Selecting Fencing Shoes

A very popular question cropped up on the fencing section of Reddit last week with regards to fencing shoes or to be more precise what shoes to wear while fencing. It’s a question that ponders beginners and experienced fencers alike so it’s important to make the right choice. That being said there’s no shoe on the planet that will improve someone’s fencing, for that you need to refine and practice your technique. For example I could buy the most expensive fencing shoes in the world with all the technological and material innovations available although none of it will correct sloppy technique. If you drag your feet it doesn’t matter whether you wear a £20 ($33, €25) or £170 ($282, €215) shoe, your fencing is still going to suffer.

You don’t even need purpose built fencing shoes; provided the soles have a flat and rigid surface you’re good to go. You can rule out trainers as they lack this and as a result will break under the stress of prolonged lunging. Court shoes thankfully have it while I’ve started seeing more internationals wearing them. James Davis the 2014 European foil champion, who the last time I checked was ranked 8th in the world, wears a pair of Tennis shoes. He wore the Adidas Barricade Team 1 during the Olympics. The same line of shoes Andy Murray wore during all his Open wins to date (juniors aside). I’ve even seen people, admittedly not on the international circuit, fencing in Converse although I wouldn’t recommend it; just imagine being hit on the foot in epée? What’s important is that you wear something that’s comfortable, and that starts with the fit. It sounds obvious but make sure you’re wearing the right size shoe. Grab some measuring tape and go look at sizing charts on the internet from various manufacturers. I might be able to get away with wearing size 9 shoes in my day to day life but I need a pair of 8 1/2 or an American 9 for fencing. Next work out what type of foot you have. For example if you have narrow feet I’d recommend a pair of Adidas shoes. I know from personal experience that Adidas tend to run narrow. While if you have wide feet purchase a pair from Hi-Tec. If you’re somewhere in the middle, grab a pair of shoes from Nike or Asics. Admittedly I haven’t named all the manufacturers in the world although these rules still apply while it doesn’t matter if it’s a purpose built fencing shoe or a court shoe. Another thing to consider is if you need arch support. Unfortunately every shoe is different although if you need added support it’s generally easier to put orthopaedic inserts in court shoes as they generally come with removable insoles. Also you can fit heel cups into just about any shoe.

If you’re going to go down the route of purpose built fencing shoes, which are generally more expensive, you’re usually paying for reinforced sections in case you roll your back foot. That’s not to say you can’t roll a tennis shoe, some even come with gel padding in case Djokovic slides while attempting a last ditch drop shot (If you image search Djokovic Slide you’ll see what I mean). Fencing shoes are designed so you can recover from that position as quickly as possible. But as with the theme of my thread there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution for everyone. So if you can, go out and try as many shoes as possible and find what’s best for you. Don’t feel afraid to ask a friend if you can try their shoes if you wear the same size. And again never fear asking their advice, ask what they like and dislike about their current shoe and if they would recommend them. Oh and if anyone fancies petitioning Adidas to re-release/update their short lived Adidas Equipment/Asymmetric fencing shoe then the rest of the fencing community would be most grateful. That’s not to say it was a “one size fits all” shoe but you don’t often see fencing shoes where the right and left shoe were designed differently. Which makes perfect sense because your right and left foot do completely different things during footwork.

Dewis Esgidiau Cleddyfa

Wythnos diwethaf wnaeth cwestiwn poblogaidd ymddangos ar wefan Reddit am esgidiau cleddyfa. Neu i fod yn gywir pa esgid i wisgo wrth gleddyfa. Mae’n bwysig dewis yn ddoeth am ei fod yn gwestiwn sydd dal i ddyfalu cleddyfwyr profiadol ac amhrofiadol. Er ddweud hynny does dim esgid ar gael bydd allu gwella safon cleddyfa rhywun. I wneud hynny mae rhaid ymarfer a gwella eich techneg. Er enghraifft fe allwn i brynu’r esgidiau fwyaf costus yn y byd gyda’r deunydd ar dechnoleg gorau ond mae’n dda i ddim os mae safon y troedwaith yn wael. Does dim ots os ydych yn gwisgo par £20 ($33, €25) neu £170 ($282, €215) bydd safon eich cleddyfa yn dioddef.

Yn ddelfrydol mae eisiau esgid gyda gwadn fflat ac anhyblyg. Dydy trainers ddim yn addas achos fydd nhw’n torri o dan straen rhagwthion. Mae esgidiau cwrt gyda gwadn addas gan fod mwy o gleddyfwyr rhyngwladol yn i wisgo. Mae Pencampwr Ewropeaidd Ffwyl 2014 James Davis, 8fed yn y byd tro diwethaf imi edrych, yn defnyddio par o esgidiau Tennis. Yn ystod gemau Olympaidd fe wysgodd par o Adidas Barricade Team 1. Dyma’r rhin teulu o esgid mae Andy Murray wedi ennill pob cystadlaeth Open ynddyn. Rydw i hyd yn oed wedi gweld pobl, ddim yn rhyngwladol, yn cleddyfa mewn esgidiau Converse ond nid ydw i’n awgrymu hyd. Dychmygwch gael i daro ar y troed gydag epée? Mae’n bwysig gwisgo esgidiau cyfforddus, sy’n dechrau gyda’r maint cywir. Ewch ar y we ac edrychwch ar siartiau mesur o wahanol wneuthurwyr. Rwy’n gallu gwisgo esgidiau maent 9 ond am gleddyfa mae rhaid i fi ddefnyddio 8 a hanner neu 9 yn U.D.A. Nesaf rydych eisiau ddarganfod eich math o droed. Er enghraifft oes gennych draed cul prynwch par o Adidas, rwy’n gwybod o brofiad bod tuedd ganddyn nhw i greu esgidiau cul fel mae gan Hi-Tec tuedd i greu esgidiau eang. Os mae eich traed ddim yn un na’r llall prynwch par o Asics neu Nike. Dydw i ddim am enwi pob gwneuthurwr yn y byd ond mae’r rheolau’n dal dŵr gan does ddim gwahaniaeth os oedd yr esgid wedi cael i gynllunio yn unswydd ar gyfer gleddyfa. Rhywbeth arall i ystyried ydy oes eisiau cefnogaeth arc. Yn anffodus mae pob esgid yn wahanol ac ar y cyfan mae’n llawer rhwyddach rhoi mewnosodiad orthopaedig mewn esgidiau cwrt. Gan fydd cwpanau sawdl yn ffitio unrhyw esgid.

Os ydych am brynu esgidiau pwrpasol ar gyfer cleddyfa (sy’n fwy costus ar y cyfan) rydych yn buddsoddi mewn ardaloedd atgyfnerthol rhag ofn i chi rolio’r goes. Wrth gwrs maen bosib i rolio esgid tennis, mae rhai esgidiau cleddyfa hyd yn oed yn dod gyda phadin gel rhag ofn i Djokovic lithro wrth wneud drop shot (edrychwch ar y we i weld). Mae esgidiau cleddyfa wedi cael i wneud i allu adfer o’r sefyllfa ‘na mor gyflym ag sy’n bosib. Ond fel thema’n testun bydd dim un esgid yn siwtio pawb. Felly os maen bosib ewch i drio cymaint o esgidiau ag sy’n bosib. Peidiwch ofni gofyn ffrind i ally drio esgidiau nhw os maent ddefnyddio’r rhyn meant. Gofynnwch beth maen nhw’n hoffi a chasáu am ei esgidiau ac os fyddant nhw’n awgrymu. Hefyd os oes unrhyw un yn ffansio deisebu Adidas i ail-ryddhau neu ddiweddaru ei esgid cleddyfa, yr Adidas Equipment/Asymmetric fydd gweddill y gymuned Cleddyfa wrth ei fodd. Doedd o ddim yn esgid fydd yn siwtio pawb ond dydych chi ddim yn gweld llawer o esgidiau ble mae’r esgid dde wedi cael i gynllunio’n wahanol i’r un chwyth. Sy’n sylweddol achos mae’r traed yn symud yn wahanol wrth gleddyfa.

Mentoring a Young Fencer

It’s early September, I find myself in a busy school hall north of Cardiff in the maestref of Radyr among familiar and unfamiliar faces. As you step in the hall you can’t help but notice all the activity. There’s a fencing bout happening right in front of me, and me being me I can’t help but watch and predict the calls. I’d compliment if I see a nice move, like a simple parry riposte or a feint, and grit my teeth when I spot a silly mistake. But that’s not why I’m there.

It’s the Leon Paul Junior Series in Cardiff and I’ve been asked by a parent if I could tag along and give advice to the club’s fencers. Effectively I was a mentor for the day. I made sure the fencers warmed up, had practice bouts, kept their fluids up while my bag contained tools (and work I couldn’t avoid work) in case a sword broke. I’d watch their bouts and make positive comments while at the same time highlighting things to look out for in their next bout. It was doubly beneficial as it was the first competition for one of our young fencers who had just started fencing the week before. In among this new and frankly alien environment I was able to reassure both the fencer and parent using some of my own experiences. I have to stress that I am not a fencing coach and while I wouldn’t be against getting coaching qualifications later in life (being the only Welsh fencing coach that can speak Cymraeg fluently would be awesome I guess). I’m just a fencing enthusiast who enjoys every aspect of the sport. Fencing’s a hobby while I don’t mind whether I win or lose, I like competing and pitting my wits against an opponent. But I can appreciate the draw of coaching; it was nice giving advice then seeing a fencer apply it. While it was also good going back in time and figuring out what I would have liked to have heard when I was that age. For example towels are really handy, not only can you wipe your brow with it, you can straighten a foil and scare off a Vogon. And as obvious as it sounds it would have been nice to have someone remind me to concentrate on the bout, keep assessing what’s in front and make sure I didn’t rely too much on blade engagement. It sounds really obvious but it’s something fencers on the fringe lack. It might also be one of the reasons next generation fencers, especially those whose parents are coaches, tend to do better than those without. Of course nothing will bypass hard work and determination but it’s still a moot point. In that context it’s generally better to come from a large club, yes you’ll get less time with a coach compared to those at a smaller outfit but it’s nice to be surrounded by people supporting you. Whether that’s on the side lines or simply by giving a supportive word here and there. I certainly felt a bit lonely at the Charlie Adams Cup in January when the entire room appeared to be supporting my opponent and I’m a grown up (I’ll get him next time).

Anyway that’s enough of a ramble, to end I want to wish everyone taking part in Bristol the best of luck and hope they enjoy it to the full. And for any parent out there to make sure you support your child, a few kind words can go a long way.

Cynghori Cleddyfwr Ifanc

Mae’n ddechrau mis Medi, rydw i yn ogledd Caerdydd tu mewn i neuadd ysgol ym maestref Radur ym mhlith wynebau cyfarwydd â anghyfarwydd. Wrth gamu trwy’r drysau mae’n anodd anwybyddu pa mor brysur mae’r ystafell. O flaen fi mae bowt yn digwydd, yn syth mae’n llygaid wedi cael i ddenu a dydw i fethu gwrthsefyll gwylio a phroffwydo’r pwyntiau. Fe fyddwn yn canmol wrth weld symudiad da, fel pari riposte neu ffugiad, a chau’n ceg wrth wel camgymeriad dwl. Ond ddim dyna pam rydw i yma.

Dyma’r Leon Paul Junior Series yng Nghaerdydd ac mae rhiant wedi gofyn imi ddod i gynghori. Mewn ffordd roeddwn fel mentor am y dydd. Wnes i siŵr roedd y cleddyfwyr wedi ymdwymo, wneud bowts ymarfer, cadw lefelau dŵr yn uchel gan fod ym mag llawn offerynnau (a gwaith, doeddwn i fethu osgoi gwaith) rhag ofn fydd gleddyf yn torri. Fyddaf yn gwylio ei bowts a phryd ddawn nhw i ben wneud sylwadau positif. Wrth wneud hyn fe fyddaf yn pwysleisio pethau i wellaf er mwyn paratoi am ei bowt nesaf. Roedd hyn yn bwysig gan ei fod gystadleuaeth gyntaf un o’n cleddyfwyr wnaeth dim ond dechrau cleddyfa’r wythnos cynt. Ymhlith yr amodau newydd wnes i galonogi’r plentyn a’i rhiant trwy ddefnyddio’n profiadau. Mae rhaid pwysleisio fy mod i ddim yn hyfforddwr cleddyfa, dydw i ddim yn erbyn cael cymwysterau yn y dyfodol (Rwy’n hoffi’r syniad o fod yr unig hyfforddwr cleddyfa sy’n galla siarad Cymraeg yn rhugl). Ond yn fy nghalon rwy’n cleddyfwr brwdfrydig sy’n joio pob agwedd o’r sbort. Mae cleddyfa yn ddifyrwaith ac nid wyf yn becso os rwy’n ennill neu’n colli. Rwy’n hoffi cystadlu a cheisio gwrth feddwl yn wrthwynebwr, ond rwy’n gallu gweld y dynfa i hyfforddi. Roeddwn i’n hoffi cynghori a gweld y cleddyfwr yn ceisio defnyddio’r wybodaeth yn ei bowt nesaf. Gan fod e’n neis fynd nôl mewn amser, dydw i ddim yn ddyn dieithr i gystadlaethau mewn neuaddau ysgol felly oedd e’n neis dychmygu pa gyngor fe fyddwn i eisiau clywed yr oedran ‘na. Er enghraifft mae tywelion yn ddefnyddiol, nid yn unig i sychu’r talcen, mae nhw hefyd yn ddefnyddiol i sythu cleddyf a’i frawychu Vogon. Mae’n swnio’n amlwg ond fydd e’n neis fod wedi cael rhywun i atgoffa fi i ganolbwyntio. Wneud siŵr fy mod i’n hasesu beth sy’n o’n mlaen a gwneud siŵr dydw i ddim yn dibynnu ormod ar blade engagement. Mae’n rhywbeth sy’n angen ar gleddyfwyr sydd ar yr ymylon. Ac un o’r rhesymau pam mae cleddyfwyr gyda hanes o gleddyfa yn y teulu yn tueddu gwneud yn well, ben dant y rhai ble mae rhiant yn hyfforddwyr, yn gymharol i’r rhai sydd heb. Wrth gwrs does dim byd yn osgoi gwaith caled a chyfernod pendant. Mae hefyd dadl fod o’n well ddod o glwb mawr, mae’n bosib fyddwch yn cael llai o amser gyda hyfforddwr yn gymharol i glwb bach. Ond mae’n neis fod mewn cystadleuaeth wedi cael i amgylchynu gan wynebau cyfarwydd. Nid yn unig meant yn gallu cefnogi chi mae mwy o siawns fydd rhywun yn dweud gair cefnogol yn eich clust. Roeddwn i ben dant yn teimlo bach yn unig yn gwpan Charlie Adams mis Ionawr pryd roedd yr ystafell i gyd bron yn cefnogi’n wrthwynebwr ac rwy’n oedolyn (fe wna’u curo fe dro nesaf).

Beth bynnag rwy’n credo mae hynny’n ddigon, i orffen rydw i eisiau dymuno pob lwc i bawb sy’n cystadlu ym Mryste a gobeithio bydd pawb yn joio. Ac i bob rhiant sy’n darllen hyn i wneud siŵr ei fod yn rhoi cefnogaeth i’ch plentyn. Mae cwpwl o eiriau cefnogol yn gallu creu effaith fawr.

Croeso/Welcome

Croeso i’m mlog. Rwy’n bwriadu trafod cleddyfa trwy’r Gymraeg, sy’n fach o niche. Fydd popeth yn ddwyieithog felly bydd unrhyw un sy’n deall Saesneg yn medru darllen heb ddibynnu ar Google Translate. Edrychwch am liwiau’r ffont, fydd coch dywyll yn dynodi’r Gymraeg gan fydd du yn dangos Saesneg. Fyddwn yn ysgrifennu yn y teitl os fydd yn uniaith. Mwynhewch!

weeblyfencing1

Welcome to my blog. My aim is to discuss fencing in Welsh, which is a hell of a niche. I’m striving to make everything bilingual so anyone who understands English can read along without relying on Google Translate. Look out for coloured font, dark red will indicate something written in Welsh while English will be in the standard black. While I’ll write in the title if a post is only in one language. Enjoy!