Back to Foil?

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by EpeeBlue, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. EpeeBlue

    EpeeBlue Made the Cut

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    In a nutshell... this week marks one year since I have returned to fencing after ten years away. And I'm having a great time- picked up with epee right where I left off and fencing more (and more seriously) than I did years ago. I'm also competing for the first time and I'm almost surprised at how much I enjoy it!

    But I keep wondering if I should try focusing on foil for a while. While I am improving little by little in epee, I notice the following: the majority of my touches are scored in my opponents trunk and the majority of my opponents touches land on my weapon arm. In other words, since I seem to have trouble landing touches on my opponent's arm and hand, I believe I am going into my bouts with a self-imposed handicap.

    Would it make sense to just switch to foil and see how that goes?

    When I was starting out, I fenced foil for about nine months before my teacher allowed me to take up epee. So I did not "skip" a proper beginning with foil. And although I win plenty of bouts in epee, I'm trying to realistically evaluate my skills and weaknesses at this point.

    Yes, of course I will speak to my teachers. But I still would like to get some opinions around here, especially from anyone who has made the switch themselves.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    There is nothing wrong with hitting the torso in epee. A hit is a hit. If you are often getting hit on the arm, you may have some bad habits to correct--your en garde position, or your distance, may need work. And successfully hitting the arm takes specific practice--lessons, drills, and such. So you have two fronts to work on.
     
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  3. EpeeBlue

    EpeeBlue Made the Cut

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    Thank you.
     
  4. iktovian

    iktovian Made the Cut

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    getting hit on the hand is also often a product of being too passive either generally or specifically because the feet aren't moving very much.
     
  5. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    And whatever issue is allowing opponents to hit you on your hand in epee could carry over to allowing opponents to hit you on the torso in foil. In epee, your opponents are taking advantage of whatever issue you have to aim at the closest target, they'll do the same in foil. (assuming your issue is about footwork or timing and not hand-specific)
     
  6. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    Nope.

    1 year of practice + competing for the first time

    It's hard to say without video or a lot more information about you, your clubmates, and the opponents who are hitting you on the hand/arm, but nothing you're saying sounds out of the ordinary for a relatively new epee fencer. If you're making progress and improving, I wouldn't worry too much.

    There are only two reasons I'd recommend switching to foil in your case. The first is if you feel that your club's foil program is much stronger than the epee program. If you have time, after you're eliminated at a tournament, watch the other epee fencers from your club. Are they also getting hit on the hand and arm all the time? Is everyone getting eliminated in the first round of DEs? Does the club have a range of epee fencers at different levels, and are the best ones are doing well in local events (winning, placing near the top, or at least making it further in the DEs this year than they did last year)? If so, then you're probably fine sticking with epee. Watch the better epee fencers at the club, watch some video of yourself, and think about things that your coaches are telling you about how to set up touches. If the club's epee fencers are mostly just fooling around and getting eliminated in the first round of DEs, but the club's foil fencers are working hard and having success on strip, then it may make sense to switch to foil.

    The other reason that I'd recommend switching to foil is if you simply like foil much better. Some people really prefer one weapon over the others. If your club offers multiple weapons, I'd generally recommend focusing on the weapon that you enjoy fencing the most. Over the long term, you'll probably practice harder, more consistently, and for more years at whichever weapon you like the most. That kind of focused practice is a really good recipe for continued, long term improvement in whichever weapon you're doing! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  7. EpeeBlue

    EpeeBlue Made the Cut

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    Thank you.
     

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