Fencing, though seemingly uncommon is actually becoming more common these days than they have been for years. This article will give you some tips on how to start on your fencing adventure, but a great note of safety must be considered here.
Never practice with another person who doesn’t have any former training with this sport. Even though you think it might be great fun, I’m not telling you to go out and start practicing with your friends. You can get hurt if you don’t do this properly, so if you’re really interested in doing it with others, contact your local community college or university and look for a class entitled “fencing.”
First off, you might like to buy a fencing mask, a foil, and the proper clothing. A foil is not technically a sword, and is not sharp but has a small rounded tip, called a ‘button.’ These are light, and used to start your fencing training. There are three steps, however to the fencing education: foil, épée, and sabre. Each of these differ slightly, a foil and épée are basically the same, except that the sabre is slightly heavier and shorter.
Protective clothing includes vests, breast protectors, heavy jackets, wire-mesh masks, and leather gloves. A ‘button’ blunts the weapon’s tip, and points are scored by touching the opponent. In foil the torso is the target area; in épée it is the whole body; in saber it is the body above the hip. In competition, you gain points when you hit your opponent. The points differ slightly, according to the fencing style (i.e. foil, sabre, épée).
Next, you will be trained in footwork. This compromises of the following explanation: if your instructor steps one direction, which direction will you take to counter-attack the best? Once the instructor thinks you have done well enough on your footwork, and can remember your footwork quickly, you are advanced to using your blade.
The instructor will then teach you basic ‘motor skills’ in fencing so that you will become comfortable with a blade. Usually, a minimum of twelve hours will be what it takes for you to become very good with your blade. Some people may take a longer time, but after a year, you can imagine how good one will be at the competition.
Fencing is not really a sport about who is the strongest or fastest, but upon who is the smartest and most determined to win and do well. In other words, you must be very quick-witted in order to succeed in this sport.