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Rock, Papers, Scissors for Fencers

The Tactical Wheel is really a progression of actions commonly used to teach tactics to fencers. Although there are significant issues inside the use of the wheel in most three weapons, being a previous item of mine pointed out, it does serve to get fencers considering how to choose the best tactic in the right time gain an impression. But exactly how does a teacher obtain the beginning or intermediate fencer to understand the relationships within this tool? One approach We have successfully used can be a modification of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors.

The initial step is to be sure that your fencers know the elements inside the wheel. Being a standard part of our warm-up we recite the wheel out loud like a group. I would like my fencers to understand the flow of simple attack, defeated from the parry and riposte, deceived through the compound attack, intercepted from the stop hit, also defeated from the simple attack.

The 2nd step is always to assign amounts of fingers to each action: 1 for easy attack, 2 for parry-riposte, 3 for compound attack, and 4 for stop hit. Rather than the balled fist, flat hand, or forked fingers of rock paper scissors lizard spock rules the fencers will get rid of one to four fingers.

The 3rd step is always to define which action beats which other actions. To some extent depends on your look at the wheel as well as the weapon the fencers fence. For example, 2 (parry riposte) beats 1 (simple attack) in most three weapons. However, 4 (stop hit) will miss to a single (simple attack) in foil, but will create a double hit or success in epee or sabre sometimes (a coin toss enables you to inject this amount of uncertainty).

Finally you are prepared to fence. This drill can be done being a set of fencers, an organization of three versus another team of three, or as two lines against each other with fencers rotating from one line to the other as they are defeated. When the intent is to use the drill as a warm-up activity, the quantity of repetitions ought to be limited. One solution inside the rotating format is the winner of your touch stays up and loser rotates. However, it is also found in 5 touch (bout), 10 or 15 touch (direct elimination), or team formats. The more formats allow fencers to start out to investigate opponent patterns (although the 4 option structure probably prevents application of pure iocaine powder logic), and for team mates to observe and share that information. Make use of the standard commands “on guard,” “ready,” and “fence,” with the fencers throwing out 1-4 fingers on “fence.” The amount of force on decision-making could be increased by reduction of the interval between commands to fence.

It may seem you could achieve the same training by actually fencing, however the isolation from the decision as to which action in the variable of fencer capacity to perform it emphasizes the choice of technique. The drill does not require equipment, and so fits well in warm-up or cool-down activity. It’s quicker than a bout, but maintains a high level of competitiveness between your fencers. Recommendations so that it is an effective training tool in our efforts to boost our fencers’ tactical sense.
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