Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: February 2019 Page 1 of 2

Tactile or Tactical? Unpacking Your Fencing Style

When we think about different kinds of fencing, the first thing that jumps into our minds are the words epee, foil, and sabre. But within fencing there are far more subtleties than just what kind of weapon you use.

Getting down to it, there are essentially two ways to approach fencing, either from a tactile standpoint or a tactical standpoint. While all fencers are a mix of the two at some level, each fencer will also have one dominant world view. It’s important that fencers reflect on their propensities and style so that they can learn balance on the strip. The more you enhance your weaknesses, the more success you’ll find! Tactically minded fencers can benefit greatly from shifting their focus to the tactile side of the sport, and vice versa.

Let’s dig through the different qualities of technical fencing and tactical fencing. But before you read further, answer this question:

When you close your eyes and think about fencing, do you feel the shape of the grip in your hand and the strip under your feet, or does your mind spark with the thought of how you can counter your opponent?

Keep your answer in mind as you keep reading, and you’ll gain insight into your style of fencing.

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8 Best Fencing Blogs to Read in 2019

8 Best Fencing Blogs to Read in 2019The year is already moving full steam ahead, but unfortunately due to the very niche nature of our sport there aren’t many new fencing blogs to read.  There are some newcomers this year and we highly encourage our readers to check out lots of sources for information, as there is always more knowledge out there! Not to mention established blogs that are still delivering the in depth information we’ve come to deeply appreciate them for.

Figuring out what to read on the net is not an easy task though. There’s a lot to sift through, a lot to dig into to try to figure out what’s worth reading and what’s not so worth reading. That’s why we’ve put together our list of great blogs for you to read in 2019.

Ranked from good to great, here our the blogs you should be reading this year!

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A Love Letter to the Fencing Referee

A Love Letter to the Fencing RefereeDear Fencing Referee,

We know that the most hated person in pretty much any sport is the referee. No matter how hard you try, no matter how evenly you call a match, somehow you always end up with someone unhappy with the choices that you make. Whatever decision a fencing referee makes, one side or the other is going to be on the receiving end of bad news. In the eyes of many fencers who get on the wrong side of the call, you are taking the side of their opponent and keeping them from winning their match. This is of course a totally unfair assessment.

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The New Unwillingness to Fight Rule in Fencing: A Huge Change for Fencers

The New Unwillingness to Fight Rule in FencingUnwillingness to fight.

Passivity.

Non-combativity.

All of these things mean the same thing. They mean that two fencers are not fencing, they are just standing there looking at each other. In effect, the fencers who are supposed to be big and bold masters of the sword are pretending to be statues instead, waiting for the other fencer to do something.

In competitive fencing, non-combativity has been rampant. It’s been everywhere, and for a very long time, and was often used as a tactical move at high competitive level. That’s all about to change with one swift stroke for every fencer not only in America, but across the world. Soon, it won’t be. Here we’re going to explain the new unwillingness to fight rule that was adopted by FIE (the international governing body for fencing) for all competitions starting January 1st, 2019. It’s the same rule that was adopted by the USFA, with only some slight modification for the United States and that goes into effect on February 14th, 2019.

This is one of the most dramatic changes in fencing rules in recent history. There are of course always a lot of changes, every year we find new changes to adopt, but this one is completely different.

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Why You Should Solidify Your Rating in Fencing

Why You Should Solidify Your Rating in FencingYou’ve done it! After months upon months of hard work and diligent progress, listening to your coach and spending plenty of time at the club, you’ve finally done it! You finally reached that goal and got the fencing rating you were looking for.

Often fencers think that when they get that rating for the first time, they’re done. They’ve reached their goal. They feel like this is a huge accomplishment, one that can carry them forward for a while and maybe they can coast without so much focus and attention on their fencing. At least for a little while. It feels great, a big thing to have accomplished! Which is true, it is a big thing to have accomplished.

But just like everything else in life, it’s important that this kind of accomplishment be put into context. Fencers, especially young fencers, can get into the habit of stopping there, of thinking that because they got that rating that it’s time to sit still for a while. It’s not!

Quick note: We know that those of you who are sticklers for the details would call this not a rating but a fencing classification, and you’d be right that it’s the right term! Technically. However everyone generally calls the letter classification as a “rating”, so for the purposes of mass adaptation we continue to use this unofficial term. Just so you know that we know so you can know.

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