Sunday, May 30, 2010


This weekend I attended a one day camp at Charlotte Fencing Academy. It is a good camp and I would recommend it.

I was there for a number of reasons, but the main one was to work on balance.

While playing “THE Drill”, I found that I was leaning forward, waiting on the lunge. (“THE Drill” is something borrowed from a Michael Marx training camp.) My feet were not under me. I tried to be more mindful of that the rest of the day.

I have come up with a couple of theories concerning this lack of balance.

1. Age

2. Leaning forward and not having my feet under me.

3. 235 pounds moving fast forward or fast backwards does not stop as fast as 150 pounds. I can squat 450 pounds or so. My legs are strong. I can push this old heavy body forward with some power, however stopping it is a problem.

4.I try to get past my opponents tip to often and stopping the rush of my body is going to throw me off balance. (Brian called me on the “balance thing” doing this.)

5.All of the above

I am not going to figure this out or fix it in one day. But being aware of it and working on it may help in time.

We played a great game called “War” at this camp. It has other names, but the club, “degeeked” it a bit. It has a lot of the fun of fencing “doubles epee” but is not limited to four people. The kids at our club in Greensboro could not handle this game. They are too young and I am afraid they would get hurt.

During the drill segments of the camp, we worked on a move that began with a check forward (kind of a half advance) and offering an invitation. I rarely use an invitation like this, as nothing demoralizes me more than to offer and invitation and then get hit there. But what interested me about the drill is the check forward or half advance. This check forward is not like the way I do it. Of course I do not check forward very often. I check back all the time. I don’t use half advance or half retreat very often that I am aware of. This is a mistake and I need to go back and review some basic footwork.

A camp like this would be hard thing for me to envision pulling off. Three weapons and fencers of different levels make it difficult. The epee group was at a level where we could be left alone to bout and help each other. There were two new kids there, but they were looked after by the others. I was particularly impressed with a young man named Sam and his guidance and patience in working with a beginner. I saw a side of him I had not seen before.

It was a day well spent.


Courtney said...

sounds like you had a blast! i miss fencing camps so much! :) and dont worry, everyone seems to have bad balance :) miss you! see you this summer hopefully!!!!

stephen said...

Checks, forward and back (and double checks of course), are VERY powerful in epee. Glad you're playing with them. You can manipulate your opponent very effectively while maintaining your balance using them. I use them a lot on the when I actually fence epee.