Footwork Fencing Drills
Just before Easter, 2006, I was helping
my mother us some steps and fell, twisted my left leg, and landed badly. I didn't
realize that I'd seriously injured myself and continued normal activities until
it became obvious that something was seriously wrong. Thus, it became necessary
for me to ask my coach for lessons that didn't require footwork. I also talked
to other fencers and started compiling a list of drills suggested by other fencers
who have been through similar problems. Why? Because I have a horrible memory
and I might (hopefully not) need this information again someday.
Delia Turner offered the following
Sit on a stool facing another fencer.
The other fencer may move, but you may not.
- Clockwork Drills. These are drills
with known actions, designed to make the arm relax and the parries and cuts
correct. For example: head-head, flank-flank, chest-chest (or any other combination).
These must be done with correct form, though, or they are a waste of time
and just teach predictable reactions.
- Delayed drills. These drills are
designed to relax the arm and improve ability to see. Take turns cutting to
head, chest, or flank, but leave the arm out, relaxed in full extension, until
the last possible minute, then take the parry as the other fencer ripostes.
Then hold your parry as the other fencer leaves the arm out.
- Rat on the Wall: This can be done
on a stool or standing, preferrably with the trailing foot against the wall.
The able-bodied fencer may make straight attack with double advance lunge.
The "rat" may make a counter-attack, parry, or false counter-attack/parry
- Press-press. Put blades in engagement
(four or tierce) and press back and forth. When one partner puts pressure
on the blade, cut over (or disengage) and hit. Teaches sentiment du fer.
- Tac-o-Tac (or some such name).
Beat-extend, partner beats and extends. Continue. Vary with counter-beats
and disengages. If done correctly, teaches light, crisp beats and relaxed,
immediate extension. Vary with one partner making a series of beats on both
sides of the blade, with the other partner attempting to duplicate the series
exactly (makes hand more relaxed, actions smaller).