I’ve always liked talking about fencing. If you ask Miren, she may say I like talking about it “too” much. Talking about my passion allows me to enjoy something that I love even when I can’t actually pick up my sword. I also know that talking about fencing is one of the most effective supplements to normal practice and, in this Woodland Watch, I want to encourage us all to do it more.
Benefits of Talking About Fencing
There are several benefits to talking fencing with another person. I want to highlight three main reasons that should motivate you to talking about it more. Those three benefits are solidifying your own understanding, exchanging ideas, and bonding with your fellow fencers.
Solidifying Your Own Understanding
The very first benefit you’ll notice is that your own understanding of fencing will solidify and deepen. What I mean by that is that your ideas and thoughts will become more visceral and memorable. They’ll stand out as principles of fencing that can be referred to over and over again, even in the heat of battle. It’s during normal conversations you’ll be forced to explain and put into words the things you have learned and at that moment you’ll discover what you truly understand.
The second benefit you’ll find is the exchange of ideas. Every single fencer has a unique perspective and experience when it comes to fencing. From those unique experiences bloom unique ideas and concepts that perhaps no one has ever thought of before and those need to be shared. As we converse with one another, we exchange those ideas in a way that can help each other learn and give us a glimpse into each other’s mentality. Every discussion about fencing I’ve had, whether with a Newcomer or a Master Swordsman, has given me something to think about or consider and has helped develop my own understanding of fencing.
Bonding with Your Fellow Fencers
Last but not least, fencing is something we all share despite any other differences we may have. We are all very different people, living very different lives, but fencing is one thing we all have in common. As we talk about our common interests, we grow closer to one another and build friendships that last and can lead to other areas of our lives. We all know that the friends we feel closest to are usually the ones we talk to the most. When you’re at fencing and have nothing else to talk to someone about, remember that you always have fencing in common and that’s a great place to start.
Topics of Conversation
This week is an Open Practice, which means it’s a great time to take a step back from lessons and try something new. I would like to challenge everyone to talk to another fencer about fencing at some point during practice or even in the comment section below. It can be simple or in depth, but it should be longer than a single back and forth exchange and involve some sort of discussion. To make it a little easier I’ve written out a list of some conversation starters. These suggestions are not all inclusive and could very well lead to different areas of fencing. Sometimes the best topics of discussions are things that have been on your mind or things you’ve written down in your fencing journal.
- What type of fencer are you and why do you choose to be that type?
- What are you good at and can you show me how to do it?
- What are you working on?
- What do you see, or what do you look for when you watch other people fence?
We Should Talk More
More people come to fencing each week, and every week we are all learning something new. The opportunities to share and talk are endless and they are something we should take advantage of. Whether you are talking to solidify your own understanding, exchange ideas, or bond with another fencer, we should talk about fencing more. Not just during lessons, but between melees, during down time, and after practice. This will benefit us personally and as a group because not only will our skills go up immensely, but you personally will have some of the most interesting conversations you’ve ever had. If you still doubt, come talk to me and I’ll explain how comparing apples, oranges, and Ferraris applies to fencing.