Fencing Club

Newsletter #9.

Spring Term 2018 - Issue Nine

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2018. Although it's early in the year, there has already been plenty to celebrate this term. Our competitors proved themselves again, finishing strongly in the Leon Paul Junior Series as well as winning Southern Region medals. Several Sarum Swords fencers also qualified for the British Youth Championships. As well as reporting on these recent successes, head coach John also discusses the best way to warm up and be prepared at competitions.

Bath Leon Paul Junior Series Medallist

Davis Dore (far right) Bath LPJS Sliver Medallist

Congratulations to Davis Dore for finishing 2nd out of 35 boys at the Bath Leon Paul Junior Series. In his first elimination match, Davis played a clever defensive game to defeat Noah De N’Yeurt from Thornbury fencing club. The next round was beset by technical issues, but Davis managed to keep his concentration to edge out Luca Florea from Russell Swords. The quarter final was even closer, but Davis won a tense priority minute encounter against Roselyon’s Arlo Bason in a very high-quality match. Davis looked more confident in his semi-final. A fine display of attacking fencing in the final period of fencing saw him through to his third leon paul junior series final of the season. In the final Davis was narrowly defeated 10-8 by ZFW's George Hills.

Under 11 Boys results: Click here

Davis Dore (near left) in action in the Semi-finals.

In the girls under 11 event, Natasha Begbour produced some excellent fencing in her first direct elimination match to reach the quarter-final. In the last 8, Natasha continued to fence well but was unable to beat Pearl Milton from Bristol Cavaliers fencing club. However, these excellent results mean that Sarum Swords have three fencers finishing the season in the top 10 of the LPJS overall series rankings. Davis completed the season placed 3rd overall and Matthew Stahl and Truman Dore finished the season ranked joint 9th. We are so proud of what you have all achieved this year. Well done!

Under 11 boys overall ranking: Click here

Under 9 boys overall ranking: Click here

Southern Region Medallists

(left) Southern Region Silver Medallist, Davis Dore

Well done to all 15 brilliant young fencers who travelled to Wellington College to represent Sarum Swords at the Southern Region British Youth Championship Qualifier this weekend. It was a pleasure to witness such positive attitudes and excellent fencing from each of our fencers all day. This year four of our fencers (Jemima Milford, Davis Dore, Kunle Taiwo and Natasha Begbour) qualified for the British Youth Championships which will be held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in March. Congratulations go to Davis and Jemima for both winning Silver medals in their events.


Full Results: Click Here




Nominated for always trying her hardest, keeping her knees bent
in the footwork and improving her lunge. Well done Kayra!

Coach John's words of Wisdom




Over the Christmas holiday, I was privileged to work as part of the coaching team, overseeing a four-day Talent camp with Britain’s top Junior and Cadet fencers at the Leon Paul centre in Hendon. All the Talent programme foilists are expected to use the following ‘5-5-5’ template for warming up before representing Great Britain at international fencing competitions. There are several advantages to using this system. For example, it encourages the fencers to move up and down a piste sized space, which is what they will have available to them at competitions. It also gives the fencer everything they need to be ready for action, without it being necessary for their personal coach being present (the coach can’t always be with them and that can’t stop them from producing their best performance). It replaces many of the fencers outdated routines that employ large amounts of ‘static stretching’, which are better suited to a warm-down after a competitor has finished their day. The ‘5-5-5’, of the title refers to how many minutes each section of the warm up lasts. However, it should be noted that this is a flexible template and a fencer who needs longer to warm up, is free to convert it into ’10-10-10’, to suit their requirements.

The first five-minute period, is comprised of jogging up and down the piste and running variations, including jogging by kicking their heels up behind them, jogging with knees up, ‘side jacks’ and skipping.

The second five-minute period consists of the fencer doing ‘dynamic’, stretches up and down the piste. Any fencers who were spotted sitting down to stretch were told by the coaches to get moving.

In the final five minutes, the fencer can do footwork and more dynamic stretching. However, there now needs to be explosive actions included and they need to test their limits, so that they are ready to fence immediately afterwards. For example, if in the second period of five minutes, the fencer did high knee lifts into a lunge, they should now jump in the air with their knee lift to get the full range of motion and make the action more explosive. A fencer doing footwork in this segment, should include some fast lunges and changes of tempo.

Sparring at the British Fencing Talent Camp



After doing the 5-5-5 warm up, the fencers should aim kit up completely within 5-minutes so as not to lose the benefit of their warm up. If there are other fencers from their club at the competition, they get into pairs. They practice simple blade-work with a partner to make sure they are hitting well and start the competition feeling really-good and confident in their fencing.

  1. At extension distance, the fencers set themselves, making sure they are sitting low and that their en garde position is perfect. They hit with five direct extensions, then swap with their partner. They must take time between each hit, not rush and get the full range of movement in their extension.*More advanced fencers can finish to various lines. For example, low-line with supination, low-line with pronation etc.
  2. The fencer does step-extension … recovers … does a stop-hit (with direct extension) followed by a quick step back. This sequence is repeated five times. They then switch with their partner and repeat. 
  3. The fencers do five direct lunges, then swap with their partner. 
  4. One fencer steps in with a direct extension. Their partner parries either circular sixte or quarte and ripostes direct with extension.* Advanced fencers can riposte with flicks, opposition or use other parries etc…
  5. Starting just outside of lunge distance. One fencer steps forwards with a feint to the open inside high line. Their partner parries either circular sixte or quarte and they deceive it with a disengage or a counter-disengage lunge hit.*They can start by always doing lateral quarte followed by a few repetitions of circular sixte. Finally, they can alternate between the two parries as they see fit.
    **Fencers should note that to be able to do 10-10-10, calibrate and then perhaps get an individual lesson with their coach, they should get to the competition at least an hour early.
Take your warm up more seriously and take the element of chance out of your early matches if you want to be consistently successful at competitions..

Upcoming Competitions:

(If you need help entering any competition or would like to know if any of these events would be suitable for your child, please contact coach John.


Past Newsletters:

Issue One: Click here

Issue Two: Click here

Issue Three: Click here

Issue Four: Click here

Issue Five: Click here

Issue Six: Click here

Issue Seven: Click here

Issue Eight: Click here

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Sarum Swords · 19 Water Lane · Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 7TE · United Kingdom

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