Step 8: Common Mistakes
As a beginner to fencing, you're not expected to perform each round perfectly, but there are a few common mistakes that can occur. If you want to avoid getting into the habit of some of these common problems, please read through the following.
1. Too much stiffness in en guarde
Your weapon hand, while in the en guarde position, shouldn't be held too stiffly. Both your arm and wrist should be held comfortably with a bend in the elbow. Many beginners make this mistake, and as a result, they don't perform techniques fluidly enough and tire faster.
2. Failing to maintain an en guarde position
It is easy to fall out of the en guarde position when moving around your opponent, but it is essential to maintain the position, always keeping your eyes on your opponent.
3. Turning your front foot while lunging
Maintaining the proper footwork during your lunge is very important in order to preserve your strength and control. Many beginners focus more on point-control than their footwork and in doing so lunge with crooked footwork, looking sloppy.
4. Failing to salute your opponent
The salute is a traditional act of courtesy and is always displayed before a match. In competitions, failure to salute can lead to disqualification - that's how important it is.
5. Over-extending a lunge
The knee should always be over the heel in a lunge, no further. If you over-extend and miss your target, you won't have time to recover when regaining your balance.
These are certainly not the only mistakes that can be made, and as with any sport, people can get hurt, so please use your weapons with caution and maturity. Sword fights are fast, but as a beginner, you can't expect to be there yet. With enough practice, you'll get there. But most of all, have fun.