How much weight does a title hold? Do they open doors? In Spain I have yet to know anyone who has gotten work thanks to a fencing coach’s title. In fact it’s quite rare that a coach move from one club to another within the same city. Every coach or maestro I know here was either a former member of a national team or a long term member of the club in which they work.
The Spanish Federation offers the opportunity to almost any fencer to earn an official title as a coach. I say official because the title of level III is issued by the Ministry of Education and is known as Tecnico Deportivo Superior de Esgrima. There also exists the tile of maestro de armas from the Association of Spanish Fencing Masters which is attainable with the level III diploma and a thesis.
The level III course sets you back about 1300€ and is close to 6 weeks in length with practical and theoretical classes of the three weapons as well as classes and exams in sport psychology, training methodology, refereeing, nutrition, tactics, technical direction, material, injury prevention, biomechanics, wheelchair fencing and more. All of these classes have exams and/or graded written work. What makes these courses extra special is the Madrid weather in July and August – 100º in the shade.
In 2013 I travelled to Chiancano Terme in the Tuscany region of Italy to participate in a istruttore nazionale/maestri course and exams. But that’s a post for another day. What do you think? Have you done any coaching courses? Do these courses really form good coaches? Let us know what you think.