So you want to fence like a pro…here’s the Korean cadet training schedule

Mom, I want to be like these guys!

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.

kpop rip

Coming up: An alternative approach for those of us who have to sometimes do things besides fencing to maximise our training outcomes.