Sunday, July 14, 2013
Me: "I am going to test for USFCA certification."
Older coach I admire: " Which one?"
Older coach I admire: "You are beyond that."
Me: "I am thinking about testing for USFCA certification."
Younger coach I admire: " Meh." He elaborates on the lack of standardization and that few ever ask for certification and how so many good coaches have none."
I hang on every word these men say. But this time, my own needs and desires out weighed their opinion.
A few weeks back, I taught fencing at a girl scout camp. The camp had some sort of accreditation going on and they asked me for certificates from the last three years showing that I had certification of some sort. I had my USFCA card. my US Fencing card ( marked professional membership) and something printed from a coaching clinic. They thought that was good. They had no clue what they were looking at.
My state's motto is, "To be, rather than to seem to be." That may be a little off. It is in Latin and I may not remember it correctly. I always liked it. You see where I am going with this. It is another reason...one of several.....that I wanted the certification. I will not go into them all here.
Taking the Practical Exam
Every so often a fencer will read the rules and review them. A coach should frequently go for coaching training. In this case, taking the practical made me review things. It made me remember things I had forgotten and I learned a couple of things as well. I met some really good people and I made some new fencing friends. That is a damn fine way to spend a day.
I have never thought of myself as much of a coach. However, in the last year or so, I have noted progress in that regard. I am getting better. I see this as another step in my fencing and coaching journey.
I do not know Walter all that well, but I am adding him to that small list of coaches I admire. This incredibly organized man, gives so much of his time and of himself to fencing. It isn't easy to find a person in the USFCA that will train you and test you. Most of the time, you would need to shell out thousands of dollars and fly to some big USFCA camp to get this sort of thing. I did not ask Walter why he does this. I should have, but it would have taken time away from the practical exam. If I had to guess, I would say that he enjoys the idea of touching the future.
I made a 100 on my practical exam. My little buddy/training partner and I are now USFCA Moniteurs in epee. We talked about this after the day was done. We did not know that we would be so proud to have done this.....but we are.
Next up: Moniteur d’Escrime Historique
Find someone that has done that before!