Event Preparations: Common Sense Tips from Coach Elsayed Emara

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Event Preparations: Common Sense Tips from Coach Elsayed Emara

Preparing for a fencing event requires attention to detail and careful consideration of various factors affecting your performance. Head coach Elsayed Emara shares some valuable common sense tips to help fencers optimize their preparations and ensure a comfortable and successful competition. Let’s delve into these tips and understand their significance in enhancing your performance on the fencing strip.

1. Nails: Timing and Length:

Coach Emara advises fencers to avoid cutting their nails within four days of the event. This precautionary measure is essential to prevent any potential discomfort during the competition. If you trim your nails, it’s important not to cut them too short, as this can lead to pain and discomfort when wearing gloves or shoes. By maintaining an optimal nail length, fencers can focus on their technique and movement without any unnecessary distractions.

2. Haircuts and Mask Fit:

Getting a fresh haircut before an event may be tempting, but Coach Emara highlights the potential downside of doing so. A recent haircut can result in a looser fit of the fencing mask, which can be problematic during intense bouts. Ensuring a secure and snug fit of the mask is crucial for safety and maintaining focus during matches. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid a free haircut just before the event and prioritize a well-fitting mask instead.

3. Familiarity with Equipment:

Coach Emara emphasizes the importance of using familiar equipment. This includes the mask, glove, and blade. Using a new mask without prior acclimation can be uncomfortable and might affect visibility and mobility. Similarly, wearing a glove you have never used before may lead to discomfort and hinder your performance. Using a new blade, which tends to be stiffer, can disrupt your timing and require adjustment. It’s essential to have confidence in your gear, allowing you to focus solely on your technique and strategy.

4. Equipment Check:

One of the well-known tips in fencing is to thoroughly check your equipment before heading to your event. This includes inspecting your blades, wires, screws, mask, gloves, and other essential gear. Ensure your blades are in good condition, without any noticeable bends or damage that could affect their performance. Check the integrity of the wires and make sure they are securely connected. Tighten any loose screws to ensure stability during bouts. Verify that your mask provides proper visibility and fits comfortably. Additionally, examine your gloves for any signs of wear and tear, ensuring they offer optimal grip and protection. By conducting a thorough equipment check, you can address any potential issues beforehand, reducing the chances of unforeseen problems during your competition.


In fencing, where precision and split-second decision-making is paramount, following common sense tips can significantly affect a fencer’s performance. Head coach Elsayed Emara’s advice regarding nail care, haircut timing, equipment familiarity, blade selection, and equipment check provides valuable insights to ensure a comfortable and confident experience on the strip. By implementing these tips, fencers can optimize their preparations, minimize potential distractions, and enhance their chances of success in upcoming competitions.

Remember, in the pursuit of excellence, attention to detail is key.

Elsayed Emara
Elsayed Emara
Hi, I'm Coach Emara, a contributor to this blog and Head Coach/Program Director at Fortune Fencing. With over two decades of coaching experience and a former stint as an Olympian fencer for Egypt, I have a wealth of expertise to share. I've trained many competitive fencers to national and international success. As the Vice President of the Midwest Fencing Coaches Association and a former educator at Illinois Central Community College, I'm eager to use this platform to share insights from my journey and inspire the next generation of fencers.

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