At the beginning of this year, I released THE BIG ORANGE BOOK: APPLES. That was to be the first of a three-part project. I’m now proud to say that I’ve completed the second part: THE ORANGE STYLE DECK.
THE BIG ORANGE BOOK: APPLES is my book on the core ideas that I believe every fencer should know and understand along their fencing journey. THE ORANGE STYLE DECK is a breakdown of my fencing style and the principles that I use in my own fighting.
On just over 50 cards, I’ve broken up my style into individual chunks and categorized them around my Five Pillars, which are Footwork, Proficiency, Body Mechanics, Attack Their Weapons and Mentality. Each card is self-contained, gives a brief overview of the principle, and some suggestions on how you could work on them.
Some of the Principles Included:
- The Ten Step System
- The Range Game
- Eye Training
- Disarming Threats
- Relaxed Intensity
- The Sleeping Mind
I want this deck of cards to be a flexible tool, rather than a rigid declaration of how I fight. No fighting style is set in stone and there is always room to grow. Additionally, I want THE ORANGE STYLE DECK to be useful to anyone. Each card introduces an idea as a starting point that, with your own creativity and inventiveness, can be incorporated or modified however you want.
Plus how you decide to use the deck itself is entirely up to you. You can study each card individually as written or blaze your own trail to discover what these principles mean to you. Draw a card at the beginning of practice and get a suggestion on what to focus on for the day or even a few fights. Maybe draw two or more and see if you can combine them in a fight or make a new connection. It’s really up to you.
Here’s what a card looks like:
On the front…
You get the name of the principle, a color-coded icon that represents which of the Five Pillars it belongs to, and a description of the principle itself.
On the back…
You have several suggestions on ways to work on that specific principle. Some are physical challenges and others are mental questions or considerations. Each includes at least one suggestion on how to use it in a fight, but after you’ve tried the suggestions, you can come up with your own.
However you decide to use THE ORANGE STYLE DECK, I hope that you’ll take it as food for thought and remember that it doesn’t have all the answers or can guarantee a win. There are many principles that I left out because they just aren’t a big part of my style, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of yours. There is no one way of fencing and I hope this can be a tool to help anyone develop and build their own fencing style.
How to Get a Physical Copy
For anyone who is interested in obtaining a physical copy of the Orange Style Deck, there are two options: ordering it yourself or joining in the group order.
Ordering It Yourself
To make the Orange Style Deck a reality, I used theGameCrafter.com, an online printing company that specializes in custom printed board games and components. You can order a copy directly from them for $14.99 + Shipping/Handling. This will allow you to get a copy within a few weeks but does add on a little cost because you would be purchasing it at MSRP and paying the shipping yourself (around $4-5 dollars).
Joining the Group Order
Alternatively, I plan on organizing a group order at the beginning of the season (whenever COVID restrictions allow). This will reduce the cost of each deck to about $12.00 and will cover the cost of Shipping/Handling. The downside to this option is that, with a larger order, it may take a few months before the decks arrive and are available.
Whichever option you decide to go with is fine. I just appreciate any interest in this ongoing project and I can’t wait to explore this tool with each of you.
Download the PDF
If you’re not really interested in getting a physical deck of cards to carry around with you and play with, you can also just download a PDF copy of the cards to look through. If you’re going to print out the cards, I recommend printing multiple cards on 1 page.