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Thread: How to stay in shape?

  1. #1
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    How to stay in shape?

    My wife recently made the statement " doesn't teaching fencing keep you in shape" . My ten year old daughter quickly chimed in " he really dosen't move that much when he teaches". When I think about it teaching really doesn't do a lot for my physical condition. Upon noticing this I decided to start working on my fitness. How do you guys do to keep in shape? what is in shape?.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lady Quindecim's Avatar
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    OK, so like, not really a fair question for me to answer because I am a fencer first and a coach second.
    So... I train like a fencer to keep in shape.
    You may say I practice what I preach.
    Outside of that, I bicycle, when the weather permits, and do aerobics and yoga and footwork and fencing and...

    Well, there you have it.

    What is "in shape" for a coach would not need to be the same a "in shape" for a fencer. But this is a good question. Do you (anyone) feel like you would be less respected as a coach if you could not "keep up with" your students? ...If they did not see you as an athlete? Or do they see their own results as a reflection of your coaching merit.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Superscribe's Avatar
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    In shape is really simple. Why don't you participate in the footwork lessons and drills your students participate in? The footwork should be practiced in such a way that it is a good workout, so a student has the discipline to keep good form even when they're tired and hurting. Everybody wins.

    What do you consider in shape? Usually by the time you've had a child and are married, most guys just wanna not have a belly and be able to run 5k if you put a gun to their head.
    Everyone relax cause I got it....

  4. #4
    Senior Member jBirch's Avatar
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    The CBC had a great interview with a Russian Doctor.

    I quote the Russian:

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Russian Doctor guy on CBC
    Eat Less
    We also have a ParticipAction thing from one of the government agencies on fitness:

    To paraphrase:

    Quote Originally Posted by ParticipAction
    Move More
    That pretty much sums up how I stay in shape.

    James.
    If it's stupid, but it works, it's not stupid.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catwood1's Avatar
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    I think coaches shouldn't be expected to "keep up" with their fencers. (I'm not talking about myself, because I'm young.) But the adult, professional coaches. I've never seen Yury do footwork, but it wouldn't lower my opinion of him if he couldn't keep up with our olympic MS team doing footwork.

    That kinda goes back to the idea that a coach shouldn't be coaching if he can't beat the fencer. I think that idea is SO FANTASTICALLY WRONG its funny. Being a good coach doesn't require the ability to make a balestra that covers 4 meters, it just requires the ability to make someone else do it correctly. They are 2 very different skills.

    Similarly, if a coach, who starts fencing when they are 10, continues to train to do olympic level footwork until they are 55, something in their body is gonna give.

    A coach doesn't necessarily need to keep up with their students...
    "Sir, didn't I parry"
    "You didn't take advantage of his blade enough, so no."

    (I guess i should have romanced it a bit more..."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Superscribe's Avatar
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    However, younger kids are less likely to respect you or believe you if they feel like you don't know what you're talking about. That's just how they are.

    After a certain level of maturity, students understand the benefit of just shutting up and listening to the coach, instead of "you don't know what you're talking about because you can't do it either".

    Also, being able to demonstrate what you mean by "explosive lunge" is very very helpful.
    Everyone relax cause I got it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superscribe View Post
    However, younger kids are less likely to respect you or believe you if they feel like you don't know what you're talking about. That's just how they are.

    After a certain level of maturity, students understand the benefit of just shutting up and listening to the coach, instead of "you don't know what you're talking about because you can't do it either".

    Also, being able to demonstrate what you mean by "explosive lunge" is very very helpful.
    Doing something once or twice for demonstration purposes is far different than doing an extensive footwork exercise. I think, hope, most coaches footwork is pretty good. Doing it as fast as someone 20-30 years younger is probably not going to happen. Doing it better, yeah pretty certain, at least for a good coach and a younger student.

    --chris

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    I like to be an active coach, since my students are 8 to 16, they don't really listen anyway, they "do as I do". So I warm up with them, lead the footwork, and do plenty of lunges during the lessons. Like someone said above, they need to see an explosive lunge to understand it. I'm soaked head to toe by the end of the night, so that helps keep the weight down. Now I just have to watch out for my bad knee. If I lunge too much, I limp for acouple days! Also that late night candy bar doesn't help

    The smaller the student, the more active I am. The bigger kids, I can push them to make longer attacks, so I don't have to. But of course with them I move faster, so I guess I sweat about the same.

    With adults, they can understand by adjustments and talking, I don't have to demonstrate as much. But I still staying down en guard and move quickly with them instead of just walking back and forth.

  9. #9
    Senior Member D+F+P=Hadouken!'s Avatar
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    Regardless of whether or not a coach should be able to keep up with his/her students, why wouldn't the coach want to be in good shape?

    Coaching fencing IS physical. From a professional standpoint, it is necessary to stay in shape.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. And from this side only! The flight of a half-man, half-bird. Dinosaurs nuzzling their young in pastures where strip malls should be. Cookies on dowels. All those moment, lost in time. Gone, like eggs off a hooker's stomach. Time to die" -Phil Ken Sebben

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    Quote Originally Posted by D+F+P=Hadouken! View Post
    Regardless of whether or not a coach should be able to keep up with his/her students, why wouldn't the coach want to be in good shape?

    Coaching fencing IS physical. From a professional standpoint, it is necessary to stay in shape.
    I'm pretty sure if you took a poll most of us would want to be in good shape. Being there, another story.

    --chris

  11. #11
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    I recommend the RCAF fitness routine or its American counterpart: the USMC fitness regimen.
    And the SAS training program is quite effective.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Allen Evans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catwood1 View Post
    I think coaches shouldn't be expected to "keep up" with their fencers. (I'm not talking about myself, because I'm young.) But the adult, professional coaches. I've never seen Yury do footwork, but it wouldn't lower my opinion of him if he couldn't keep up with our olympic MS team doing footwork.

    A coach doesn't necessarily need to keep up with their students...
    Quote Originally Posted by D+F+P=Hadouken! View Post
    Coaching fencing IS physical. From a professional standpoint, it is necessary to stay in shape.
    In fact, it is quite important to "keep up" with your students, no matter what your age. Anyone teaching fencing on a regular basis is, for all practical purposes, a professional athlete: they are earning their living by the use of an athletic skill and the movement of their body, just as DFP says.

    I'm not talking about being able to defeat your fencers in competition (though once I saw Yuri beat one of his saber fencers in a little five touch bout after a lesson). I am talking about being able to give quality lessons night after night to several skilled fencers.

    For me, the first sign of a quality lesson is a one that moves up and down the strip. Can you imagine a quality lesson in which all of the actions are done standing still? If you have to teach four or five lessons in a night, being able to move, change direction, and accelerate over the course of several hours is critical.

    My own physical conditioning has decreased in the last few years (age and a sedentary life style) and I'm making an effort to change that, including weight lifting, pilates/yoga, more cardio work, and working harder in the lessons I give. It will improve my lessons, and ensure that I can continue to teach for some time at a decent level.

    AE

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    I'm sorry if i seem to be shifting the conversation a bit but I think this is pertinent, what is the best way to perform your duties as a coach while getting the exercise as a fencer out of a lesson? I often step in and run a drill with some of my fencers which is great for me and that one other fencer but then I can't give the rest the attention they need. Any advice?

  14. #14
    Senior Member thekoby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superscribe View Post
    Why don't you participate in the footwork lessons and drills your students participate in?
    This is what I do. I'll start leading footwork drills then switch out with different members, or even have one of my assistant instructors lead drills while I participate (rather than sitting to the side and observing).

    When the weather is good, I usually jog about 2 miles before practice, and do a few laps of stairs. This is something my coach did with me to condition me for tournaments and after having to wring out my fencing jacket once last year, I decided I should probably exercise more often and get back into that shape I was 8 years ago when I was a freshman at college. (*sigh* age is starting to creep up on me :-( )
    - It's not that I chose to fence, it's that I feel I have to fence.

  15. #15
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    Nutrition should be included into the kinesthetic aspect of training.

    Most American youth border on obesity or at least beyond their appropriate BMI.

  16. #16
    Senior Member telkanuru's Avatar
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    Round is a shape.

    I don't trust a coach that's skinny
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

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    Senior Member RITFencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telkanuru View Post
    Round is a shape.

    I don't trust a coach that's skinny
    You just like Gamal.
    "If I were ever to challenge you to a duel, your best bet would be battle axes in a very dark basement." Misquoted from The Prisoner

    "Technical excellence is the antecedant of tactical creativity." - Nat Goodhartz

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  18. #18
    Senior Member telkanuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RITFencing View Post
    You just like Gamal.
    Well, my coach too, but Gamal is a fairly extreme example.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

  19. #19
    Senior Member darius's Avatar
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    Most American youth border on obesity or at least beyond their appropriate BMI.
    Of course, if you take a measurement as crude as BMI, I'm near obesity too.

    darius

  20. #20
    Senior Member epeelion's Avatar
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    Well, Darius, you are pretty fat. :-p

    But anyhoo, can I just point out that participating in the drills you are giving detracts from your ability to watch and correct your students?
    "Preparation is the soul of tactics. And tactics are the soul of fencing."-Aladar Kogler

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