View Full Version : Technique or Speed.

-5th October 2010, 20:21
Ive been fencing for just over an year. I used to fence at my university 6 months before the last 5 months. I used to pass the first 5 or 6 bouts without any fitness issues but after that I started to feel tired and would always lose doing vague lunges, poor point control and slow reflexes. In the last 5 months that I ddnt fence with any one I regularly practiced and still practice my moves (lunges of different kinds, stretches) and do drills until im too out of breath to continue (at home) to build my fitness levels. An important element of those drills was speed. However when I actually began to fence with university students again, I found myself incapable of performing the same moves that i used to do in practice drills. Instead of lunging properly I moved like extending the arm and bending the whole body forward without even moving the feet. I just ran into their point and let them poke while I was just standing there looking. I also found that I was thinking too much about what to do . The people I am now fencing with have a minimum of 5 years experince.
Also I noticed that my grip lasted only 1 minute after that my hand became too stiff to control the epee and my arm is also very weak. I cant execute a wrist rotation to parry an opponents blade until it is too late. One of my friends i used to fence with before told me that at this stage when I practise at home and even in bouts I should focus on my technique and forget about speed. Once i perfect the techniques speed will come automatically.
I am a bit dissapointed because i like fencing and want to improve in it, but even when im practising hard i ended up worse than before. Is this dismal performance due to insufficient experience fencing with other people, also should I really emphasize more on technique rather than speed even when fencing some one else. My fitness levels have improved but the wrist, grip and arms are weaker than the already weak condition they were in.

-5th October 2010, 20:45
improve your technique and you will find your speed improves. And if training on your own focus on your footwork, that needs to underpin anything you do.

Foilling Around
-5th October 2010, 22:20
One of my friends i used to fence with before told me that at this stage when I practise at home and even in bouts I should focus on my technique and forget about speed. Once i perfect the techniques speed will come automatically.

Your friend is correct, but also remember that learning curves are not constantly upward. We all have plateaus and sometimes even dips in form when we learn or perfect something new.

Physical and technical speed are two different things and sometimes your search for the former means that the latter suffers and your overall speed reduces.

It also sounds like you are gripping too hard and getting too tense.

-1st January 2011, 02:04
I find often when I'm thinking about what I'm about to do the psyche gets in the way - you see the opening - you consider the options - you decide your move - transmit instruction - and perform action is the process you're using to deliver your hoped outcome.

If you remove the thinking

You see the opening - perform desired action.

You want to achieve an almost automatic response and then build additional options from that...

Also the best time to fence someone id just after they've had a coaching session - not only are they tired, but also thinking...

Keep at it though - you'll pull through.

-7th January 2011, 11:49
Hi Ninja,
I am not a massively experienced fencer, I did plateau about 2 months ago, and to be fair I am not out of it yet. I had developed a poor lunge, very deep and long, but not hitting anything with it. My coach broke down my lunge almost to the beginner level and uncovered two main issues (amongst all the other things), the timing of the lunge and the lunge recovery was making me unbalanced.
Coaching time (technique) has helped me see my errors, now the practice will help my speed.
Get you feet right everything else will flow.

-13th January 2011, 10:06
It pains me to agree with alp but if you improve your technique then your ability to perform the action at speed will also increase.

You can go for just speed to start but in the end the technique will be the limiting factor.


coach carson
-13th January 2011, 11:20
Spends what you mean by speed. You can move as fast as you want so long as the distance is correct. And it depends what you mean by technique. If the touch is in time, the technique will be good enough.

-13th January 2011, 18:07
surely you could argue that by being at the right distance you have the right technique when it comes to distance??


coach carson
-13th January 2011, 21:59
Depends what he means. Distance can be a function of speed, timing and technique.