Fencing Development

The purpose of Reading Fencing Club's Development Programme is to support its members in their fencing, giving them access to coaches and providing affordable, structured lessons to develop footwork, blade-work, tactics and confidence.

When is development programme night?

Development classes take place in the third week of each month for juniors and the forth week of the month for seniors, on Wednesday evening (from 19:40 till 20:40). The programme runs from February through to December. All paid-up members receive regular updates about upcoming events via email and the Club noticeboard. Our Facebook page is updated, too.

How is the development programme structured?

Each hour-long class is split in to three sections:

  1. Warm-up and stretching (c. 15 minutes).
  2. Footwork (c. 15 minutes).
  3. Technical/tactical lesson (c. 30 minutes).

How much is the development programme?

The best cost: free! The development programme is free of charge to all paid-up members. Classes run subject to numbers, so the more people that turn up, the better.

What can we learn on the development programme

A selection of topics covered in lessons, in no particular order, is below:

  • Distance: proper distance, tempo-distance, distance tricks, positioning on the piste, controlling distance;
  • Preparations and Second Intention: specifying preparations, renewing attacks (remise, reprise, redouble);
  • Hand hits, as preparations and counter-attack;
  • Parries vs. hitting in opposition;
  • Housekeeping: blade movement, improving parries, quicker ripostes;
  • Counter-time;
  • Repetitive hitting;
  • Bouting psychology: '14-14' mentality, breathing techniques, squash rules;
  • Brain before hand, and hand before feet;
  • Nightmare fencers: absence of blade vs. point in line; aggressive vs. passive;
  • Simple attacks; sentiment de fer (to disengage or not?); the flèche;
  • Ceding parries and breaking distance;
  • Foot hits;
  • Importance of variation: changing parries, changing footwork;
  • Lefties;
  • Hits with angulation;
  • Competition practice

If you would like anything in particular to be included in any of the classes, let Alain know.

BFA Achievement Awards

At the end of each programme, juniors will be encouraged to take a BFA Achievement Award examination of the relevant level, as advised by their coach. The award scheme can be found on the BFA website. There will be no cost for taking an exam, however, if successful the student will need to pay the cost price of their certificate (£4) which will be ordered and signed by the coach.