PDA

View Full Version : Coaching courses abroad?



Grim252
-22nd June 2006, 19:08
Does anyone know if there are any coaching courses you can enrol on in places like Hungary that are open to english speaking fencers? a 3 - 6 month type thing?

Thanks.

Adler
-23rd June 2006, 13:52
Semmelweiss university does a course that might suit you.
www.tfti.hu/icc_generalinformation.html (http://fencingforum.com/forum/www.tfti.hu/icc_generalinformation.html)

As far as I know the course is about 3 months long led by Gabor Bognar with Istavan Lukovich and Laszlo Szepesi as lecturers all of whom are very respected both as coaches and coach educators.
The person to contact for more information would be Paul Romang.

Cymru Fach
-23rd June 2006, 14:59
Gabor is an amazing coach!

Adler
-23rd June 2006, 15:04
Gabor is an amazing coach!

Nice guy too.

Cymru Fach
-23rd June 2006, 17:07
Very true

CF

AaronK
-16th July 2006, 19:18
If someone is interested:

The AAI stages the 2nd international course on 20-26 October 2006 in Bad Karlshafen, Germany. The course is in English and consists of 62 instruction units of 45 minutes each. At the end of the course examinations can be taken for Animateur, Moniteur, Prevot or Maitre d'Armes depending on entry level and evaluation during the course. Candidates need their National Academy's approval to take the examinations. Graduates will receive a respective AAI Certificate / Diploma. Course fee is 300 Euro including materials and examinations. Full board - single rooms, all meals and coffee breaks is 306 Euro. For more information and/or a detailed course timetable email us at customerservice@fencingonline.com

Aaron

Chappers
-15th August 2006, 17:18
Semmelweiss university does a course that might suit you.
www.tfti.hu/icc_generalinformation.html (http://fencingforum.com/forum/www.tfti.hu/icc_generalinformation.html)

As far as I know the course is about 3 months long led by Gabor Bognar with Istavan Lukovich and Laszlo Szepesi as lecturers all of whom are very respected both as coaches and coach educators.
The person to contact for more information would be Paul Romang.

I would not recommend this course to anyone. It costs around £4500 for a 3-month course in all 3 weapons. There is hardly time to learn anything with regard to the practical fencing and the other parts, in the classroom (general subjects) are OK. The course is advertised as teaching the 'Hungarian Method' of Coaching. Lukovich and Bognar are superb and true to the style, but Szepesi is a law unto himself. I would work with Frohlich over him every time.

Do the English Coaching system instead...much cheaper and will be time better spent.

Adler
-15th August 2006, 18:25
Szepesi is a law unto himself.


I had heard this about him recently but on the other hand I know a few Sabre coaches who have done the 3 month course who seem to regard him quite highly.
Personally I don't really get on with his style but I think thats more down to incompatible personalities rather than his ability as a coach.

From personal experience I would highly recommend the Hungarian Diploma course being run in Canterbury but I don't think Kent quite qualifies as a foreign country so it might not be what Grim252 is looking for.

Captchris
-15th August 2006, 23:18
I had thought, a bit later down the coaching line (maybe reaching a certain level) that it might be nice to go on a fencing holiday... Perhaps visit hungary and various countries to talk/see other coaches teach/coach and to learn some tips from them.

At what stage would this be an option? i.e. After which point in a coaching career would this become most useful? Would the respective coaches mind someone coming along?

Or would it be preferable to do something as previously mentioned in this thread and do a course?

Adler
-16th August 2006, 11:18
I had thought, a bit later down the coaching line (maybe reaching a certain level) that it might be nice to go on a fencing holiday... Perhaps visit hungary and various countries to talk/see other coaches teach/coach and to learn some tips from them.

I think it would depend on what sort of tips your after and how you see your coaching career progressing.

If your just starting out as a coach I would go and fence and take as many lessons as i could from various coaches to get a feel of the structure, timing and rhythm of the lesson from the students point of view.

If your a more advanced coach I would try and watch any squad training sessions or lessons with more competitive fencers for coaching technique that could be transplanted into your own style. IMO Videoing lessons is a really useful habit to get into as it will help you analyse the lesson properly without missing anything vital.

For advanced competitive coaches I would try and focus on the tactical aspects of the lessons being given e.g how are the Hungarian Sabre coaches adapting their lessons to the new timings and is their a weakness in these new tactics that I could get my students to exploit?
If its possible try and see their top fencers in competition to see what they are doing on the piste.

Captchris
-16th August 2006, 16:11
lol I think your second paragraph would be best suited to me! i.e. Get as many lessons as possible from as many different coaches. Plus, I could do with the practice... my joints are building up with iron oxide!

rugmike
-17th August 2006, 09:38
Lot of talk here re: Hungarian methods, coaches, courses, etc... so just a query.

I know a number of fencers who went on Hungarian courses came back complaining of being more than a bit puzzled, as a lot of the teaching went against their coaching at home. (From well-regarded coaches, I should add)
And this seems to be a pretty consistent feature over a few tears.

One fairly experienced fencer came back with his on guard position so altered - a common point - it took a fair while for him to adjust back, along with some footwork elements. While another, not so experienced, and looking forward to a big learning curve jump, returned very confused and unhappy, not quite knowing what to do for the best !

Just wondered if this is a usual occurrence, and perhaps considered a useful part of finding what suits you ? Doesn't immediately strike me as a terrifically good thing.

Touché Turtle
-17th August 2006, 11:52
I know very little (if anything) about Hungarian methods, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Is there anybody out there willing to spend a few minutes listing some of the main points / differences to other methods, please. Always curious to learn... :)

(I have no idea how big a topic this is, so not sure if it needs its own thread or just one or two posts on this one.) Thank you!

fencingmaster
-17th August 2006, 12:11
For advanced competitive coaches I would try and focus on the tactical aspects of the lessons being given

I recall very early on watching Sidorova (WC 77 & 78) take a lesson from her coach - he stopped as soon as he realised he was being observed. She then demolished a poule of 6, hardly being hit and using only a variety of parry-ripostes. I learnt enough in 5 minutes to last years - but not only observe what's being taught but find an answer to it.



complaining of being more than a bit puzzled,

One problem is that the use of vocabulary is different. For example a Hungarian 'change bind' for example could be 'change of engagement' & not a bind within the meaning of Anglo/French terminology. There is also a difference in the concept of engagement - does in simply make contact or close the line - a closed line could be termed 'invito'

fencingmaster
-17th August 2006, 12:13
consistent feature over a few tears.

Freudian slip?

Adler
-17th August 2006, 12:48
I'll give it a go but I'm by no means an expert.

Appart for various difference in terminology and some differences in technique what the Hungarian system offers IMO is a logical structure for teaching fencing as a whole.

A similar structure can be applied to every aspect of fencing wether it's general or weapon specific. So a coach can use a similar structure in both group and individual lessons as well as footwork.

The way to teach various actions is also structured so each aspect follows on in a logical sequence that increases in difficulty gradualy so the pupil can build on previous exercises and ,hopefully, find it all easier to assimilate.

The structure i generally follow is:*

Warm up exercises
Preperatory exercises
Main technical content
Synthesis i.e action/stroke in a fencing situation.
Action/ stroke in reverse i.e coach does the action/ stroke and the pupil counters it. (mainly in individual lessons)

Depending on the level of the student/s will determined how far along i would go.


* This is from my own observations and work I have done so far on various Hungarian courses so it's by no means a definitive answer.

Nick
-17th August 2006, 15:26
I've been working with a Hungarian Coach in this country for the last few years. Initially I had a few problems learning his style but with practice I've managed to take it on board. Over the last few sessions of the term we spent a small section of each session working out what was meant by each word in the various different languages and working on developing a common language for use on the course. eg. what is a Bind in the Hungarian (what most of us call bind they call feelo and bind was something completely different). The difference between a change thrust and a disengage. As for my own style of fencing I was happy to have it changed having asked myself the question, which coaches have taught fencers who have acheived (international) medals in the last fifty years? the Hungarian Coaches like Gabor.
How many of these well respected coaches in the UK have successfully trained fencers to international medals? and here's the word which needs to be added to the question "consistently". As for those footwork elements changing back seems daft considering that these very successful coaches have taken the time to correct you, no matter how experienced you are you can always benefit from some more coaching.

Admittedly the Hungarian system in part takes a lot of brain power to understand initially. I spent half an hour the other day trying to work out what was meant in just ten lines of one of the books I'm reading at the moment. But having understood those ten lines I've since looked back through the rest of the book again and areas which I didn't quite understand before are now completely clear to me. In a way it's like training with weights (just these are weights for your mind). Either way getting a chance to learn from Lukovich directly and from Gabor as far as I'm concerned greatly out-weighs any problems you might have with Szepesi. In any educational thing the teacher can't force you to pass on exactly what they have taught you. What you pass on is your understanding of what they have taught coloured by your own experience and opinions.

I'm going to stop now before I ramble on any more.

Touché Turtle
-17th August 2006, 15:44
Thanks for taking the time to post the above two answers.

Adler, the structure you describe doesn't sound very different from what I have learnt on recent BFA courses: a logical structure to teaching skills. Part practices, build it up, how to apply it etc.
Nick, apart from the language issue, what exactly is different about the Hungarian system. You say it is confusing, but I still don't know exactly what it is!

For example, mention has been made of changes in people's on guard position. Is there a typically Hungarian stance? What is so specific about Hungarian footwork?
Sorry for being a pain, just trying to understand.. :o:

Nick
-17th August 2006, 16:31
As far as I can make out one of the key things about Hungarian footwork is an emphasis on preparations (That is foot preparations). I was in Hungary over Easter this year and we spent a week focused on using a half step as preparation with all of the possible continuations from this simple footwork element. We then started doing the same thing with the glide (allthough the word used was (to spell it phoneticaly) tchewzo), also I believe this to be called quickstop, we did the same then with ballestra although we did very little with Ballestra. Also alot of emphasis seems to be spent on the timing of your feet and tempo attacks.

As for the Enguarde position the main difference seems to be in the arm (for Epee at least) where you make the shape of a triangle with your blade and arm but all on one level. Point is in line with the elbow while the hand is outside. Your wrist isn't angled in to get this position because the set of your blade does this for you.

The lunges I saw where incredible the difference however wasn't in technique, it was in flexibility.

Also in the Hungarian system you use pronations and supinations to make your parries etc...

As for the complexities in the language my opinion is that it's just that they have a much more complete vocabulary for fencing. In Hungarian there are differen't words for a backwards step which avoids an attack and one which is simply maintaining distance for example. In all of the translations I've seen these differentiations are simply not possible because we simply don't have a word for them. So each translator needs to find a way of putting these things into English which is really very hard to do. Add to this the fact that Hungarian Fencers and coaches (currently at least) have mostly been fencing since they could walk (more or less). When you grow up with something like this your understanding of the language involved is at a much higher level. For many of them the language of fencing is like a first language. For most of us though it is a second language. More than this it is a second language learnt in the UK. Now consider how terrible we are at learning/teaching foreign languages. When we go to a foreign country and try out our second language we invariably sound like their toddlers. In many ways it's the same with fencing language. Now by language I'm not nescessarily talking about the names for each move. A bout is a conversation. Each move is a word. Each phrase of moves is a sentence or a paragraph leading to a hit. The majority of UK fencers seems to consider it a struggle to come up with a limerick. Whereas these fencers have no problem coming up with an epic.

As I find myself becoming more familiar with the language used and the minute differences between each definition the easier it is to understand as a whole. But at the same time the more it broadens the number of options I have available increase to a point where at this stage I'm sometimes overwhelmed by choice and by the time I've selected an appropriate response I've been hit. As each aspect of the combinations of moves is combined with the effects of tempo added in plus the footwork elements, any preparations, the distance, the movements of my opponents blade, their feet, their intention, my intention, my reading of them, what I'm trying to communicate to them to mislead their reading of me. These are just the basic few starting points which currently run through my head when I fence. At the moment it's overwhelming, but as time goes on it will all be compressed to a point which requires less brain power but I will be conscious of it. It's moving from conscious incompetence (my current state) to conscious competence. Like riding a bike when you first learn you struggle to coordinate the steering, the pedalling and the balancing. Once you've learnt it's a case of just riding a bike these other things have been learnt and you don't need to think about them, but at some stage you do need to have learnt them consciously.

I've rambled again.:upset: Hopefully I answered your question in there somewhere.

Liam
-17th August 2006, 16:54
Out of interest how many other countries use the Hungarian system? Have the French and Italians converted to the Hungarian school or do they still use the French and Italian schools?

Adler
-17th August 2006, 16:59
Thanks for taking the time to post the above two answers.

Adler, the structure you describe doesn't sound very different from what I have learnt on recent BFA courses: a logical structure to teaching skills. Part practices, build it up, how to apply it etc.

Was this a BFA or England Fencing course?
If it was a BFA course then it should be following the Hungarian Syllabus.

One thing I have noticed about a lot of British trained coaches is the tendency to treat each action as a stand alone segment and tend to teach the final action with out building it up through inductive and other complimentary exercises.

Adler
-17th August 2006, 17:06
Out of interest how many other countries use the Hungarian system? Have the French and Italians converted to the Hungarian school or do they still use the French and Italian schools?

I think the Hungarian school is based heavily on the Italian but with aspects of other national schools incorporated.
As far as I know both the French and the Italians still use their own systems but I would be surprised if any of the leading fencing nations don't nick ideas of each.

Nick
-17th August 2006, 17:32
If I remember my Hungarian fencing history rightly. When they decided to improve the fencing in Hungary they invited certain well known italian masters to come on over to teach their fencers and to educate their coaches (sound familiar) part of the overall plan was to update the Hungarian style. At the same time a few french style coaches were invited as well (there are three specific names two italian, one french, but I can't remember them). Having updated their fencing the new generation of coaches examined what had been learned from both schools and developed what was the forerunner to the current system with the idea being to take the best from both. At various times other fencing masters reviewed what was being taught and tried to refine it's content (notable example "Imre Vass" with his work on the epee). Currently however there is so much cross over in the styles in the main fencing countries that the differences are quite hard to spot. It's no longer really a case of the Hungarian style, the French Style, The Italian style but is now more of a modern international style with variations in technique according to the individual opinion of the coaches of each region. Although of course there are certain similarity's in style in the fencers of coaches who have been taught by the same person.

Touché Turtle
-17th August 2006, 18:58
Thanks guys, very helpful. :thumbs_up

bafco
-17th August 2006, 19:06
David Littels has posted some interesting information on http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeegyz6/id5.html concerning his understanding of Hungarian methods.