Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by Jaydub, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I've wanted to do something else, in addition to my Karate training, for quite some time now. Fencing is never something that I had considered, but here we are.

    Fencing a sport that caught my interest relatively recently within the last few months. I registered for a beginners class starting towards the end of the month. It's quite affordable to start. $60 for 8 x beginner lessons, all gear provided, and regular membership until the end of December. The cost is $40 a month after that if I choose to stick around.

    I won't be able to make all of the classes, of course. Hopefully I'll learn enough to know if I want to make it a regular thing or not. Or, at the very least, be better able to act out my cinematic fantasies.

    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    That sounds cool! Let us know how it's going and if there are any similarites with karate.

    Oh, I hope you'll be able to post some of your cinematic act videos, hahaha :D
    Jaydub likes this.
  3. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    I've done a lot of fencing. Chain link fences, picket fences, etc. I've done it all. It hasn't helped my martial arts.

    Seriously, my wife and her sister did some fencing in high school. The one thing they both said is that it is a killer for the legs. Fencers may have stronger legs than any other martial artists.
    Jaydub likes this.
  4. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Nice to see you took the plunge! Hope it goes well for you and you get something out of it.
    Jaydub likes this.
  5. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I just finished my first Fencing class today, and I really enjoyed it.

    We obviously focused mainly on the basics tonight. Basic en garde stance, advance, retreat, etc. I found en garde to be somewhat familiar to Kōkutsu dachi, and the advance & retreat drills felt a little like kata training.

    We are also starting with the foil to learn the basics of the sport. We will likely get further exposure to the épée and sabre as we progress. I'd very interested in getting into the sabre style if I stick with it. We already had a sabre practitioner try to recruit us on our very first class. There are apparently only a handful of sabre practitioners at this club. I get the impression that it's a bit of a niche weapon.

    As a somewhat experienced Karate practitioner, I must say I was a little surprised how sore my legs were after the class. The soreness feels a bit like my early days of Karate training.

    Also, we were made to choose our fighting names after class so they could mark our assigned gear. I went with "Sea Snake".
  6. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    My 'nom de guerre' was Bumblebee on account of my Black and yellow fleece when I first started (I had no choice, it was just given), though the only thing I had written on my glove was 'DON'T PANIC'.

    No reason why you can't try sabre after your foil intro course , especially if there is someone at the club whose angling for more playmates.

    But in the meantime Foil will teach you footwork and the concept of Right of Way/Priority which is important when moving on to sabre, so when its introduced as a concept pay extra attention!

    It's no more niche than foil, as both disciplines it require more specialist instructors and referees, and Sabre requires more kit . Epee is rules and equipment light, so naturally draws in overall on average more members across the globe.

    Enjoy. If you have any more technique based questions feel free to PM me.
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  7. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    Thank you for the wealth of information that you have given me so far, including all the material that you provided to me via PM. A lot of what you sent me actually factored into my decision to give it a try.

    Perhaps I'll stun my instructor next week with my comprehensive knowledge on right-of-way on my second beginner's lesson. :cool:
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  8. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I had my second class last night. We started with a review of the material covered last week, and progressed into the lunge attack. We then moved onto partner footwork & attacking drills.

    I will unfortunately likely miss the next two classes as I will be at sea. I spoke the instructors regarding this, and they are willing to work with privately to catch me up when I come back.

    I think I'll know if I want to stick around once we actually start sparring. There's also a beginner's tournament towards the end of November, and I intend to participate.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
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  9. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I had originally expected to miss two classes, but my trip ended a little earlier than we. I was able to attend my third class last night.

    We mostly worked on parry and riposte drills. I had a to suppress a natural urge during these drills to circle a bit to find a more optimum attack angle. The instructor had to remind me that there is very little lateral movement in fencing.

    The intention is to have us hook up to the electric gear next week and meet on the piste! I'm really looking forward to it.
    "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
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  10. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    We started tonight's class with a full review of everything we had covered up until that point. We went over some parry riposte drills, some combination attack drills, and general strategy to utilize in bouting (sparring). We were also given a crash course on how to referee a fencing bout.

    We were then hooked up to the electric equipment and took turns bouting. I'm not sure if it's common, or unique to my club, but there's a protocol that dictates that you referee a bout before you step onto the piste yourself. Interestingly, I was a referee before my first ever fencing bout. I have to admit that I was not expecting that.

    I have made the decision to stick with fencing for a little while after my beginner class finishes late next month. I was able to observe a lot of the regular club training while I was not engaged on the piste or refereeing. I noticed that there were bouts between all three weapons tonight. They all looked interesting in their own way. I'm looking forward to trying out the different rulesets to try to see which one appeals to me the most.
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  11. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    We tend to generous and rope in some members to do the presiding. However its not without merit. At smaller competitions there are sometimes not enough referees to go around and you are eventually sometimes forced to pitch in an preside matches within your own pool. Also it forces you early on to have sympathy for what referees have to do when breaking down actions. It isn't easy.

    As for the rulesets you will soon begin to hear the usual complaints! Each discipline will try and persuade that you the other one sucks!
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  12. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    Those of us left in the beginner's class warmed up with the regular club members tonight before splitting off again for instruction. We mostly focused on parry riposte drills and combination attacks before moving to the piste for some bouting.

    I couldn't get super intense tonight, as I believe that my ribs are cracked from sparring in Karate, but I did fairly well in my one bout of the evening. I also signed up for a beginners tournament taking place on the 27th of November. I hope to be completely healed up by then.

    We are also going to get some exposure to Epee and Sabre, as well as integrate more with regular club members in training, as the course goes on.
    Botta Dritta likes this.
  13. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    As of last night we have graduated the beginners program, and are considered to be full members of the club. We are now allowed to come to regular practice on Mondays as well as our usual Wednesdays.

    Our last class was fairly intense and very foot work heavy. It was basically a review of everything we had learned incorporated into advanced footwork drills. After "graduation", it was onto the piste for bouting with the regular club members. I presided over a couple bouts between advanced club members, and I learned that keeping track of who has priority can get very difficult. I also got to bout some of the regular fencers, and held my own a lot better than I thought I would. I'm sure they were going easy on me, though.

    I've really enjoyed this journey so far. I love how energized and passionate the regular club members are about the sport of fencing. I love how anyone can fence, and skill is the great equalizer on the piste. I love how I defeated a highly athletic 20-somthing, but was roundly defeated by a high school girl.

    Although I will continue to post my thoughts and observations in here regarding the sport of fencing, I will not be posting after regular practice. I will cover that in my regular training log. I'll have it up and running again soon after my ribs completely heal and I can return to my martial arts training.
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  14. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    About that. Until ribs are fully healed I would avoid Epee (stiffer blade) and sabre (cutting actions). When you return stick with foil until you know you are fully healed.
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  15. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    That's my intention.
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  16. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I have to start thinking about equipment as well.

    I'm told that I could probably kit myself out with entry-level gear for about $500. However, you require FIE rated gear in order to compete in sanctioned events, and that sort of gear in much more expensive.

    I would like to eventually have the option compete in FIE sanctioned events, but I'm not looking to break the bank on gear.
  17. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    I would go easy on equipment initially and find out your preferences . Some countries like Italy require everyone to have 800N uniforms and maraging blades which I found absurd minimum requirements. Not sure how strict they are in Canada.

    Kit yourself initially with items that are particularly personal that you will soon know if they meet your comfort and don't change over time, like masks and gloves. The Jacket, Breeches and under plastron can obviously change according to your weight so make sure you give yourself allowances (i have at least 1 pair of 800N breeches that I can no longer wear!). Also be aware of differences. For example Allstar and Uhlmann suppliers are exactly the same company but Allstar have cuts that suit tall svelte Teutonic physiques, while Uhlmann have uniforms that suit stocky pit-pony fencers such as myself.

    800N kit is needed for FIE events, but if you are starting out and 800N is not a requirement for local tournaments then 350N is fine. Same with blades. You will probably break or at least need to rewire your first swords before getting near a FIE satellite, so before getting a maraging steel that you will likely S bend when you come across an annoying left hander, get an economical reputable blade that you you don't mind trashing within an inch of its shelf life, before spending big bucks.
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  18. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I got my first exposure to sabre during the warm-up last night. Another sabruer ran me through a few basics. I really enjoyed how it felt.

    After the warm-up, it was onto foil bouting. I hope to get some more exposure to the sabre and maybe eventually play a little on the piste.
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  19. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I had my first tournament today. I did okay. I came 3 of 8. The person I lost to in the final went on to win gold. We also did a team event as well, and some free fencing.

    I found that my better bouts were in the team event as well as the free fencing. I was actually doing really well towards the end.
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  20. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Glad to hear that! I hope you enjoyed it :)
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