Fencing: Basic Beginners Training
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Introduction to foil fencing is taught by Michael Bradley, a private instructor from Mailbu, California. Michael's career began at the University of New Hampshire, where he was a premier fencer and coach. Michael has been in intense competition and coaching since 1978, studying with a number of fencing instructors and masters before coming to California in 1983. In demonstrating the techniques in this program, Michael is joined by his comrade-in-arms, Brian Kendrigan and by one of his students, Leslie Lian.
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There are a few quibbles. The presentation is fairly static, with a single, fixed camera throughout. This makes for an overall dull presentation and the youngest fencers in my group have a hard time sticking with it. Adding camera angles and a more polished presentation would help. Adding chapters in the menu for each section would have helped in using this video for class instruction. The video also needed some distinct drills at the end of each section to help reinforce the learning. As it is, the drills are spotty, placed randomly throughout the presentation.
The style and technique of fencing is a bit dated, going back to the pre-electric era. For the foil purists, this may be a good thing, but for the modern sport of foil fencing, some instruction on the modern sport would have been helpful. I know this is a basic video, but I also would have liked to hear at least an introduction to the ideas of time (tempo) and distance - two concepts often ignored in basic instruction because they are thought to be too advanced. Technique is nice, but learing basic tactics of attack and denfense must be addressed.
Overall, a good buy for those who want a visual introduction to foil fencing.
However, the filming style and narrative techniques leave little to be desired.
Shot with a single camera in a gymnasium, we follow the lessons from our instructor who is clearly qualified to teach, but is not an engaging host.
There are some sound and lighting glitches that give the film a very homemade quality.
This is a practical video for those who want to see specific drills and tips for actual fencing.
Definitely for the beginner...but this is what it aims at.
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