Fencing and Systema
Many people think that fencing is just fighting with swords and stabbing each other, but it requires a lot more than that. It is like a dance or a martial art, and also has the same principles. My past martial art experience with Systema is helping me a lot in learning fencing. The Systema principles of breathing, relaxation, posture, and constant movement are applicable to fencing also. Breathing is very important, and is a prerequisite to doing anything else correctly. Quite often during bouts when I make a mistake, and then on doing post-mortem I find that I had got over excited and was holding my breath. Keeping the body and mind relaxed is also equally important. I had read somewhere that good fencers hold their swords the way one would hold a small bird. This can only come by keeping the body relaxed. Also, a relaxed body allows one easy movement in any direction and to the ability to fight for long. Keeping the correct posture, ensures that one is not exposing his/her body to attacks, also it helps in keeping the balance right. The last principle of constant movement keeps the opponent guessing, and because one is in motion, and moving swiftly is easy because there is no inertia of rest (Newton’s principle).