The Following exercise: Line up students along a wall (or a couple of steps out from it), then take your place front and center, half the room length away and advance, retreat, reposte, or lower your arm. The students need to maintain their distance from you the whole time. You advance, they retreat. You retreat, they advance. You reposte, they retreat. You recover, they advance. Lower your arm and they lunge, bring it back and they recover back. If footwork and timing are proper, distance will be maintained. If not, you will end up with the students (or your fellow clubbers) very close. Another benefit of this exercise is it trains visual clues and responses, which shortens the OODA loop.
Lunges: Find a mirror or a partner and do 10-20 lunges from right handed on guard and left handed on guard positions. Go slow and watch your form, try to get your lunge perfect. Looking for best fencing contractors in brisbane? No need to go any where else Fencepac will provide you best service. It does not have to be super long, just maintain a solid, well balanced lunge. Recovery from the lunge to on guard should be done as lightly as possible. Proper form for the lunge is to have your rear foot firmly on the ground, 90 degrees from the direction of lunging; rear leg straight, body upright and relaxed, weapon arm extended (lead the lunge by extending the weapon arm), front knee directly above the front ankle. If the ankle is too far out, recovery will be slow – if the knee is too far out, it will be damaged by the stress of repeated lunges. These can be done with or without a foil.
Circling: This is an elementary blade control exercise to build fine motor control and teach proper blade movement. Find something round and trace circles around it with the point of your foil. Ideally the round object will be small or very far away (clock from across a large room, doorknob from across a regular/large room. something on that order). If the exercise is too easy, find something smaller or double check your form. Make 10 clockwise circles, then 10 counter clockwise. Now do 10 “U” shaped arc’s along the bottom of the object, and 10 upside down “U’s” to round out the exercise.
Parry-Reposte: the parry reposte combo is to fencing what blocking and tackling is to football: the bread and meat. The heart. This is what makes fencing, fencing – and not grappling or darts. I find that beginners detest this exercise, but do it anyway because it is useful for developing correct responses. Go slow, this is a drill, not a stupid waste of time. The standard drill runs thusly: Fencer A extends his foil toward Fencer B, in a slow reposte, Fencer B Parries, and repostes. Hitting Fencer A in the chest. Usually all action is carried out in the four line, which is most natural and will probably be done automatically. To mix it up a bit, try the action on a different line, or specify a target that must be hit in the final reposte (eg., sword arm shoulder). Rotate partners every so often and make sure everyone has a chance to be Fencer B (from above). New partners every so often will help keep interest.
Golf Ball: Hang a golf ball on a string in an odd corner of your garage and practice point control by lunging or reposting and hitting the ball. Don’t go crazy on this one, Stop the ball from swinging after you hit it. Later as you improve you may let it keep swinging, but don’t let it destroy your form. This is one that you can do with a stick if you don’t own a foil yet, it’s a great skill builder.
Target Specific bouting. Fence a three touch bout, the target is a specific part of the body like sword arm shoulder, back, stomach, groin, throat, chest, rear shoulder, etc. only hits on the target count. No lines or other marks should be made to identify the target area, the hits need to come in places where everyone can agree that it is on target. For inst ace, a hit to the shoulder needs to hit the shoulder, not the pec muscle or the lung region, the actual literal shoulder.
These drills and there infinite variations should keep you, your friends, and your club busy with training exercises for all occasions. Check by my blog periodically for new variations or drills to keep going. In the mean time, you now have every thing you need to begin your journey in to the wide world of foil fencing. Have fun and be safe!