Fencing Lefties Part #1: Mind over Matter

It’s absolutely no fluke that Charles Selberg won the first and only gold medal for the USA in the 1970 World Masters Foil Championship. It took Charles years upon years of intense training and preparations to achieve the skills and the instincts to carry him through that tournament and ultimately lead him to victory. Unfortunately for the fencing community, Charles is no longer with us. However, it was his dream to leave behind his knowledge to the next generation of budding fencers, in the hopes that they too could achieve the levels of success that he achieved. In Part #1 of our series of blog posts, we will take our first look at Charles Selbergs popular fencing DVD ‘The Left Handed Fencer’ and learn some of the basics Charles describes in his DVD.

Truly understanding Fencing

In order to master the art of fencing, one must first break it down into its most basic of forms. Charles Selberg beautifully describes two fencers squaring off against each other as ‘inherently a human relationship, where the game is as complex as the brains of the humans involved in the combat.’ He is of course referring to the old adage that fencing is akin to a game of chess. One must truly master the mental moves that both he and his opponents will make in order to achieve success.

Left Handers 101

Many beginners in the fencing community tend to immediately put left-handed fencers on a pedestal, where by doing so have already begun to give the leftie a mental advantage. Charles stresses in this DVD that a left handed fencer is no magician. He is simply a different style of opponent, with a different set of habits and predispositions than the typical opponent. It is imperative to master the skills and techniques to expose these predispositions as you progress with your training. By the time you reach a 5th year level, you shouldn’t bat an eye when faced with a left hander, as your instincts and experience will carry you over the line.

In todays blog post, we have discussed some of the theories and techniques that Charles Selberg himself has referred to in his DVD’s. Do you agree with Charles? Or perhaps disagree? Please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our website for some amazing Selberg branded merchandise.

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