The heart of the BCAF system is the training groups, which form a uniquely structured program developed by Maestro Holbrow which has continued to evolve over the last 37 years to meet the demands of the national level competition fencer. Unlike most programs, the BCAF incorporates a flexible yet highly structured practice with drill partners designed to give the developing competitive fencer the experience and problem solving abilities to adapt to a wide variety of opponents who exhibit differences in height, reach, strength, speed, reaction time, opposite handedness and tactical characteristics. This approach mirrors the realities of competitive fencing and trains the students to adapt to the variety of opponents they will encounter.
TRAINING GROUPS: designed to continue developing technical skill beyond the foundation level, the training groups develop a wide variety of techniques and tactical solutions applied in bout situations. For both recreational fencers and those establishing a foundation for advanced competitive skills.
FOOTWORK/CONDITIONING SESSIONS: open to all BCAF club members at no additional charge. They involve the physical conditioning specific to fencing motion with emphasis placed on execution of correct technique.
COMPETITION TRAINING GROUPS: a rigorously structured program of paired exercises emphasizing those elements of speed, timing, distance control and tactical variations that form the core of modern fencing competition. Fencers learn to adapt technique and tactics to the individual characteristics of various training partners, including differences in height, reach, strength, speed, reaction time, and opposite handedness, in an intensely athletic and competitive environment. In-depth analysis of tactical variations, self-management in the tournament situation, and the development of athleticism and stamina are emphasized.
All Competition Training Group participation requires the approval of Maestro Holbrow. Criteria include physical fitness, technical and tactical depth, and competition experience. Fencers doing Competition Training are required to do the additional FOOTWORK/CONDITIONING associated with their training group session, pursue additional bouting practice at the club during the week, and pursue USFA competition at the local (divisional) level.
COMPETITION TRAINING PROGRAM: limited to high performance athletes competing on the divisional, national and/or international level who have been selected by Maestro Holbrow based on their exhibited potential. The program combines competition training groups with individual lessons, strength training/conditioning, drilling, and bouting practice.
Fencers enrolled in the Elite Competition Training program must attend a minimum of two Competition Training Groups and one individual lesson per week in addition to footwork/conditioning sessions AND practice bouting. Participation in divisional, national or international level competition appropriate to their age group category is mandatory.
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