Training Tips

Training Tip of the Day is a feature of our Facebook and Twitter pages.  This is an archive of those posts for your use in thinking about how you train.


(4) If you don’t know fencing terminology it is hard to figure out what people are trying to tell you.

(10) Think about fencing, read about it, watch videos, watch bouts critically, practice, practice – live fencing.

(24) Study fencing theory – understand the why, where, what, when, and how of your sport.

(49) Know the rules – study the rule book and really know them.

(54) Understand risk: risk = probability of success (or failure) x impact of success (or failure).


(1) Train the way you are going to fence in competition because you will fence the way you train.

(2) Practice does not make perfect, absolutely correct practice done repeatedly makes you much better.

(6) Set goals and be accountable to yourself and your trainer for whether you meet them.

(9) When you set a performance goal, make sure you set an achieve by or at date.

(29) Work extra hard in practice so that fencing in competitions will be easy. 

(31) Get in the gym and train every day – if you want it you have to work for it.

(35) Focus on improving your game, not on what others are doing.

(37) If you fix one performance problem a week, you will fix 52 problems a year.

(46) If you beat someone two months ago, it does not mean they haven’t improved. Work harder, prepare better.

(56) When something does not work, look for the root cause – not the easiest cause to find.

(60) Don’t try – do!

(61) Having a work ethic does not require talent – it requires guts!


(13) Mentally rehearse how you will handle specific tactical situations – “if opponent does X, what will I do?”

(18) Have preplanned drills – between halt and fence, last 10 seconds, run stop, etc.

(19) Practice scoring the first touch.

(45) In every practice bout you fence, practice your mental drill for the period between halt and fence.

(50) To get a better perspective of what is happening in the bout, referee regularly in club bouts.

(51) In epee, know when to double hit and when not to.

(53) Have and practice a standard drill for the last 10 seconds of the bout – ahead or behind.

(57) Practice tactical choices in high risk situations.

(58) Practice fencing in the last 2 meters on the piste … and in the last meter.

(62) Always know why you are moving your blade.


(5) To master a technique slow down – speed comes later.

(7) Learning a technique has 2 parts – being able to do it, and being able to recognize it when it is coming at you.

(11) When you cue your partner’s attack in training drills, you are practicing your invitation.

(12) For accuracy training use a hanging whiffle ball – start with the softball and work to the golf ball.

(22) French, Italian, orthopedic, sabre grip – practice fingerplay at least 10 minutes every day.

(30) To go fast, go short, go tight.

(33) The shortest and fastest distance between two points is a … straight line.

(41) When you can hit all 3 sizes of moving whiffle balls – attack with angulation, not straight.

(47) Focus on the hit: See the target – hit the target.

(48) Focus on incoming: See the threat – block the threat.

(55) Relaxed action is fast and smooth, tense action is slow and jerky.  Which do you want to be?

(59) Work on sequencing – get the right parts of the action in the right order for smooth execution.

(64) Deliberate practice – do the skill – critique – correct – do it again – repeat thousands of times.


(8) Within 30 minutes after fencing eat or drink a serving of protein and carbohydrate to assist recovery.

(32) Stay hydrated, drink before practice and when thirsty.

(54) A balanced diet is the baseline for managing sports nutritional needs.


(40) To maintain your energy reserves for training and bouting, limit warm-up to 10-15 minutes.

(43) The closer an activity is to fencing, the more effective it will be as a warm-up.


(15) Do slow laps, down the strip and back, checking for perfect advance and retreat all the way.

(20) Advance and retreat, concentrating on moving from the knees, taking the same size step every time.

(21) When you do footwork, practice changing guards synchronized with each step.

(42) Whenever you have time, practice footwork – an added 5 minutes a day is 30 hours more a year.


(16) Practice your mental game every time you fence a practice bout.

(17) Aim for a ratio of 4 practice pool bouts to 1 practice DE (direct elimination) bout.

(36) To be successful as a competitor, you must fence at least 100 practice bouts a month – minimum.

(39) If you are going to fence as a team, fence team matches in training in the club.

(44) Have a training objective for every practice bout you fence.

(52) When you fence practice bouts, practice filling out a pool sheet – when you finish, check for accuracy.


(25) Take an individual lesson with the fencing master every chance you get.


(14) Train regularly with the other hand – it gives you a whole new perspective.


(23) With a partner, engage, close your eyes and advance and retreat based on feeling the blade.

(34) To test the consistency of your bladework, practice accuracy with your eyes closed.


(27) Work on being the best training partner for your teammates that you can be.

(63) When you push yourself to be better, you push your teammates to be better.


(3) Every day you aren’t fencing, fence a pool of visioning bouts against imaginary opponents.

(13) Mentally rehearse how you will handle specific tactical situations – “if opponent does X, what will I do?”

(16) Practice your mental game every time you fence a practice bout.

(26) For every actual bout you fence, fence a visioning (ideomotoric) bout against an imaginary opponent.

(49) Practice focusing on the opponent and clearing the mind of everything else.


(38) Aim to attend at least one fencing clinic each year, more if you can.


(28) Score 1 more touch each tournament – fence 2 meets a month, 24 more touches at year’s end.

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