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Fencing and History Nut Extraordinaire. While I am tending toward 16th century at the moment, I am and have been interested in history for a long time. Hence the fencing focuses more on the Renaissance period than the modern. This explains two out of three of my blogs. The third is a more personal one focusing on fibromyalgia. What I write in these blogs, I hope will be of use to people.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Building an Individual Training Program


The individual training program is different from the group training program as it is designed to fit an individual. This means that the specific requirements of the individual must be taken into account. In order for the student to get the greatest benefit from the program it is important that it suits them. This can be somewhat trying if sufficient information is not gained from the student to start with. The teacher should not be attempting to build the training program without communication with the student. In this way the program will fit the student better and go further to achieving their aims and also keeping them interested in it.

The individual training program must suit the individual and thus must be individual in nature. This will mean that the program will change dependent on the particular student. There are several different aspects that must be taken into account in order for the program to suit the student the best and these will be discussed in a little detail. In order for the program to be the best for the individual student all of the elements present in the training program must suit the student. This means that information is required from the student in order for this to happen.

The first element that must be taken into account is the student's background. Do they have previous experience in any relevant areas that may assist them? Are there any elements in their background that may hamper their development due to thought processes or physical elements present? Students with experience in martial arts of any kind will already have some background in movement and bio-mechanics. Also they will also have certain movement patterns and thought processes that will have an impact on what they are to learn. This is the same for students who have previous experience in fencing. How this will affect their program and ability will be dependent on the type of fencing they have done, and to some degree the school of thought. Other sports can also have an impact on the program depending on the sport. All of these background elements will have developed a level of conditioning which can be an asset or a detriment depending on their training.

The student's present ability and potential ability is important and must be taken into account. Their present level of ability is important and must be taken into account so that the skills that will be taught are appropriate to the student. This is to ensure that the program does not deal with skills which are too far out of their current ability. This is also dependent on their potential ability. A student who is currently at a lower level may be able to deal with skills at a higher level if the program allows them to build up to the higher level, but this must be present in the program to allow them to do this. If the program is to be built around a particular manual, such as a period manual especially, this must also suit their ability in order that they are able to perform the skills present. Finally in this particular element, personal issues must be taken into account. This includes such things as disabilities, fencing knowledge and also time constraints. All of these elements will affect how the program is built and what sort of program is used.

The final personal element that must be taken into account before developing the program is interest. What sort of level of interest in fencing does the student have? This will affect how rigidly they will stick to the program and also how much they will be willing to spend time doing it. In general, the student with a passing or social interest in fencing will not request a personal training program, and will also have more difficulty sticking to the program. The dedicated fencer will go out of their way to make time in order to train and do what is present in the training program. Their level of interest will also affect how far they want to go with the program. Interest areas are also important. It is less useful to attemtp to teach the French school of fencing to a person who is more interested in the Italian or German. Specific areas of interest are useful as they allow the student to focus on one particular area and this also allows a more focussed training program to be constructed.

Once all of the more personal details have been taken into account with regard to the student, it is then possible to examine the program itself. The purpose of the training needs to be considered next. This is the foundation principle upon which the training program is based. The basic requirement for this to be possible is communcation with the student to find out exactly what they want out of the training program. It is through this process that goals for the training program are set. This will affect what type of program is developed and the focus of the training program. If the student has a specific goal, this is useful as it means that the training program can be tailor-made to strive toward that particular goal. If the student has a more general goal, then the program will be more fluid and will involve skills of general development. It is important that the purpose of the training program is established for both the student and the teacher, in this way they both know the goal of the training program. Once this is established, it will then be possible to examine the type of training program that will be required in order for the goal to be achieved.

There are essentially three types of training program that will be developed for the individual student. The first is the initial training. This is designed to introduce the student to the skills of fencing for the first time. This type of program will introduce the basics of fencing and how the skills all work. In some cases this type of training may be included into the other training program types. The second type is the re-training type. This is designed for the student who has been away from fencing for an extended period of time and is designed to re-introduce them to the skills that they may or may not know. The re-training program may also be used for those who have been rushed through their initial program in order to go over basic skills to establish a foundation from which to progress further. The final type of training is the developmental type. This is designed for the advancement of the skills of the student. In this case the student has already learnt the basics and is looking at advancing their skills to a higher level. This form of training tends to be the most intense version of the program types as the skills are at such a high level and more is required of the student.

The individual training program must be developed between both the student and the teacher. If either attempts to do this by themselves the ultimate goal may be missed. The most important thing is that the training program must suit the student more than it is required to suit the teacher. This means that the goals of the student must come first. Pushing a student into a premade training program is generally futile as it may not have those things that the student is interested in learning or may not go toward the goals that they have set for themselves. While in general every form of training should be suited to the students which are present, the individual training porgram takes this idea to its upper limit as it is purely focussed on the individual. It must be a collaboration between the student and the teacher at all times. Both the student and the teacher have important roles to play in the development of the individual training program and this is very important. Of course, the first thing that needs to happen is that the student actually requests the training program in the first place. Teachers are not mind-readers.



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