Cutting Edge Fencing presents here teaching and supporting resources relating to our Rank Advancement System. The system is a unified series of group drills, footwork exercises, vocabulary, and theoretical concepts designed to teach the elements of modern sabre fencing. During group practices, fencers work together in skill groups on specific exercises. Once they have demonstrated mastery of material at one level, they move on to the next “color” in the series. There are formal testing requirements for progression starting at the Yellow level, as well as a minimum time component spent at each level.
CEFC acknowledges the work of the Canadian Fencing Federation (CFF) and its high performance staff in developing their Armband System. The CFF Armband System was the inspiration and initial framework for our rank advancement system. A number of these drills and footwork patterns were adopted from material posted by the CFF in their coaching education component. The other drill components were the result of many years of experimentation and work by our coaching staff (Special thanks to our friends from outside the club including Jerry Benson, Ariana Klinkov, and Ed Korfanty for contributions to these drills). They are presented here for the community of sabre fencers at Cutting Edge Fencing and throughout the world.
We have placed all of the material, instructional aids, and teaching resources for the first two levels – Beginner and Yellow – for public access. We have also made the “scope and sequence” for our other levels public access as well. If you are sabre fencing coach or run a fencing club and are interested in the details of our other levels, please send us an email or give us a call, and we can discuss access possibilities.
Each level comes with a colored patch to be worn on the non-weapon leg of the fencing knickers below the club patch. Each practice session we run contains a series of footwork exercises, drills, and bouting. Coaches provide assessment of each student’s mastery of the drills assigned for their specific rank level following each practice session that can be viewed online through your student profile.
This material is currently under active development as we roll out the elements of our Rank Advancement System.
Preliminary levels focus on developing a foundation of technical fencing skills, with an awareness of distance, tempo, basic offensive and defense actions, as well as an introduction to tactical progression. In order to be eligible to test for promotion, mastery of a block of Readiness and Supporting drills must be demonstrated during practice. The test will contain the following components: Fencing Vocabulary and Theory. Footwork Patterns, Readiness Drills, Refereeing, and Sportsmanship and Character. Orange and Green levels also have Competition and Leadership elements.
Formal testing for the Yellow and Orange levels is conducted every 1-2 months. Green testing is conducted every 3-4 months.
Advanced levels are designed around the skills of a competing athlete as a component of their training. The focus is on tactical awareness, strategic planning, advanced footwork and bladework skills, and physical preparation for higher level competition. The Readiness and Supporting drills are designed to work hand in hand with regular Private Instruction. As before, tests will feature Vocabulary and Theory, Footwork, Drills, and Refereeing components. Competition and Leadership are key at these levels, and Sportsmanship and Character are Pass/Fail requirements.
Tests are by a jury of fencing coaches, and are offered every 6-8 months for Blue and annually for Red and Black.