• Point control: hold grip firmly but not tightly between thumb and index finger. Feel the end of the blade through your fingers.
  • Pommel on wrist as you extend your arm. Lead with the tip, shoulder relaxed.
  • Keep arm up! Don't drop your blade as you advance.
  • Point on target even when you parry. Don't drop your tip. Keep parries small.
  • Hold parry just long enough to gain control of the blade. Give yourself time to feel how your opponent is responding.
  • Set the action up. Watch and feel how your opponent moves his or her blade, but don't allow him or her to control what you do.
  • Ease into the action. Slow-fast is much more effective than fast-fast. Don't push; that will just make your opponent retreat. Move in a way that is not threatening and then finish fast when you get the chance.
  • Keep moving on the strip but change your pace. Don't let your opponent hypnotize you into a pattern.
  • Don't fight the fighter. Don't push against an aggressive fencer; he or she will be expecting your attack and simply parry-riposte. You set the tempo.
  • Step back with your parry. Again, give yourself time to parry and then find the appropriate riposte.
  • Watch your distance. Adjust depending on whom you are fencing.
  • Aim for the target, not your opponent's blade. Don't drop your guard.
  • Don't think too hard. Let yourself watch the action without trying to control it. Mushin no shin: mind of no-mind.
  • One touch at a time; this touch is the only thing you need to worry about. Every touch counts.
  • Patience. There is always plenty of time on the strip. Don't rush.
  • Finish the action.
There, that should do it. Now, what have I forgotten?


  1. Relax, breath, loosen your arm.

    And have FUN!

  2. Oh, right, it is supposed to be fun, isn't it? : )

  3. If you don't know what to do, don't do anything at all, until you figure out what to do. Give yourself ten seconds to figure something out. (Lynn B., via Badger)


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