Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: April 2015

Teaching Commitment to Learning in fencing and life

Teaching commitment in fencing

When the teacher says, I am the one that makes learning possible in the classroom and I am committed to make it happen. And the student says, I will do everything that I can to learn. I am ready to learn. That is when the magic of learning really happens. (Edutopia blog)

A great teacher is a rare and valuable find. Great teachers need to not only be proficient in the subject, but also passionate about sharing their knowledge and skills in transferring it to others. Great teachers know how to cater their style and approach to the individual and care as much (or more) about their students’ success as their own.

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The Dreaded Black Card in Fencing

Fencing Black CardToday I’d like to address a very serious and sensitive topic: discipline and the black card in youth fencing. Experienced fencers are all aware of the rules of the game. They know that fencing is a gentlemen’s sport with specific rules around procedure and etiquette. They know that they must shake hands with their opponent after a match, and they know that losing their temper on the strip is strictly forbidden. When a violation occurs, an experienced fencer knows the consequences and should be prepared to be carded, and potentially eliminated from the tournament. But what about when a young child loses their temper? Is a red or black card an effective means of teaching a lesson? And who should be responsible for teaching children to maintain decorum on the strip and remain gracious no matter if they win or lose? Is it the parents’ responsibility? The coach? How about the referee?

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Newly Established AFM Y8 Fencing Tournament

Young fencers improvise Y8 Fencing TournamentAs you know, we strongly believe that children should compete in the sport of their choice. However, fencing is quite a unique sport in a sense that there are rarely events for “novice” fencers, and definitely not in the Bay Area. The reason is simple—fencing is very niche sport and demand is insufficient to warrant leagues at different levels as is customary in some more mainstream sports.

As fencers get younger every day, we often see children at 6, 7, and 8 years old already starting their fencing careers. Why go far? My own children are in that age category! The youngest official fencing age category is 10 years old and under. For children that are in the beginning of their fencing careers and perhaps a bit younger than 10, competing with big kids can be challenging.

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