Below, please find some exercises you can do at home, in your backyard or wherever you have space to move around. GFA students are familiar with these exercises. Please do them 4-5 times a week. You will need the following: a jump rope, foil, glove, mask, dummy target and gym clothes.
1) First, warm up and stretch well. Your warm-up should take 20 minutes.
2) Footwork: in fencing position (medium speed) 1-minute advance and retreat from wall to wall (4x). In between sets, shake out your muscles.
3) Triple advance - double retreat to the wall then triple retreat - double advance back (medium speed) From wall to wall. 1-minute (1x). Do the same in opposite fencing position.
4) Double advance - single retreat to the wall then double retreat - single advance back (medium speed). From wall to wall. 1-minute (1x). Do the same in opposite fencing position.
5) In fencing position, double advance, squat, get up to fencing position, double retreat squat and get up to fencing position. (30x) Do the same in opposite fencing position.
6) 100-hundred lunges. Make sure you push hard with your back knee, stay in good balance on the lunge and fully recover back. Take time after each lunge to reset. After every 10 lunges, shake out your muscles. When you reach 80 lunges, switch positions to your opposite fencing hand. For the last set of 10, return back to normal fencing position to finish off the 100.
7) "A fight with a shadow”: 1-minute in fencing position, you fence with an imaginary opponent and no foil. Then, take a 1-minute break. (5x).
8) Squat in fencing position, jump up in full power with exhale and come back to squat position. Non-stop (20x). Do the same in opposite fencing position.
If you have a long, strip size space available (~14 meters or more, could be in a park or your driveway), mark fencing strip lines with chalk/tape and adjust your footwork exercises to normal size strip. Make sure you have plenty of space available. Add speed footwork. It is good if you have someone (your parent or sibling) to time your footwork rounds.
Here are a few footwork drills:
1) With full speed and power, advance to the end of strip then retreat. There and back counts as one set (2x). Between sets, you can take a 1-minute break, walk back and forth and breathe deeply but do not sit down.
2) With full speed and power, do a “shuttle run" to six separate lines on your fencing strip. Make sure to mark these off with chalk/tape. The movement pattern is that you start from the end of strip (your starting line) and advance to the first "warning line". Then, retreat back to your starting line, continue onwards to the first "en guarde" line and then retreat back to your starting line. Continue this process up to 6 lines (2x). Take a 1-minute break in between sets.
3) With full speed and power, advance to the end of the strip and retreat back to starting line. Do this continuously for 30 seconds (2x). In between sets, take a 1-minute break.
4) Make sure to stretch for 5-7 minutes post-footwork as recovery.
Dummy target - 4 parts. Total of 30 minutes.
All dummy target work has to be done in fencing mask.
1) First, emphasis is on blade work only. Start with simple straight attacks. Attacks with disengage (10 touches each action).
Make compound attacks such as feint - disengage and so on. Use your creativity here. Take 10 seconds in between to rest and shake out muscles.
Then, proceed to parries. Practice all main parries you use most (simple riposte, riposte with disengage, riposte with coupé, compound riposte).
2) Incorporate blade work and footwork together. All attack actions are done with one step lunge, two steps lunge and so on (10x each action).
3) Infighting actions
4) "Bout with dummy target"- similar to footwork sequence where you pretend that there is an opponent in front of you. First sequence is to 5 touches and then 15 touches.
Overall Physical Fitness. Remember: "Luck comes to those that are prepared!"
1) Jump rope - 1,000+ every other day.
2) Jogging (2-3 miles every other day) and sprinting (depending on space).
3) Work out entire body - concentrate more on abdominal and back muscles to maintain and strengthen core.
Push-ups – if you cannot do push-ups, then lay a mat on the ground and do push-ups on your knees. Try 3 sets of 5 and move on when it becomes too easy. Make sure to get as low to the ground as possible.
Pull ups – if you have the equipment, do 3 sets of 5.
Sit-ups and crunches – 5 sets of 20. Make sure to breathe in between sets for 15 seconds.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the GFA coaches (Stas, Nora and Vlad) with any questions. Do not get discouraged! This will pass, and we will back to normal training!