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Thread: International results this weekend

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    I'd love to hear about the Italian club system and the use of sports psychologists, just not all in the same paragraph!
    You know up here on the fringes of civilisation we've been interacting with the Italian federation for a while now. We've had exchange trips over there, they've sent fencers here and a fencer recently returned after a year's training over at one of the good Italian clubs. There are already people out there and on this forum who already know about this stuff. Anyway, here's a wee article from Serena Pivotti: http://scottish-fencing.co.uk/coachi...serena-pivotti
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    Ronald ALWAYS makes some good points, just not always in the right places, or in the right way and it's usually mixed in with a load of stuff about how Women's Foil was treated by BF in the 90s.

    I'd love to hear about the Italian club system and the use of sports psychologists, just not all in the same paragraph!
    Ron is one big stream of consciousness!

  3. #63
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    I would like to hear more too about the Italian club system.

    I also can see the benefit of bringing the top fencers together to train and learn together, on a regular basis (perhaps once a month).

    Not for strength and conditioning as was envisaged for the NA (because the fencers end up queuing for the same piece of equipment, and because of that being together seems to be a disadvantage) but for those areas of training for which there is a positive benefit in being together (I imagine these would be tactical, bladework, sparring).
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    Ron,

    Your original post on London federation of Sport had some interesting points and ideas which I would support.

    However your contention that the British fencers have poor tactical naus and mental toughness cannot be demonstrated by 2 examples of British fencers losing a lead. There are many other possible reasons for this losing a lead, for instance, a lack of fitness. I can personally vouch for this!

    In the European Championship match that you refer to, Laurence Halsted was fencing one of the most successful fencers in the World, who has achieved similar feats in matches against other countries.

    Also, of course, losing a lead happens to other countries, look at the French against the USA in the Foil Team at the London Olympics.

    Graham
    The other thing about that particular match was that the score was way behind 40 points going into the 9th bout. This allowed Joppich plenty of space to make up the deficit - had the rest of the team got the score further advanced beforehand, Laurence may well have scored 5 hits before Joppich was able to catch up. Team matches are far more subtle than raw scores would suggest.
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  5. #65
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    Pinkelephant

    I am not sure that I follow the argument. Laurence from recollection scored the first two hits when he took over,
    but then conceded something like 15-16 hits in the three minutes of his particular segment.

    I cannot imagine that anyone expected such a large deficit to be conceded in that period.

    However, the main point about that match was in fact psychology. Richard Kruse would normally finish team matches. When I asked him later why he did not do so on this occasion he replied that Laurence had a better
    record against Joppich.

    My understanding was that Joppich was one of only two top ranked fencers that Richard had not beaten.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    I would like to hear more too about the Italian club system.

    I also can see the benefit of bringing the top fencers together to train and learn together, on a regular basis (perhaps once a month).

    Not for strength and conditioning as was envisaged for the NA (because the fencers end up queuing for the same piece of equipment, and because of that being together seems to be a disadvantage) but for those areas of training for which there is a positive benefit in being together (I imagine these would be tactical, bladework, sparring).
    I hate to say it, but ANYONE can lose a fight that they’ve been leading by a substantial margin (Yes, even yours truly!!) however unless it is happening on a regular basis, it’s probably not something that you can specifically work on. The number of variables are far too great and it also depends not only on you but your opponent.

    I do however agree with Ron on the isolation of the top fencers being a bad thing. With fencing, there is not just one set way to become a good fencer. Take a look at Baldini, Cassara, and Avola, all from the supposed “Italian” system. They fence completely differently technically, tactically, strategically, etc. yet are all successful. Start looking at the other nations into what makes a successful fencer, and the variances become even more wide ranging.

    I believe for the UK you need;

    • A group of good clubs in the same area that are willing to collaborate. (Now we're talking the impossible)

    • Between them, they need to cover fencing 5 days a week for at least 3 hours a session.

    • The top fencers should attend their own clubs 3 days and agree where to collaborate on the other 2 in rotation.

    • This will give the top fencers the level of sparring they need together with the variation. Isolating them gives them an unhealthy limited variation in sparring partners.

    • This will also give the fencers below elite level the opportunity to fence top fencers, have role models, and see what it takes to be a top fencer.

    This improves the grass roots of the club and so the success circle begins.

    I was lucky that when I fenced in that we had 3 nights at a club where there were 25 or so top foilists who were all competing nationally/internationally at the time. Further, any fencer from another club was welcomed when they showed up. In addition, another night was designated National squad night and ALL top fencers from around London arrived at one location and fenced each other. I was also welcome at any of 4 other clubs in the area to give me 5 nights of training.

    Additional daytime training can be arranged for the elite fencers to ensure the hours needed can be put in.

    It can be done if people are willing to work it out and coaches/clubs buy into the system without letting personal jealousies take over.
    JohnL

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Velden View Post
    Pinkelephant

    However, the main point about that match was in fact psychology. Richard Kruse would normally finish team matches. When I asked him later why he did not do so on this occasion he replied that Laurence had a better
    record against Joppich.

    My understanding was that Joppich was one of only two top ranked fencers that Richard had not beaten.
    Ron,

    Your insistence in trying to use examples to show the importance of psychology, is distracting from your original post where you made some good general points.

    As you have admitted that Laurence had a better record against Joppich, so it was good tactics/strategy to put Laurence last. He lost so many hits due to Joppich's brilliance and Laurence's lack of fitness, very little to do with psychology.

    Graham

  8. #68
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    Graham, good to see you posting. Thought we had heard the last of you!

    That particular foil match is best forgotten.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Barry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud of Barry Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnL View Post
    I hate to say it, but ANYONE can lose a fight that they’ve been leading by a substantial margin (Yes, even yours truly!!) however unless it is happening on a regular basis, it’s probably not something that you can specifically work on. The number of variables are far too great and it also depends not only on you but your opponent.

    I do however agree with Ron on the isolation of the top fencers being a bad thing. With fencing, there is not just one set way to become a good fencer. Take a look at Baldini, Cassara, and Avola, all from the supposed “Italian” system. They fence completely differently technically, tactically, strategically, etc. yet are all successful. Start looking at the other nations into what makes a successful fencer, and the variances become even more wide ranging.

    I believe for the UK you need;

    • A group of good clubs in the same area that are willing to collaborate. (Now we're talking the impossible)

    • Between them, they need to cover fencing 5 days a week for at least 3 hours a session.

    • The top fencers should attend their own clubs 3 days and agree where to collaborate on the other 2 in rotation.

    • This will give the top fencers the level of sparring they need together with the variation. Isolating them gives them an unhealthy limited variation in sparring partners.

    • This will also give the fencers below elite level the opportunity to fence top fencers, have role models, and see what it takes to be a top fencer.

    This improves the grass roots of the club and so the success circle begins.

    I was lucky that when I fenced in that we had 3 nights at a club where there were 25 or so top foilists who were all competing nationally/internationally at the time. Further, any fencer from another club was welcomed when they showed up. In addition, another night was designated National squad night and ALL top fencers from around London arrived at one location and fenced each other. I was also welcome at any of 4 other clubs in the area to give me 5 nights of training.

    Additional daytime training can be arranged for the elite fencers to ensure the hours needed can be put in.

    It can be done if people are willing to work it out and coaches/clubs buy into the system without letting personal jealousies take over.
    Thought it was worth repeating your post, taking all the top fencers out of their own club has not worked in France and other countries and certainly over the last 4 years almost foiled ruined Salle Paul as a breeding club for up and coming foilists.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Paul View Post
    Thought it was worth repeating your post, taking all the top fencers out of their own club has not worked in France and other countries and certainly over the last 4 years almost foiled ruined Salle Paul as a breeding club for up and coming foilists.
    That's right! Here in France they take the top fencers out of the club, they are allowed to use the club name for entering competitions and that is all the club gets. Our club has had Terence Joubert and up to this year Virginie Ujlaky registered with us. However, the national trainer has not allowed them to come and fence at the club regularly incase they were injured, the most we have seen of them is a couple of occassions during the year "socially". I remember them fencing twice last year and complaining that there was "no one their level" to fence with, they were not interested in encouraging the younger members, just humilating them. If that is their attitude, then I would prefer not to have them in the club!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miacat View Post
    I remember them fencing twice last year and complaining that there was "no one their level" to fence with, they were not interested in encouraging the younger members, just humilating them. If that is their attitude, then I would prefer not to have them in the club!
    This might be a small digression, but I heard a great story about this.

    A guy I know said he was fencing foil against someone far better than him. He was being hit by the same circular sixte riposte over and over again and (at the time) had no idea what was going on. Eventually he managed to score a hit by sheer dumb luck. The other bloke said, "Nice hit, mate!" and went on to practise something else.

    What a great attitude!

  12. #72
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    Just interested to know what other countries do for their elite:

    Italy - is it still 3 weeks in club - one week squad?
    Germany - clubs are strong - so presumably the elite still fence in clubs?
    China?
    Korea?
    Hungary?
    Russia?
    Poland?
    Ukraine?

    Has anyone any views on which country has the top club system and if so, why it works so well?

    answers on a postcard please ...

  13. #73
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    Originally Posted by JohnL
    I hate to say it, but ANYONE can lose a fight that they’ve been leading by a substantial margin (Yes, even yours truly!!) however unless it is happening on a regular basis, it’s probably not something that you can specifically work on. The number of variables are far too great and it also depends not only on you but your opponent.

    I do however agree with Ron on the isolation of the top fencers being a bad thing. With fencing, there is not just one set way to become a good fencer. Take a look at Baldini, Cassara, and Avola, all from the supposed “Italian” system. They fence completely differently technically, tactically, strategically, etc. yet are all successful. Start looking at the other nations into what makes a successful fencer, and the variances become even more wide ranging.

    I believe for the UK you need;

    • A group of good clubs in the same area that are willing to collaborate. (Now we're talking the impossible)

    • Between them, they need to cover fencing 5 days a week for at least 3 hours a session.

    • The top fencers should attend their own clubs 3 days and agree where to collaborate on the other 2 in rotation.

    • This will give the top fencers the level of sparring they need together with the variation. Isolating them gives them an unhealthy limited variation in sparring partners.

    • This will also give the fencers below elite level the opportunity to fence top fencers, have role models, and see what it takes to be a top fencer.

    This improves the grass roots of the club and so the success circle begins.

    I was lucky that when I fenced in that we had 3 nights at a club where there were 25 or so top foilists who were all competing nationally/internationally at the time. Further, any fencer from another club was welcomed when they showed up. In addition, another night was designated National squad night and ALL top fencers from around London arrived at one location and fenced each other. I was also welcome at any of 4 other clubs in the area to give me 5 nights of training.

    Additional daytime training can be arranged for the elite fencers to ensure the hours needed can be put in.

    It can be done if people are willing to work it out and coaches/clubs buy into the system without letting personal jealousies take over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Paul View Post
    Thought it was worth repeating your post, taking all the top fencers out of their own club has not worked in France and other countries and certainly over the last 4 years almost foiled ruined Salle Paul as a breeding club for up and coming foilists.
    I agree it is worth repeating this Post , but the time has come to put something into action. It is very sad that the national squad feel they are above the club fencers, they once started out as club fencers.

    Looking to point the finger does not resovle any issues. We need to move forward on a positive note and look to see where we can improve. What needs to be done to improve more than we have done in 2012. Agreed more training is needed, they need to be training at least four times aweek. And proper training, not just turning up to the club and see how many club fencers can I beat tonight. There is a huge process to training, footwork sessions, sparring matches, S&C sessions etc. I think that better training facilities would be a plus but this costs money as we know. To have a more stonger and more advanced fencer to train with hopefully will benefit the more competitive fencers who want to progress to the higher level. Taking out the elite fencers and keeping them seperate to just train and fence each other may have been a short term solution bu to make matters worse they then only had the select few fencers who may or may not be on the right side of the selective coach to spar with them if you are lucky enough to be invitied. How do you get invited, its anybodies guess and there is no set rules for this one none that I could find anyway.

    I will follow the progess with hope that the future will be better.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julia Bracewell View Post
    Just interested to know what other countries do for their elite:

    Italy - is it still 3 weeks in club - one week squad?
    Germany - clubs are strong - so presumably the elite still fence in clubs?
    China?
    Korea?
    Hungary?
    Russia?
    Poland?
    Ukraine?

    Has anyone any views on which country has the top club system and if so, why it works so well?

    answers on a postcard please ...
    I'm still saying we should copy the French system.
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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julia Bracewell View Post
    Just interested to know what other countries do for their elite:

    Italy - is it still 3 weeks in club - one week squad?
    Germany - clubs are strong - so presumably the elite still fence in clubs?
    China?
    Korea?
    Hungary?
    Russia?
    Poland?
    Ukraine?

    Has anyone any views on which country has the top club system and if so, why it works so well?

    answers on a postcard please ...
    Probable the best source of information would be to ask Mat Haynes or Z.W.

  16. #76
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    Reference: France

    Most of their top fencers are based in Insep in Paris. In the case of Juniors they are located in Centres of Excellence in the regions. For example in sabre Tarbes [Men] and Orleans [Women].

    However, there has been some changes made to their programme since the Olympics. By their standards it
    was a disaster with not a single medal won.

    Speaking last night to Matthieu Gourdain there are some changes being made to their programme with more
    input now from personal coaches.

    Reference: Italy

    The system is entirely different. Fencers are based at their clubs and National Squads train perhaps one week
    every month as a collective. However, looking at their rankings most of the top fencers are based at clubs in
    Rome.

    Reference: Germany

    Most of their senior National Squad Fencers are based at four clubs namely TBB,Heidenheim,Bonn and Dormagen. Germany tends to be a more decentralised nation than France,Italy and Britain.

    Personally I would be less inclined to follow models in Eastern Europe or Asia. I doubt that their programmes would suit culture of most British Fencers.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Velden View Post
    Reference: Germany

    Most of their senior National Squad Fencers are based at four clubs namely TBB,Heidenheim,Bonn and Dormagen. Germany tends to be a more decentralised nation than France,Italy and Britain.
    Spot on RV and it also has 2 days of squad training most weekends under the national coach when no world cup or national ranking events are taking place.

    Squad fencers have to attend 75% (I think) and receive expenses to cover costs. Non-squad German fencers are also welcome to attend as are German club coaches and International fencers.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    Spot on RV and it also has 2 days of squad training most weekends under the national coach when no world cup or national ranking events are taking place.

    Squad fencers have to attend 75% (I think) and receive expenses to cover costs. Non-squad German fencers are also welcome to attend as are German club coaches and International fencers.
    There are also a couple of interesting points;
    • While Germany has many major cities, with the exception of Bonn, Dorm/Heid/Tauber are all relatively small towns with populations of 63k, 48k, and 13k respectively. Is it that the major cities have been left to their own devices and the small towns that had someone special that created something in a small market was successful?
    • The German facilities at each location have extensive pistes, coaches, and in some cases accommodation. The UK does not have the strength in depth to justify this type of full time facilities.

    I would again suggest the club collaborative idea as a means to an end.
    JohnL

  19. #79

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    I think it's worth mentioning the depth of under 20 fencing (specifically epee) in the north of England at the moment. I can speak only for Newcastle and say that on a standard club night it is probably one of the strongest in the country with about 15 under 20 fencers that have represented their own country at some stage and 6 that have represented at world championship level.
    To get to this stage, all it's taken is a very dedicated coach (Iain Aberdeen with some hard working fencers and the willingness to spend time focussing on the fencers and not on personal gain - which I believe too may British coaches do.
    Furthermore, with programmes such as the one at Newcastle, it encourages good fencers to attend the university, train there to improve and also to train at the local clubs through discounted membership fees. Iain Aberdeen with the aid of Fraser Kennedy and Colin Blackburn at Newcastle University have, what I would consider, a very successful programme giving athletes funding for training, trips and kit as well as providing them with the option of training 5 nights a week PLUS several strength and conditioning sessions on top of that. Not only this but their facilities can, and have been in the past opened up for younger up-and-coming fencers to also benefit from the coaching as well as giving fencers the opportunity on several occasions to travel to Germany, Luxembourg and USA to train with national squad fencers before major championships.
    In addition to the work done by the university, Newcastle Fencing club is used by many fencers and pentathletes as a performance club session on top of their normal club session.
    This just goes to show that even in the north east of England there is a great structure in place although I'm hesitant to say it could be replicated anywhere else - because I doubt there are the people willing or prepared to work as hard as those involved with Newcastle's programme do - it shows that it is possible and already happening.

    In addition to this, I think it's important to mention what Matt Haynes is doing with Malvern and his work in Sheffield. This is effectively what Shazza spoke about previously... Bringing a group of talented and keen fencers together from different clubs and regions to train together.

    A good club and inter-club training structure is easily achievable. It just needs the right people to run it.
    Those people are already around and making steps in the right direction.
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  20. #80
    Senior Member JohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond reputeJohnL has a reputation beyond repute
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    OK, so let's take London first;

    Salle paul - Open Tuesday, Wed, Thur. (North London)
    Salle Boston - Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. (Central London)
    LTFC - Thursdays (SW London)
    St Pauls - Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs. (SW London)
    Camden - Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, fri. (North/Central London)

    For good measure, let's just throw in the Lansdown and Streatham just for the hell of it. (With apologies to all London clubs I haven't mentioned)

    You now have 7 facilities covering 5 nights a week and a plethera of coaches. All you need is someone to work out a logistical schedule for moving fencers around the clubs, separated by weapon to provide the concentration needed, and a group of coaches willing to cooperate with each other.

    (and before I'm taken to task saying it hasn't been thought out, of course it hasn't. It's an idea)
    JohnL

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