Structuring a training session

The training sessions at our school Gladiatores usually take between one and two hours. We usually stick to a certain regimen, which is offered here as an example. You can take it as an inspiration and adapt it to your athletic needs.

  • Warm-Up
  • Footwork
  • Strikes and Combinations
  • Techniques with Partner
  • Strength and Endurance
  • Stretching


Starting with a warm-up of calisthenics, pilates or yoga increases physical resilience and performance, and decreases the risk of injury. It also serves as mental preparation for the training to come. If needed, you could do exercises for improved bodily coordination.


Some minutes of pure footwork should not be missing from any session. Like every aspect of training, it requires repetition over the years. If you put your sword down for a while just to do this, then you can really concentrate better on improving your steps for fencing.


Now comes the right time to exercise fluid and fully-energetic strikes and combinations. You may go either as fast or as slow as you will. Pick a strike or combination of strikes, and do such repeatedly until you reach the end of your work-space. Then go back the other way, doing one after another, and so forth.


Doing techniques with a partner is the central element of our training. Naturally, most of our Videos deal with this part of the regimen. The Distance Game is a good start, to calibrate the space/measure between fencers and thus your reach/range. Then you proceed to do the actual techniques and sequences. There are a lot of aspects to work on: Posture, distance, blade-contact, stepping, timing, choosing different techniques and tactics, and so forth! Roughly estimated, we usually do any given technique or drill for about 10 minutes.


If you have no time outside of training sessions for strength and endurance exercises; then in our opinion, at the end of any training session (after completion of techniques and combinations), it is the best time to do a short workout. At this time, the fencers may use their remaining energy without restraints. Basic exercises are push-ups, crunches, squats, etc. (In Medieval fight-books and other manuscripts, there are illustrations of fencers and wrestlers doing exercises like running, leaping and stone lifting and throwing.) You may find lots of valuable information on physical fitness in manifold authoritative books, or even amid the InterWeb.


Stretching is good to stay flexible and encourage proper recovery from exertion. Thus it is useful for fencers to do some static stretching exercises at the end of a training session. Again, you may consult various sources to find what suits you.