Apprenticeships and Fencing Instruction

The link above takes you to an interesting site that asks the question, “Why are apprenticeships more popular?” At one time, apprenticeships were a respected path for learning a trade.  Trade crafts were an excellent way of working oneself into the “middle class” leaving unskilled, day labor behind.  These trades were so popular that societies and guilds were formed to educate and protect tradesmen.  Cobblers, dressmakers, barrel makers, farriers, steeple jacks, printers and sign makers were all trades one could learn through apprenticeships.  Strangely, it was “higher education” that was seen as a luxury often frowned upon.  The idea of spending many years in search of a diploma seemed wasteful and odd.

Few people know this, but fencing was one of those trades that was practiced decades ago.  The years of apprenticeship took skills that few had, and fencing was taken seriously in post-renaissance Europe.  Fencing was, indeed, a life and death matter.  Fencing societies and guilds were formed and a maitre d’ armes could make a nice living giving lessons to wealthy clients.

This tradition has evolved through to present day.  When a coach or maestro provides a private lesson they are replicating many of the traditions that have followed fencing for centuries.     MB

Ideas for Topics. “Fencing at Lunch”

For many years, Paul Geraci and I have been having lunch during the week.  For much of the time we discuss the esoterics of fencing.  I’m wondering if we shouldn’t put some of these discussions somehow onto video.  Here are some topic ideas:
Ideas for a Series of Fencing Videos for YouTube and Web Site
Point in Line
In epee fencing why is the counterattack preferred to the parry reposte?
Pistol or French grip?  Which is better?
How has “right of way” changed over the decades?”
What is right of way?
Explain countertime
Explain feint in time
Explain the tactical wheel
What is a simple attack versus a compound attack?
Is a disengage a simple or compound attack?
Talk about the issues of distance management
The difference between a countrerattack and Point in Line
Why is foil fencing called a “conversation with blades?”