Fencing Footwork Training Part 1 (Video)
This video comes from the coaching archives of the USFA Coaches College, led by Alex Beguinet.
Covered in this video are the following topics:
The orienting movement required whenever performance involves body transport is called previewing.
The critical factor in previewing is the rate of the performer’s movement. For a particular rate of body transport, the sport fencer must look for a given distance ahead to obtain information about objects in the environment in time to subsequently avoid or contact them as in not running into a fencing opponent when attacking. The problem confronting the performer is much the same as that facing the driver of an automobile at night. In order to avoid hitting an object or person, the driver must be able to stop the vehicle within the fixed distance illuminated by the headlights. If the stopping distance for a given rate of speed exceeds the “previewing” distance, the rate of speed of the automobile must be decreased.
On guard (en garde):
Toes at ninety degrees, torso aiming in between feet toward corner (not twisted). Neck and back lengthen and stay straight as the knees bend way out over toes, making sure to soften knees, hips and ankles to allow the movement. Heels on the ground weight stays in feet as you bend. Arms float up and away from the body as you feel as long and wide as possible. All joints stay soft and any push launches you into motion.
Able to release the front leg joints, and swing it forward as in walking with body moving only to the center between the legs.
Able to release the back leg joints, moving the leg back freely with the weight moving back to the middle.
Movement is smooth and easy. After a number of slow advances–feet maintain correct width and toes and knees are pointed in the right direction
Movement is smooth and easy. After a number of slow retreats feet maintain correct width and toes and knees are pointed in the right direction.
Front leg moves independently, stay on the back leg as you lunge. Land softly and stay upright with weight only going to center. Foot width and direction correct on lunge and recovery. Don’t tighten at the end of the lunge so that the flow of movement begins the recovery.