Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: April 2016

Fencing for the blind or visually impaired

Fencing for the blind or visually impaired

Photo: fencing.net Fencing for the Blind in Italy.

Once while skiing at Lake Tahoe, I stood there on the top of the mountain and was frightened to death of going down. Suddenly, a couple of skiers raced past me. I wondered how they were able to ski almost simultaneously with one another, as they were almost perfectly synchronized. Then I heard a clear voice command – “One-two-right! One-two-left!”  It was only then that I noticed the orange vests, one with ” instructor ” printed on the back and the second with “A blind skier” printed on it! OMG! This graceful young woman was blind and she made it down this top level track without seeing the road! Her way of feeling was built on the simple commands of the coach – ” One-two-right! One-two-left!” What a tough character, what an amazing spirit people with disabilities must have to overcome all the barriers and still DARE!! It was a triumph of the spirit of strength, courage and enthusiasm.

When I first heard about blind fencers, my reaction was much the same as it was that day on the slopes.  I found myself wondering, how is this even possible? Isn’t the estimation of distance, the timing, the tracking of your opponent’s little signs of intention vitally important  important? Don’t you have to be able to see to make that happen?

If you’re not familiar with fencing for the blind that  is happening right now in America, then get ready to be blown away.

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How to Fix a Fencing Lame – 3 Simple Steps

How to fix a lame 5 simple stepsIf you fence foil or sabre long enough you learned that fencing lames fail, and that this can happen in just 1 day.  But before you buy a new lame, let’s step back for a moment to realize that you still can resurrect your broken one.  If you are doing this for your child’s lame then you can actually turn it into a fun project as well as a lesson in basic physics.

Step 1: Find all the dead spots on your lame

Chances are you not armorer and that your father is not a hardware engineer at Intel that can grant you an access to resistance/conductivity testing equipment. So you’ve got to find a different way and rely on your weapon to do that.

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What’s in Your Bag? Practical Tips for the Equipment Bag from a Fencing Mom

What's in Your Bag- Practical Tips for the Equipment Bag from a Fencing Mom 2Ah . . . the fencing bag. Is there anything more ubiquitous in the fencing gym than this little gem?

For fencing mom’s the fencing bag is loved and feared. We love it because it helps our kids to become more independent, taking control of their gear and showing their responsibility. We fear it because you never quite know what you’re going to find inside!

Fencing bags can often be home to mysterious smells and strange objects. They’re the realm of our kids! Like an extension of their person. As our kids get older, the fencing bag really becomes a part of their personal space, and to violate it is to ignore those oh so important boundaries.

Here are some tips from me to you on how to help your children take care of their fencing bag.

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Do Not Hang Noodles On My Ears – What Did RUSSIAN FENCING COACH SAY?

Dont put noodles on my ears - An English-to-English Translation of Russian Fencing Coach Speech

Drawing: Kseniya Bulavko, AFM talented fencing mom!

If you have been in fencing for more than 10 minutes, then you’ve probably noticed that it is dominated by Russian speaking coaches who came from the big old Soviet Union and who share many similar traits and habits. Generally speaking, all Russian fencing coaches speak pretty much the same.

What did he say?

Have you ever wondered what your Russian coach means when they say something to you in English? Then you’ve come to the right place.

You can praise yourself for learning to adapt to the heavy accent by mastering the skill of super fast, simultaneous mental transcribing of phonetic pronunciations of each word along with mental spelling and then saying it (in your mind) correctly. Yet, you find yourself again and again clueless as to what your coach just said you in “plain English!” And heaven help you if you show your fencing coach that you have no clue what he wants! Fear no more!

AFM Comprehensive English-to-English guide to Russian

will save you in your times of need!

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