Here is a list of downloads, books and videos I’d recommend to you for:
- Fencers to gain knowledge of the rules of their weapon, to gain better insights into the techniques, timing and tactics (3Ts) used in the sport, ideas for independent physical preparation and how to optimise yourself mentally for performance.
- Coaches who are less experienced to gain a better understanding not only of the 3Ts, pupils learning styles and the teaching styles that can be employed but also a better understanding of how movement skills are acquired and performed which will inform how lesson plans are constructed to best effect.
- Parents so you can gain an understanding of what is engaging your child and to help you support them when they are doing well or not so well during practice bouts or at formal competitions.
As everyone has their own learning style some may find these suggestions more helpful than others. You will only know what suits you but trying out different ways of learning and gaining that experience for yourself. Some of the suggestions may have aspects which don’t come up to modern safety standards, let common sense be your guide but please seek guidance from a coach when in doubt.
The downloads, books and videos are in no particular order. Other titles exist and I’m sure many are worth looking at but I have no experience of them. Other suppliers of books on Fencing exist such as Leon Paul but Amazon, for some titles, enables you to see some of the content on-line before you buy.
- FIE/BFA: The FIE (BFA) Rules for Competition, (2010). London: The British Fencing Association. All fencers must fence by the rules that relate to their chosen weapon, so get a copy of these rules. The theoretical parts of the gradings you take are based on these rules. No fencer should be without a copy of these rules because without rules we have no sport only chaos (applying them consistently is another matter for another time). Without knowing the rules a fencers is truly illiterate, so get to know them both for your fencing on the piste but also you’ll need to know the information when taking your grading exams.
- On the BFA web site page you’ll find 5 sets of rules plus a sheet of offences and penalties. Start by downloading the Technical Rules and the Table of Offences and Penalties.
- If you don’t want to print this document yourself Leon Paul distribute a hard copy in a nice A5 ring binder.
- Barth B. & Barth K.: Learning Fencing, (2006). Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd. ISBN-10: 1-84126-095-9 [Child friendly task based introductory book but worth a look by all fencers and parents. Training Fencing is the follow up to this title also well worth a look.].
- Cheris E.: Fencing Steps to Success, (2002). Champaign: Human Kinetics, Inc. ISBN-10: 0-87322-972-X [Aimed at adults beginners this task based introductory book goes into some detail and even experienced fencers can benefit]
- Handelman R. & Louie C.: Fencing A Practical Guide For Training Young Athletes, (2010). San Francisco: Pattinando Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-0-9843552-0-4 [One of the two best books on fencing I have read. Not only coaches would benefit from reading this book. Much of the content is also equally applicable to Foil and Epee as it's aimed at developing the 'competition fencer'.
- Szabo L.: Fencing and The Master, (1977). New York: SKA Swordplay Books. ISBN-13: 978-0965946803 [OK it's showing it's age, you have to have Health & Safety and other concerns but it's still one of the two best books on coaching fencing I have read.] Written by a coach who specialised in laying the foundations for developing fencers skills and abilities. Szabo was not afraid of referring pupils on to other coaches for more specialised/elite level coaching.
- FIE/BFA: The FIE (BFA) Rules for Competition, (2010). London: The British Fencing Association. ISBN-10: N/a. [No fencer should be without a copy of these rules because without rules we have no sport only chaos (applying them consistently is another matter for another time). Without knowing the rules a fencers is truly illiterate, so get to know them. Leon Paul distribute the official translation of the Federation Internationale D'Escrime rules from the french, all bound up in a nice hard-backed A5 ring binder. Updates to the printed rules can be downloaded from the British Fencing web site.]
- Czajkowski Z.: Understanding Fencing The Unity of Theory and Practice, (2005). New York: SKA Swordplay Books. ISBN-10: 0-9659468-8-6 [A book for coaches and fencers wishing to gain an in depth, scientifically based knowledge of the sport. It covers theoretical, technical, tactical and practical aspects of the sport together with some sports psychology. Aspects of coaching practice are also covered. Some may find the text a little dry but excellent content none the less.]
- Barth B. & et al: The Complete Guide to Fencing, (2007). Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd. ISBN-10:1-84126-191-2 [Incredibly comprehensive, using specialist in each weapon to write the relevant sections. Some information on motor skills and other background scientific basis for fencer's performance. NGB recommended reading for coaches. Again a little dry for some tastes and the some people would think readability would have been improved if a serif font had been used.]
- Wojciechowski Z.: Theory Method and Exercises, (1986). London: ? ISBN-10:? [An excellent book about Foil but many of the concepts are also applicable to Epee and Sabre. Good information on evaluating and dealing with an opponent’s tactical style. First book on fencing I bought in the late eighties. My copy is missing so apologies for not giving more details above. The formatting of my copy was dreadful and the readability could be vastly improved if a re-print were undertaken.]
- Garret M.R. et al: Foil, Saber and Epee Fencing: Skills, Safety, Operations and Responsibilities, (1994). Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Sate University Press. ISBN-100-271-01019-3 [Great all round book on fencing the three weapons (with different authors for each weapon), officiating, conducting competitions and safety related issues. Some spellings are US equivalents.]
- Rogers E.: Fencing Essential Skills Training, (2003). Marlborough: The Crowood Press Ltd. ISBN-10 1-86126-594-8 [Another 'three weapon' book which contains useful routines for learning/consolidating technical skills. These are written out in long hand rather than 'code'. Particularly useful for the intermediate fencer who doesn't have regular coaching support.]
- Kauss D.: Mastering Your Inner Game A Self-guided approach to finding your unique sports performance keys, (2001). Champaign: Human Kinetics, Inc. ISBN-10: 0-7360-0176-X [A no nonsense, practical approach to arming yourself with the psychological weapons and strategies you need to win. The book first gets you to look inwards and find out what you're really like and what you really want from sport/life. With this knowledge you are shown how to develop the mental skills and strategies best suited to you, no 'magic bullets' just sound practical guidance. Thoroughly recommended.]
- Schmidt R.A. & Wrisberg C.A.: Motor Learning and Performance A Situation-based Learning Approach 4th Edition, (2008). Champaign: Human Kinetics, Inc. ISBN-10: 0-7360-6964-X [This book outlines the principles of motor skill learning, develops a conceptual model of motor performance and shown how to apply the concepts in real world settings. Coaches will find this text stimulating and may lead them to challenging some of the concepts in this standard text through their own coaching experiences. Either way, with this deeper understanding of the topic your approach to coaching may never be the same.]
- FIE: Referee Study Guide, (2008-2009). Fencing Pictures: ?. Issued by the FIE to help standardise refereeing standards. Something which should be applauded by all. Perhaps not perfect in the present form but it’s a start. Worth a look if you can find a copy to help train your eye as a new fencer, parent or prospective referee. My copy came from Leon Paul but not currently listed on their web site. If you’re interested give them a call and mention this omission.