This week’s class is looking at feeling the floor and managing weight distribution.
Class starts with a couple exercises that emphasized the feel of the floor
Jump to guard – advance, Jump to guard – Lunge
These exercises focus the fencer on feeling the floor and springing forward off the landing. This replicates the pre-loading action we instinctively do when trying to jump straight up. The fencer needs to learn to use that spring to propel themselves forward and back.
These exercises focus the fencer on managing the center of gravity evenly between the feet and to drive through the floor to move forward and back. The exercise is intended to train the fencer to drive with the trailing foot rather than step forward with the leading foot when initiating a movement.
1-2-3 partnered drill
After further working on our motion the class took their blades in hand and worked the 1-2-3 partnered drill. (1: adv lunge, 2: adv x 2 lunge, 3: adv x3 lunge). The attacker is to hit with a simple direct attack and the defender shall allow the initial hit and then hit with a lunge in counter-time (on the attackers recovery). This integrates distance control and timing control into the footwork exercises. I am looking to see that the fencer is trying to manage the center of gravity and driving foot to incorporate what was learned in the previous drills.
The distance game takes the elements from the partnered drill and opens up the options into a competitive game.
One fencer is the attacker. The attacker is allowed an adv-lunge to hit before the front foot hits the ground in the lunge.
The other fencer is the defender and is allowed any footwork to retreat and keep the attacker from hitting.
The roles are reversed as soon as the attacker’s front foot hits the ground on the lunge.
The attacking fencer must be able to reach the opponent on the attack without over-committing the weight forward which will compromise the recovery.
The defending fender must only retreat just enough that make the attacker fall barely short at the end of the attack (front foot landing, NOT leaning forward)
Both fencers need to think at least one step ahead, retreating too far initially or under-committing to the attack will make it impossible to set up the following attack.