This blog posts, and its subsequent parts (see below), are a followup on this previous blog post. The student and the opponent are the same as previously described. After coaching, I came home and wrote up my impressions, a writeup that turned out to be 2068 words long. I considered that far too long to be a single blog post, so I have chopped it up into more digestible parts. I will have to come up with some sort of notation system for how keep track of the most common errors so that my writeups will not be so wordy; that will be at least one blog post in itself. More on that later.

Two weeks have gone since the last described training session, and the student has been prevented from training due to pressing work matters. He has, however, been reading my notes on the previous bouts in order to improve upon himself. To recapitulate, his critical errors in the previous bout were:

  1. Error of technique: Standing with his front foot angled inward
  2. Error of tactics: The student performs battées on his opponents blade, but at too low frequency
  3. Error of timing: The student parries his opponents attacks, but the riposte is late or absent
  4. Error of reflexes: The student ”bunches up” when attacked, without parrying

So, how did the student perform this time regarding these errors? Regarding the beginner errors #1 and #4 the was a clear result – no real improvement on #1, and a #4 had almost completely disappeared. So, one very clear improvement and one issue that needs work.

The results on errors of omission were more mixed. The batteé frequency improved significantly in the great majority of the batté sequences, after some spotty record in the beginning. Therefore, the student was able to string together numerous batteé sequences where an improved frequency, combined with his advantages in strength and reach, resulted in him gaining ground and forcing the opponent to react totally defensively for a short period.

In doing so, the student set up situations where he had the opportunity to score, either by straight extension or a short lunge. However, his failed to do so, for the most part. The reason was that he attempted to create a final situation where he controlled the opponent’s blade so that she would be completely unable to hit him, while he would score in a position similar to a riposte with opposition. This resulted in the student losing the initiative in the crucial moment, since he was wasting time finding the opponent’s blade and trying to hold it. Instead, she – who has fenced for a longer time – could use her experience to quickly get out of an attempt to bind her blade and instead score herself.

In the subsequent blog posts describing this training session, I will describe the new set of errors made by the student, some general thoughts on coaching, a description on what happened after my intervention/feedback pause, and finally a list of the consequences of the errors listed, and their corrective actions.