Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Author: Igor Chirashnya Page 1 of 43

8 Signs You’re Coddling Your Fencer (And How To Stop)

8 Signs You’re Coddling Your FencerIn fencing, there are these two extremes that we often see in parenting. There are coddling parents and hard driving parents, and each is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Most of the parents that we see fall somewhere in-between, which is a good thing, but everyone can venture to one extreme or the other at times.

Coddling parents are thought of as those who pamper their fencers. They are highly concerned about feelings. They want to prevent their children from experiencing even the smallest hardship. They jump in-between fencers and their coaches, between fencers and their opponents, between fencers and themselves! They want their kids to win, but they want it to happen with as little discomfort as possible.

Hard driving parents are thought of as cold and ambitious. They are hard-nosed, and they care little about feelings. These are the “old school” fencing parents. Empathy for the opponent, for the coach, and indeed for their own fencer is not permitted. It’s about driving towards that victory. They want their kids to win, and it doesn’t matter how much discomfort happens along the way.

We tend to see more of the former in fencing, though hard driving parents definitely show up. There is a time and place for both. Let’s be clear about that – there are good reasons to coddle your fencer at times and to drive them hard at times. When child is physically injured, of course they need caring attention. When an emotional injury takes place, it’s not enough to tell them to “suck it up.” Coddling often moves well past these reasonable things though. It can become a way of life for parents. It comes out of a deep love for their child, but too much coddling hinders a young fencer’s ability to grow.

Too much of anything is not good. Letting your child become independent is challenging, and in fencing you’re letting them go with a sword!

Here eight signs you are coddling your fencer. If you’ve done one or two, then you might want to think about why those things happened. Three or four and you’re in danger of hindering their progress. If you’ve done more than five of the things on this list, then it’s time for change if you want your fencer to find independence!

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1 + 1 Does Not Equal 2 in Fencing

1 + 1 Does Not Equal 2 in Fencing:  Incremental Improvement in FencingThe distance from 0 to 1 is not the same as the distance from 1 to 2. At least, not in fencing.

It’s something that we’ve noticed when new fencers come in and start learning fencing, then competing. Initially, there’s this explosive growth. A fencer comes in to joining in Y10 and they are gangbusters right from the beginning. They start out with zero fencing and within just a year they progress to being a one – to being a fencer! This jump from zero to one seemingly happens overnight.

Then things stall out. They slow down, they become still. Or do they? In truth, that level of progress doesn’t keep going after that first year where parents see this massive change, but that does not by any means mean that growth has really stopped. Why does it seem to slow down so dramatically though? Why is it that one plus one doesn’t equal two in fencing?

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How Fencing is Preparing Our Kids for the Unknown Future

How Fencing is Preparing Our Kids for the Unknown Future65% of the school aged kids will work in a profession that doesn’t exist yet. That’s according to numbers from the United States Department of Labor. It’s an extraordinary number! How can parents possibly prepare their kids for things that we can’t possibly know?

This may sound like one of those questions that doesn’t have a good answer, but after a conversation with a fencing parent recently I realized that actually we know exactly how to prepare our kids for a future that we cannot possibly know. This mom had a clear idea of how she was going to shape her child to be able to face the unknown in the future, and as usual I found that I learned a lot from a fellow fencing parent.

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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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