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7 Tips for Beginner Fencers

Apr 06, 2022
Being a brand new player in a sport is intimidating, but still very exciting. Most expert fencers reminisce about the days when they were still just beginning in the sport. If you’re at this phase and you’re struggling to keep up at the moment, know that this is a core memory you could look back on with fondness. It’s not an easy journey at all but we can guarantee that you will definitely have fun! If you’ve just booked a class and haven’t tried fencing for the first time yet, then read down below for our tips on how you could enjoy the sport. It can also work for parents of kids into fencing or those who are excited but are completely clueless about what will happen during their first class.
1. There is no need to practice at home so don’t.
It is an absolute no-no for beginners to practice fencing at home. When you practice at home, your body might get accustomed to what you’re doing, even if it’s in improper form. You need the expert eyes of your coach to guide you and ensure that your body is getting accustomed to the proper form and positions. You don’t want to be relearning techniques as opposed to learning things for the first time. It’s much easier to do the latter than the former. You’ll eventually get to the point when you can already practice on your own at home. But as things stand right now, don’t do any extra work at home first without the supervision of a coach.
2. Do not worry about the possibility of pain.
In any sport involving physical strength, you can already expect the chance of you getting hurt. No matter how we avoid it, accidents happen but don’t dwell on fear too much because it can get in the way of you enjoying the sport. In fencing, you get subjected to common injuries you could also get from other sports such as strained muscles and displaced ankles. You might think you’ll get scratches and pokes, and yes, you’re right. You don’t have to worry about it though because you will eventually get accustomed to it in the long run. For instance, you would get hit a lot in fencing and that’s what your protective gear is for. You don’t really feel the full intensity of the hits and over time, it won’t really hurt. Even though a pointed weapon is used in fencing, you might be surprised to know that it is one of the safest sports out there. It’s even safer compared to soccer or basketball. Now, of course, it’s not all about fun and throwing caution into the wind. You need to be aware of club rules and strictly follow them. You also need to listen to your coaches about following safety measures because we don’t want anyone injured at this point. For starters, make sure you are wearing your protective gear correctly.
3. Strengthen your stamina
You’ll be surprised to know that fencing can be quite exhausting. Even a few minutes on the fencing strip will already require a lot of stamina from you and your opponent. You need to have extra exercise on the side such as simple cardio workouts like being on your stationary bike or jogging. Fencing can actually become a lot of fun when you have better endurance. Plus, you’ll more likely be a great fencer if you have good stamina. If your opponent gets exhausted quickly and you still have energy as if you just started the match, then you have a higher chance of winning.
4. Be patient in easing into new positions
Putting your feet and arms into the right position will hurt for the first time. It will burn your muscles to the point of giving up but you just have to be patient. After a few weeks of training, your muscles will get accustomed to the new positions and you won’t feel any pain anymore. It will really be fulfilling once you see improvements. Listen to your coach when they give you stretches because these will make fencing positions a lot easier for your muscles. When you’re tired, you will most likely straighten up your legs which is not the proper fencing position. Do not fall into this trap that you’re feeling uncomfortable. It would help you a lot if you make a habit out of the correct fencing positions.
5. Focus on your footwork.
Fencing concerns your footwork more than your sword. The first few training sessions will focus on proper footwork including moving up and down the strip and controlling the distance during a match. The sword is also important, of course, but master your footwork first and everything else will come easy.
6. Do not jump into advanced techniques.
It’s cool to watch advanced fencers on the strip and imagine yourself doing the same. But it won’t help you at all as a beginner fencer. If you want your foundation to be strong, you have to focus on the basics first and master them for quite some time. They say that fencers won’t ever stop giving their attention to basic posture, stances, footwork, simple techniques, etc. Be patient because it will be repetitive, especially if your goal is to master the sport. These are all new to your body so you have to repeat them over and over again to maintain the proper form, techniques, etc.
7. Don’t rely on fancy equipment to make you better.
Fencing is one of those sports that will be expensive in the long run. The world’s most renowned fencers use quality and top-of-the-line fencing gear which might also lure you into buying fancy equipment soon. But trust us that your skills are not determined by your gear at all. It won’t miraculously turn you into a fencing champion. If you really want to be good at the sport, what you have to focus on is practice, consistency and regular. As a beginner, you may start with basic equipment first. You are around other fencers and coaches so ask them what is right for your level at the moment. Invest in gear that will last you a long time. Prolong the life of your gear as well by making sure they’re stored properly in the garage. Install smart storage solutions from FlexiMounts so you’re able to maximize the space of your garage for your vehicle and other equipment.