For some, fencing is merely a hobby — and that’s totally okay with us. Others view fencing differently, especially when it comes to the sport’s more competitive aspects. If you belong to the latter group, you may find yourself constantly looking for ways to improve. The reality is that all of the best fencers have some of the same habits. 

An Attitude of Respect

The most successful fencers are the most respectful fencers — of themselves, their peers, their coaches, their referees, and their competitors. They completely understand and embrace the idea that everyone is on their own personal journey. The greats are humble and let their skills shine when necessary, but are also willing to help another fencer out as they strive to improve. And most important? They never, ever react in anger or argue with their coaches or the referees viewing their bouts.

Study Time

Amazing fencers don’t just go to their regularly scheduled practices and call it a day. They spend a great deal of time honing their craft. This means watching live bouts at tournaments, studying peers during practice, and even looking for YouTube videos and TV events to analyze. 

Most of today’s top fencers also spend a great deal of time taking private lessons in addition to their group studies; though it’s important to find a coach you feel is a great fit if you decide to go this route. Specialized clinics and camps, especially those held during the off-season, are also a great idea.

Physical Wellness

Great fencers take care of their bodies. This means eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet to support their energy expenditures, staying hydrated, and getting the right amount of sleep each night. They also cross-train by weight lifting, running, or participating in other athletic sports. Doing so helps to support their need for increased speed, strength, flexibility, and overall endurance during competition.

Yes, time spent on the floor working on footwork and your other skill sets is important. Just don’t forget how important it is to strengthen your entire body and mind as well. Fencing is a sport with strong roots. The most dedicated, serious students progress the best through local, regional, and national competitions. 

And who knows? With enough dedication, you may even find yourself trying out for the Olympic team one day!