Some ipad apps record fights. The best even allow the coach to narrate over the top, so that a fencer can watch afterwards and learn. This is a good alternative if money or other jobs (coaches do weekend fencing lessons after all) get in the way. I acknowledge that iPads cost money too.
I guess there are ways round being there. I am not unsympathetic or worse critical of absent coaches.
Olympic fencers do not worry about lack of self-reliance. They get coaches by their piste because it helps them fence better. Feedback is immediate etc.
For younger fencers there is the opportunity to discuss tactics, and opponents strengths and weaknesses which is lost learning if the coach isn't there. The opportunities for learning are enormous. This doesn't necessarily entail spoon feeding, I think.
A coach who feels their fencer is becoming reliant can always withdraw, or limit their effect.
I have to confess that given this, i still believe that the effect of having a coach at a competition is wholly beneficial to the fencer, if not to the parents pocket, and outweighs the danger of over reliance.
I therefore beg to keep the willingness to attend on my list...