How To Become a Better Fencer with 3 Mental Skills

You already know that physical practice is key to becoming a competent fencer. But did you know that you need to develop a strong mental game too?

Each fencer begins their journey to excellence at different points. But no matter where you start, improving your game requires developing physical and mental agility. Developing both not only hones your technique but turns you into a tactically superior fencer, and therefore a much tougher opponent.

Private fencing lessons and classes hone your physical game, but your mental game is a different story. It’s completely on you, but that’s where this article comes in: We’re going to discuss the mental skills you need to develop a masterful fencing game. These tools can help you prepare to fence, become mentally agile as you’re fencing, and learn from all your bouts so you can keep growing.

Let’s get started!

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How to Maintain Your Fencing Gear: The Lamé

foil and sabre lamé maintenance

Let’s talk about every competitive fencer’s nightmare.

You’ve gone through the trouble of preparing for today’s tournament. You’ve taken a few lessons this week, fenced nearly each day, and you got a good amount of sleep last night. You’ve packed plenty of water, fruit, energy bars, possibly a sandwich. You have extra weapons, you have the under armor, and you remembered to wear pants today! Everything’s looking good when you arrive at the venue.

And then you bring your lamé up to the officials.

They tell you it’s unusable. There are too many dead spots, it has resistance problems, maybe it’s suffered some physical damage. Even worse, there’s no vendor and no extra lamé lying around. Looks like you get to go home early today.

Naturally, you want to avoid this nightmare. To that end, it’s time to learn how to repair your lamé and keep these problems from happening with proper maintenance.

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How to Maintain Your Fencing Gear: Épée and Sabre

Épées and sabres are deceptive.

Not that they’re trying to trick you (duh). They’re deceptive in that diagnosing their technical problems can be tricky. Unlike in foil, épée and sabre don’t have the advantage of an off-target light to indicate that something’s gone wrong. You’re just as likely to think you missed that touch because of bad luck as you are to suspect some kind of technical problem.

These weapons’ problems are also trickier to identify because they’re wired differently from a foil, as you learned from our very first article on gear maintenance. That’s why épéeists and sabreists get their very own article dedicated to diagnosing and fixing these weapons’ most common issues.

Let’s talk about épée first.

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2 Proven Methods for Building Fencing Endurance

endurance training for fencing

Think back to the first time you ever fenced, even if it wasn’t that long ago. You were completely out of breath by the end of it, but your instructor wasn’t. Now ask yourself a question: Have you gotten any better?

Not skill-wise, rather in terms of your endurance. Are you able to fence more bouts than you were on day one? Are you able to breathe at a more normal rate after your fencing bouts? Or does it still feel like your very first day?

Building endurance for fencing bouts takes work, just like any other aspect of the sport. And today, we’re going to discuss the secret to building endurance for fencing. Once you take this advice, you’ll be able to fence more bouts, fence longer bouts, and breathe a little bit more easily by the end of your fencing sessions.

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Keep or Trade? 7 Ways to Get More From Your Fencing Coach

Do you need a new coach?

Are you getting the most from your fencing coach?

The answer depends on two things. It partially hinges on the coach. Having a knowledgeable fencing coach who you get along with is crucial. But it also depends on you: How you engage with your coach during your lessons determines what you get from them.

And if you’re not getting the most out of your fencing coach, what’s the answer? Do you get a new one or change the way you do things?

Swordplay LA is here to help you answer that question. We’re going to talk about what you can do to strengthen your coach-student relationship — which will mean more winning and learning — and what to look for when hunting for a new coach.

Let’s start with what you can do.

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How to Maintain Your Fencing Gear: The Foil

You can’t find anything wrong with your body cord: There aren’t any breaks in the cable, no overly-compressed pins rattling in the socket receivers, and no cold solder joint on the A clip. Yet you still get that irritating off-target light on blade contact. That means something is loose in the weapon between the tip and the guard, possibly in multiple places.

Whenever your foil has a technical problem, the off-target light fires on blade contact because the circuit in the foil is broken for more than 15 milliseconds. The boxes neither know nor care where or why the break occurs — could be a properly depressed tip on a hit, could be something loose — it sees the break and the off-target light fires.

Without further delay, let’s dive into some of the intricacies of foil repair with plenty of how-to videos!

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6 Fencing Life Lessons For Job Hunting And Adulting

Have you ever paused to consider whether the fencing aphorisms your coach mutters also apply to life? Well, they do. Fencing teaches several crucial life lessons, such as:

  • Don’t underestimate women, old people, or fourteen year old girls.
  • When in doubt, go for the jugular.
  • Lefties are evil.

But seriously, when you’ve been on the piste long enough, you’ll pick up lessons that will help you get through adult life. Whether that means landing a good job or thriving as an adult, fencing can prepare you for it.

We encourage you to reflect on what fencing has taught you about life, but here are seven lessons to get you started.

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5 Stories Prove Swordplay LA’s New Classes Help Fencers Excel

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?

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How to Maintain Your Fencing Gear: The Body Cord

You’re getting ready for a fencing bout: You hold the body cord as you put on the jacket, put on the lamé, you hook up to the reel box, and you’re ready to fence. But as you lift your arm to test your opponent’s gear, the box shows an off target touch. Or maybe your opponent’s light registered off target when they tested your lamé — or there was no light at all, if you’re a sabre fencer — but you know that it doesn’t have any dead spots.

You test every other weapon in your bag, but the same problem keeps arising. Then you use a different body cord, and everything starts working. You correctly conclude that something’s wrong with the first body cord, but what’s the problem and how do you fix it?

Welcome to the second installment of our fencing gear maintenance series, where we discuss how to fix some common technical difficulties that fencers encounter with their gear. Today, we’re focusing on the piece of equipment that most often gives fencers grief: body cords. We’ll look at some of their most common problems, why they occur, and show you how to fix them.

If you haven’t read part one yet, go do that. It has crucial background information. If you’ve already read it, let’s get started!

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How to Make Time for Fencing When Life Gets Busy

You’ve taken a free trial lesson, you’ve taken some lessons and classes, and you want to keep fencing. But you’ve run into a problem that most adults run into: Your busy schedule. Between work and family obligations, you’ve found it difficult to make it to the club consistently.

How do you make time for fencing when life is busy? It all comes down to intentionally carving out time and having a reliable accountability system.

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