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View Full Version : Should beginners be given rules coaching?



Gav
-25th April 2003, 09:21
Something I've noticed recently is the number of beginners who have no knowledge of the rules. Do we think that, as a supplement to coaching technique, that we should instruct people in the rules? My feeling is that we should. I'm not talking about just generally hoping that they pick up the rules as they fence, I'm talking about actively teching people the rules as part of their development.

Boo Boo
-25th April 2003, 09:40
Sounds like a really good idea to me (if time and resources allowed, you could almost have "fencing theory" classes which include rules and refereeing skills etc...).

Boo

Jambo
-25th April 2003, 09:43
Absolutely. I didn't really as a beginner, and I'm still rubbish at judging now. It helps understand things like ROW etc. and it makes you a lot more useful at comps. It probably improves your game too.

Gav
-25th April 2003, 10:00
Y'see my thinking was that if we give beginners a good grounding in the rules, in addition to teaching them to fence, then we get a couple of benefits:


Long term improvement in the standard of refereeing.
Knowledge of the rules lends a beginners a better understanding of the Fencing environment.
Less arguing.


I plan on introducing this our beginners at my club. Might even run a couple of seminars for them and get in some experienced competent people to give them good exposure to good presiding practice. I was thinking about this because the rules commitee's website has disappeared and they produced a good document detailing good presiding practices.

Hudson
-25th April 2003, 10:50
It's one of the things we try and teach at our small club, I think if you understand the rules (ROW etc) it helps you know what to expect when you get in to a fight.

Boo Boo
-25th April 2003, 10:54
Good luck Gav - it does sounds like an excellent idea (it never siezes to amaze me how people can fence for years and years and not have a clue about ROW and rules...).

Boo

Jenrick
-26th April 2003, 08:45
Yea, great idea, at least if you can understand the rules a bit it helps. at our club we try to get newer members to preside alongside a more experienced person - interesting results!!:cool:

3 Card Trick
-26th April 2003, 11:30
Gav, the pamphlet still exists and is regularly revised.

it will probably reappear shortly as the website is undergoing changes.

It is still available to download from the North West website, or if you are real nice I could email a copy to you.

:grin:

Muso440
-26th April 2003, 11:34
I think it's a good idea in theory, but I think you would have to be careful how you do it, and to do it well - I think it would be quite easy for a beginner to get 'information overload'. There's enough to remember at the beginning as it is! (how to hold your foil, how to do en garde, remembering to bend your knees... even before you actually get onto dealing with an opponent)

Tech
-27th April 2003, 05:27
The exam structure for refereeing has recently been changed to allow County refereeing exams so that even beginners can get qualified and the idea is to encourage all fencers to learn the rules.

An administrators award will also be introduced within the next twelve months which at the lowest level will require a simple knowledge of basic rules and scoring through to the highest level which would qualify people to the standard of an FIE DT.

In answer to the general question YES - every fencer should have a knowledge of what fencing is about as well as how to do it!

;)

Muppet
-8th April 2005, 12:38
Definetly so, it would also mean, more peolpe would ref comp poule matches, not just leaving it one or two mugs...

Meneldil
-8th April 2005, 12:58
Definitely sounds like a good idea. Would this just look at the RoW rules, or at the sort of 'competition formality' rules as well (I can't really think of any better way of putting that)?

D'Artignan
-8th April 2005, 13:08
I reckon it would be a very good idea to do this as it would reduce the workload on the one or two people who ref almost all the fights in a poule. As I posted elsewhere, I don't mind reffing, but I would like to sit down occasionally during a comp, as this is something I don't get the chance to do very often!

Honk
-8th April 2005, 13:17
I've recently written a very brief (2 sides) and incompete introduction to refereeing for those that finish our 6 week beginners course and join the club.

Since it's less than a year since I started I remember how intimidating it is to ref when you don't know the words let alone understand the conventions.

The document appeared very popular (even with some who've been fencing a while) so we're trying to organise some some form of demonstration of the simple things like attack and counter, parries as opposed to beats (something I'm not entirly confortable with:o: ) and P-I-L. It seems to make sense for the beginners to have a bit of club experience so they know how fast their eyes (and ears) have to react.

Has anyone done anything similar that could perhaps recommend a format/key points?

nessyfencer
-8th April 2005, 13:20
Originally posted by Gav
Something I've noticed recently is the number of beginners who have no knowledge of the rules. Do we think that, as a supplement to coaching technique, that we should instruct people in the rules? My feeling is that we should. I'm not talking about just generally hoping that they pick up the rules as they fence, I'm talking about actively teching people the rules as part of their development.

I am kinda in the middle or agreeing and disagreeing. It depends what you are classing as a beginner here, I think you have to be careful not to bore a new fencer, particularly the younger ones, who just want to have fun sticking a pokey stick into their mate. It is only once these new/young fencer are actually picking up footwork/bladework/etc and getting some exiting fights going that they are gonna develop an interest in fencing rather than poking their mate. After they have developed this interest then I think that it is a good idea to teach them the rules.

nessyfencer
-8th April 2005, 13:22
Incidently I voted yes even though I don't think absolute brand new beginners should be tought the rules.

Just noticed - this thread is nearly a year old! Where you find this at Muppet?

Muppet
-8th April 2005, 13:28
Recycling valid threads:peace1:

Meneldil
-8th April 2005, 13:31
Originally posted by nessyfencer
Just noticed - this thread is nearly a year old! Where you find this at Muppet?
Two years I believe. I think Muppet has too much time on his hands - dredging through two years' worth of threads to find this. :grin:

Boo Boo
-8th April 2005, 13:31
Originally posted by nessyfencer
I am kinda in the middle or agreeing and disagreeing. It depends what you are classing as a beginner here, I think you have to be careful not to bore a new fencer, particularly the younger ones, who just want to have fun sticking a pokey stick into their mate. It is only once these new/young fencer are actually picking up footwork/bladework/etc and getting some exiting fights going that they are gonna develop an interest in fencing rather than poking their mate. After they have developed this interest then I think that it is a good idea to teach them the rules.

Simple, those who just want to stick "a pokey stick into their mate" start epee classes. :tongue:

Those who "are gonna develop an interest in fencing" start foil classes and learn the rules and refereeing... :)

Those who drag their knuckles on the ground.... ;)

That is not to mean that all epeeists don't need or want to learn the rules, but - at a beginner/club level - a lot of people to go over to epee because of the ROW and rules relating to foil. There are, of course, epeeist who are great epeeists (and very good at foil too...)

I was fencing last night and a woman (who has been fencing epee and some foil for a number of years) came up to me and said that she wanted to fence me next, but didn't want to referee first. I said that she had to referee before she fenced (although we would help her out). She proceeded to do a bad job (Chubby and I acknowledged all hits) and - far worse than that - was virtually inaudible. Refereeing is not a chore to be avoided, but a learning experience... like anything, how do you become better if you don't practice?

Boo

nessyfencer
-8th April 2005, 13:31
Originally posted by Gav
Y'see my thinking was that if we give beginners a good grounding in the rules, in addition to teaching them to fence, then we get a couple of benefits:


Long term improvement in the standard of refereeing.
Knowledge of the rules lends a beginners a better understanding of the Fencing environment.
Less arguing.


I plan on introducing this our beginners at my club. Might even run a couple of seminars for them and get in some experienced competent people to give them good exposure to good presiding practice. I was thinking about this because the rules commitee's website has disappeared and they produced a good document detailing good presiding practices.


As this is quite an old thread Gav, did you manage to get this into practice at your club? If so, how you get on?

D'Artignan
-8th April 2005, 16:50
Should this be extended to basic armoury as well, or would that be an information overload for the average (relative) newbie?

sabregran
-8th April 2005, 18:01
after trying with one class last year and getting an extremely good response from the kids, I spent three days last week doing introductory foam sabre with (around 200 in total) key stage 2 children.

As most of the chldren were in whole classes (around 30 at a time) I always start with the concept that fencing involves three people, two fencers and a referee, and introduce the halte command, with signal.

By the time they get to even pairs footwork excercises we are using en garde, ready, fence to start them and the intro. to bladework involves half the class learning to hold weapon and the other half learning why they had to move backwards as well as forwards before they swap over.

Free fencing is done in threes and the refs are reminded of their safety duty first. apart from brief instruction that the ref is looking for the arm extending to decide who started the attack, other rules are introduces as and when asked about.

I'm amazed how many of the kids love refereeing and when they think someone has done something unfair, including hitting too hard, or the first time they have simultaneous to arbitrate they quickly ask about rules (extra tip, introduced by my daughter who is a primary teacher at one of the schools involved is to choose the kids who are getting over-excited and not listening carefully to the instructions to be the referees first, they think it is a reward and quickly focus on rules and structure of the bout before it is their turn to fence).

sabregran

Baldric
-8th April 2005, 18:30
Originally posted by D'Artignan
Should this be extended to basic armoury as well, or would that be an information overload for the average (relative) newbie?

Some very basic armoury stuff should be covered as part of the safety lecture that normally occurs on day 1. (I am thinking of mask condition, bends in weapons etc).

Anything other than that could probably wait until the first purchase of electric kit, or the first comp (with borrowed kit) whichever comes first.

However, it never ceases to amaze me at comps when adult fencers, who spend hours training, and lots of money coming to comps, present themselves with equipment that has never been maintained since the day it was bought.

D'Artignan
-8th April 2005, 19:21
Originally posted by Baldric
However, it never ceases to amaze me at comps when adult fencers, who spend hours training, and lots of money coming to comps, present themselves with equipment that has never been maintained since the day it was bought. Or experienced fencers who don't bother to check their kit works until after check-in (not me at all):rolleyes: :confused:

PM1
-9th April 2005, 10:41
Originally posted by sabregran
after trying with one class last year and getting an extremely good response from the kids, I spent three days last week doing introductory foam sabre with (around 200 in total) key stage 2 children.

As most of the chldren were in whole classes (around 30 at a time) I always start with the concept that fencing involves three people, two fencers and a referee, and introduce the halte command, with signal.

By the time they get to even pairs footwork excercises we are using en garde, ready, fence to start them and the intro. to bladework involves half the class learning to hold weapon and the other half learning why they had to move backwards as well as forwards before they swap over.

Free fencing is done in threes and the refs are reminded of their safety duty first. apart from brief instruction that the ref is looking for the arm extending to decide who started the attack, other rules are introduces as and when asked about.

I'm amazed how many of the kids love refereeing and when they think someone has done something unfair, including hitting too hard, or the first time they have simultaneous to arbitrate they quickly ask about rules (extra tip, introduced by my daughter who is a primary teacher at one of the schools involved is to choose the kids who are getting over-excited and not listening carefully to the instructions to be the referees first, they think it is a reward and quickly focus on rules and structure of the bout before it is their turn to fence).

sabregran

Oh, but I LIKE this one !!!:) :) Keep it up !! and more to do so, please....should work with newbie adults too - you'll soon find out which ones don't learn visually, and can back the rules/armoury stuff up with handouts.

Athos
-10th April 2005, 09:33
I think you can teach the rules at the same time as teaching the weapon. In foil at leat, much of the technique is informed by the rules of ROW so it's a good idea to explain the reasoning behind actions such as beat attacks, arm extension etc. I certainly find that that helps me to remember moves. Having said that I'd certainly benefit but more specific knowledge of the rules, since now I find myself refeering (mostly when there's no one else), and I'd like to know more so that I'm more certain of my judgements.

As to the armourey question, I think it adds a nice extra dimension to know more about the weapon you're using. The first time I tried fencing, about 10 years ago, I did the 1 star certificate (in the 5 star scheme) and part of that included being able to name parts of the weapon, which I found interesting rather than "information overload". I don't think that scheme still exists, and it probably wasn't the best way of teaching how to fence, but it was good in that it showed all aspects of it - not just the sport but the weapon as well.

Foilling Around
-10th April 2005, 10:11
Its a no brainer really, would you advise anyone to learn to drive without learning the highway code at the same time.

Boo Boo
-10th April 2005, 10:46
Originally posted by Foilling Around
Its a no brainer really, would you advise anyone to learn to drive without learning the highway code at the same time.

I don't know, most people don't seem to remember (or apply it) after their tests... :( :rolleyes: :confused:

PM1
-10th April 2005, 11:28
..that's partly the bit about learning visually - see how the rules apply (preferrably not the one about speed and breaking distances on a REAL road with traffic, tho'......:o: ) by actually DOING....:grin:

D'Artignan
-11th April 2005, 20:10
Hmm, this one's pretty conclusive.
Yes - 51 votes
No - 1 vote
No opinion - bugger all.

The 'Ayes' have it so far, mefinks

madfencer
-14th April 2005, 12:09
YES they deffinately should!!!