I like to draw inspiration for my coaching. This means much reading but happily for me a good range of source material about fencing, coaching and motor performance are now available via equipment vendors and the internet.
From page 14 of the book ‘Fencing and the Master’, László Szabó writes, that despite many years of coaching, developing methodical approaches to group instruction:
‘Although the use of group is necessitated by practical considerations, … …, it can be no means replace the individual lesson.’
‘The training of fencers and their preparation for competition without constant and consistent individual practice with the master is virtually unimaginable!’
I can’t think of a better way of putting it and don’t know of a fencing coach who would operate differently.
Make no mistake, even for the intermediate level fencers, the ability to perform technical fencing actions, to high levels of efficiency, while timing the movements to within a 10ths of a second, at the correct distance to the opponent, while moving rapidly about the piste takes great skill. This level of performance is only acquired through much dedicated training, mainly in one to one lessons with a coach. To progress further requires a high level of commitment and probably a progression through coaches with different skills sets and competencies and attending a range of clubs over time. The challenges are great but so are the rewards.
A fencer should present themselves to the coach having already completed a general warm-up to the lesson can start without delay. This way the fencer makes the most of the opportunity and none of the coaches precious time is wasted while the fencer stretches etc.