Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: December 2018

How Fencers Can Learn to Accept Constructive Criticism

constructive criticism in fencingOur ability to learn and grow is fundamentally tied to our ability to handle criticism effectively. Some people seem to be naturally born with this trait, while others seem to fundamentally struggle, even when the criticism is entirely accurate.

For fencers, learning to take suggestions for improvement from fencing coaches, instructors, peers, and even fencing referees is a massive opportunity for improvement. How can you get better at fencing if you think you already know everything? The answer is that you can’t, at least not as quickly as you would be able to if you took their advice.

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Why fencers must warm up before private lessons

Why fencers must warm up before private lessonsI’ve seen it myself too many times to count. A beginner fencer (sometimes even a seasoned fencer) comes in for a private lesson in a rush two minutes before the start time, throws on their gear and jumps in.

This is totally incorrect! Before a private fencing lesson it’s so, so important that a fencer get properly warmed up. This isn’t a recommendation, it’s absolutely a requirement. Though it’s easy to get busy and skip the warm up, this is one of those instances in life where the easy thing to do is not the right thing to do.

Before you engage in any physical activity, not just fencing, you should do a short warm up. It’s one of those small things that has a big impact, and that you’ll instantly regret skipping when that injury inevitably comes around. All sport experts consistently recommend that athletes engage in warm up activities prior to training. Private fencing lessons are an integral part of fencing training!

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30 Last Minute Gifts for Fencers

30 Last Minute Gifts for FencersThe holidays are almost here! By almost we mean they’re right around the corner and we can see them pulling into the driveway. But oh no, you’ve forgotten to get the gift for them that you meant to pick up and now you’re feeling like a heel. There’s got to be a solution!

If you’ve waited until the last minute to get a gift for that special fencer in your life don’t worry, we understand. It’s not easy to juggle the thousand things you have to do! But never fear, because we’ve put together a massive list of last minute gifts ideas for fencers that you can order and  have at your door in plenty of time.

Links included! All of these gifts can be ordered and get to your front door in two days, so you can get them wrapped and under the tree before the holiday.

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Put Down Your Weapon – A Parent’s Guide to Helping Young Fencers in Competition

Put Down Your Weapon - A Parent’s Guide to Helping Young Fencers in CompetitionNew fencers often struggle with knowing what to do in competition, and naturally so. Y8, Y10, and Y12 fencing competitors are on the whole new to all of this, new to big deal that competition is. And a fencing competition is a big deal. Remember though that these kids are still learning how to navigate life all the way round, from putting their clothes away properly to checking out a book at the library. We can’t expect them to just know how to do this in the best way.

Meanwhile parents want to help, especially when their fencers are on the younger side as you are of course used to shepherding your child to learn all kinds of new things. The world of fencing is often a new one for parents too though, so you might not even know how to help your child. That’s frustrating!

After watching many new fencing parents in competition, I’ve noticed some of the same things again and again. You don’t have to feel lost! Here is a guide to help you know how to support your young fencer in competition so that they can do their absolute best. And the best thing – it is not in the area of fencing rules or calls!

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Competition Brain vs. Training Brain in Fencing

competition brain vs training brainTraining is simply not the same as competing. The mindset that an athlete immerses themselves in during competition is nothing like the way they need to think in the day-to-day training in the sport. When you compete, you’ve got a need to focus and concentrate in a way that isn’t necessary in training. That being said, during training there is still a need to have another kind of focus, but one that is more malleable and less intense.

The difference in how athletes must think during training versus on the day of competition is a subject that has been widely studied by psychologists, including those who work for the International Olympic Committee. Learning to manage the anxiety that comes on the day of competition is a major hurdle to overcome.

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