All posts by jjschimpf

Winter Workshops

We have two great workshops coming up the beginning of January. We have finally been able to get Coach Aaron Kandlik to come out in the winter and share his knowledge with us again. Coach Kandlik is is a Level 4 Coach in all 3 weapons from the USFA Coaches College, a certified Prevost d’Armes and a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. ¬†Aaron has coached for Vassar College, Northwest Fencing Center and currently is coaching for Oregon Fencing Alliance which is home to Olympic Fencers Mariel Zagunis and Becca Ward.

Now about the workshops… The first will be on January 1st, a Youth workshop, where Coach Kandlik will help fill in the gaps in your fencing. This night will not be all fencing as we also plan to play a lot of fun games too. We like to think of it as a Parents Date night, something every parent needs after the holidays. (There will also be pizza for the kids)

There will also be a Teen Workshop on Saturday January 2nd. This will be a full day of fencing instruction. Coach Kandlik will use the most modern techniques and gear this workshop toward the specific needs of the students who attend.

Check out all the information:

Our Flyer – Winter Workshops with Aaron Kandlik

Equipment Needed to Fence

Today we are going to share with everyone the necessary equipment/clothing for fencing at the club and in competition. Remember a good general rule to follow when purchasing equipment is you get what you pay for. This has very few exceptions in fencing.

First we will start with what you need to fence at the club!

Everyone will need to start out with comfortable clothing that they can move around in. We recommend a T-Shirt, athletic pants, and sneakers. Jeans are never a good choice to fence in. They rip easily (as I have experienced myself!) and do not allow the student to move well.

The following is a list for our club foil fencers:

Jacket
Plastron
Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Foil Mask (NO Lame on the bib unless you are fencing internationally)
Glove
Foil Lame
Body Cord (We recommend 2 prong as they are easier to fix)
Electric Foil with a 2 prong socket – Size 2 or 0 blades for Y10 and younger. We recommend you use Viscounti grips or something similar.

The following is a list for our club saber fencers:

Jacket
Plastron
Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Saber Mask
Head Cord
Glove
Saber Lame
Body Cord (We recommend 2 prong as they are easier to fix)
Saber – Size 2 or size 0 blade for Y10 fencers.

The following is a list for our club epee fencers:

Jacket
Plastron
Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Epee Mask
Glove
Body Cord
Electric Epee – Size 2 or 0 blades for Y10 and younger. We recommend you use Viscounti grips or something similar.

For any one fencing in competition the lists of required equipment is a little bit different.

For foil competitions:

Jacket
Plastron
Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Foil Mask (NO Lame on the bib unless you are fencing internationally)
Glove
Knickers
Long Socks
Foil Lame
At least 2 Body Cords (We recommend 2 prong as they are easier to fix)
At least 2 Electric Foil with a 2 prong socket – Size 2 or 0 blades for Y10 and younger. We recommend you use Viscounti grips or something similar.

For saber competition:

Jacket
Plastron
Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Knickers
Long Socks
Saber Mask
2 Head Cords
Glove with electric cuff
(Electric over glove if your glove does not have an electric cuff)
Saber Lame
At least 2 body cords (We recommend 2 prong as they are easier to fix)
At least 2 sabers – Size 2 or size 0 blade for Y10 fencers.

For epee competition:

Jacket
Plastron
Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Epee Mask (NO Lame on the bib unless you are fencing internationally)
Glove
Knickers
Long Socks
At least 2 Body Cords
At least 2 Electric Epees – Size 2 or 0 blades for Y10 and younger.

When fencing in competition you may choose to have more than 2 weapons and body cords. I frequently will bring 4 weapons with me to North American Cup events. Having extra weapons allows a stress free environment in case a wire breaks or the tip malfunctions. Competitive fencers will also frequently have spare wires, screws, tips, etc. This lets them do any necessary on-site repair.

When picking out your equipment feel free to consult with us about what you are ordering. We want to make sure you have the best product for what you want to do. Also remember club members in good standing will receive a 5% discount when ordering through The Phoenix Center.

How to Drill Part 4

Hey Everyone,

Now it’s time for the final installment of our “How to Drill” series. Our final installment will talk about practicing skills in bouts. The best way to accomplish this is by limiting yourself in order to accomplish something specific. To do this you need to buy CBD products a specific action, moment, distance, preparations, and supporting actions.

A specific action could be a counter attack, the moment could be while their hand is down on an advance, the distance could be extension distance. I might need to prepare with early or searching parries or possibly even with a half extension. A supporting action for me might be distance parry and short attacks.

Bringing the drills into the bout are the final step towards integrating and mastering actions. It is crucial that fencers constantly complete all 4 parts of how to drill in order to identify, practice and integrate a skill into their fencing. Drilling can be done at any time. How frequently you do it is up to you and how quickly you want to improve.

How to Drill Part 3

Now it is time to talk about rules to follow while drilling.

Rule 1:

When drilling you should be able to have an 80% success rate. The only exception to this is if you are doing a 50/50 drill. In which case each fencer should be equally successful when drilling their actions.

Rule 2:

If the drill is not working then go back one step! The drill may be too complicated or the skill may be too challenging. Either way if it is too hard go back one step!

Rule 3:

Avoid going too fast or too slow. Do not make things too big or too small. Everything should be performed at an appropriate speed and size to facilitate learning.

Rule 4:

Keep it realistic. Act as though you were in a bout. Keep in mind the realistic does not mean at a speed you would use in a bout, however it does mean perform actions and respond as though you were in a bout. The speed an size should still be appropriate to the fencer learning the skill.

Rule 5:

Wear all proper gear. It’s no fun if someone gets hurt!

Rule 6:

Keep it fun! Things that are simple and too slow are BORING! Things that are fast and too complex are frustrating. We must keep a drill at a level that allows people to learn without being bored or frustrated.

Look for the final installment of this next week.

How to Drill Part 2

Here is part 2 of a continuously growing series! When drilling we have to not only assess what skill we want to work on but also what other parts of that skill we may need to practice. For example, I may need to work on my parry riposte, but what I really need to practice is seeing where the attack is going and choosing the right parry. I need to practice my tracking skills. It is also possible that I may need to practice timing of my parry or timing of my riposte. The list can go on! I am going to list out here some of the skills you may need to work on within an action. It is important to isolate and practice these skills specifically as practicing tracking will not help my technique or my timing necessarily.

List of possible skills to practice:

Timing
Distance
Technique
Tracking
Reaction
Speed
Acceleration
Deceleration
Accuracy
Tactics

Hope this helps. Keep your eyes open for the next post on how to create a successful drilling environment!

How to Drill Part 1

There are quite a few things to consider while practicing. First and most importantly is select a skill that you wish to practice. You might choose a skill you have a hard time with or a skill that you are already good at that you want to improve. Once you have selected a skill, you need to think of the scenario you might use it in while bouting. Next you want to create rules so that both sides can accomplish what they need to. For example if I want to practice a disengage attack with a fleche, I might have someone search for the blade and then step back. Remember it is important to know the skill you are practicing and make sure to design a situation where you can accomplish it and then practice with everyone in the club until you have the skill down!

What are Simple Attacks?

A simple attack can be performed by making a straight attack, a disengage, or a coupe (also known as cut over). Simple attacks are very useful for scoring touches with. To execute a simple attack the fencer performing the action needs to have good timing, distance, speed, technique, and tactics. A great drill to practice your simple attacks would be to practice hitting straight with a lunge on your partner’s step forward. Once you can do this with everyone in the club that you know, move on to the following drill. You are only allowed to hit on a forward step with a cue. The cues are the blade dropping down for a straight attack, the blade sweeping a specific line for disengage, or the blade sweeping any line for coupe. The other rules for this drill are that the fencers partner is only allowed to move forward and the fencers partner must give a cue within 3 steps. Try this with everyone at the club. Make sure you lunge on the step forward with the cue. Any half steps backwards will mess up the timing!