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Thread: Beginning "late"

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    Beginning "late"

    Hey, everyone.
    I know that people who start fencing at an early age (8, 9, 10) definitely have an advantage, but does that mean that people who start later have no chance? Can you ever compete with someone like that after beginning a bit late (14, 15, etc.)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by areobagua View Post
    Hey, everyone.
    I know that people who start fencing at an early age (8, 9, 10) definitely have an advantage, but does that mean that people who start later have no chance? Can you ever compete with someone like that after beginning a bit late (14, 15, etc.)?
    Fencing is all about what YOU put into it. I started fencing at 52, and have worked hard to be able to compete no matter who I fence. Part of the learning process is to fence much better fencers and learn from the thrashing they give you.

    So the point is not when you start, but your attitude and desire. Hope this helps...
    Dave Scheets
    Boise, ID

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    I see. That's admirable.thankyou.

    How far can you go, though? There aren't enough funds on my part to enroll in nice fencing camps and things like that. Just a sensation to go by and probably enough to start a beginners class. What's realistic to aim for?

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    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    Depends on your phsyical endowments, your motivation, how much you can practice, how many lessons you can afford and from whom, and many other things which will be unique to your circumstances.

    But above all, it depends on whether you love fencing. That will carry you far.
    Use the Shift key, people! Keyboard manufacturers everywhere are ineffably saddened when you ignore what they made just for you!

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    I'm not new to the sport, myself. My attitude towards fencing's kind of like...peanut butter to toast. (if you will.) Inseparable. But seeing as I've never stepped foot on a strip, or picked up a blade except to hand it to someone ("Uh...how do you hold this?"), or even learned any of the basic footwork and the like from any coach, I've got a lot to learn...

    So what kinds of things would you tell an unofficial complete newbie?
    Last edited by areobagua; 01-25-2011 at 04:00 PM.

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    Senior Member gatsby's Avatar
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    I guess I'm what you'd call a "late" starter. I started fencing at 16. I never made it to anything national as a junior, but that had more to do with college getting in the way than being too old (relatively speaking). There will always be the kids who have been good for what seems like forever, but you'll start giving them a run for their money with a few years of dedicated practice/lessons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gatsby View Post
    I guess I'm what you'd call a "late" starter. I started fencing at 16. I never made it to anything national as a junior, but that had more to do with college getting in the way than being too old (relatively speaking). There will always be the kids who have been good for what seems like forever, but you'll start giving them a run for their money with a few years of dedicated practice/lessons.
    One of my friends started in her late 20s and is top 10 in the UK.
    Bonehead

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    Quote Originally Posted by areobagua View Post
    I see. That's admirable.thankyou.

    How far can you go, though? There aren't enough funds on my part to enroll in nice fencing camps and things like that. Just a sensation to go by and probably enough to start a beginners class. What's realistic to aim for?
    You have to fence to get better at fencing. Can you afford a monthly membership at a fencing academy? That gives you access to other fencers on as frequent a basis as their schedule and yours allows.

    If you can't afford private lessons at the academy, search this site, amazon.com, and other fencing equipment sites for books and training videos. Write down the name, publisher, isbn number, publishing date, etc. Go to your local library and see if you get lucky. If you don't find what you want (and that's likely), ask for the librarian who handles interlibrary loans. Fill out the interlibrary loan forms and wait. Many of those books and videos will start coming in over the next several months. Read/watch them and practice what's in them on your own.

    See if your fencing academy needs someone to do skut work around the place, i.e., washing the fencing jackets and hanging them back up, cleaning/repairing the weapons, floors, etc. The owners might be thrilled to give you free lessons so they don't have to do it. It won't hurt to ask, nor will it hurt to pre-check the weapons to get a count of how many need to be re-taped on the points, have rust on the blades, S curves in them, etc., before you ask.

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    Senior Member gatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by areobagua View Post

    So, in the long run, is attitude and desire really enough to make you a match for someone who has started much earlier than you?
    Unless they're up toward the top of the points list, the answer is yes.

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