As many of you may have noticed, most of our classes include some type of game either at the beginning of the class or at the end. These games serve an important purpose in the training of the students. Most of the games we play provide one or more of the following benefits:
Warming-up the fencer,
Developing muscle tone,
Practicing a fencing action,
Developing a sense of timing and/or distance,
Practicing tactics or strategy,
Having fun and building friendship with your classmates.
We use the games more with the youth fencers in part to break-up the possible monotony of drills and as a sneaky way to get them to practice actions they might otherwise neglect. Coaches also use the games as a reward for hard work and paying attention.
Since fencing is a game against your opponent, several of the games we play in class have practical applications to fencing. Rock-paper-scissor is a good example of a game that teaches the measure/counter-measure tactics of fencing. Observing your partner and looking for paterns in this game help the students learn the skills they will need when they fence. many of the distance games we play, like Cat & Mouse, also include a tactical element in addition to the timing and distance elements.
In short, games are important in the training of our fencers.