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USFCA - San Francisco February 2019 Coaches Clinic     Feb 21, 2019 - Feb 24, 2019
Halberstadt Fencers' Club: San Francisco, CA Masters Rob Handelman, and Peter Burchard, are hosting a three weapon, USFCA National Training Program and certification seminar in San Francisco, on the dates of February 21-24, 2019.
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   Map to 621 South Van Ness Avenue San Francisco CA 94110
posted 09/17/2018
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San Francisco Regional USFCA Coaches Clinic 2019
February 21-24, 2019

Fencing Masters Peter Burchard and Robert Handelman invite all level coaches to join us at Halberstadt Fencers Club in San Francisco for the West Coast Regional USFCA Coaches’ Clinic. Our guest coach Maître George Platt (coach of Doris and David Willette) will assist in foil and épée.

BE A LIFELONG LEARNER: The day you stop learning is the day you get stale, burned out and treading water…and that’s when other coaches will pass you by. Perhaps the most common characteristic we've seen in all our top coaches is that they never cease to stop looking for ways to add to their base of knowledge. They are always looking for that next little nugget of information that they can use to help them improve the way they can help their athletes. Lifelong learners are always growing and evolving. Let us help you move to the next level or fine tune your current one.

We will present step-by-step:
1. Various cues for the blade
2. Use of four distances for cues in option and teaching lessons
3. Types of coaching footwork for higher level students
4. How to use timing in the lesson as an option
5. How to fix the lesson when things are going wrong
6. How to adjust to the three ways students learn
7. The latest innovations in training using timing, distance, and student initiative in option lessons
8. Group training techniques for Moniteur and up to Master level.
9. Themes coaches are required to present for each weapon in the Moniteur, Prévôt and Master exam lessons.

This clinic has 28 hours of instruction which gives the coach ample time to learn and integrate many new higher level skills. Our teaching goal is to have each coach learn how to integrate all the above skills and apply them to any level students, beginner to elite.

We will cover situational bouting drills that are used at the Olympic Training Center (OTC), along with techniques and training used by high level international fencers. Plan ahead so you can attend this exciting and comprehensive four-day training!

The location is at: Halberstadt Fencers Club, 621 South Van Ness St. S.F., CA 94110
Registration and Information are available on askFRED:

When you preregister, please send your name, certification level, weapons you wish to work on at the clinic, and whether you intend to test or not, along with the level of the test and specific weapon.

Schedule and Exams
Includes three full days and Sunday half-day instruction based on the National Training Program (NTP). Each level comes with a detailed 30+ page workbook that is emailed to coaches upon receipt of payment. The workbook can be used at home to continue your studies for certification.

For those interested, we will instruct and prepare the coach to take the USFCA Moniteur/Prévôt/Master practical exams. The exams will be offered on Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon. Exams must be scheduled well in advance with the organizers. Exam slots are limited and given out in the order that the registration payment and exam requests are received. This is one of a few USFCA locations equipped to offer the highest level certification Prévôt and Fencing Master exams. Our Master and Prévôt exam schedule fills up fast. Testing is optional and many coaches take the clinic and do not test.

You must take and pass the online written USFCA Moniteur or Prévôt exam, before the practical at those levels, and have COMPLETED your Masters project before taking the Masters practical. Please bring proof of your passing grade and proof of online payment for the practical. See

USFCA Examination Information:
You may find the information you need for accreditation examinations at the USFCA website:

The Revamped Clinic
We have incorporated the feedback from past year’s clinics to make major changes in the format, especially for the higher level coaches. Based on the results of a self-inventory the coaches are split into two groups in each weapon: a) Assistant Moniteur level up to Moniteur, b) Prévôt candidates and above that are working at the Prévôt and Master levels.

For the higher level group, option lessons are the focus along with lesson themes, situation drills and competitive training techniques. This is a working clinic and very little time will be spent on lecture and watching. The lead coaches will demonstrate and the attending coaches will practice the actions immediately afterwards.

When possible the coaches will be videotaped while working on elite fencing techniques in the lessons. For example, the coach will be given two or three simple actions and taught step by step how to make an Option lesson that is challenging for any level student. For coaches that have a strong background in Option lessons during the practice sessions the instructors will help the coaches use changes of distance, timing, hand and blade orientation, footwork, hand and foot coordination both correctly and purposefully incorrectly executed, foreseen and unforeseen actions, student initiative and varied tactical situations. All this will help to refine their cues and work on speed, perfect distance, shorter reaction time and rapid tempo change.

The first level coaches will also give individual lessons with simple options and concentrate on teaching lessons in group settings. The instructors will have the level one coaches work with young fencers in group classes and time permitting we will also videotape. We will follow the NTP Moniteur 1 and 2 and Prévôt/Master 1, 2, 3, and 4 levels that were developed by the USFCA.

Fees: Deadline for early payment is February 4, 2019
Early payment - Full Clinic: USFCA Members: $350
Non-Members: $400

Deadline for regular payment is February 18, 2019
Full Clinic: USFCA Members: $370
Non-Members: $420
Late after February 18th (& at door) add $20: USFCA Members: $390 Non-Members: $450

One day rate (Thursday to Sunday): Members: $175
Non-members: $200

Amount paid for clinic ___________ Check, Cash or AskFred

Written and practical test fees are only paid online at the USFCA website and if you wish to attend just the clinic you are not required to test.

Please send and make out the check for registration fees to:
Peter Burchard, Maître d’Armes, Military Master at Arms, President USFCA
231 Laurel Pl. #8
San Rafael, CA 94901
Phone: (510) 821-3689 Email:

Or contact:
Rob Handelman, D.C. Maître d'Armes
Past Chairman of the Certification and Accreditation Board
United States Fencing Coaches Association
Phone: (415) 846-2443 Email:

Information on the presenters, and travel & hotel information, is available - email:

Proposed Coaches Clinic Schedule
9 AM registration - class continues to 4:30 PM
Introduction of instructors
Discuss the schedule
Briefly explain the USFCA exam process

Quick inventory assessment to place coaches in the appropriate level group and decide what Prévôt/Masters will cover in the training. Split into two groups one group for Moniteur and one group for Prévôt/Master
Video assessment and review of attendees’ technique and lesson skills
National Training Program Moniteur 1 covering technique for the Teaching lesson in the three weapons
National Training Program Prévôt Master covering technique for the Option and Teaching Lessons for three weapons

Some of the information covered will demonstrate:
Preparation for the efficient instruction of the Teaching and Option type lessons
Basics critical to correct on the student for progression to advanced techniques
Teaching 4 distances - student control of distance
Footwork for the coach, on guard for the coach for kids and adults
How to plan the individual lesson, distance, format, etc.
Target presentation deep and advanced target
Coaches’ blade presentation, beginning to advanced cues – coach’s on guard and hand positions, invitations for receiving the hit, replacing the student on guard, realistic blade positions for attack, defense and counter attack, techniques for constructive correction of the student
Coaches’ correct presentation and purposeful incorrect presentation of cues
Advanced footwork and blade techniques to teach distance, timing, change of tempo and choice reaction drills
Lesson themes that are expected in the presentation for exams in the three weapons
Situational bouting drills
Techniques used at the OTC for high level bouting and training

9 AM - 6 PM
Split into two groups one for Moniteur and one for Prévôt/Master - cover the appropriate material for:
National Training Program Moniteur 2 covering group and continuing with individual Teaching and some Option lesson technique for the three weapons
National Training Program Prévôt Master covering advanced techniques for the Option Lesson in all three weapons
Techniques used at the OTC for high level bouting and training
Use of varied footwork during bouting situations

Volunteer coaches can present mock exams (grading and critiques demonstrated by the examiners) and review of the themes expected on the exams.

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Teaching Moniteur 1 and advanced Prévôt/Master Group lessons: demonstrations for all level groups and weapons
Functional warm up drills for youth fencing classes – linear and lateral
Functional - Footwork
Speed, agility and choice reaction games for fencing development
Circuit exercises for fencing – stations, interval training, resistance, cardio
Footwork: group footwork with command sets: vocal, visual, and various auditory signals, footwork to increase speed, change of direction, and pair drilling exercises for choice reactions
Moniteur Group work:
Basic teaching (tutorial) drill types (demonstration-performance, with practice of each drill)
Drill formations: two line engaging each other, Q drills.
• Drills designed for solo practice by individual fencers (dummies, mirror)
• Paired and exchange drills (fencers exchange roles, attack, defense, CA)
• Blocked drills (no reaction, reaction)
• Serial/sequential drills (tell the order or it is known)
• Random drills (choice decision drills)
• Analysis drills (tactical choices, take away an action, figure out the assigned action)
• Observation drills (use three or four fencers to critique specific assignments)

Drills Prévôt/Master: attack options off half-step (attack fast-slow-fast and extend off the back foot)
Coaches give advanced Option lessons working on the actions from the drills

Coaches split into two groups to practice giving lessons, both group and individual with feedback from the Masters and review of videoed lessons. All levels work on the techniques for the option and teaching lessons all weapons: Offense, Defense, and Counter-offense.

Exams for Prévôt and Master

9:00 AM – 12 noon
Coaches work on perfecting sabre, foil, and epee lessons for their club or to take the exams. All morning, lead instructors will offer video feedback of lessons presented by coaches.

12:00 – 1: PM: Working Lunch break

1:00 – 5:30 PM: Exams for Moniteur, Prévôt and Master

If you are an amateur coach who is interested in getting certified there are steps you should do in advance to get the most from the clinic.
1. Join the USFCA.
2. Moniteurs are encouraged to learn to referee and to take the US Fencing referee test.
3. Review the Moniteur and Prévôt Exam Study Guides at the USFCA website. The study guides and required reading lists will help you prepare for the online written Moniteur or Prévôt exams and the practical testing. We will follow the list of terms, footwork, blade work, and tactics listed in the study guides at the clinics. If you show mastery of these techniques at the clinic, we can go on to more advanced material. This will help you get the most out of the clinic.

Preregistration opens on 09/18/2018.
Deadline for early payment is 02/04/2019
Preregistration closes for regular payment on 02/18/2019 – late payment fees at the door afterwards.