Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

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Why Kids Quit Fencing and What Parents Should Do About It

Why Kids Quit Fencing and What Parents Should Do About It“Mom and Dad, I want to quit fencing.”

This is a serious situation that many fencing parents have had to face. They put a great deal of effort and hard work into supporting their child in this rigorous and expensive sport, only to have them suddenly want to quit.

The statistics back up the experience – 70% of children drop out of organized sports by the time they turn thirteen. That’s a sad number! Youth sports in general, and we believe that fencing in particular, are powerful and important for kids. We see so often that families struggle with pushing kids into fencing at younger ages, only to find that they burn out and don’t want to keep up. It’s especially tough to see a fencer with dedication and talent drop out.

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Emotions in Fencing – Ally or Enemy?

Emotions in Fencing - Enemy or Ally

One of the reasons we love fencing is because of the emotional payoff that comes with it. But is the rollercoaster of emotion that comes with training and competing something that we should embrace as fencers or something that we should try to stifle? Are emotions in fencing an ally or the enemy?

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Black Card in Fencing: What it is and What it Means

Black Card in Fencing: What it is and What it MeansThe rarest and most serious penalty in fencing is the black card.

Novice fencers might not understand the consequences of a black card. For instance, if a fencer gets a black card for acting out after a match that they lost anyway, what does it matter? First off, it matters because points are an issue. When a fencer leaves on a black card, they forfeit any points that they might have gotten for that tournament. That’s going to affect their standings and their potential qualification for other competitions.

A black card doesn’t just affect the match either – if a fencer gets black carded in a medal round then they lose their medal. So if you’re competing in the gold medal match, you’d get a silver if you lost. But not if you get black carded! The important thing to emphasize here is that a black card does NOT just affect the one match, it affects the whole competition and even beyond!

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6 Effective Techniques for Home Fencing Practice

6 Effective Techniques for Home Fencing PracticePracticing at your fencing club with classes and private lessons are the best way to progress forward in fencing, but working out at home is something that many students ask us about. There are some great techniques for working on specific fencing skills right from home.

One thing that we do want to emphasize here is that many of these skills are NOT good to practice at home for beginners. ALWAYS talk to your fencing coach before starting any home practice routine, as you could find yourself reinforcing bad techniques. If you practice footwork incorrectly a thousand times at home, you’re going to have a hard time breaking those habits. Make sure you’re doing any technique correctly before practicing it at home.

A final major consideration is space. The last thing you want to do is to knock things over or break things when you’re doing fencing practice. A large open space is a critical part of home fencing practice. Inside the house is completely possible, as long as the room is big enough to prevent a foil, epee, or sabre from hitting anything breakable. A garage is an ideal space – you can set up a home fencing practice area with everything you need.

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Fencing with Veterans

fencing with veteran fencerVeteran fencers come in a variety of forms. They can be fencers who didn’t start fencing until they were adults, or they can be fencers who started when they were younger and never stopped. There’s also that middle ground of veteran fencers who fenced when they were younger, took a break, and then came back to the sport.

Adult fencers are marvelous to work with. What they bring to the strip is wholly different from what youth fencers bring, and they can teach us a whole pantheon of things about fencing that are both valuable and pertinent. What’s really cool is that there are opportunities for youth fencers to practice with veteran fencers thanks to open fencing nights. Though fencing is generally much more structured during classes and in private lesson, open fencing offers fencers of all ages and skill levels to work with one another, learning and exploring.

During open fencing, we very much love to see young fencers working with veteran fencers! There are so many reasons that this kind of matchup is a positive one.

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