Reflecting on Targets

Well, with practice being canceled for tonight, I don’t have the opportunity to observe as I would have liked, but that’s not going to stop me from finding a way to study fencing! I dug around in my files this morning and pulled out my Target Chart. I then sat down with Miren and we both filled it in together (I forget how therapeutic coloring can be).

After we finished, we discussed our charts together to look for patterns and reasons behind them. Miren’s chart showed that she has a much easier time striking her opponent’s offside than their sword side. We attributed that to her blocking style. She doesn’t risk the biscuit when it comes to strikes, so she doesn’t tend to aim for well-defended areas. Instead, she looks for the path of least resistance and creates those opportunities with her blocks.

My chart, however, showed an entirely different spread of focus. The easier targets were of no surprise to us since we know how much I like to snipe and aim for the upper body targets. This is probably due to my height and the amount of time I’ve spent practicing those specific shots. For the difficult-very hard range of targets though, we noticed my tendency to work cross-body. Our realization was that because I’m a runner, I tend to strike in diagonal patterns as I maneuver around my opponent with my footwork.

Even though this was just a few minutes of coloring, I’m left with a lot to think about and a bunch of questions. Why do I aim where I do? Why are things easier than others? Am I ok with the spread of my targets? How on earth do I strike somebody in the shin without hurting them? We would be really interested to see what your Target Chart would look like, so feel free to download the chart and fill it out yourself. You can then share it to Facebook or send it to me directly. Miren and I noticed that it was easiest to fill out the Very Easy and Very Hard targets first and then work our way towards the middle.