What is fencing with INTENSITY?


I have been using this word repeatedly with my students, more so now then ever. I have designed drills around it and developed strategies to exploit the properties this word represents.

I must step back, and define how I’m using this word in a fencing connotation, and how I am not. Intensity is often associated with aggression and or offense. I am strongly in the school that intensity belongs in defense and in fact all aspects of fencing. I am specifically talking about overloading the opponent with information, pressure to defend themselves and visual stimulation design to obfuscate. I do this by constantly giving and taking away opportunities my opponent may wish to exploit, as well as pressuring with feints and attacks, changes in rhythm and tempo, changes in distance, the use of destructive parries, these are all effective tools. Even pure physicality and athleticism can effectively be incorporated.

The net effect of all this pressure placed on the opponent is:

Create opportunistic targets

Control over when and were my opponent has opportunities to attack to facilitate the use of second intentions by you

Disrupt their actions and deny them the ability to do anything but respond to you.

Create insecurity in your opponent

All this needs to be incorporated into your training. It needs to be used in offense and defense situations. It is about control of the bout. It’s your time, own it. Nationals are around the corner my friends, I wish everyone luck. I encourage you to give it your all. Have no regrets.

carpe diem

coach Geoff

An epee fencers mantra

I am an awesome fencer
I have trained with consistency
I am prepared for competition
I am excited about competing
Competitions are fun
Competitions are an opportunity to show myself how much I have improved my skills
I am observent
I am aware of where my opponents tip is and I am not distracted by the movement of the bell guard or opponents feints
I see my opponents actions and am able to quickly respond without hesitation and with correct actions
I am fast
I am strong
I am not afraid My opponent fears me
I am positive, focused and relaxed
I am ready
I am an awesome fencer

This was offered by Donna Rios, a remarkable fencer and friend.

Thank you Donna,

coach Geoff

Consistency equals success


Looking at the students I have had the pleasure of working with over the years, I am struck by those attributes that lead to success.
Parents, please note.
If I had to pick any one thing that leads to our success, it would be consistent training. I have seen talented students, completely stifle their advancement by repeated and extended breaks. So to with students that take a lesson here and there. Frankly this is a waste of time in my opinion. On a similar vain, cramming in a few lessons before the next big competition will never yield the same results as a structured training program. Talent certainly helps get you started, yet the talented student will suffer under the assaults of well trained and experienced student. “Experience creates art but inexperience only luck” said Aristotle. So experience comes from exposure, and the wisdom of how to apply the knowledge gained is from this exposure. Understanding theory is very important, yet the student will still be humbled by the opponent with constant, quality training.

My plea to students and parents, if you wish to get the best value for your money, if you wish to teach life skills beyond the sport, if you wish to succeed, please work with your coach on setting realistic goals. Long term goals will define our short term goals. Please allow time for competitions, in our area I strongly advise students attend as many events in the NY/NJ area as time and resource allow.

Yes, life happens, but your commitment will help minimize disruptions.

“Omnes Responsum Nescio” but experience shall enlighten.
coach Geoff