Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Category: Mosaic Page 1 of 25

Happy Father’s Day! Why Fencing Dads are Our Rock

Father’s Day 2020

Father’s Day this year won’t be like any Father’s Day that’s come before. Social distancing alone means that there won’t be big family gatherings or baseball games. That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate and support our fathers!

There is nothing like the bond between a father and his children, it’s deep and it’s formative for kids. Strong relationships with parents are a huge part of the healthy development of kids. For fencers, those strong relationships help them to keep going even when times are tough and training seems almost impossible. We cannot thank our dads enough for what they give us!

Dads are in the details

With everyone at home, there are all kinds of new things that need to be figured out and taken care of for fencing training and school to continue. Dads really stepped up to the plate and made things happen that we all needed!

All the Zooms and online classes have meant that the computers and the wifi have been going into overdrive. Dads have stepped in to figure these things out and keep everyone virtually connected, which has been no small endeavor. 

Fencing dads have turned into armorers! With all of these millions of touches on the targets via zoom, weapons are getting more abuse than they did in the club. Fencing weapons did not magically become unbreakable because fencers are at home, but coaches cannot make house calls to fix them either. Dad to the rescue to replace snapped blades! Dads are also out there making home fencing targets so that fencers can practice and keep those skills honed and ready. 

Some dads are even becoming sparring partners for their kids! I know one dad who bought a jacket, weapon, mask, and glove to be the partner for their child to practice their parries with. Even better, the coach gave private lessons to a child with his/her dad doing what the coach told to let their child practice.

Balancing is a big part of this. Most of the time, moms are the ones who are doing more of the lifting in taking care of the kids at home. Now suddenly dads have started playing a bigger daily active role in helping with the kids. Those millions of details, dads are digging in!

Read More

12 Disadvantages of Fencing

12 disadvantages of fencing

Nothing is perfect. As much as we love fencing, there are downsides and disadvantages to everything in life. Sure, we’d like to believe that fencing is the most worthwhile and amazing sport among all other sports, but we all know that it’s not perfect.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. This is not a real question on a fencing blog! It can’t be, can it?

Actually, this is a valid question. Nothing in life only has advantages, and something that is an advantage to one person does not necessarily mean that it will be an advantage to another person. Everyone’s situation is different. Their goals, their aspirations, their means, and their surroundings. In order to understand whether fencing is good for yourself or for your child, it is good to have a general idea of what the pros and cons of fencing are. Generally speaking of course. 

Note that what follows might be surprising for you to read if you are already a fencer. No sugarcoating from us! Take a deep breath, and keep reading with bravery. 

Read More

Graduates of 2020 – Fencing and the World

Graduates of 2020

There is a new reality, one that the graduates of 2020 will step out into. It’s not like anything that has come before, a world of shifting paradigms and social upheaval. The crises swirling all around our young people will require adaptation like nothing before, in areas from learning to working to socializing. 

Our young fencers have found themselves in a world that changed dramatically just as they were starting to celebrate their long journey through school and into adulthood. The carpet has been pulled out from under them. It gives new meaning to the phrase “think on your feet”, because these graduates don’t know what college will look like in the fall, or what condition the world will be in when and if they step foot on campus. 

There is the strangeness of the new normal that coronavirus has brought to our world. Fear and insecurity. There is a generational change that we can see happening right now, in the streets all over America. This generation of graduates is the first since the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1968 to feel the full weight of racial injustice

It’s a lot. These young people are extraordinary though. They have inherited a troubled world, there is no doubt of that. They are capable of meeting it with grace and strength. There is no doubt of that either. 

Adaptation is a learned skill

How do we learn to adapt to new things? Adaptation is a skill that is best developed over the course of many years, and fencers do a good job of developing that skill in their training and through competition. We have seen our fencers learn and grow in their training. This skill of adaptability is the simple most important skill for them to have right now in this world that is changing so drastically for them. 

We’ve had the privilege to talk with all of our graduates and their families, to hear about how their experience at AFM has changed them. The change has come through making new friendships, developing mentor relationships with coaches, and learning how to think quickly and solve problems. Fencing has helped our graduates to be more self assured and confident. This sport teaches how to set goals and pursue them, even in difficult times. 

I feel that through the values of equality, inclusion, respect, and camaraderie that they have learned in part through fencing, they are ready to lead us into the next chapter. Make no mistake – it is these young people who will be the leaders of the future. They are the ones who will show us the way, not the reverse. It is humbling to see this transformation that our graduates have experienced. 

Read More

Olympic Fencing Qualification Updates – May 2020

Olympic Fencing Qualification Updates - May 2020

The road to Olympic Fencing qualification isn’t a straight one this time around. There are always surprises, but this year (next year now), coronavirus has made the whole process a lot more interesting and a lot less sure. 

One related and important piece of news that also came out this week is that the chief officer of the Olympics, Thomas Bach, has stated that the games will not be postponed longer than 2021. If they cannot be held next year, the games will be canceled outright. To be clear – the organizers have said that they do not forsee the need to postpone beyond 2021, and there is no intention to do so. Of course, there was no intention to postpone them to begin with.

He said “You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide for all the major federations. You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty, you cannot have so much overlapping with a future Olympic Games.”

The new Olympic dates are July 23 to August 8, 2021. We don’t yet know what form they will take. It is possible that they could be held without fans, though no decisions have been made yet, and IOC does not like this option at all. What we are hoping is that they will be held in some form! To that end, we now have a clear idea of what the fencing qualification procedures will be for the 2020 Olympics in 2021. 

Read More

9 Must See TED Talks for Fencers

Nine Must See TED Talks for Fencers

Quarantine is a time when you’ve got some extra time. That makes this a wonderful chance to inject some inspiration into your fencing! TED Talks are a perfect way to do that. 

It’s not always about what a fencer does in the club or with their coach, much of the development of a fencer happens in learning and growing and thinking outside of their actual training. We’re always wanting to expand what we know and so improve. 

TED Talks are an incredible resource for learning and growing. If you aren’t familiar, TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design” and are short presentations given by expert speakers in sanctioned conferences held around the world. The organization has been doing this for over thirty years, and it continues to grow. You’ll find thousands of free TED Talks online dealing with every subject imaginable, and they are almost universally compelling. 

We’ve collected nine TED Talks that we find to be beneficial for fencers. Some of these talk about goals or thinking, some of them have nothing to do with sports, and two specifically about fencing. They’re perfect to watch on a cell phone or tablet anywhere you are, and you’ll find each to give you an extra push of motivation for your fencing!

Read More

Page 1 of 25

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén