Your first fencing lessons are incredibly exciting. The new knowledge is overwhelming yet interesting and leaves a lot of new fencers feeling inspired to practice fencing at home.
While you may want to practice as often as possible, the beginning months of your training should be limited to practice in your academy alone. Practicing at home too early in your training may feel good, but often reinforces bad techniques and habits your coaches haven’t had a chance to correct yet. Once you do have permission, home practice can do a lot to take your fencing skills and endurance to the next level.
Find a Safe Space
Make sure you have a space in your home that is actually safe for fencing practice. You don’t want to practice in a small room where you may end up breaking things or knocking them off of crowded surfaces. Your best bet is to find an open room like your basement or garage. If the weather is nice, you may even consider practicing outside in your driveway or in an open yard area.
Practicing Footwork Drills
A long mirror is great for practicing your fencing footwork drills at home. Set it up along the wall of an open area so that you can view your footwork as you practice lunges and other footwork drills you’ve learned in your classes. Make sure you have your coach’s approval before doing this type of drill at home. It is important you are confident in your technique so that you can focus on maintaining it throughout your practice. Your home practice will allow you to slow down, focus on form, and then vary your temp. This type of drill is great for endurance, too.
Learning Point Control
A great drill for learning point control is to draw circles with the point of your epee, sabre, or foil. Use a little bit of painter’s tape to attach some index cards to different points on the wall in your practice room. As you work on your footwork drills, aim towards the index cards and use your weapon to draw circles in the air around each one when you come within sword’s length. You can make the drill more difficult by changing the sizes of the cards or by standing further away from them. Don’t practice in the same order every time, either.
These drills seem simple but can truly help an intermediate fencer progress in the sport. Again, do not begin home practice without first speaking to your coach here at SilverSword Academy. He will be able to guide you towards successful methods for improvement in class and for you to practice fencing at home.