Sometime ago I mentioned that I would post something of my own rules of fencing and I have had a long think about this particular subject. Much like the Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) list mine is a work in progress and tends to grow and change somewhat as I find new things to add. In order to reduce this I have decided that I will talk about my most essential rules in this blog.
1. Don't get hit - defence is most important.
2. Hit the opponent - only real way to victory.
All the other rules that I have come up with are supplementary to these two and assist in some way to achieve them. As I have mentioned above I have a much longer list of rules also about 20 in number which I have assembled from various experiences in my fencing career to date. I use them here and there in training my students and obviously during fencing. Rather than listing all the ones that I have to date, there is a more useful purpose that can be gained from this discussion.
My personal piece of advice is that each fencer should develop their own list of rules to follow. In this at least one thing is most important, they will not be set in stone, they will change. You need to be flexible in your approach and understand that things in your fencing world will change and that will result in a change in some of your rules. The core rules will stay the same and it is these ones which you should hold most closely to.
Most of the rules which are developed for fencing are focused on the technical aspects, but you should also take into account those more social aspects which are of importance. These will reflect your attitude both on and off the arena of combat. This is in order to give a broader perspective on what you are doing in your fencing and your interactions with other fencers. The social aspect of fencing is often glossed over in favour of the more technical aspects, but it is of importance for the longevity of your fencing career.
Two rules. Pretty simple really they summarise what fencing is all about, striking without being struck. It is important that we consider the other rules which are presented as they assist us in achieving the goal which is presented by the two rules. Consider your own list. Expect it to grow and change. They are a useful way for organising your fencing thoughts.