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Thread: How do you practice solo?

  1. #1
    Just Joined Piobaire's Avatar
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    How do you practice solo?

    Interested in hearing how others practice without a partner (and I DO mean fencing here!).

    Footwork? Bladework? etc.

    Piobaire

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    Senior Member D'Artagnan1673's Avatar
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    A good book. A good solid floor. A good target.
    ... without remorse for the past, confident in the present, and full of hope for the future, [d'artagnan] went to bed and slept the sleep of the brave.
    - The Three Musketeers

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    Senior Member damianip's Avatar
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    Footwork, footwork, footwork...

    Work on doing it properly first, then increase speed, change tempo, change size. But first and foremost, learn to do it properly and drill it into your muscles.

    When you can do it instinctively, properly and control your distance and tempo precisely, you have a foundation that will serve you well in all weapons.

    That said, I hate doing footwork, but it does pay off.

    Paolo
    "He is a man of splendid abilities but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight." "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."

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    Just Joined DonCatSTL's Avatar
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    and when doing the footwork, picture your opponent in front of you and practice various attacks and defenses in conjuction with the footwork

    keep the mental game alert along with the physical, play lots of whatif's

    mirrors help, video tape also

  5. #5
    Senior Member Capt. Slo-mo's Avatar
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    Pio:

    Mirrors are the best (but LEAST flattering) for observing your technique. If you watch yourself on footwork exercises, you see what your opponent sees: lowered or raised hand, footwork telegraphs, etc. You can also check for position and depth on your parries as you work the forms. Especially note your positioning while making rapid advances or retreats and look for exploitable weaknesses. It's also a good way to spot "bobbing" or too-straight legs while moving back and forth.

    At our club, we also have a number of dummies--round barrels covered with carpet, with a mask mounted on the top at approximately normal head level. These allow you to practice advance-lunge attack variations, parry-riposte combos with footwork and other multiple actions. Take the time with either the mirror or the dummy to practice the motions slowly, and make sure the technique is right before you practice for speed.

    Of course, remember that if you practice too much by yourself, it grows hair on your pommel!
    "Sometimes we, as coaches, get into that dictator mode where you just tell and you don't listen and you don't try to understand them." Tom Izzo, Mich. St.
    "Fraud is the creation of trust. And then: its betrayal."
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    Senior Member Kodiak Kid's Avatar
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    Target Speed

    I bought a Target Speed fencing practice target and it makes the self directed drills a little more fun. Instant gratification from the lights and buzzers going off I guess. And you can do all the stuff everyone else has suggested with it as well as point control. Repost drills, second intention drills, doubles etc. Wouldn't recommend it for fleche drills unless you have it mounted on a tripod or suspended somehow.

    I got a "reconditioned demo" and saved about a $100 USD.

    Works great!
    “General Feraud has made occasional attempts to kill me. That does not give him the right to claim my acquaintance.”

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    Re: Target Speed

    Originally posted by Kodiak Kid
    I bought a Target Speed fencing practice target and it makes the self directed drills a little more fun. Instant gratification from the lights and buzzers going off I guess. And you can do all the stuff everyone else has suggested with it as well as point control. Repost drills, second intention drills, doubles etc. Wouldn't recommend it for fleche drills unless you have it mounted on a tripod or suspended somehow.

    I got a "reconditioned demo" and saved about a $100 USD.

    Works great!
    Could you tell me who the manufacturer or supplier of this piece of equipment is? I'd like my club to get one as well. Thanks.
    In Deum Veritas, In Deum Caritas

  8. #8
    Senior Member swordsen's Avatar
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    Footwork and point control You can never do to much of either.
    If you give a man a fire, he is warm for the night.
    If you set a man on fire, he is warm for the rest of his life.

  9. #9
    JEC
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    Footwork, target speed, and training arm. The training arm never gets tired. Lift some weights too.

  10. #10
    mfp
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    Originally posted by JEC
    Lift some weights too.
    Uh oh, not that again . . .

    Of course, the question was "How do you practice [fencing] solo?" so the weightlifting part was non-responsive anyway

    As for the "Target Speed" device, it seems fencepbt.com carries it, but they have zip in the way of a description of it, not even a picture. Further searching revealed a club website that has a photo of one:

    http://www.lilovfencing.com/z_html/FE-72-01.jpg

    The photo makes it look like some sort of reaction time experiment that escaped from a college psych lab. Perhaps it could be combined with a mechanism to reward the monkey (or in this case fencers), with a squirt of apple juice or something when they do particularly well. Heck, even without the apple juice, the lights and buzzer probably make it much more entertaining than a wall.

    However I do wonder how Target Speed users would react if wireless fencing with mask scoring lights takes off:

    http://home.t-online.de/home/allstar/wireles3.jpg

    Would Target Speed users instinctively hit their opponents in the mask every time a scoring light lit?
    Last edited by mfp; 11-06-2002 at 04:43 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member D'Artagnan1673's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mfp
    Uh oh, not that again . . .

    Oh no, not whinning about weightlifting again

    Lift very light weights and do a high number of repititions. I personally do not lift weights, but I would not discount them.
    ... without remorse for the past, confident in the present, and full of hope for the future, [d'artagnan] went to bed and slept the sleep of the brave.
    - The Three Musketeers

  12. #12
    JEC
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    Please note that the question was practicing solo. In any occasion that you have an opponent, fencing would be better than lifting weights. Regarding target speed, it is made by Steffy Design target speed

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by JEC
    Lift some weights too.
    Originally posted by mfp
    Uh oh, not that again . . .
    Did I ever tell you all about Czajkowski's research. . . ?


  14. #14
    Senior Member haggis's Avatar
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    No Jason, I don't think you did. Please tell us cos I'm sure it would give us a definitive comment on the subject and that would mean there was no more pointless and ill-informed discussion about it.

    P.S. Re. location - Where you are is cold, wet and miserable but it's not Poland anymore.

    Regards

    Haggis
    Great Chieftain o' the Pudding Race

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    Several ways I've managed to get valuable practice in solo (my emphasis being on training for Epee) :

    1) Golf ball hanging from the ceiling fan at home. Practice lunging to develop point control. Hard, but a real test of point control is to try to hit it more on one side or another (as opposed to direct on) so that you actually put a spin on the ball. (I used a screw-in eyelet to attach string to the ball)

    2) Footwork footwork and more footwork at the local YMCA in a studio w/ mirrors. Great way to keep a good check on your form, check your lunge, etc. Every now and then I put one of my sneakers on the floor at distance and practice foot shots.

    3) Not sure what they're called, but in the Studio at the Y there are padded bars of varying weights & thicknesses. I put one on top of the stacks of those steps used for step aerobics and practice flicking it. It definitely helped me develop my flick to the wrist/forearm. It's also a good target for lunging while angulating in from various sides for those touches to the forearm.

    Hope this helps.

    Miguel

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    There is a set of footwork drills on the drills page here. I've told my students to go do them over the month long training break that we had for the boys' year end examinations. Those of them who have done them everyday have shown significant improvements in terms of speed and strength over those who were lax. However their form still needs improvement. Will try and see if I can find a location with full length mirrors.
    In Deum Veritas, In Deum Caritas

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by haggis
    No Jason, I don't think you did. Please tell us cos I'm sure it would give us a definitive comment on the subject and that would mean there was no more pointless and ill-informed discussion about it.

    P.S. Re. location - Where you are is cold, wet and miserable but it's not Poland anymore.

    Regards

    Haggis
    Well if it means an end to pointless and ill-informed discussion then there is no way I'm saying anything.
    Pointless, ill-informed discussion is what makes the internet great (well, that and porn...).

    It's not Poland anymore?
    Was there another invasion?
    I bet it was them Germans again.
    They're always making trouble...

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    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    LOL

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    Senior Member whtouche's Avatar
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    The Onion Headline

    Retro-Crazed German Youths Invade Poland!
    "Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gun powder + cat in a box"
    -Albert Einstein, in a letter to Erwin Schrödinger

  20. #20
    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    And French tourists immediately surrender!

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