“EpeeDuck” has a great post up on his blog about “solving” for your fencing opponent:
One of the most difficult skill sets in fencing is learning how to “solve” your opponent. By solving your opponent, I mean identifying their weaknesses and exploiting them to score touches. There are lots of different ways fencers approach this, but very few below the elite level seem to approach it systematically, instead favoring an intuitive process. There are some great intuitive fencers out there, but the problem with this approach is that they tend to react the same way every time to the same stimuli, which makes them predictable reactive fencers.
Check out the full post here: Problem Solving
I find these types of posts great instruction for the intermediate fencer. This approach may not fit your thought process 100%, but it should give you some thoughts on how you approach opponents, scouting, and even how to communicate to your teammates when you are helping them out at a local or national event.
I’ll be writing on this topic in the near future to go over how I look at bouts and how I try to communicate tactics to my club mates. If you have your own insights to share, hit me up on Facebook or email in a comment.