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tigger
-24th December 2003, 15:25
Ian Williams is starting a senior squad training session on Tuesdays from Jan (top 25 men & women). Just wondering who is seriously thinking of going? I'm going to go to the first one, and would like to get up there for 1 or 2 a month.

PS Nice one Ian - just what's needed.

NLSC Sabreur
-1st January 2004, 16:39
Its feasible for me to get there (1-1.5 hour journey each way) but I currently train elsewhere on Tuesday under a good coach I like with good fencers some of whom are also in the top 25.

I used to travel to LTFC but I didn't enjoy the club (fencing was good but the atmosphere was not so) and the journey was bad. St. Pauls is a bus ride then a long walk away from Hammersmith tube. getting there by car from the north can mean going through major traffic.

Who will coach at these evenings? Who will actually be there?
Saturday or Sunday sessions sound much better but I will see what occurs.

I'm on the fringe of the 25 so I am not exactly the target anyway so what I do wont have a major effect whatever.

randomsabreur
-1st January 2004, 19:30
I could probably get there, but it would be the same journey time for me to get to a club where I have trained for a long time that meets at the same times.

However, if it is still running come September when I start working in London, I will try and make it, work permitting.

I think that semi regular weekends would be better, then it would not take the top 25 away from their own clubs and would be in addition to rather than instead of regular training. It would also be more feasible for people who are further away from London.

UglyBug
-2nd January 2004, 08:12
How does this work for muppets like me who are in the top 25 some months and not in others?

tigger
-3rd January 2004, 07:36
I understand your points about club nights (this is also my club night, and I have to try to get coaching cover for myself!) but I think it's important to be positive and supportive with this kind of intiative. There's no need to attend every week, and if you'd like to have squad training but want to change times, days etc then it's best to do it from the inside once the training is established.

RE - NLSC Sabreur- coaches - dunno, but the best thing to do is get involved and find out!

RE - Uglybug - muppets. I think it was based on the top 25 on Dec 1st, but don't quote me. I'm nothing to do with it other than that I'm invited.

NLSC Sabreur
-3rd January 2004, 23:10
Originally posted by tigger
I understand your points about club nights (this is also my club night, and I have to try to get coaching cover for myself!) but I think it's important to be positive and supportive with this kind of intiative. There's no need to attend every week, and if you'd like to have squad training but want to change times, days etc then it's best to do it from the inside once the training is established.

RE - NLSC Sabreur- coaches - dunno, but the best thing to do is get involved and find out!

RE - Uglybug - muppets. I think it was based on the top 25 on Dec 1st, but don't quote me. I'm nothing to do with it other than that I'm invited.

Having national training sessions in an obscure and hard to reach part of London does not come across to me as ideal. Do it from the inside once its established??????? If it got established then there wouldn't be a need to change it. Looking at the men's rankings its clearly impossible for 2, 3, 4 to get there. I know that 6 has no interest in this training. 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, are clearly out of range. 16 will I believe be in Cardiff next year. 17 is no longer fencing. 19 out of range. 20 wont be going. 21 possible but I think he is unavailable because of one of the requirements of his course. 22 yes but only in holidays. 23, that's me. 25 maybe. 26 (from Spain) will be in top 25 very soon but I don't see him going even if invited. 29 is a rising star but from Northern Ireland its a long, long way. (No I don't know most of these people well but I think that I am correct in most of these assumptions).

Too me it looks like (other than a once per month visit by 13) it will be the usual LTFC members (plus 2 school boys from Brentwood??). Will preference in selection be given to those that can attend when its easy for them to do so and impossible for others?

Long term scheduled training weekends would seem to me the way ahead. Pick 4-6 weekends in the year that have no international competitions and no big domestic comps. Arrange for the weekends to include sports science, tactical training, a lecture on nutrition, advice on building a personal fitness programme, psychological advice, a look at the styles and tactics of the Hungarians, the Russians, the Italians, and the French. Something new, a look outward at what they do elsewhere in the world, not lots of running around a hall, followed by sit ups, press ups etc, then some pools fighting the same people the same way.

Neil Brown
-4th January 2004, 12:59
We (Neil Brown, Mike Matthews, Norman Golding, David Kirby, David Sach), coaches of junior & cadet fencers, have had discussions about running squad training for juniors & cadets along these lines.

Details are yet to be worked out but will include training weekends & days, longer training camps, & a more structured year plan for competing.

Watch this space for details; plans should be ready by Easter.

Neil

tigger
-4th January 2004, 17:09
NLSC, I agree with most of your points. BUT if you want things to be different it's best to start by being positive, turning up a few times and then discussing changes from the inside. Just being negative about any new initiatives from the start is destructive.

If it's not out of range for me then it's not out of range for most people in England or South Wales.

NLSC Sabreur
-5th January 2004, 09:56
Originally posted by tigger
NLSC, I agree with most of your points. BUT if you want things to be different it's best to start by being positive, turning up a few times and then discussing changes from the inside. Just being negative about any new initiatives from the start is destructive.

If it's not out of range for me then it's not out of range for most people in England or South Wales.

Tigger unless I am very wrong I believe you don't have a standard 9-5, 9-6 or worse job. People are not going to take a day off work then spend considerable time and money to attend a 3 hour training session. Your commitment and enthusiasm are to be applauded but others don't have your ability to be so time flexible.
Oh yes and I now remember that a couple of months ago you writing that you were planning on being in London 3 week days a month and within London it's quite a lot quicker to London than from South Wales:)

Anyway I admit to being a bit negative, perhaps I will go along sometime. Hope you will post of review of the first session next week to this thread.

NLSC Sabreur
-5th January 2004, 10:01
Originally posted by Neil Brown
We (Neil Brown, Mike Matthews, Norman Golding, David Kirby, David Sach), coaches of junior & cadet fencers, have had discussions about running squad training for juniors & cadets along these lines.

Details are yet to be worked out but will include training weekends & days, longer training camps, & a more structured year plan for competing.

Watch this space for details; plans should be ready by Easter.

Neil

Juniors, cadets, NOT BL$%"^$DY fair!

If I lie about my age, will you let come:)!

Moby
-5th January 2004, 12:05
If instead of an evening session in the middle of the week, it was an evening session at the beginning or end of the week I would be far more liekly to attend. Then I would not feel like there is no chance for me to attend. I end up losing a day of work to attend most competitions (used about 80% of my annual leave last year for fencing related time off - competitions and training camps). A Friday evening would be much better (I know people like to go out and party, but it would show some committment if they attended). Then I would only lose say half a day's annual leave to attend.

Better still, a weekend session would be so much more appeciated. I know if I was in London, then I would be easy about doing it at any time.

Tig, I know you are committed enough to travel up to london once a month, and I've been considering doing something similar to Durham (or even Edinburgh/Glasgow!), but the financial constraints are huge.

So I'd be keen on a weekend session too.

tigger
-5th January 2004, 15:11
Guys, please understand I agree with most of your points. However, I don't think the way forward is to be immediately negative about a new initiative. If you support the principle then be positive, turn up and talk about how things could be improved. If you show that your keen to be part of a squad system then you are more likely to get things adjusted to suit everyone. If we just all stamp our feet and stay at home things won't get better.

NLSAC, I'm only time flexible insofar as it costs me a lot of money to be so! My plans to come up to London evey month in 2004 were shelved til this training initiative. If I had a 9-5 (or 9-6) I would get sick pay, holiday pay and paid on time! Every tournament I do costs me between 100 and 250 in lost work, as the majority of my gigs are at weekends (especially in Autumn/winter) as well as the cost of the events themselves. Every time I come up to squad training it will be a 600 mile round trip, + food and general expenses (I know enough chicks in London to get free accommodation for a while :grin: ). I'll also be missing between 50 and 100 of coaching/ guitar teaching on Tues pm and weds am. If I can get off my ass and do it, then most people could.

NLSC Sabreur
-5th January 2004, 16:27
Originally posted by tigger
Guys, please understand I agree with most of your points. However, I don't think the way forward is to be immediately negative about a new initiative. If you support the principle then be positive, turn up and talk about how things could be improved. If you show that your keen to be part of a squad system then you are more likely to get things adjusted to suit everyone. If we just all stamp our feet and stay at home things won't get better.

NLSAC, I'm only time flexible insofar as it costs me a lot of money to be so! My plans to come up to London evey month in 2004 were shelved til this training initiative. If I had a 9-5 (or 9-6) I would get sick pay, holiday pay and paid on time! Every tournament I do costs me between 100 and 250 in lost work, as the majority of my gigs are at weekends (especially in Autumn/winter) as well as the cost of the events themselves. Every time I come up to squad training it will be a 600 mile round trip, + food and general expenses (I know enough chicks in London to get free accommodation for a while :grin: ). I'll also be missing between 50 and 100 of coaching/ guitar teaching on Tues pm and weds am. If I can get off my ass and do it, then most people could.


Ok, ok, ok we surrender:peace1:

Most of us are just not that dedicated. Too be honest I don't feel that bad about not being that dedicated. This 3 hour session does not sound that useful, of course I would like to proven wrong but......what Neil mentions that's sounds so much better. I get footwork or lessons at NLSC, or Bedford from P Wright or J Katz (Bedford only) both extremely good coaches and I can fight opponents my standard or better twice a week (the variety is limited but it's still there). So far me a different evening session is not that fantastic.

On Saturday I was in a 6 hour training session organised by Peter Wright at Bedford, there was warming up, plenty of stretching, bladework technique but then we looked at a video of the 2002? World Team Championships M Final where Russia crushed Italy 45-22. We each made notes whilst watching then discussed what the style the Russians used, what the Italian used, where each side got its hits (Zones1,2,3), who was the best fencer on each side and how each side might have improved. We then had pools afterwards where the rules were changed (more points for certain strokes or more points for hits in certain zones) to encourage tactics that worked for the Russians. Nothing revolutionary was learnt, no great improvements were made to anyone but it was different and interesting.

randomsabreur
-5th January 2004, 16:34
I suppose it depends on what defines flexibility. My main constraint this year is financial, next year it will be time

Also I have already paid for membership of the club I go to on Tuesdays when that is possible. Given that it is Bedford I can combine it with going home to do my washing, visiting dentist and I get free accommodation in my own bed. If I had known that the squad training would have been on Tuesdays at the start of the year before I paid a year's subs, I would be more willing than I am now, having already paid for one place I am not about to pay for another.

Next year, I will have a lot more money that I currently have, but I will have a lot less time as I am going to be working 9-6 when I am lucky and potentially 9-9 or later when things go wrong. If I want a job after 2 years, I can't turn round and say, sorry, I'm fencing tonight and leave when I want to.

I suppose it also depends on where peoples priorities lie, admittedly money for rent and food etc is essential , but after that it depends on how seriously people want to take fencing. I accept that I will never make a living out of fencing, but it comes top on my list of non work related activities. Other people may be more ambitious when it comes to fencing and may choose to make more sacrifices for it.

I admire Tigger's dedication, but I envy his ability and courage to make that choice.

Rdb811
-7th January 2004, 00:06
Originally posted by randomsabreur


Next year, I will have a lot more money that I currently have, but I will have a lot less time as I am going to be working 9-6 when I am lucky and potentially 9-9 or later when things go wrong.

More like 6-9 .....

Plus the commuting.

randomsabreur
-8th January 2004, 12:00
Nah, will be living in London so the commute will not be so bad. Anyway, lawyers don't tend to start too early, they just don't finish the meetings!

GrahamWatts
-8th January 2004, 15:55
The commitment shown by "Tigger" is commendable and exactly the attitude that is needed.

To be honest, the openly admitted lack of commitment by other posters on this theme seems to suggest that there would be little point in them taking part in regular squad sessions, anyway.

Ian Williams is going out of his way to try to provide a regular session for the top mens and womens sabreurs to get together once a week in the only way he can for the time being. Clearly it is not ideal and clearly many people will be unable to attend because of where they live. But, it is a start! As "Tigger" says, once the new system gets going it will develop and I expect that it will lead to weekend training etc.

Where does Ian say that the training will consist of 'running around and fencing each other in poules' as someone seems to allege in an earlier posting. I find this to be pretty offensive to Ian!

It might be worth pointing out that Ian gave up many years of his life in the self-disciplined and single-minded pursuit of becoming a world-class fencer. He is an Olympian, was a member of the British team for a decade and was permanently based in France for a few years during the amazing renaissance in French sabre fencing - he is the only British fencer I know who possesses a Coupe d'Europe Gold Medal! I know that there is a lot that British fencers could learn from him, dedication and commitment being pretty high up the list.

For those who are complaining about the hours that they work, how long it takes to get to fencing training, where the nearest bus stop or tube station is (etc) - if I can borrow a few words from Simon Cowell - "you're never going to make it - you might be alright for the fencing equivalent of Butlins but that's it. There's nothing wrong with Butlins but don't kid yourself that you are ever going to be any better than that" (sorry but you have to have watched Pop Idol - a product of having teenage daughters- to understand that!)

Graham

NLSC Sabreur
-8th January 2004, 16:40
Originally posted by GrahamWatts
The commitment shown by "Tigger" is commendable and exactly the attitude that is needed.

To be honest, the openly admitted lack of commitment by other posters on this theme seems to suggest that there would be little point in them taking part in regular squad sessions, anyway.

Ian Williams is going out of his way to try to provide a regular session for the top mens and womens sabreurs to get together once a week in the only way he can for the time being. Clearly it is not ideal and clearly many people will be unable to attend because of where they live. But, it is a start! As "Tigger" says, once the new system gets going it will develop and I expect that it will lead to weekend training etc.

Where does Ian say that the training will consist of 'running around and fencing each other in poules' as someone seems to allege in an earlier posting. I find this to be pretty offensive to Ian!

It might be worth pointing out that Ian gave up many years of his life in the self-disciplined and single-minded pursuit of becoming a world-class fencer. He is an Olympian, was a member of the British team for a decade and was permanently based in France for a few years during the amazing renaissance in French sabre fencing - he is the only British fencer I know who possesses a Coupe d'Europe Gold Medal! I know that there is a lot that British fencers could learn from him, dedication and commitment being pretty high up the list.

For those who are complaining about the hours that they work, how long it takes to get to fencing training, where the nearest bus stop or tube station is (etc) - if I can borrow a few words from Simon Cowell - "you're never going to make it - you might be alright for the fencing equivalent of Butlins but that's it. There's nothing wrong with Butlins but don't kid yourself that you are ever going to be any better than that" (sorry but you have to have watched Pop Idol - a product of having teenage daughters- to understand that!)

Graham

I have been pretty negative but that's me. Still I am interested and intend to go once a month or so. I have been in contact by email with Ian and been impressed by his enthusiasm and his clear desire to get something done.
Location of the training has been my main gripe.

Dedication and commitment is rarer supply in Men's sabre than in other weapons. And if you think I'm bad then there's some very talented (not something I can be labeled) male sabreurs who are doing very little with their abilities.

Ian's squad contains quite a few past their peak fencers plus never had a peak worth mentioning fencers (including me). One session a week is probably not the answer. I think that kidnapping everyone in the squad and keeping us all in a training camp for 6 months might be the right start. Perhaps we should be held at a Butlin's camp:)

Moby
-8th January 2004, 22:51
Graham,

I agree with you to some degree, but say for me. I try to get down to Durham - which is a 5 hour drive for me to train as frequently as is possible. But calling it squad training and basing it in London just makes it near impossible for someone who has to fly to London to actually make it there without losing a day of their life... Maybe there should be a northern training event to capture the Scottish and north-eastern based sabreurs.

Again, if a weekend session was set up in London I'd take part in it, as it would be more feasible to attend

.

Rdb811
-8th January 2004, 23:11
Originally posted by randomsabreur
Nah, will be living in London so the commute will not be so bad.

LMAO - what used to be a fifteen minute journey now takes twenty and the train is normally ten minutes late, except when I've overslept.

Other than on the mornings when it's really fouled up.

randomsabreur
-9th January 2004, 14:58
In reply to Graham

I feel that I am as committed to fencing and training as I can afford to be at this stage in my life. I am still a student so financially fencing to the extent that I do puts a certain degree of strain on my finances. If I were to come down to the squad sessions, it would cost me somewhere above 12 per session just on transport, and would take approximately 3 hours each way (certainly for the journey to London, by bus in the rush hour. I could get there faster by taking the train, but the cost would then become more like 20 per session. Also, I train moderately regularly on a Tuesday night, and have regular coaching from my main coach. This is at the end of an hour and a half drive, which costs somewhat less.

I currently train 2 or 3 times a week. Out of the Oxford university term time, my minimum journey time for a session is an hour each way. I have to combine this with a full time vocational course, and competing regularly. I know I am not training everyday, but financially any extra training is not viable, short of winning the lottery.

I would also be keen to do squad training at a weekend, whereever in country it was, because the time spent training would be a better trade off for time and money spent in travelling.

It is impossible to judge someone's committment without knowing the full facts.

Although I have not mentioned who I am, mainly because I don't want my details left on the internet, many people on this forum know who I am from context and location and the comments I have made. Anyone who wants to check their suspicions of who I am is welcome to talk to me at a competition.

tigger
-12th January 2004, 11:13
Aaaargh. Don't believe it! Having been in Budapest with the U20s this weekend I managed to turn a medium-sized cold into a fully blown chest and sinus infection....won't be making the first session after all my preaching! But will try to be there for next week or the one after.

UglyBug
-12th January 2004, 11:30
Does that mean no Katie either?

whizzkid1982
-12th January 2004, 14:09
having been invited along to this i am very disappointed not to be able to make it down from newcastle. i htink htat the idea of a squad session like this is very good. having worked a bit with Ian in the summer on his course (which i would highly recommend) i can say that he is a great coach and i will be making every effort to get to the weekend sessions, when they happen.

the reasons behind the times will be due to the times that the school have available, which will be limited. (i used to go to the school so i do know that the salle is used a lot!!) also since this is a session with no cost to the fencer (i don't know if the hall is being provided free or not) i think this is an excellent oppourtunity that should not be missed.

i know this is a little preeching in tone but this comes from a feeling that squad sessions are of great importance and will pay off in the long run.

p.s. i think it would be a good idea, although maybe not possible in practice, if the weekend sessions were able to be held in different venues around the country. this would mean that the journey will be long on some occaisions for some and at other times much shorter. (unfortunately this prob won't apply to tigger as he is bloody miles from everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (although i would be totally adverse to coming down to cornwall for a weekend when the weather gets better!)

Moby
-12th January 2004, 14:30
Not just Tigger...

doobarz
-14th January 2004, 09:58
All the reports I have heard so far have been positive...

GrahamWatts
-15th January 2004, 16:40
I gather from Ian that there was a very good attendance at this first session (both men and women) and I am glad that there is generally a positive attitude towards it. I think that the key point here is to build up a momentum of regular non-club based sabre training at which good fencers can be sure that other good fencers (including those that they might not normally fence with in a club) will be there. Once the momentum gets going and we can secure some funding for it (because it works) then I am sure that we could start thinking about weekend sessions, moving around the country - guest coaches etc etc.

Ironically, I started my fencing career whilst at school in Bedford and I used to travel down to London after school 2/3 nights a week, lugging my fencing bag across from Kings X to Elephant & Castle or Clerkenwell. When I got onto the U/20 team, back in Joe Eden's day, I was invited to join U/20 squad training which was another night in London - it was compulsory and several of the squad members came from places like Grimsby for a night's fencing in London!

Sometimes I used to get back to Bedford so late that I would have to walk the 2/3 miles back to my village from the train station.

I gave up a place at Oxford to come to University in London because - at that time - fencing was so important to me. I'm not saying any of this for people to go "wow, wasn't he dedicated" (!) mainly because the dedication of people like Ian and James makes whatever I did look very insignificant.

But the point is that any fencer who really is serious about being successful at a national or international level will undoubtedly have to make sacrifices.

I hope that people can make Ian's training sessions because they will feel the benefit of it and if enough go, in due course, sabre in the UK will reap the benefit.

Graham

tigger
-16th January 2004, 09:23
QUOTE - (unfortunately this prob won't apply to tigger as he is bloody miles from everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

True! If it's London,SW or Midlands I'll drive. If it's Newcastle or anywhere in Scotland I'll fly from Bristol! See if Specsavers will cough up for that...

Graham - I totally agree. You have to be obsessive, self-motivated, single minded AND talented to be good at international level. Fencing needs to come before your career, studies, personal life and everything! At least that's what I tell all the kids i teach ;)

randomsabreur
-16th January 2004, 18:21
OK Second attempt at rant, wretched computer timed out on me!!!

1. I am not in Oxford by choice, sorry oxford people if you're insulted, it is where I was put by the firm who is paying for me to do the course and will employ me if I pass. (money to be paid back if I fail = 13,000 so slight motivating factor on priorities)

2. I do not believe that I have enough talent as a fencer to succeed internationally, and moreover, the impression I have got from British Fencing in the past is that the attitude is that those who are no longer juniors are viewed as pretty much past it, with a few exceptions. What motivation is there for me to make sacrifices for fencing when to those in power I am past it and not sufficiently talented!!!

3. I have been in the top 20 for the past 5 years, and had serious trouble even finding out what the criteria for being in the senior squad for selection for A-Grades actually were. This means that the chances of me being keen to take risks with my future career for a vague chance of succeeding at fencing, even if I were to be allowed to try would be fairly slim

JohnL
-16th January 2004, 19:32
Random Sabreur

While this responds to your post, it isn't necessarily directed at you. (Honest)

1. I am not in Oxford by choice, sorry oxford people if you're insulted, it is where I was put by the firm who is paying for me to do the course and will employ me if I pass. (money to be paid back if I fail = 13,000 so slight motivating factor on priorities)

You are there by choice. It was a choice that you made. You put your career before your fencing. That's fine, just don't whine about it later as if it was something you had no control over.

2. I do not believe that I have enough talent as a fencer to succeed internationally, and moreover, the impression I have got from British Fencing in the past is that the attitude is that those who are no longer juniors are viewed as pretty much past it, with a few exceptions. What motivation is there for me to make sacrifices for fencing when to those in power I am past it and not sufficiently talented!!!

If you do not believe you have the talent you are probably right. Also it doesn't matter what other people think. If you beat the other people you're not past it. If you take that much notice of other people you won't persevere anyway. If you're not self motivated, well hard luck. That's just one of the things you need to get to the top.

3. I have been in the top 20 for the past 5 years, and had serious trouble even finding out what the criteria for being in the senior squad for selection for A-Grades actually were. This means that the chances of me being keen to take risks with my future career for a vague chance of succeeding at fencing, even if I were to be allowed to try would be fairly slim

If you wanted to find out what the criteria for selection was, I have no doubt that 1 e-mail to Graham Watts would have given you the information you needed. If you don't want to take the risks with your future career to have a chance at being a top level fencer, fine. Just don't tell me that you wanted it enough.

I have heard from so many fencers over the years, the excuses trotted out as to why they can't make it. That is exactly what they were, excuses. I wasn't motivated, no-one helped me, I couldn't find the time, I've got a job.

Sounds like to same pathetic excuses still go round.

You have a top class Sabreur, willing to take time to run sessions targeted at high level fencers.

You should all move heaven and earth to get to them and support the effort. The apathetic response is typical of fencers who want success but are not prepared to put in the effort and make the sacrifices that are required.

randomsabreur
-17th January 2004, 14:13
Why am I doing a Law Course, possibly so I can live a life where I will never be reliant on anyone else financially (I have a personal reason why this is important to me). I do not have parents who have the means of the inclination to support me indefinitely, I have been funding the fencing I have been doing myself for the past 5 years. I am not prepared to take the risk of being reliant on the state 50 years from now because I didn't go for a well paid career.

If squad training had been available before I made my decisions about my future, maybe I would have taken more risks, but it is a very, very new innovation! Possibly some of the issues with the squad training are that it suddenly appears mid way through a season when there has been nothing of that degree for years, and coincidentally it is in a venue with poor transport links on a night that is perfect for those who go to LTFC and not particularly helpful for those who are training at other clubs who meet on that night. I'm sure that I should be honoured to be asked and drop everything to get there, including attending at a club that has served me well for many years and is coached by coaches I feel comfortable with and who have the ability to make me improve further. I'm sorry, I have a sense of loyalty to my original club!

Selection criteria should be published, in my opinion the best place would be alongside the published worlds criteria in the Sabre Club literature. I didn't email Graham Watts in the past, since have, but have asked (personally rather than by email) in the past, and been told that it hadn't been decided yet.

doobarz
-17th January 2004, 19:15
Originally posted by randomsabreur
I am not prepared to take the risk of being reliant on the state 50 years from now because I didn't go for a well paid career.

Of all your comments, I think this one offends me most, but we won't go into that too much...

I am confused by your last two posts - you say you are committed to your career, but still seem to want to be a full international - without detracting from your work if I read it correctly?

If we take Robin Knight as an example - a talented fencer I'm sure most would agree, yet (I believe from a friend of his) he has stopped fencing to pursue his career. This I know has caused some people to say 'If only Robin et al would come back, we could have a great MS team....' However, if he doesn't have the commitment, which he freely expresses (Again I believe) then select someone else ahead of him, who can then gain experience and achieve their goals.

Personally, I think that the senior squad training is a good idea - it is something people have been mumouring about fo ras long as I have been fencing. OK, the time place etc might not suit everyone, but at least it is now running - now it can be changed/ adapted to suit.

I started fencing late (18) but have trained quite hard when I can, and have been putting in extra effort towards the Corble. I have my season aims etc etc and no one is going to do the work for me. I recognise I will probably never make the England or GB team, howeverm, having fenced at the Nationals for a club wioth 4 teams, even then I had something to aim for, had I not moved away. Now it is a case of proving my worth in the team of the club I am at now for a 'higher' position in the team.

I agree with John L - I have heard lots of excuses. Yes it is hard, no there is not much funding/ sponsorship available, but you have to make the best of what is available. I know Internationals from other nations who work their asses off to get favors from work to have time off - their life is fencing. We have a few people with that level of commitment, but not many it seems.

Perhaps a change of mind set is needed at the top levels of fencing- lets get rid of the work focused people and have some part time workers who will go to the gym, travel to training, watch what they eat and drink. Perhaps I should stand for BFA President...

*Elle*
-17th January 2004, 19:55
Its your choice to persue law... good on you to be honest. Career's are more important then fencing because frankly you cant make a career on it... however.... ok so transport to LTFC isnt great but how come everyone else manages to get their? People used to come from stratford to fence.
I strongly believe that squad training is a great idea.. perhaps have it more than once a week n perhaps in different parts of the country to suit moany people.....its something that has needed to occur.
We brits need all the training we can get! I not only train 3times a week but go to the gym as often as i can aswell as go to university and work. So if i can do it u can too randomsabreur!:grin:

randomsabreur
-18th January 2004, 12:02
Doobarz, no offense meant, but I think my main priority is never to be reliant on anyone financially in any way whatsoever!!!!! My reasons for this have to do with seeing what happened when my parents divorced and what happens when partner is entirely reliant on another!! Given the current state of the financial services and pensions sector, and the tendency towards the raising of the age of the state pension, I am basically being paranoid.

As it happens I train 3 times a week, each session at the end of a 1 hour journey each way, plus I have a half hour lesson during term time. It is more the fact that getting to squad sessions would take 3 hours plus each way, and although I reckon it would be pretty good, I can't justify to myself that it is so much better than going to Bedford (club I train at on any Tuesday that I can) to justify the extra time and expense taken in getting there.

Equally I am not entirely keen on the idea of travelling back from London to Oxford late at night. I have considered travelling down, to the point of looking into the cheapest and most efficient means of getting there and basically it is the return journey that could be far more difficult. I find walking alone at night fairly intimidating, especially when burdened with a fencing bag, and have had a few nervewracking experiences in the past when waiting for buses and taxis in town centres when I have returned late and alone from training.

What I really want out of fencing is to be as good as I can, without affecting my career. Until this year, I had accepted that I was never going to get back into the senior squad for A-Grades, the chances that I had had as an U20 were all I was going to get. Although I had been consistent in L16s, I had never felt that I was going to make a breakthrough into L8s, and was going to get overtaken as the youngsters came through. I didn't feel like I was improving and was pretty well resigned to giving up when I started work and maybe doing some refereeing. This year, things actually started to click and I got a few results, and suddenly I was a lot more ambitious as I thought I might actually achieve something I hadn't done before. Previously my ambitions had been better described as vague dreams, now there was something that was potentially there to build on. By the time that I realised that my fencing and results were actually likely to improve more, I was committed to the LPC and a training contract. I accept that I could have taken more risks, and maybe deferred for a year, or more to see how far I could have gone, but I am frankly not courageous enough to take that kind of a risk.

I suppose in this I come across as boring and conservative, but I can't change my nature.

I think that the people from Stratford came by car or minibus, driven by coach or parents. I suppose I could drive, but I would lose myself fairly impressively on my own, I have a history of spectacular navigational errors (BYCs when I went to ref, Bristol LPJS, 6 attempts to find correct route to and from training in Northampton, the list goes on)

UglyBug
-18th January 2004, 16:34
I think that a lot of this discussion is really going around in circles and what I think it should really come down to is how new these sessions really are.

Only one session has happened so far and, even before it happened, many people were far quicker to see the problems with it rather than the benefits. It would be a shame to see what is the beginning of a promising idea be dismissed for all the things wrong with it instead of developing the positives.

Everyone has made good points about life choices - we all have to make them and nobody is better or worse than anybody else, just different. What I think is important is that we be proactive in coming up with positive builds for the Senior Squad stuff rather than criticise the moves Ian has made this month.

colliebeast
-11th February 2004, 16:16
I've now been and it's really good!

tigger
-11th February 2004, 21:17
I've been twice now and it's working out really well for me. I rate Ian's lessons highly - practical, simple and based on distance, timing and real fight situations. Have had lots of fights with lots of different people and feel the travel/hassle/expenditure is well worth it. Got home at 430am Weds morning...helluva drive! I'll be there next week too..