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The great maestro and his students

International Charity Fund "For the Future of Fencing" congratulates David Tyshler , a great master of sward, highly qualified expert in teaching and theory of modern fencing, Chairman of the Guardianship Board of the Fund with 80-th anniversary!

The great maestro and his students

Our reference : date of birth: June 13, 1927; place of birth: Kherson

Graduated from the Public University of Physical Culture in 1949.

Doctor of Educational Science, Professor, Department of Theory and Methodology of Fencing and Modern Pentathlon in the Russian Public University of Physical Culture.

Full member of the IT International Academy.

Mr. Tyshler has published over 200 scientific works, including manuals on fencing, training and teacher’s manuals. Many works were published in English, German, Spanish, French, Polish, Romanian and Chinese.

Honored Master of Sport,. bronze medal winner in the Olympic Games of 1956 in team championship in fencing on swords. The participant of the Olympic Games of 1960 (he was the seventh in the individual championship). Silver and bronze winner in the world championships in 1955-1959.

The Honored Coach of the USSR. He has trained the Olympic champions M. Midler, M. Rakita, V. Sidyak, V. Krovopuskov, V. Bazhenov.

Honored Executive in Physical Culture of the Russian Federation.

The winner of the Russian competition “Sports Elite” in 1995 in the nomination “The best Expert in the Olympic training in Russia”.

Member of the Executive Committee of Fencing Federation of Russia.

David Tyshler: The fencer’s mentality is based on creative instant ability to estimate, predict, guess and imagine tentative situations and competitor’s actions, as well as make a comprehensive analysis of his own behavior in accordance with circumstances.

Nowadays Mr. Tyshler looks impressive and handsome with his gray hair, implicitly stylish, charming and wise, just like monsieur de Treville, Captain of musketeers. Now everybody is eager to enter the post-graduate course of Professor Tyshler in the Russian Academy of Physical Culture, and his opinion in any fencing issues is most competent. Now he is a prominent theoretician, an author of books, popular person in theatres, producer of fencing battles on the best stages. However, some time ago he lost in speed in comparison with the most fast-moving sabre fencers, though his actions on fencing sites were distinguished with a great deal of sound judgment, he lost in speed to many of his competitors.

Having realized that he could not do faster, Tyshler started to develop his own system of training, which he first tested by himself and later applied to his trainees.

Someone conceives athletic saber fencing as a battle of temper and will, clanks of metal, screams, pressure. Others take it as a competition of purely physical capacities, only strengthened and improved with techniques. In Tyshler’s understanding, saber fencing is an intellectual game, a theorem, which has to be proved within a fraction of a second. To accelerate the performance and achieve the success, he has classified specific features of the athletes of similar type and developed unique models, which he utilized in training of his students.

The first of them was Mark Rakita, Tyshler’s partner in competitions, Mark was his sparring-partner for some time.

By agreeing to become the coach of Rakita, Tyshler set up an experiment. He had a great knowledge of the theory of fencing: immediately upon graduation from the Moscow Institute of Physical Culture, David started to teach in that Institute, at the same time being a member of the national fencing team. All previous literature, a huge amount of which was accumulated within 500 years of fencing background, became outdated in some ways, many criteria had to be reviewed. Indeed, why such fencers as Tyshler, Rakita, Nugzar Asatiany (the list could be extended), who were considered unfit for fencing by all experts, became eventually the top world fighters? It means, there was some compensation found to cover the gap in physical capacities. What kind of compensation? The future prominent theoretician had to find a solution.

For many centuries of fencing development, human reactions, means of defense and protection remained unchanged. There were also no significant changes in the basic techniques, mastered by the fencers worldwide. Tyshler has developed a special approach, which allowed to use the existing techniques in certain sequence with due regard to individual characters of his trainees. Due to this approach, none of his pupils looked like others. Rakita was cute, inventive, able to assess all tentative actions of his competitor in a fraction of a second and bring him to an unexpected outcome at any stage of the duel. After nine months of training with Tyshler,Rakita became the USSR champion. However, the real triumph and recognition of judges, competitors, coaches came to him at the world championship in 1967 in Montreal. There Rakita did not loose a single battle. That was only the beginning of the upswing. Ahead there were two silver and two golden Olympic medals to be wined by Rakita.

Tyshler’s pupil Victor Sidyak, despite his excellent physical capacities and high motivation, was only in the seventh dozen in the All-Union Competitions in fencing before he started to train with Tyshler. For him, as well as for Rakita, there had to be developed a system, that would could strengthen natural capacities of the athlete. As the pupil was neither cute, nor inventive, Tyshler has armed him with certain sequence of technical moves, unpredictable to the competitors. Performed with great emotional effect, the techniques unmistakably broke down the defense of competitors. As we know from history, in that case Tyshler also made a right guess. At the 1972 Olympics, Victor Sidyak has won the golden medal in an individual tournament, and later on, he repeatedly became the champion and prize-winner of the World Cup and the Olympic Games

They were saying about Victor Krovopuskov: he is a strong fencer, but he will never get stronger. He is not fighter by nature, has no leadership drive, no motivation to take others under his control, suppress and overcome the competitors. There were grounds for that opinion. Indeed, fencing for Victor has always been a game, exciting and desirable, though he could not always recall the general circumstances of the victory, but he would willingly describe, how cute was some special blow and how smart was his victory over the competitor.

As Krovopuskov remembers now, his meeting with Tyshler played a crucial role in Victor’s formation as a world-class fighter: Should I go to another coach, my sports career might have been entirely different. In our work, there was a union of a person who knows a lot with the one who is eager to know, who wants to learn fencing. I absorbed as sponge everything he told me, and took on faith 90% of his words. He saw that I could perform well, and was very pleased that there was a person who could implement all his ideas on the fencing site.

Led by Tyshler, Krovopuskov became one of the strongest saber fencers worldwide. Rakita, another Tyshler’s trainee, was the one who made Krovopuskov the most powerful fencer. Tyshler decided to concentrate on in-depth research works, he took the position of the Head of Department in the Institute of Physical Culture, and Mark was exactly the right person to continue his teachers’ activities and implement his ideas in practice. Though Rakita did not see himself in the capacity of a coach, Tyshler has convinced him that he knows the system of training, developed by his teacher, better than anybody else. Within seven days thick notepads were filled with entries, training lessons were held, where Tyshler acted as a trainee and Rakita as a coach. Discussions were held with due regard to every tiny detail of Krovopuskov’s individual style. We are aware of the result of that experiment: Viktor Krovopuskov has won two golden medals at the Games in Montreal in 1976, and then confirmed his success again at the Olympics in Moscow in 1980. By the way, in Moscow already two Rakita’s students were fighting for golden medals. Michael Burtsev became the silver Olympic winner.

David Tyshler has brought up many students. Some of them were lucky to be his students in the Institute, other in the post-graduate courses. His books and teachers’ manuals are used for fencsing training in half of the world countries. He gladly participates in seminars, organized by the International Charity Found "For the Future of Fencing”, where he shares the secrets of coaching art with fencing trainers from Europe, Asia, Africa, America

The great Maestro has only one dream, namely to issue research works as long as possible, to assist the acting and future coaches to enhance their mastership. In the age of 80, he believes that his mission under the sun is not completed yet. Life goes on…

Tatyana Kolchanova

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