Wednesday, 22 January 2014

On My Fencing Training Plans

I have decided to use the new year as a trigger for improving my training at the noble art of defence, and I thought I would outline the things I plan to work on and hope to achieve.


This is one of the biggest areas which tends to get ignored in most rapier training I've experienced. Most of my discussions with people have tended to work on the assumption that, so long as you can hold your sword up and keep your feet moving through the bout, your fitness is fine for fencing. This is a stark contrast to the heavy fighting community, where fitness is required and encouraged.

Is that just because we have no real need for "armour fitness" as they do, because what we wear is so much lighter?

I don't think so...

My main fitness focus this year will be leg fitness, to improve the speed of my footwork, and the range of techniques available (there are just too many positions I can't use for the simple reason that there's no way I'm getting my 115 kg out of that position once I get there). I'll also be aiming for some arm muscle improvements, but also a great deal of stamina training (as best as I can).


There is a reasonably heavy focus on technique over fitness in the parts of the fencing community I've been exposed to, and that's all well and good, but I've decided I would like to take it in a different direction for my own development.

There is a definite trend in my training group, especially among those who teach and train us, to focus on developing a broad understanding of advanced and fancy techniques. This is all well and good, in its place, but as the main area of instruction? I feel that it's coming at the expense of gaining a better grip on the fundamentals of technique.

There is a push in the local heavy fighting community at the moment to bring a greater focus on the fundamentals, as the core and basis of any fighting technique, and I believe that it would be of great value to import this focus to the fencing world.

I have several well-identified weaknesses in my technique, and I must say, none of them are "not enough advanced techniques". My weaknesses are all critical areas of the fundamentals. Attacking straight down the line. Not using footwork to position myself for advantage. Poor point control. Poor parries. Not covering the line. Moving straight backwards. Not being assertive in the fight. There's no amount of complicated advanced technique that will cover those gaps, no matter how much Italian you use to describe it.

No comments:

Post a Comment