Mentorship is life changing. It is unlike any other relationship that an individual can have in the personal way that it inspires growth and development. Mentorship that is founded upon peer relationships is often even more powerful than the mentorship that comes from an authority figure. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is that the individual can see a very attainable path in a peer who is on the same path ahead of them. It’s something that they can reach.
There is a very real sense that this is passing the torch along to the next generation, and that is a hugely powerful thing. You are fellows on the same journey, compatriots and brethren. It is a very special relationship, and it benefits both the mentor and the mentee in profound and lasting ways.
Some fencing figures are more than what they seem, and one such figure is Andrew Fischl, known to most of us as Cyrus of Chaos.
For those of you who might not know it, Cyrus of Chaos is a major resource for fencers on YouTube. I’ve been subscribed to this channel for many years, and his fencing videos and analysis have been a wonderful addition to my own fencing knowledge. They are in depth and thoughtful, and totally unlike anything else out there. It’s a resource that has become a huge value for many fencers, no matter your weapon.
In the last few months, the channel has branched out in a wonderful way, featuring analysis with fencing coaches, great fencers, and sometimes even with fencers themselves as they analyze their own bouts. It is refreshing, it is mind blowing, and it is positively brilliant.
This is a positive source of next-level fencing understanding who’s importance cannot be overestimated, particularly during these pandemic times when we are forced to be innovative and when we are looking more and more at our screens. Cyrus of Chaos offers us the perfect mix of a solid, tried and true member of the fencing community who knows what fencing is about, mixed with youthful, out-of-the-box thinking.
In this interview, we learn more about the man behind Cyrus of Chaos, including how Andrew came to find this wonderful resource and what keeps him going. Some of the answers will surprise you, and all of the interview will enlighten you.
If you aren’t already subscribed to Cyrus of Chaos’s YouTube Channel, hop on over and subscribe!
Many parents are eager to learn Right of Way. It takes a lot of practice! Even the world’s most famous fencing parents do not always get it. I do believe that, with time, most experienced fencing parents start understanding the concept a little bit. However, they have a hard time following quick actions. Which is understandable!
I think you can teach yourself the concept and become quite good at it and thus enjoy fencing as a sport as well enjoy the fencing of your child even more.
This last bit of advice that I’m giving you is good for fencers in general and for fencing parents as well. Fencers just have an additional means of training in their club, while parents will use this as their major source of self-education.
There is a great debate about the merits of going to college, whether all of the money and time is worth the piece of paper that you get at the end. Is a degree really worth all of that? This might even be a conversation that you’re having in your house right now if you’ve got a child who wants to take a gap year or who even doesn’t want to go to college at all. And this discussion might be even more urgent now when the schools modify their curriculums.
It’s true that going to a university is expensive. It’s true that it takes a long time and costs a lot of money. It’s also true that by and large it’s worth it.
When we look for information and guidance, the first place we almost always go today is the internet. Blogs give us concise, focused insight into specific subjects like fencing from lots of different points of view. The variety is part of the appeal.
This is a unique year because we have time to delve into ideas more deeply, because we’re all at home. Many platforms and individuals are organizing new content online, and that’s an exciting thing that we can all get behind! A silver lining in 2020. Fencing has seen a whole thrust of new content, from inspirational to educational to innovative.
Fencing as a sport is very niche. This means that there are very few, if any, big name blogs. Everything you’ll find online is written by people who love it – this is not a topic that people write about unless they are passionate about it! Writing about fencing is a pure labor of love. As someone who blogs about fencing regularly, I can certify this myself. It requires a huge amount of time, commitment, and deduction to continuously produce.
If I am putting all of this effort in, why am I promoting my rivals to my readers? The answer is that it’s not about rivalry! More is more. My goal is to promote the sport of fencing, not myself. More perspectives are only a good thing. This is the same philosophy as it is for fencing – the person on the other side of the strip is not the enemy, they are the catapult that helps you become better. The same goes for blogging.
There are some great fencing bloggers who had been going for many years who have now gone on hiatus or into semi-retirement. It’s a sad thing to see those perspectives fall to the wayside. As those happen, we’ve also seen many new works and lots of high quality content recently. To that end, I’m happy to introduce my final list of the Best Fencing Blogs 2020! It was hard to choose this year, to decide on the relevance of the wonderful blogs out there and to prioritize them. This list is of course subjective, based on my preferences and point of view.
The criteria that the fencing blogs were evaluated for are:
relevance beyond current events
wide geography (not country/region/club specific)
originality (not re-publishing from other sources).
I am myself more of a reader than a watcher – I would rather read an article on a subject than watch a video on it. However, I recognize that the world is changing. More and more people are more comfortable and interested in video content than written content and I appreciate that. That’s why this list highlights all formats – video, audio and written blogs.
I’ve also noted the demise of a few great blogs, which I mention below with a heavy heart. The good news is that, while there may not be any new content coming to those blogs, you’ll still find their old blogs up. Nothing really dies on the internet!
The internet is a vast universe of content, so there is no doubt that I (hopefully!) missed some great fencing resources. Please leave a comment if you know of something that I’ve left off the list! We want everyone to get the most out of what’s out there.
If you haven’t checked out these resources, then I cannot recommend them highly enough to you. The top fencing blogs of 2020 are worth reading!