Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Shadow Fencing – A Great Way for Fencers to Hone Their Skill

Shadow fencing - A great way to hone fencing skillsGreat fencers spend the most time practicing in smartest ways. Smart practice starts with finding the best practice methods, then honing your skills using those methods.

Shadow fencing is a practice technique that allows fencers to step up to their fencing no matter where they are.  You can even practice if you don’t have a weapon! You might be shadow fencing already and don’t even realize it. The question is whether you’re doing it as smartly as you could be, and whether you’re getting the most out of your shadow fencing sessions.

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The Eleven Commandments of Fencing Parenting

The Eleven Commandments of Fencing ParentingBeing the parent of youth athlete can be extremely tricky business. That’s even more the case for parents who weren’t in highly competitive sports in their own youth but who are now faced with supporting a child who is pursuing  the stressful and tangibly electric world of fencing.

There’s an incredibly delicate tightrope that fencing parents have to walk. Encouraging growth without being demeaning, managing expectations without being a pushover, supporting time off while still fostering grit.

Overbearing parenting is a big contributor to kids not wanting to participate in sports in general, and it’s definitely something that we’ve seen in fencing. That has far reaching effects, from holding them back from reaching the highest echelons of  the fencing world to preventing them from getting scholarships for college, to even impeding their ability to continue with other activities throughout their personal and professional lives as adults. The most important consideration is that negative relationships surrounding fencing can put a strain  on the parent-child relationship in general. It’s critically important that parents recognize how their actions affect their young fencers.

Here are the eleven fencing parenting commandments that all fencing parents should follow.

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Understanding Weapon Checks During the Bout

Weapon check during the fencing boutBeing in Salt Lake City at the US Fencing Summer Nationals gives a fencer and their parents a lot of experience. It’s the kind of experience that’s very difficult to acquire in any other venue. This experience is invaluable and cannot be substituted, either by private lessons or in group classes. Fencing Summer Nationals are a huge event that brings together fencers from all over the United States and even the world. There’s so much fencing going on – so much to see and do absorb!

Due to the sheer volume of fencing that you either participate in or watch, fencers expose themselves to this experience that’s really fantastic and brings their fencing up to a whole new level. There’s truly nothing like it.

You learn about tactical decisions, you see how fencers behave on the strip, you see a lot of actions and technical elements at the highest possible levels in each category. Of course you are exposed to a lot of implementations and interpretations of rules as well. Some of those rules you might not have known existed before.

One of the rules that many people don’t know about is weapon check.

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5 Ways to Save Memories and Savor Fencing Summer Nationals

5 Ways to Save Memories and Savor Fencing Summer NationalsIt’s here! After a whole year of preparation, a long hard season that’s pushed everyone to their limit, and an incredible amount of personal growth and diligent planning, Fencing Summer Nationals are finally here.

We sincerely hope that you’re reading this blog on your smartphone as you’re sitting in the audience between matches, or at the hotel as you unwind after a long day of competition. Or at the very least from the comfort of your own home if you didn’t make it out to Salt Lake City this year, as you follow your favorite fencers.

These giant events come and go, and we’re often so focused on getting through them that we don’t stop and think about how to savor and save them. In the fast-paced world of social media, the events of Fencing Summer Nationals are communicated out across the world in moments.

But you can save memories and savor Fencing Summer Nationals with these five awesome strategies!

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Quick Fix for Smelly Fencing Gloves

Quick Fix for Smelly Fencing GlovesWhat’s that Smell? Solutions for Smelly Fencing Gloves:

Recently I opened my child’s fencing bag and strong smell almost killed me. I was thinking about accidental dead mouse was inside it! Nope. Not socks, nor shoes – it was smell of hard work from my child’s fencing glove!

That’s right, it turns out that the humble fencing glove can hide some serious stink. I genuinely had no idea that it was possible for my son’s hand to smell so much!

As a loving and caring mom, I immediately gave my son a brand new glove. He put it on and without a beat told me – “I am not going to Summer Nationals with a new glove – I don’t feel my pistol grip in it!” He was absolutely right. Changing a glove to a new brand is not the best idea!! Before a big competition, changing the grip or the glove or even the blade to something new just means trouble. Familiarity with the equipment is essential in the face of a major competition. Don’t change to something new BEFORE major competitions!

We of course decided to keep his glove and not get a new one before major fencing competition. Meanwhile, I started digging into ways to get rid of this dead mouse smell.

Getting the smell out of a stinky fencing glove

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