Every week, we get another hopeful kid sidling up to one of our instructors (sometimes accompanied by mom or dad) to shyly ask:
“How do I get really good at fencing?”
In the words of the venerable Mr. Lee Hyo-kun, head coach of the Korean Mens Sabre Team and childhood coach of world #1 Gu Bon-gil:
“Practice. More Practice. No fun”.
Here’s a translated summary of the typical schedule for a young Korean aspiring pro fencer:
- 6am: Wake up.
- 6am-8am: Go for a run, preferably with hills and sprints.
- 8am-10am: Eat breakfast and have a nap.
- 10am-12:00pm: Footwork and bladework drills.
- 12:00pm-2pm: Lunch and another nap.
- 2pm-5pm: More drills and bouting.
- 5pm-8:00pm: Dinner and another nap.
- 8:00pm-10pm: In off-season, weight training alternating with rest days. In competition season, more bouting.
- 10pm: Laundry, housekeeping, maybe study if you’re a nerd. No video games.
- 12am: Bed.
That’s the schedule Monday to Saturday. Apparently they get Sundays off.
Coming up: An alternative approach for those of us who have to sometimes do things besides fencing to maximise our training outcomes.