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USFCA San Francisco Coaches Clinic January 2022     Jan 27, 2022 - Jan 30, 2022
Halberstadt Fencers' Club: San Francisco, CA Masters Rob Handelman, and Connie Louie, are hosting a 4 day three weapon, USFCA Training Program and certification seminar in San Francisco, on the dates of January 27-30, 2022
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   Map to 621 South Van Ness Avenue San Francisco CA 94110
posted 09/17/2018
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USFCA San Francisco Regional Coaches Clinic 2022
January 27-30 2022

Fencing Masters Robert Handelman and Connie Louie invite all level coaches to join us at Halberstadt Fencers Club in San Francisco for the West Coast Regional USFCA Coaches’ Clinic. Master George Platt and Prévôt Sandor Mandoki will assist in all three weapons.

The location is at: Halberstadt Fencers Club, 621 South Van Ness St. S.F., CA 94110
This USFCA coach’s clinic is planned for 4 days from Thursday, January 27 until Sunday, January 30, 2022. If requested we will do testing and certification on Sunday afternoon.

There are many reasonable AirB&B available in the area around the club if you reserve early. Plan ahead so you can attend this exciting and comprehensive 4-day long training!

Fees for the clinic (Thursday to Sunday morning):
Full Clinic: USFCA Members: $330
Non-Members: $412.50
One day rate (Thursday or Friday): Members: $175 Non-members: $200

When you preregister, please send your name, certification level, weapons you wish to work on at the clinic.

Payment: Is due by Jan 15th - please add $40 if paying at the door.
If paying by Venmo: use the handle – sfyouthfencing and you should see Rob Handelman come up for payment.
If paying by PayPal: use Email: the payment is slightly more for the extra fees - $340 for members and $425 for non-members.
Paying by Check: Please send and make out the check for registration fees to
Rob Handelman
747 4th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: (415) 846-2443 Email:

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

Clinic Goals
Our three weapon clinic is hands-on with very little time spent on lecture and watching. There are 24 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 (of any level) improve their ability to present various coaching cues and preparations. We will then work to integrate them in option lessons (for Y10, Y14/Vet, and high level). The lessons will use the fencing elements of distance, timing, tempo, speed, and initiative to help improve your students. In addition, there will be a two-hour sports psychology/mental toughness training on Saturday evening.
The lead coaches will demonstrate and the attending coaches will practice the actions immediately afterward. The coaches will be videotaped while working on many of the 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. The first level coaches will also give individual lessons with simple options and if requested can concentrate on teaching lessons in group settings. The coaches may stay after class to work with young fencers in individual or group classes.

The lessons will vary by using preparations which may include: footwork, engagement, change of engagement, absence of blade, invitations, feints of the blade and/or body, attacks on the blade, takes of the blade, and false attacks.
For advanced coaches, we will add hand and foot coordination both correctly and purposefully incorrectly executed, foreseen and unforeseen actions, student initiative and varied tactical situations.
For coaches that have a strong background in Option lessons during the practice sessions, the instructors will help the coaches’ to more effectively use: changes of distance, timing, hand and blade orientation, and footwork. This will help to refine their cues, speed, distance, shorter reaction time, and rapid tempo change.
Student-centered outcomes:
Present step-by-step:
• Various cues for the blade
• Learn the pedagogy of giving Teaching and Option Lessons
• Use of six distances for cues in option and teaching lessons
• Types of coaching footwork for higher-level students
• How to use timing and distance in the lesson as an option
• How to use speed, initiative in a lesson for all levels of fencers
• For Option Lessons how to use actions and coaching reactions to vary the level
• How to fix the lesson when things are going wrong

Clinic schedule:
Day 1 1/27/2022 9:00-4:00PM
Thursday Coaching lesson concepts – using the same actions and giving an option lesson to Y10, Y14 /Vet, Elite level fencers – using the fencing elements Positioning and cues of arm and blade movements, coach and student footwork progressions, target presentation, teaching distances, various preparations

Day 2 1/28/2022 9:00-5:00 PM
Friday Continuing application in the individual lesson of the concepts of the Fencing Elements Use the elements of Distance, Timing

Day 3 1/29/2022 2:30-6:30 PM
Saturday Continued application in the individual lesson of the concepts of the Fencing Elements Use the elements of Tempo, Speed, Initiative
10:30-12:30 Optional Join in working with intermediate-advanced youth sabre group classes Teaching the warm-up, games, group drills, and bouting themes
7:30-9:30 PM
Sports Psychology – Mental Training
Some topics that will be covered:
Mental preparation before and during the competition, handling stress, positive affirmations, avoiding the negative, and being in the moment.

Day 4 1/30/2022 9:00–12:00 PM
Sunday Videotaping of the coaches lessons with feedback Possible exams for any qualified coaches from 1-6 PM

Outline of some of the Material that may be covered:

Thursday Day one 9:00 – 4:00 PM
Fencing Fitness
Group warm-up (functional warm-up)
Group footwork
Footwork variations on advances, retreats, lunges, return on guard, half steps, distance gaining footwork, changes of tempo and direction actions, fleche, and flunge, etc.
Technique Instruction for a group class
Paired drills and coach demonstration techniques
Fencing element fundamentals – distance, timing, tempo, speed, taking the initiative, tradecraft
The individual lesson general concepts of adaptation to age, logical progressions, sound biomechanics, correct execution, coordination, realistic cues, timing and distance, attack into the preparation, and coaching correction critiques

Possible topics:
Coach’s position, body and blade, footwork
Presentation of target – cues defined, types
Coaches hand reactions
Coach initiated
Teaching Coaching distances
Simple attacks – direct, indirect, high and low line, flick
Simple parries (lateral, diagonal, circular, semi-circular, ceding, beat, opposition)

Friday Day 2 9:00 – 5:00 PM
Application in the individual lesson of the concepts of the Fencing Elements of Distance, Timing
Possible topics:
Absence of blade with disengage, coupé
Simple counter attacks
Student-initiated actions
Coach returning the student to on guard
Lesson logical action sequences
Coach varies reactions

Counter ripostes
Attack into the preparation
Composed attacks
Attaques au fer – beat, pressure
Prises de Fer (Opposition, Croise)
Circular parries
Composed ripostes
Defense against the remise
Defense by distance
In-fighting – foil and epee

Saturday Day 3
10:30-12:30 PM Optional in the morning: working with intermediate to advanced Youth sabre fencers in group class training.
2:30 – 6:30 PM Afternoon: Continued application in the individual lesson of the concepts of the Fencing Elements of Tempo, Speed, Initiative
Possible topics:
Second Intention
False attacks
Counter time with various ripostes
Counter Attacks – stop hit, opposition, angulated, dérobement
Teaching Lessons – offensive, defensive, counter-offensive
Drilling methods – no reaction, simple reaction, choice reaction (serial/random), surprise, switching, unforeseen
Parts of the option lesson
Option lesson offense
Option lesson defense
7:30 – 8:30 PM Mental Training and Sports Psychology

Sunday Day 4
Morning: Lesson tactics – definition, tactical sense, interleaving, tactical styles, types of attacks, and when to use them
• lesson performance
• lesson critique
• lesson video

Afternoon: Possible exams of all levels and weapons as needed.