February: Fencing Challenge Breakdown

We’re on the final month our Winter Warrior Challenge and we are less than 30 days away from a new season! I hope many of you have sufficiently relaxed over the winter and are itching to get back to Woodland. With that in mind, let’s shake off some of the rust and prepare with this month’s Fencing Challenge!

For February, we would like to give some easy workouts that can anyone can do before the season starts. These workouts are simple routines that can be done in a few minutes, but will have a huge impact on how you feel coming back to fight. Similar to our January Workout, we have listed out two work out options that you can implement as your life allows. The first option has smaller workout sessions that are done 6 times a week. The second option has a slightly larger workout but is only done 3 times a week. Additionally, every week will incrementally add more to ensure you don’t plateau throughout the month. Take your pick and get started today!

If you do not have a sword, use a wooden dowel or even a broomstick to practice point control and blocking exercises.

P.S. Print out our simple Workout Tracker to track your progress throughout the month

The goal of this month is to prepare for the upcoming season by following one of the workouts outlined below.

Workout 1 – workout 6 times a week

Week 1: 3 sets of 8 each

  • Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • Forward step in basic stance
  • Retreat step in basic stance
  • Left step in basic stance
  • Right steps in basic stance
  • +3 sets of blocks

Week 2: 3 sets of 10 each

  • Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • Forward step in basic stance
  • Retreat step in basic stance
  • Left step in basic stance
  • Right steps in basic stance
  • +3 sets of blocks

Week 3: 3 sets of 12 each

  • Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • Forward steps in basic stance
  • Retreat steps in basic stance
  • Left steps in basic stance
  • Right steps in basic stance
  • +3 sets of blocks

Week 4: 3 sets of 15 each

  • Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • Forward steps in basic stance
  • Retreat steps in basic stance
  • Left steps in basic stance
  • Right steps in basic stance
  • +4 sets of blocks

Workout 2 – workout 3 times a week

Week 1:

  • 10 Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • 10 Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • 10 Forward steps in basic stance
  • 10 Retreat steps in basic stance
  • 10 Left steps in basic stance
  • 10 Right steps in basic stance
  • +1 sets of blocks

Week 2:

  • 15 Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • 15 Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • 15 Forward steps in basic stance
  • 15 Retreat steps in basic stance
  • 15 Left steps in basic stance
  • 15 Right steps in basic stance
  • +2 sets of blocks

Week 3:

  • 20 Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • 20 Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • 20 Forward steps in basic stance
  • 20 Retreat steps in basic stance
  • 20 Left steps in basic stance
  • 20 Right steps in basic stance
  • +3 sets of blocks

Week 4:

  • 25 Point control – Circle a doorknob
  • 25 Point control – Stab an object (something that won’t break)
  • 25 Forward steps in basic stance
  • 25 Retreat steps in basic stance
  • 25 Left steps in basic stance
  • 25 Right steps in basic stance
  • +4 sets of blocks

If you have any questions on how to perform these exercises, let us know in the comments.

January: Physical Challenge Breakdown

We’re half way through our Winter Warrior Challenge and it’s time to get a head start on 2019. I hope many of you took advantage of the holiday break and the many suggested activities in last month’s Grab Bag challenge. Now it’s time to get to January theme which focus on some Physical Training!

As is New Year’s tradition, many of us set goals to get into better physical shape during the coming year. We’ll train more. Go to the gym more. Eat healthier. But where to begin? 

For January, we would like to help out and give some suggested work outs that anyone can work on during the month. Listed out below are two work out options that you can implement as your life allows. The first option has smaller workout sessions that are done 6 times a week. The second option has a slightly larger workout but is only done 3 times a week. Additionally, every week will incrementally add more to ensure you don’t plateau throughout the month. Take your pick and get started today!

P.S. Print out our simple Workout Tracker to track your progress throughout the month

The goal of this month is to increase your physical fitness by following one of the workouts outlined below.

Workout 1 – workout 6 times a week

Week 1: 3 sets of 8 each

  • Pushups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • 30 sec. plank (done once)

Week 2: 3 sets of 10 each

  • Pushups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • 40 sec. plank (done once)

Week 3: 3 sets of 12 each

  • Pushups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • 50 sec. plank (done once)

Week 4: 3 sets of 15 each

  • Pushups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • 60 sec. plank (done once)

Workout 2 – workout 3 times a week

Week 1:

  • 10 Pushups
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Lunges
  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Calf Raises
  • 30 sec. plank

Week 2:

  • 15 Pushups
  • 15 Jumping Jacks
  • 15 Lunges
  • 15 Squats
  • 15 Calf Raises
  • 30 sec. plank

Week 3:

  • 20 Pushups
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Lunges
  • 20 Squats
  • 20 Calf Raises
  • 45 sec. plank

Week 4:

  • 25 Pushups
  • 25 Jumping Jacks
  • 25 Lunges
  • 25 Squats
  • 25 Calf Raises
  • 60 sec. plank

If you have any questions on how to perform these exercises, trying YouTubing them or let us know in the comments.

Week 1: Reflect on the Season in Your Journal

Goal

Accomplish at least 6 of the following listed activities by the end of the week.

Meditate: Take 10 minutes to meditate about this season and record your thoughts in your journal.

Tip: As you ponder on the season try to think on the highs/lows, things that stand out, and overall feelings. Try to be realistic and constructive.

What did you learn?: Record all the things you learned this year in your journal.

Tip: Don’t just write down the official lessons you learned in the program. Think about side lessons or tips you picked up from others. Maybe even include non-fencing lessons that have helped you in your day-to-day life?

What was your best fight? Why?: Describe your best or most memorable fight in your journal. Why does that stand out?

Tip: This is a great opportunity to begin compiling your War Stories that you can tell to others later. Do you remember that one time… Oh yeah! That was awesome!

What skill did you improve? How?: Think about what skill improved the most this year and how it happened. Record your findings in your journal.

Tip: Don’t limit yourself to just fencing skills. There are a lot of skills that you might have improved and you should be proud of those improvements.

What will you practice next year?: Record ideas in your journal about what you’d like to practice next season.

Tip: List out both short and long term focuses for next season. Some things you can work on during a single practice. Some things might take you all of next season to develop and truly understand.

Who can you learn from?: Think about all the fencers in the group and list who you could learn from and why in your journal.

Tip: You don’t have to establish a Master/Apprentice relationship to learn from someone. List anyone and everyone that might have something you want to learn and ask them to teach you or explain.

Mindmap what you do well: Create a mind map of all the things you do well in your journal.

Tip: One way of doing this is to start with your name in the middle and then list out your strengths on branches. Then on each of your strengths, list out why those are your strengths or why they are important to you.

Mindmap things that affect your confidence: Create a mind map of all the things that affect your confidence.

Tip: One way of creating this mind map is to list out all the things that cause you to lose confidence and then list out all the things that cause you to gain confidence. Try to find a pattern or signals that might help you boost your confidence and avoid the things that hurt your confidence.

When you have completed any of the activities listed above, feel free to share your thoughts and finding on the Garrison. Hopefully, we can all discuss and learn from one another as we try to be Winter Warriors!

November: Mentality Challenge Breakdown

The Winter Warrior Challenge has officially begun! Although, if you want to wait until Monday to start no one will blame you.

As we explained in the last Winter Warrior post, each month will focus on a different theme. These themes add variety and allow us to cover a wider set of skills or activities over the course of the Winter. November’s theme is Mentality!

I really like that we’re starting out with Mentality because things are still fresh on my mind. I haven’t forgotten everything in a turkey-induced haze or begun my annual hibernation. With the season over, the sooner I can ponder and reflect on this past year, the better. Even when I’m letting my body rest from all the hard work of a fencing season.

So with that said, let’s get to the Weekly Challenges!

Each month is broken down into Weekly Challenges. Every Monday, a new challenge will be posted on the Blog and Home Page. If you opted-in on the texting group (contact Kane for details), you’ll begin receiving Weekly Challenge updates starting Monday, November 5th.

The goal of each of these Weekly Challenges is to accomplish at least 6 of the week’s listed activities by the end of the week. This means you can do all 6 in one day or just do one a day. It’s up to you!

Week 1: Reflect on the Season in Your Journal

November 5 – 11

  • Meditate: Take 10 minutes to meditate about this season and record your thoughts in your journal.
  • What did you learn?: Record all the things you learned this year in your journal.
  • What was your best fight? Why?: Describe your best or most memorable fight in your journal. Why does that stand out?
  • What skill did you improve? How?: Think about what skill improved the most this year and how it happened. Record your findings in your journal.
  • What will you practice next year?: Record ideas in your journal about what you’d like to practice next season.
  • Who can you learn from?: Think about all the fencers in the group and list who you could learn from and why in your journal.
  • Mindmap what you do well: Create a mind map of all the things you do well in your journal.
  • Mindmap things that affect your confidence: Create a mind map of all the things that affect your confidence.

Week 2: Record Personal Lore in Your Journal

November 12 – 18

  • Who are you?: Describe who your persona is as a person.
  • Where are you from?: Decide on where your persona comes from.
  • When were you born/how old are you?: Write down when your persona was born and/or how old they are now.
  • Do you have a family? Who are they?: Detail your family situation and who they are.
  • What is your backstory?: Write down how you would introduce your persona to another person. 
  • What are your special skills? Weapons?: Detail any special skills your persona has or weapons they utilize.
  • What are your talents, hobbies, and/or interests?: Describe if your persona has any additional extracurricular interests outside of Fencing.
  • How did you connect with Terrasylvae?: Write down how your persona encountered and came to join Terrasylvae?

Week 3: Acts of Gratitude

November 19 – 25

  • Complete a random act of kindness: Do something kind for someone else today.
  • Compliment a fellow fencer: Say something nice to a fellow fencer.
  • Give a specific “thank you” to someone in the group: Thank someone in the group for something specific you appreciate.
  • Thank an Officer: Thank an Officer from the season for something. Officers were Kane, Ul’vade, Shay, Veron, Don, Draco, Evanlyn, Ladrona, Ja’ika, Miren, & Tsyng.
  • Read Shay’s Attitude article on the website: After reading Shay’s Attitude article, record your thoughts.
  • Tell someone why you love fencing: Share your love of fencing with someone. Bonus points if you don’t know them.
  • Share a helpful TED talk on the Garrison: Post a link to a TED talk you have found helpful to the Garrison.
  • Invite someone to train with you: Coordinate a time to train with another fencer.

Week 4: Publish Your Writing on the Website

November 26 – December 2

  • Read 2 or 3 examples of writing others have posted: Go to the Blog and read a few stories others have written.
  • Decide if you are writing a journal entry or Terrasylvan Lore: A journal entry is a non-story article. A lore entry is a story about your persona. Click links for examples.
  • Brainstorm your story: Write down as many ideas as you can of what you want to write about.
  • Develop a rough draft: Create a rough draft of your piece. Don’t worry about getting it perfect.
  • Share it with a friend for edits: Ask a friend to edit you piece and give constructive feedback/edits.
  • Contact Kane for a personal journal page (if needed): Ask Kane to design a personalized journal page just for you, if needed.
  • Type/Submit your story on the website for edits: Follow these directions to submit your story on the website.
  • Share your published work on the Facebook Group: Post a link to the Facebook group and show off your finished piece.

Winter Warrior Challenge 2019

Well… the Fencing season is officially over. We had a good run, but 2018 is officially behind us as far as Fencing is concern. Now it’s time to start preparing for 2019 with our new Winter Warrior Challenge!

Shay and Miren have put in a lot of work for this year’s challenge to make it better than ever. I hope you all will take advantage of their hard work, but what really is the Winter Warrior Challenge?

The Winter Warrior Challenge

In a nutshell, the Winter Warrior Challenge is a list of activities you can do during the winter months to stay in shape, keep yourself mentality sharp, and help prepare you for the next season.

Last year, it was a series of challenges that you could work on for 100 days. While great, and very impressive, committing to 100 days during what is most likely the busiest time of the year made the challenge nigh unobtainable. That’s why, this year, the Challenge will be broken into 4 month-long themes, with an emphasis on weekly challenges. Those 4 themes are:

  • Mentality – November
  • Grab Bag! – December
  • Physical – January
  • Fencing – February

Starting in November, we will release a weekly challenge every Monday. This will be posted as an individual Blog Post and on the Homepage for easy access and reference. These weekly challenges will detail what you should try to accomplish during the rest of the week.

Take advantage of these challenges and fit them in as best you can. We’ve seen great success if you coordinate with other members of the group and hold yourself accountable to one another. Additionally, Miren and Shay have put together a print-out detailing the entire challenge that you can download below. You can keep track of your progress and even get a head start!

If you have other questions, check out the FAQ below or reach out to us in the comments.

Good luck, Winter Warriors!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Winter Warrior Challenge mandatory?

Absolutely not! The off-season is everyone’s opportunity to rest and relax if they so wish. The Winter Warrior Challenge is merely a resource for those who would like to continue training when we are not holding regular practices.

Do I have to do all the weekly challenges?

No. The Winter Warrior Challenge is an optional resource. If there are parts you miss or don’t want to do, don’t sweat it. We do encourage that you try to follow the challenge closely to take the most advantage of it. The more you put into the challenge, the more you’ll get out of it.

When does the challenge start?

Each weekly challenge will begin on Monday and go through Sunday. Each month also has a “begin by” date which indicates the last day you could start the challenge and still complete everything by the end of the month.

What should I do if I don’t understand something in the challenge?

Ask. If something doesn’t make sense, leave a comment on the current week’s challenge and someone will get back to you as soon as they can!

Do you have any tips for me?

The best thing you could do is to work with others to complete the challenge. Coordinate with your friends, either through texts, online, or in person, on what you’ll be working on each week and report back to them when you finish. Not only will you help each other stay accountable, but you’ll be able to learn and grow together. 

Where can I talk about the challenge with others?

The best place to talk with others is in the Winter Warrior Challenge 2019 section of the Order Garrison. You may need to register/login before making comments. 

Is it possible to get reminders?

Of course! If you’d like to get reminders (starting November 5th) specifically for this year’s Winter Warrior Challenge, please contact Kane for details.