Are you dissatisfied with your current fencing classes? Maybe you feel like the class spends too much time with warm-up exercises. Or perhaps you think the class includes too many games and not enough fencing. But the bottom line is that you need a new fencing class where the students can improve and have fun.
Swordplay LA, a fencing club in Burbank, California, has a developed a new class system for people like you. Students are already demonstrating vast improvements and we have the stories to prove it. But before we get to those stories, you’re probably wondering: What makes these new fencing classes different?
What Makes the Classes Special
These classes last two and a half hours. That gives you plenty of time to challenge yourself and fence. Here’s an example of how the classes typically go:
- 5 Minutes: Cardio
- 10 Minutes: Footwork
- 10 Minutes: Water and Suit Up
- 20 Minutes: Drills + 1:1 Student/Instructor Sessions
- 30 Minutes: Fencing + 1:1 Student/Instructor Sessions
- 30 Minutes: Drills + 1:1 Student/Instructor Sessions
- 45 Minutes: Fencing + 1:1 Student/Instructor Sessions
The 1:1 private sessions last for twenty minutes, which means you don’t have to spend time getting warmed up. You can start working on what needs improvement right away then jump right into the fencing action. Fencing with other for people for long periods also gives you a chance to get advice from them, build your endurance, and use what you learned from your instructor and in the drills.
The other unique thing about the class — besides its length and the extra fencing time — is that we’re flexible about your attendance. You can stay for the whole thing if you’d like or just come in for an hour. But however long you stay, you’re guaranteed plenty of fencing time and an opportunity to improve your game.
Swordplay LA Success Stories
Our fencing-focused class structure allows you to quickly progress. We don’t expect you to simply take our word for it, of course. Here are some recent student success stories from our foil classes.
Mastering the Lunge
Perfecting your lunge takes discipline. The same thing goes for any piece of footwork, which is why we always start our classes with footwork exercises. It gives you an opportunity to eliminate bad habits and reinforce good ones before you start fencing.
Owen, one of Swordplay LA’s regular students, had trouble keeping his back foot from rolling when he lunged. That caused him to recover slowly and even lose touches. But since the class starts with footwork, his instructor was able to reinforce good muscle memory.
After a few classes, he’s now able to keep his back foot flat on the lunge. He doesn’t even need a reminder from the instructor anymore; he just corrects the problem on his own.
Extend That Arm!
Many beginner-level fencers share similar problems, such as leaning forward on their lunges or failing to extend before their attack. These habits are notoriously hard to kick in a group setting since the instructor can rarely develop in-depth knowledge of each student’s challenges. Our new class system doesn’t have that problem.
Take one of our young foil students, Ridgley. One problem his instructor noticed was that he often doesn’t extend his arm before attacking. Predictably, that caused him to lose several touches, either because he fell short or hit off-target.
His instructor addressed these problems during a twenty-minute private session with two separate drills. During the first drill, the coach held a foil up for Ridgley to hit and knock over with his own weapon. The catch was that he had to do it with a lunge, and he had to extend before lunging. The second drill required him to simply hit the instructor in various target areas in succession, but he could only use an extension.
After 20 minutes of these drills, Ridgley jumped right into fencing. He reverted to his old habits at first, but then his coach reminded him of the drills and explained their importance to the fencing bout. After that, Ridgley began extending his arm more frequently. That enabled him to get touches in scenarios where he would have otherwise missed the touch.
Reading The Distance
Distance is fundamental to good fencing (as you’ve probably heard from several coaches). Your distance from your opponent determines whether or not you’ll hit, so getting the distance right is crucial. However, many beginner fencers struggle with finding and maintaining the correct distance before making their attack.
For example, Ian — one of our long-time students — had a habit of getting too close when attacking. That caused him to miss scoring opportunities. However, taking a 20 minute lesson with his instructor allowed him to correct that issue. That one private session helped him read the distance more accurately and score more touches right away.
Building Endurance and Confidence
Your standard fencing class only lasts about an hour. That timeframe is limiting when it comes to building endurance. Fifteen or twenty minutes of fencing at the end of class simply isn’t enough.
One instructor has found that having a longer class has been considerably helpful for her adult students. Previously, most of her students trouble fencing multiple bouts back to back. Now, after attending the two-and-a-half hour class for a month, these students not only have the stamina to fence for over an hour but have the confidence to attend Monday night open fencing!
Students Helping Students
Some problems only come up during fencing bouts and can’t be fixed with a drill. For instance, some fencers are jittery or hyperactive when fencing, or they attack straight into obvious traps without a plan. Jevan, another young foil fencer, had those problems recently.
Jevan came in at the class’s half-way point, so he got to do a lot of fencing that day. Two different people he fenced with saw these issues and gave him advice in between touches. For instance, they advised him to slow his footwork down and attack into obvious openings with a feint disengage.
Jevan took these tips to heart. He calmed down a little more while he was fencing, which allowed him to hide his actions better. He also started thinking a few steps ahead when he saw openings; he scored with several excellent feint-disengage attacks after he began fencing more deliberately.
Your Next Steps
Now that you know that Swordplay LA’s new class system gets results, it’s time for you to get started. Our website has all the information you need concerning our schedules and pricing, but here’s when the new classes happen:
- Monday, 5:30-8:00pm — Kids/Teen Foil Class
- Thursday, 6:00-8:30pm — Adult Foil Class
- Saturday, 9:00-11:30am — Kids/Teen Foil Class
You don’t have to call ahead of time: All of Swordplay LA’s classes are walk-ins, so you can just arrive at the club, pay, and get started. See you soon!