing. As a child I played Tennis.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: This is the very first time I have won this particular competition. It is a nice feeling to have such a breakthrough.

10: What is your weekly training regime? 

A: I fence four days per week. On the other days I like to mix it up a bit, sometimes I go for runs. On other days I go to the gym. Keeping training interesting is important.

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A:   Train hard.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A: One of the worst things about fencing in Australia is the travel and the cost of competing at an international level. This requires constant dedication and a lot of self-motivation.


 Thanks so much Diana…..

 



Australian National Champions 2013 “The Dozen”


Following on the tradition of the National Champions questionairre, the 6 2013 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2013 National Champion: Ping Yuan  – Womens Foil Champion.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A: I have been fencing for 18 years. I was invited by the fencing coach and then started to do the fencing. It took me 2 years to feel competent.

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A:  Since I was 17 years old, have represented my country to compete in the National and International level.

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2?

A:  I think foil is the most graceful and hardest one in three weapon, and also it has high technical content. I’ve fenced the epee, but only for fun.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: The Chinese National fencing training centre, I spent 6 years training there. Not only have “feeling”, but also get lots of excellent results for fencing.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A:  It’s important to every ’sportsman’ with a good coach and good training environment. Unfortunately since I left the Chinese National team in 2008 and moved to NZ, I haven’t got a single coach and haven’t got good training environment and good enough training partner.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2014 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A:   Try to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Game and defeat Gold medalist.

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A:  I’ve a favorite fencer who is Valentina Vezzali (Womens Foil - Italy)

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?

A:  Golf.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: Australia National Championships is the best event which is held in Oceania Region.

10: What is your weekly training regime? 

A: Since move to NZ in 2008 haven’t done any training at all.

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A:   My advice will be, that I wish next time the referee can be more professional and fair bit more, specially the semi-final and final. Because I had really experience this time, it was very obviously and clear point but the referee gave the point to wrong side.

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A: The venue of competition is very professional and good, but suggest if the competition be placed in a more convenient location (such like in Sydney) which be more convenient and cheaper for the international fencers to come and compete.

 Thanks so much Ping…..

 



Australian National Champions 2013 “The Dozen”


Following on the tradition of the National Champions questionairre, the 6 2013 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2013 National Champion: Martino Minuto – Mens Foil Champion.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A:  I started fencing when I was 5 years old, so 20 years ago now…I started because I loved cartoons like zorro and d’artagnan, and my parents couldnt handle any longer to have me around destroying their house with swords and foils :) so I tried fencing, and I kept doing it…

how long to feel competent ?  I still dont feel competent nowadays ;)

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?

A:  I started competing at national levels at around 8-9 years old…when I was 10-11 i made my first intarnational events for youth categories, and at 13 I started with my official FIE carreer, first in junior and around 17 in seniors

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2?

A:  In Italy everyone “so” young starts with foil…we call it the Queen Weapon…it was good  for me so I kept it, happy about my choice….I tried for fun the other weapons….but actually I won a youth national in epee, and last year I took silver in senior team national championships in sabre, almost beating the Olympic silver medallist in my bout…

If you are a good foilist, you can dare to fence the other weapons, for fun…the oppoisite is much harder…thats why everybody starts with foil…

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: Now, after I tried it, my favourite place to train is definately in Australia, in Melbourne, at VRI :)

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A: Extremely important…my coach is the same since when i was 5…in fencing the coach is a “maestro”, a feature that is hard to find as important in other sports I guess…and of course, good training partners are necessary to test the preparation level, and put theory into practice.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2014 and beyond? work / training / competition?

A:  For 2014 my major focus is World Championships in august, and I will prepare my best for those…outside of Fencing I just graduated “my masters”…I will start a 3rd degree and study the German language….but my main goal is getting the only medal that between the different categories I am still missing, the Olympic gold one….that’s my main ambition for the future..

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?

A:  I didnt model my Fencing on anyone…I worked very hard to develop my own Fencing “style”…but at the same time I learned and got inspiration from most of the fencers, basically from everyone…learn from everyone, but keep being yourself….

I have 4 great fencers I look up to…in order of age : Alexander Romankov, Mauro Numa, Alessandro Puccini, Sergei Golubitsky…

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?

A:  I competed many years in Alpine Skiing..and nowadays i have a diploma as a Skiing Coach…and my summer passion has always been windsurfing.

Apart from that, I love almost every sport, since I am an athlete… ;)

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: Not many differences actually….the venue in canberra was amazing, wonderful..never seen something like this at nationals, and sometimes even at worlds….the level is different in any country,  but as long as all the competitiors go for the title, it is never easy :)

Oh  the organization with my friend Mrs Denise was very strict and extremely well done, I appreciated it a lot…we don’t have this overseas..

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

 A: Unfortunately i don’t have a weekly training regime, but a daily training regime ;)   I most likely train for 5-6 hours every day…having 1 or 2 sessions, depending on the days…

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A:   I cant give too much advice to future Australian champions, as long as I still want to compete internationally for some years ;)  joking….

Well, as I said many times, I see great potentials in Australian Fencing…true….my advice is to keep working hard, keep playing fair, keep having passion’s, and the results will for sure come…

12: What is the best / worst thing about Fencing in Australia?

A: long question :) ….

I like many many things with Australian Fencing, thats why I came 2 times to support it in Melbourne…

I like the way everybody works hard…the passion every athlete and coach put in the game….I like the fair play you have in this country, this is one of the thing I like the most…it is beautiful….I can see no other countries where competitions would be refereed from fencers themselves, it would come out a big mess, and many fightings….I like the sport spirit and mood that Australia has everwhere, and of course put in fencing too….

I am a big fan of Australian fencing…I’m now very proud and honored to be part of its champions list :)

Just couple of bad things with this sport in Australia…

Not enough support from the government and Olympic committe makes it extremely hard for the fencers and thier family  to travel, go to competitions and make the experience necessary to challenge at world levels…

In my personal opinion, without judging the work of anyone, I find it really hard that fencers who join tha national team have to pay for it, and a big fee!…National team in sport is up to merits,  not to money….it is already expensive enough for them to keep training and travelling…no need to make them pay also to be in the national team….

and last thing, I heard that lately there were some unclear issues about the ranking for Australian foilists, which messed up the real situation, in a not proper merit way…..

My personal opinion, since I love Australia and its fair play, is that they would keep this fair play….if Australia decides for a ranking system, and not a coach’s decisions one, then the ranking should show the real results, merits and strength of the athletes….it is very easy to do it….jut need to put people work together, and play fair…everybody is basically a  volunteer in our sport….let’s keep the fair play.

Good luck Australian Fencing :)

Marti

 Martino Medal

Thanks so much Marti……”You are a credit to your Country and a pleasure to have as a guest in ours, Best of luck in all your future ambitions ”  Ed.

 



Australian National Champions 2012 - ‘Sword Fighter Dozen’


Following on the tradition of the National Fencing Champion Questionairre, the 2012 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2012 National Champion: Sutherlan Scudds – Mens Sabre. 

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?

A: I have been fencing since 1997 so around 15 years. I started because of my mother who found a pamphlet at the local grocery store. I guess I was to restless a kid! I didn’t feel personally competent till I was around 15/16. Thought I can’t say I ever truly feel competent.

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?
A: National level I think since 2003 where I competed at under 17 level and 2004 at open level. International level since 2006.

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2?
A: Sabre was most suited to me. I am aggressive and very physical generally so it was a good fit plus I was getting the best results in it. I have fenced foil, I liked it but never felt competent.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?
A: Favorite competition was Worlds in 2010 in France.. That competition was amazing. Favorite training was with the Romanian Mens Sabre team in Romania earlier this year. We did a training camp in a ski resort called Poiana Brasov. It was crazy.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?
A: They are everything. I would not be anywhere as good without help from Steven Lim, Antonio Signorello and the othe Aussie sabruers.

6: What are your future ambitions for 2013 and beyond? work / training / competition?
A: Work wise I’ll be hopefully beginning my law career. Competitions will involve at lead World and Asian champs and world uni games next year.

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?
A: Aldo Montano and Daryl Homer.

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?
A: I do a little bit of boxing to speed up my arms and for cross training.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?
A: haha no difference I treat them All the same!

10: What is your weekly training Regime? 
A: I train 6 days a week. Weights on three days, fencing three days and sprints one day.

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?
A: Results come from training. Train hard and you will in. Train harder than your opponents and you will beat them.

12: What is the best and worst thing about fencing in Australia?
A: The best thing is the volunteer work. So many people put in so much effort for nothing and that is amazing for any sport of any thing. Worst thing has to be the lack of funding.

Thanks so much Sutherlan, good luck for 2013 and beyond. 



Australian National Champions 2012 - ‘Sword Fighter Dozen’


Following on the tradition of the National Fencing Champion Questionairre, the 6 2012 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2012 National Champion: Lisan Sung – Womens Foil.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent? 
A: I started fencing at the age of 8. I was a very active kid when I was young so my parents thought it was a good sport for me to start. 

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level? 
A: I started competing Nationally at the age of 9, and Internationally at the age of 13.

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2? 
A: I started with the Foil and I have always loved it. I have tried the other weapons but never found them interesting.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train? 
A: I don’t have a particular place that I favor over the others, just as long as the people are friendly and the fencing is good i’m fine with fencing anywhere.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you? 
A: I personally think it is very important to have a good coach to assist in building your game. My coach has helped me to improve all aspects of my fencing and has helped me prepare for competitions mentally and physically.  

6: What are your future ambitions for 2013 and beyond? work / training / competition?
A: In 2013 and beyond, I plan to complete my HSC, and to improve on my results nationally and internationally. My future ambition is to compete at the Olympics.

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)? 
A: Valentina Vezzali 

8: What if any other sports do you play/train? 
A: Golf, Swimming and Pilates.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others? 
A: This championship win is a good finish to end off the season, but it is also the beginning. We shouldn’t take wins for granted, so it motivates me to work harder, and to make the next season even better. 

10: What is your weekly training Regime? 
A: Mon & Wed- Fencing training at UTS. This consists of a private lesson, footwork, blade work, and free fencing. Fri & Sat- Fitness training. 

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions? 
A: Aim high and don’t stop until you get there. Never Give Up.

12: What is the best and worst thing about fencing in Australia? 
A: Positive and friendly atmosphere.

Thanks Lishan, good luck for 2013 and beyond. 

 



Australian National Champions 2012 - ‘Sword Fighter Dozen’


Following on the tradition of the National Fencing Champion Questionairre, the 2012 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2012 National Champion:  Edison Wei Ting Cai  Mens Foil .

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent?
A: I’ve been fencing 8 years since I was 14 yrs. I think 3-4years it took for me to feel competent .

2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level?
A: I’ve been in national competitions in Aus for just 1 year, also 3 times to take part in Australian National competitions.

3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2?
A: I just play foil..because I can pay attention to one weapon and do the best, that is what I think.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?
A: I think UTS club is the best when I saw it.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?
A: This is most important part of fencing, because a coach can give me some advice and help u do the best .

6: What are your future ambitions for 2013 and beyond? work / training / competition?
A: For me, I’m an international student, I’m studying also working and training and I will still do again, also to do everything the best, just like this year 2012, so amazing for me. I love it .

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)?
A: No, just my style and i have not modeled myself on anyone, I just think how the action suits me . yeah.of course, I like the Italian guy Baldini.  

8: What if any other sports do you play/train?
A: Yeah, I always play basketball, badminton and soccer. That’s it .

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?
A: I think everyone is the best fencing in Australia, they have a lot of skill of fencing and are different, so I just learn different skills and find out how the win the compatition .

10: What is your weekly training Regime?
A: Two times a week in UTS club

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?
A: Hahaha no advice for future champion, because I will win again! .. lol… But I want to still to say that hard working in fencing, one day you will win the competition.

12: What is the best and worst thing about fencing in Australia?
A: Friends and every club lady, they help me to know Australian fencing and do favours and things for me.

Thanks Edison, good luck for 2013 and beyond. 

 



Australian National Champions 2012 - ‘Sword Fighter Dozen’


Following on the tradition of the National Fencing Champion Questionairre, the 2012 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2012 National Champion:  Sam Auty Womens Sabre.

 
1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start? How long did it take for you to feel competent? 

A: I have been fencing for 11 years. I started at my primary school where there were fencing classes. Rumour is I started because I had really bad hand-eye coordination. I still feel that I am not competent in some ways, but I guess about 2 years ago I really started to feel like I could actually fence well. 


2: How long have you been Competing at National / International level? 

A: I have been competing at a National level since 2005 when I did my first Cadet National competition. My first International competition was Commonwealth Junior Championships in 2009. 


3: What made you choose your weapon?, have you fenced the other 2? 

A: I fenced foil for three years when I first started fencing. I picked up a sabre to try at a fencing demonstration with my fencing club and never looked back. 


4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train? 

A: At VRI Fencing Club in Punt Rd Richmond. It is an amazing facility and one which we are extremely lucky to have. 


5: How important have a coach and training partner’s been to you? 

A: Training partners can be hard to find so having any training partner of any level is extremely valuable to me. Also a good fencer has no direction without a good coach so my coaches (personal, state, and national) are also very important to me. 


6: What are your future ambitions for 2013 and beyond? Work / training / competition? 

A: I aim to finish my degree in Law/ Science, do a series of world cups and training tours overseas. 


7: Who if anyone have you modelled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer (Internationally)? 

A: My favourite fencer is probably Olga Kharlan for her aggressive and brave style of fencing, however I wouldn’t say I have modelled my fencing on hers. I generally prefer any fencer internationally who shows serious mental determination and toughness in competition ie Valentina Vezzali. 


8: What if any other sports do you play/train? 

A: I played a lot of other sports in high school (skiing, rowing, cross country, swimming), but I now focus specifically on fencing. 


9: What difference if any did this national event have to others? 

A: This was the first National Championships held at the AIS. It is such a fantastic venue that I think should really be utilised in the future. 


10: What is your weekly training Regime? 
 
A: 5 fitness sessions and 5 fencing sessions per week. Fitness sessions incorporate 3 recovery sessions weekly and generally go for an hour to 2 hours. My fencing sessions incorporate all my technical footwork and drills sessions as well as structured and competitive bouting, these go for 2 to 3 and ½ hours. 


11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions? 
A: Put in the hard work. Every footwork sessions, every weights sessions, every hard bouting session where you feel like you will crack pays off. It pays off on the strip, when you opponent is the one that cracks in the final and not you. 


12: What is the best and worst thing about fencing in Australia? 

A: The best thing is getting the opportunity to compete in a lot of competitions internationally. The worst thing is finding harder partners to train against and having a small field in competition.

Thanks Sam, good luck for 2013 and beyond.



Australian National Champions 2011


Following on the tradition of the National Champion questionsairre, the 6 2011 Champions kindly contributed some answer following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2011 National Men’s Foil Champion: Steven Glaister.

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start?

A: I started fencing when I was seven years old but I did not join a fencing club until I was nine.  My father Steven Snr who is an ex-Olympic team member, a British National coach and FIE foil referee started giving me lessons at home with a plastic epee I bought at a local toy shop.  He told me that I could join the club when I was bigger and stronger so I didnt get to join until I was nine. 

2: How long have you been Competing at National level? 

A: I started competing nationally when I was thirteen. Back in the UK there is a big national circuit. I would be travelling all over the UK throughout the year, from London to Edinburgh, Essex to Cardiff.  My father would be refereeing at these competitions so it wasn’t a hassle for he to drive me around everywhere…two birds with one stone, you might say.

 

3: What made you choose your weapon? 

 

A: I have always fenced foil, Manchester fencing club where I trained at back home has always had a good number of decent foilist so I have never been interested in the other weapons to be honest.

 

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

 

A: Since arriving in Melbourne I have trained at North Melbourne Fencing Salle on Arden St. I found that the atmosphere at the Salle is great, and a home from home for me.  The people training there made me feel welcome as soon as I arrived. The facilities are fantastic and theres always someone willing to spar with.  

 

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you? 

 

A: Very important. I was lucky enough to have two great coaches. Both ex-Olympic team members and both with great insight into the sport. I wouldn’t be the fencer I am today if it wasnt for the fantastic coaching I had from them, Robert Kiss and my father Steve Snr. And also I have always had tough training partners to spar with not only at Manchester Fencing Club. I was accepted onto the British National Cadet Squad when I was 15 years old so spent time training with the best of my age regularly at training camps throughout the years.

 

6: What are your ambitions for 2012? work / training / competition?

 

A: I am just going to continue my winning streek of gold medals and train for the next competition in the new year.  I have been lucky enough to have the opperunity to assist in the coaching of  some very talented young individuals on a tuesday evening with the Victorian state squad coach which allows me to improve on my coaching skills so I am very happy at the minute with what is happening in my fencing life and hope it continues throughout 2012.

 

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer ( Internationally) ? 

 

A: In all honestly I have never though about it. I just fence the way I do and thats that. I would say I probably fence like a mixture between my two coaches.  I dont really watch a fencer to see their technique, I just look for their flaws and how I would beat them.

 

8: What are your future ambitions? 

 

A: My ambition is to be able to continue on my path to represent Australia internationally in the future.  I have a few years to wait and a few hurdles to jump but hopefully it will happen.

 

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

 

A: I havn’t had much experience of the national competitions so far. I have only been to two. I thought that they where both well run and great venues however, the Canberra venue was fantastic.  The finals piste rivalled any international I have been to.  But at the end of the day where ever you are, you always spend all day in a sweaty sports hall hoping to be the last man standing even though you want to leave as soon as possible.

 

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

 

A: I try to train three times a week. I never used to, back in the UK I trained tuesday and thursday evenings.  There are more competitions on a regular basis back home though, so I would be competing every other weekend at some points of the year.  Whilst being here I train monday, tuesday and wednesday evening.  It seems to be enough at the minute.

 

11: What advice would you give future Australian champions? 

 

A: Enjoy what you are doing, make sure you enjoy yourself when you train/compete and  be open to constructive critisism from your coach.  Remember there is always room to improve and fence someone who is better so just work hard.

 

12: What do you think should happen to / in Australian fencing?

 

A: I dont think I’ve been around Australian Fencing for long enough to comment on that. Maybe ask me next year when I win the Nationals again….;)

 

 Thanks so much Stephen. Good luck for 2012…..




Australian National Champions 2011


Following on the tradition of the National Champion questionsairre, the 6 2011 Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2011 National Mens Sabre Champion: James Walsh

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start?

A: I started fencing when I was 11.  I just wanted to try something different. A sport that not many people I knew had tried.

2: How long have you been Competing at National level?

A: I’ve been fencing at the National level for 10 years.  I started doing U15 National Champs in 2001.

3: What made you choose your weapon?

A: I prefer Sabre because it is the fastest, but also the most technical of all the weapons, in my opinion anyway.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: I love fencing and training in Italy. The last two years we have been fortunate enough to train with the Italian National Sabre Sqaud in Rome. That has been amazing.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A: I could not continue to improve without my coach, Antonio Signorello or without my training partners.  I have been very lucky to be able to train with Antonio and the squad he has assembled.  

6: What are your ambitions for 2012? work / training / competition?

A: I will continue to train and early in 2012, will travel to Europe with the Australian Mens Sabre Team to compete in 3 World Cups and hopefully be able to improve my International ranking. I am a small chance to qualify for the Olympics and of course that would be a dream, but at this stage my main focus is just on continuing to improve my fencing.

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer ( nternationally)?

A: I have not modeled my fencing on any one fencer in particular, but the fencer I most admire is Nicholas Limbach (GER Olympic Silver medalist ed).  I was fortunate enough to train along with him and the rest of the German team when they came to a camp in Rome.  His total comprehension of every element in Sabre and his level of skill in every facet of the sport are quite amazing. (James fenced Nicholas in the World Champs D/E at the recent World Champs in the round of 64. ed).

8: What are your future ambitions?

A: My ambitions are to continue to improve Australia’s standing internationally and hopefully start to make 32’s, 16’s and 8’s and so on at World Cups, Asian Championships and World Championships.

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: Every national event is different, depending on the size of the comp, who is fencing and how the draw ends up, but I try to approach each comp, each bout and every point as exactly the same.  Doesn’t matter who is on the other end.  I just need to fence my game and work hard for every hit, whether it is in the poules or a final.  

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

 A: I train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are fencing sessions focusing on bouting.  Thursday and Fridays are generally just for lessons with Antonio.  Saturday mornings are gym sessions.

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A: Training cannot be approached in the abstract.  Everything you do in training has to have a purpose that will come through in your fencing during a competition.  Never just train absentmindedly without considering what you are doing and why.

12: What do you think should happen to / in Australian fencing?

A: I think Australian fencing is on the right track.  In the last few years a number of changes have been made that have already benefitted all of Australian fencing.  I would like to see this trend continue and Australian fencing continue to modernise and change for the better.

Thanks so much James..good luck for 2012.



Australian National Champions 2011


Following on the tradition of the National Champion questionsairre, the 6 2011 Champions kindly contributed some answers following their Championship win.

“The Sword Fighter Dozen”

Australian 2011 National Womens Foil Champion: Emma Ryan 

1: How long have you been Fencing? What made you start?

A: My Dad was a fencer. I started fencing when I was 11 in England, I fenced until I was 17.  My club disbanded and I lived too far away from a place to train so I stopped.  I took up fencing again about 5 years ago when I moved to Melbourne. 

2: How long have you been Competing at National level?

A: 2 years as a cadet in England and 5 years as a Senior in Australia.

3: What made you choose your weapon?

A: Difficult question as I swapped from Foil to Epee about 2 1/2 years ago, but still cant resist the urge to pick up a Foil.

4: Where is your favourite place to fence or to train?

A: I dont think its the venue thats important its the people with whom I train. I fence alongside some great fencers and some close friends.

5: How important have a coach and training partners been to you?

A: My coach will be bemused that I did so well in Foil as I have Epee lessons every week.

6: What are your ambitions for 2012? work / training / competition?

A: Enjoy myself, a medal in Epee at some point would be nice.  Perhaps an overseas competition.

7: Who if anyone have you modeled your fencing on? Or do you have a favourite Fencer ( nternationally)?

A: There are lots of fencers where I train that I admire and aspire to fence like, I dont think I need to look overseas.

8: What are your future ambitions?

A: More medals!

9: What difference if any did this national event have to others?

A: This event was special to me as it was the “National Championships” and I desperately wanted to win 1.  On the day my distance and timing was spot on and that doesn’t happen often.

10: What is your weekly training Regime?

 A: I often work shifts so I train at 3 different venues to ensure I can train at least 3 times a week.

11:  What advice would you give future Australian champions?

A: Sometimes I wonder why I fence, it takes up all my time and money.  I go to a competition and lose my 1st D/E and question why I bother.  But occasionally I beat someone whom I didnt expect to beat or I hit with a perfect action and once in a while I win a Competition, these are the reasons why I dont give up.  So if you are feeling despondent, dont give up, ride the wave till your turn comes, because it will.

12: What do you think should happen to / in Australian fencing?

A: I dont know!, a reality TV show or a movie! 

Thanks so much Emma.. good luck for 2012



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..



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 Epee Seamus Robinson Vic.


1. When and why did you start Fencing?
A:.1985- before my 10th Birthday i loved everything to do with swords, and I started at the old VRI in the Ballroom at Flinders St Station, I started foil beginners course and had lessons with Ernie Simon until I was 17 when I started working with Vlad Sher in Epee after i won the u/17 World Champs in Epee.
 
2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favourite, and where would you love to Fence?
A:A lot- all over europe- mid east, asia and south america. I like competing in warm climates where there is a beach nearby.

Saying that- i love stockholm and paris.
 
 
3. What was your motivation for winning the 2010 National Fencing Championships?
A:
I felt I had good form and made improvements and i wanted to prove it.


4. Do you think Fencing in Japan has helped you?
A: Yes because the intensity had improved my fitness and i have gained a new perspective
 
5. Now (that you won this year) what are your future goals? 
A:Next competition i can go to i want to win.
 
 
6.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?
A:
 i trained hard on my fitness and especially my footwork.
 
7. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years? 
A:My footwork is better than it has ever been.
 

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

A:training, coaching japanese highschool kids and hopefully travel for competitions.


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

A:i dont know yet- depends on work.


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

A:keep pushing yourself and have fun.


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

A:If you want to be better than everyone else then you have to train harder than everyone else-

This doesnt mean mindless repetition but constantly trying to improve all aspects of your game. Even if

you can beat everyone in your club- try doing something different to hit them or put pressure on yourself in

different ways. i was able to improve in japan fencing mostly high school kids. If some fencers in your club

can beat you- thats great! fence them as much as you can.


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 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!



Australian National Champions 2009


Following the Australian National Champions in Sydney 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 2009: Mens Foil Harry Huang Vic.

1. When and why did you start Fencing?
A:1995.and was picked by coachs.
 
 
2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favourite, and where would you love to Fence?
A:5 countries.i like KH.
 
 
3. What was your drive and/or inspiration for winning the 2009 National Fencing Championships?
A:to be NO.one in AUS.
 
 
4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirtations? 
A:to win it again.
 
 
5.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?
A:i have been training hard this year.
 
 
6. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years? 
A:focusing on training.
 

7. Whats next for you in 2009? (Training, Break, Work?)

A:training.

8. What competitions will you do Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2010?

A:AFF.or more.

9. Can you give us a motto you try to achieve in your fencing? (a guide to future Australian champions)

A:training harder,dont just talk too much.

10. If you could some define your idea of “Perfect Fencing,” what would it be?

A:hard training.

Thanks So much Harry. 



Australian National Champions 2009


Following the Australian National Champions in Sydney 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 2009: Womens Epee Evelyn Halls.

Title: 2009 National Champions: “Achievement.”  

1: When and why did you start Fencing? 

A: I started when I was about 11, in an after-school program. My sister (Jo) was very keen to fence, so my parents volunteered me …  

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 compete in but it would be somewhere between 20 to 25. My favourite place to fence is Budapest for 3 reasons – it is where I got my first big result (2nd in a World Cup in 1997); it has always been my training base when in Europe, and it is the birthplace of my wonderful husband, Peter Osvath!   

3. What was your drive and/or inspiration for winning the 2009 National Fencing Championships?   

A: I wanted to show (to myself as much as anyone else) that I still have what it takes. Also, I’ve set myself a goal of trying to win as many National titles as possible (currently seven, and counting ….). I am a very proud Australian and to be Australian champion means a lot to me.   

4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirations?  

A: My aspirations are to win next year as well! In all honesty, fencing now plays a very small part of my life, as most of my energy is focused on my family and my career. I’m not sure what role fencing will play in my future – for now, I’m happy just to be fencing well and enjoying it!  

5.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?

A: I think that I was very determined and focused, and was able to successfully implement the skills I’ve learnt over a number of years. Because I only train for a couple of hours a week, my fencing is strongly dependent on my mind telling my body what to do (and my body successfully following instructions!)   

6. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years?   
 
A: This year I came 2nd in the Foil (last year, I was 3rd!) and also fenced much better against Ping (who it must be said is a far superior foilist to me!!) More generally, I think that as I have got older (and especially since my daughter Gabriella was born) I have become much better at finding a way to win bouts from a difficult position – there were a couple of bouts in both the epee and the foil where I was behind and looked like losing, but managed to find a way to victory. It’s a skill that I wish I’d managed to develop earlier in my fencing career (when I was famous for often snatching defeat from the jaws of victory).   

7. What’s next for you in 2009? (Training, Break, Work?)

A: Work, work, and more work .. and of course, Christmas with my family and friends (and many, many presents for Gabby!). Hopefully, over summer, I might get a chance to fit in a bit more fencing – and to build up my general fitness again as well.  

8. What competitions will you do Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2010?

A: At the moment, I’m not sure – I’ll see what I feel like. The World Cup in China is a possibility, and Commonwealth Championships in Melbourne.   

9. Can you give us a motto you try to achieve in your fencing? (a guide to future Australian champions)

A: Train hard, train smart – if you can combine an appetite for hard work with the ability to analyse and improve your fencing, you will set yourself up to improve quickly. The very best fencers I have seen in Australia or overseas are always the hardest workers – the first on the piste every night at training and the last to leave. Always ask yourself whether you could have trained harder. Particularly for young fencers, there is simply no substitute for sustained hard bouting..  

10. If you could define your idea of “Perfect Fencing,” what would it be? 

A: The perfectly executed half step back fleche of Pavel Kolobkov (former Olympic and world champion).Thanks so much Evelyn…

More interviews to come..  



Australian National Champions 2009


Following the Australian National Champions in Sydney 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 2009: Womens Foil Yuan Ping, NZ    .

1. When and why did you start Fencing?

A:When I was 14years old, I started fencing.
Because this sport is really elegant and a challenge.

2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favourite, and where would you love to Fence?

A:Maybe 9 countries. I love every country which I have competed in. I would love to fence in Egypt.

3.What was your drive and/or inspiration for winning the 2009 National Fencing Championships?

A:Talking to myself and trusting myself which I did.

4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirtations?

A:I want to attend Commonwealth Championships next year.

5.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?

A:Because I have a good coach and also some fencers gave me good training.

6. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years?

A:I think I tried my best both years.

7. Whats next for you in 2009?(Training, Break, Work?)

A: Training and coaching.

8. What competitions will you do Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2010?

A:Commonwealth Championships and World Championships which will be held in Paris.

9. Can you give us a motto you try to achieve in your fencing? (a guide to future Australian champions)

A: Trust yourself.

Thanks So much Yuan Ping. 

More interviews to come…



Australian National Champions 2009


Following the Australian National Champions in Sydney 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 2009: Women’s Sabre Alex Carroll VIC.

1.When and why did you start Fencing?
A: I started fencing in 1993 at the Williamstown Fencing Club when I was nine years old. My first coach was Sue Shahin who introduced me to the foil and gave me individual lessons for about one year. After that I moved to Helen Smith who was foil my coach for six years until I changed to sword in 2002. Helen continued to fill the role of mentor. My mum first Considered the sport of fencing Because she thought it suited my personality (somewhat terrier-like). She also wanted to find a sport that promoted self-discipline so that I might learn the importance of winning and losing gracefully.
 
2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favorite, and where would you love to Fence?
A: Fencing has taken me all over the world, albeit mostly self-funded. I have spent most of my time in Eastern Europe including Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and in Western Europe, Italy, Germany and Austria. I have also fenced in China, Vietnam and traveled to Singapore team in a managerial position. I really enjoyed living in Budapest. Not too cold, not too hot. Great training, great public transportation, great chocolate croissants!
 
I studied French throughout high school to have never had the chance to actually visit France. I would love to fence at the World Championships in Paris in 2010. I would also like to spend some time in local fencing competitions in Asia as the level of competition is strong but not impenetrable. I feel I will be able to ‘climb the ladder’ by developing my skills and experience gathering competition in this environment.

3. What was your drive and / or inspiration for winning the 2009 National Fencing Championships?
A: Quite simply, I felt Obliged to win the 2009 National Fencing Championships Because to date I have not done so, Despite winning six individual gold medals in track events in 2004, 2005 and 2009. I felt it was about time that I Began fencing professionally (in a non-financial sense), and cut out the things that have sometimes distracted me from this purpose in the past. Having accomplished this goal I now feel that a door has opened for me and I am excited about what it means for the development of my fencing.
  
4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirations? 
A: My long term goal is to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In order to do this I will need to work very hard for the next three years. I have some goals that I will need to accomplish along the way, including World Championship qualification as well as improved World Cup rankings (top 64, 32 and 16 progressively).
 
5.Why do you believe you succeeded this year?
A: After avoiding fencing for almost three years between 2006 and 2008 due to Over Training Syndrome, I embarked on the 2009 competition and training year with realistic goals and a determination to Achieve Those Goals. During my recovery I learned to Recognize my limits and how to use my talents to best effect. A carefully monitored training program with regular breaks meant I was able to check my own progress, reduce the risk of injury and revisit the goals I had set myself.
 
6. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years? 
A: In fact, I did not train as hard as I have in previous years. Instead I Focussed on quality training, targeting particular aspects of my technique that needed attention. I saw immediate improvements Which meant I could start working on the next thing. Smart training is successful training

7. What’s next for you in 2009? (Training, Break, Work?)
A: The remainder of the year will be relatively free-training for me. I have a knee injury that I need to sort out and am happy to give it time. My next competition is AFF # 1 in March 2010, followed by a World Cup in Tianjin, China in about May. This gives me time to have a break, recover from my injury and begin my pre-competition training responsibly. I will continue to work on my core strength and Maintain a basic level of fitness during the break.
 

8. What will you do competitions Internationally or plan to do / if any in 2010?
A: I intend to compete in one or two World Cups (China and one other) as well as the Senior Asian Championships in Korea in July. Strong performance in these competitions should mean I qualify for the World Championships in Paris later in the year. The 2010 Commonwealth Fencing Championships are also scheduled for next year in Melbourne Which I believe I have a good chance to win, so long as I continued to Develop throughout the year.
 

9. Can you give us a motto you try to Achieve in your fencing? (a guide to future Australian Champions)
A: Strive to be a great fencer (aim for quality), fight hard for every point, be confident that it is your hit and the results will follow.
 

10. If you could define some idea of your “Perfect Fencing,” what would it be?
A: As above … technique is 50% of the end fight is the other 50%. Then there is the other, independent 100% which you can not win without - confidence. Especially in sabre. You must know that it is your hit ..

Thanks so much Alex.

More interviews to come …



Australian National Champions 2009


Following the Australian National Champions in Sydney 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 2009: Mens Sabre James Walsh QLD.

1. When and why did you start Fencing?

A: I started fencing when I was 12 because I wanted to try something different.

2. How many countries have you competed in, where is your favorite, and where would you love to Fence?

A: I have competed in 11 countries, of which my favorite was Italy. I would love go back and fence in Italy again.

3. What was your drive and / or inspiration for winning the 2009 National Fencing Championships?

A: I have worked hard and put a lot into my fencing this year. My drive was just to continue to Improve and fence better and better.

4. Now (that you won this year) what are your future aspirations?

A: To continue to win competitions in Australia and to go overseas and become increasingly competitive with the best fencers in the world.

5. Why do you believe you succeeded this year?

A: On the day everything just went right for me. I have been fencing well this year in competition Which has given me great confidence. Also I have started working with a new coach, Antonio Signorello and he helped me realized a whole new way to think about fencing.

6. Was there anything you did better this year than previous years?

A: This year I found a balance in my training that suited me better and I also found a new way to Enhance my mental game. The greatest difference about this year though is the fact that I committed myself completely to my fencing.

7. Whats next for you in 2009? (Training, Break, Work?)

A: I have a couple of more weeks of training before we break for Christmas and New Year. During the break I plan to go home and hopefully spend some time at the beach.

8. What will you do competitions or Internationally plan to do / if any in 2010?

A: I plan to compete at the next Asian Championships in Korea, go overseas to fence in a couple of World Cups and hopefully if all goes well represent Aus at the World Championships in Paris at the end of the year.

9. Can you give us a motto you try to Achieve in your fencing? (a guide to future Australian Champions)

A: “Winners want the ball.”

10. If you could define some idea of your “Perfect Fencing,” what would it be?

A: My idea of perfect or the perfect fencer fencing is someone who has the strength, control, technical ability, timing and distance to take advantage of any opportunity or any eventuality that could occur during a tip. So that no matter what their opponent does the fence has a solution to win the hit.

Thanks So Much James. More interviews to come



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.. 



Olympic Athlete Interviews


Australian Olympians have been involved in some interviews of late…

Links are available

The West Australian 

The Official Site of the 2008 Australian Olympic Team

The Official Site of the 2008 Australian Olympic Team

The Official Site of the 2008 Australian Olympic Team

Angie Darby interview

Jo Halls ABC interview 

Radio Interview

if you know of any more…please email: chris@swordfightersaustralia.com


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