Showing posts from November, 2011

Footwork for the Competitive Fencer

2015 Edit
This is my most popular post, possibly because it might have a good title for search terms, but it also needed a bit of editing. The idea is sound and I have applied it to different types of fencing, not the specific forms, but rather footwork being the foundation of swordsmanship. I believe that all martial arts rely on having a firm foundation in the basics.

Even though I am less competitive in general I still had issues with people and their distance causing them and me to have injuries when they were insistent on burying the foil much too deep. Really it is much more pleasurable to fence with someone who gets touches that are just over to pound of pressure it takes to push the foil's tip.

As it gets to winter and we are settling in to our new area I will definitely have to look into fencing around the area more. I do have longer term injuries, possibly from right after this was written, that bother my knee. However, I notice that fencing correctly often keeps my knee fr…

If Fencing, Learn to Fence!

When I was growing up practicing meant sitting on the hard piano bench and maybe playing, but mostly waiting for a half-hour to roll by. Homework was a once or twice a school-year occurrence mostly consisting of a science fair project or some other large project, even through high-school. So I do not have a stellar record for discipline and practicing, but I am beginning to see the purpose.

Right now there is a severe lack of discipline in our fencing group, everyone wants to fence, by which they mean sparring, not learning to fence but just beating each other about the head in hopes of landing a point. It isn't that bad, but it is getting worse. I am not the most disciplined person in the world, but somehow my meager practice and discipline stand out over most of the rest of the group.

A Call for Discipline
We could all use more discipline as a group. The good thing is that there does seem to be a bit of warm-up discipline, most fencers will jog around the gym a couple times…

AI Class is Really Interesting

So the week after getting back from Colorado and Wyoming I started an interesting free class: an AI class offered by two professors from Stanford. It is an intro course but even from that I am learning quite a bit.

I just finished homework #3 all about machine learning. It was quite in depth with derivations of equations to get the equations needed to answer the questions. It is well put together and usually makes sense. My one complaint is when a huge long equation magically appears. I am happy that they edited the videos to be a bit shorter and the sound isn't choppy at all, it's just that those huge long equations that I might need later just appear, fade-in, drop in like it came as a pre-assembled part. I have to pause the video to be able to write it down and hopefully not forget what it is about, although Prof Thrun does a good job of explaining all of it, if quickly.

I unfortunately did not manage my time right to get Homework #2 done, but this last week I managed to ge…