Selections from the Maestro's Book

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME (not an original idea but a good one) Maestro Gerry Duran (appeared in the May, 1997 TFA Newsletter)

So, you have a desire to fence but there's no place to do it. Whatyou have to do in that case is start your own salle. Sounds good but is probably harder to do than say, you think? Well, yes, you can't get it done by just talking about it but it might not be as difficult as you have thought. Coach Duran of T.F.A. has some suggestions for those who'd like to have a salle in their area but currently do not.

The first thing to do is to find a place. County recreation centers are often willing to host fencing classes. They will even advertise in their publications for you. They are eager to provide new activities to the residents of their areas. You will of course need to set the times and days of your classes to fit into open spots in the center's schedule. Try to have training at least once a week and twice a week if the schedule will permit it. You should charge dues. You will need money for supplies and the recreation center will want a share in return for the use of its space. At first, your fencers should expect to buy their own equipment. Fencing supply companies often offer a beginner set for about $120. The set will most likely include a jacket, mask, foil, and a glove. That's really all you need to get started.

You need not be an experienced fencer to begin this project. Youcan get some excellent instructional video tapes from American Fencer's Supply and the United States Fencing Association basic foil video course is very good. In Tampa, you can go to Tampa's Fencing Academy, take the basic foil course, then take back what you learned to your own salle to teach your fencers.

Some areas in and near Hillsborough County that could use a salle are: Brandon, Apollo Beach, Forest Hills, Lakeland, Bradenton, and Sarasota. When you first start, you may not have a lot of participants but as the word gets out, your salle will grow. Also, you should remember that it is not quantity that is important but enthusiasm.


This next bit comes from a sign on the bulletin board at Tampa's Fencing Academy. Maestro Duran based these "beliefs" on ideas presented in the book, THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE: HOW TO WIN IN SPORT AND LIFE THROUGH MENTAL TRAINING by Terry Orlick.


  1. It's "OK" not to always have the love and approval from all the people you find significant.
  2. It's "OK" not to always prove to be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving.
  3. Emotional misery doesn't come from external pressures which you have little ability to control or change.
  4. You don't have to be anxious and preoccupy yourself about things that seem fearsome.
  5. You don't have to believe that your past remains all-important and that because something once strongly influenced your life, it has to keep determining your feelings today.

This text comes from Maestro Duran's Notes.

Your fencing practice becomes very difficult if you lose the spirit of repetition.

You don't have to concern yourself with progress or getting anything out of your fencing practice. Progress comes very slowly, a little at a time.

You might make mistakes when practicing. Don't think about it. Just keep practicing. When you feel your fencing practice isn't good, you may become discouraged. That's OK. Discouragement is showing that you have an attachment to the outcome of practice. Just keep practicing the fencing. Don't concern yourself with the outcome. Discouragement will fade away. It's nothing special: no big deal.


To previous page--"Detachment"