Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Category: Spirit Page 1 of 24

Why Fencers Should Set Process Focused New Year’s Resolutions for 2023

Why Fencers Should Set Process Focused New Year’s Resolutions for 2023

Every January 1st we come around to the tried and true tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions that we may or may not keep. Too often, we don’t keep them – they’re more of a joke than anything else. 

Setting New Year’s goals that don’t come true might be a running gag, but for kids especially it can be a negative experience to set their sights on something only to fall short. When 80% of resolutions set in January (per data from US News) are abandoned within weeks, what’s the point? 

None of this is a big secret – everyone kind of collectively agrees that this is a tradition in the same way that we all support kids’ belief in Santa Claus. The resolution might as well be as fictional as the jolly guy in the red suit who, according to astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, would have to visit 25,000 homes a second in order to accomplish his Christmas Eve mission.

Despite everyone’s knowledge that resolutions don’t work, we still continue to make them year after year. There’s always a lot of talk about how to set good New Year’s resolutions, and we’ve written about it before right here. This year, we wanted to offer our readers something a little different in order to support those New Year’s goals.

AFM Holiday Gift Guide 2022 – Gifts for Fencers by Age

AFM Holiday Gift Guide 2022 - Gifts for Fencers by Age

If you’ve ever struggled to find the right gift for that very special fencer in your life, you’re not alone. Figuring out what to give is a struggle, especially because none of us wants to give a present that will go unused. 

Choosing the right piece of fencing gear, the perfect accessory, or the right add on experience is a challenge, even for the most present fencing parent or fellow fencer. This year, our MEGA HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE is bigger than ever before, with sixty gift ideas!

This year, we’re looking at our annual AFM Holiday Gift Guide from a different perspective and breaking it down by age. Every parent knows that different ages have wildly different needs, and fencers of different ages have different needs as well. We’re taking the guesswork out of finding the right gift for your fencer by giving you the best gifts for all ages! Of course, many of the gift ideas below are cross-generational, so you might want to scroll through the entire collection when looking for something that fits your choice, even if it is in a different age bracket from your fencer.

Grace, Gratitude, and Growth – An End-of-Year Thankfulness Challenge

Grace, Gratitude, and Growth - An End-of-Year Thankfulness Challenge

Thanksgiving is not only a time for being thankful for what we have, it’s also a time that we can reflect on WHY being thankful is so important. That’s why we’re coming to you with a thankfulness challenge this year. 

Our own experience in fencing is centered around being thankful for our community. While we are constantly aware that fencing brings us positive support and helps us become better people, it’s also true that being grateful for all of that brings us closer to our goals. We want you all to become the best possible fencers you can be, and by extension the best possible version of yourselves you can be. 

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we thought it would be a good moment to look at how showing grace and finding gratitude can help us to grow and how we can practically use thankfulness to enrich our lives between now and the end of 2022. 

Recalibrating as you Age in Fencing

Recalibrating as you age in fencing

Age is truly a relative thing. When you are a little kid, you can’t wait to be a teenager. When you’re a teenager, you can’t wait to be an adult. When you’re an adult, you wonder why your childhood and teenage self were in such a hurry to rush through to adulthood. 

When you think about it in the bigger picture like this, it’s easy to see that it’s a no-win situation. At every age, you could see something wrong with the stage that you’re at. This is really true in sport, because the limitations and strengths of our physical bodies change so clearly with time.

Fencing is different than many sports because it is possible to enjoy the sport fully even as we age. There’s a reason that the Veteran category of fencing has age ranges all the way up to the eighties! Even with that reality, it’s not uncommon to hear fencers comment on how they are limited by their age in this way or that way. It even happens to younger fencers, who must grapple with bodies that grow four inches in a year and force them to change the way they approach the sport. 

Learning to recalibrate how you think about aging in fencing will make it easier to reach those fencing goals, and what’s more, it will make you a happier fencer. 

Starting Fencing as an Adult: Why It’s Worth It

Jere Bothelio, 2022 USA Champion in Veteran 70 Men's Epee. He started fencing as an adult

Recently we received a lot of calls from adults inquiring about starting fencing.

Is that even possible, they asked, isn’t this a skill that you must learn in your childhood to be able to be even remotely good? Can you compete as an adult?

The answer is simple – it’s never late to start fencing. And you might soon find yourself competing on local, regional, and even the national circuit.

Moreover, you can even compete against Olympians! Show me any sport, which you start at age 30, 40, 50, and beyond, and in which you can qualify to compete at the national level against World and Olympic Champions. Fencing is unique in that sense.

There are so many things that are so great and unique in fencing, from mental health to physical, that I accepted an invitation from Leon Paul and wrote an article about starting fencing as an adult. You can read it here.

[P.S., in the picture, our Adult Coach Jere Bothelio, earning his National Title in the Veterans 70 category and securing the #1 spot on the national team. Next week he competes in Croatia in the Veteran World Championship. Good luck, Jere! Jere started fencing in his adulthood, about 30 years ago. Since then, he has been on the rise.]

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