The sport of fencing has come along way since starting over 1000 years ago. Then again, for many years it wasn’t a sport at all, instead a method of survival. Many of the moves still taught today were originally used to teach soldiers how to fight on the battle field. As armour became heavier and sturdier, the swords became long and cumbersome weapons. Individuals had to use great strength, not skill, to wield them. With the discovery of gun powder, armour became obsolete. This led to a dramatic change in the art of fencing. Weapons now became lighter for a more rapid execution of movements. Swordplay versus brute strength occurred and the fencing master appeared to teach individuals in the art and tactics of fencing. Dueling became fashionable among the nobles, but was outlawed by Louis XIV due to too many deaths. It was at this point that fencing actually began to become the sport we know today.
Fencing was reintroduced into modern day Olympics in 1896 and has been going strong ever since. An electrical scoring apparatus for epee was introduced in the 1930’s and was followed in the 1950’s by apparatus for foil and in the 1980’s by apparatus for sabre. The development of an electrical scoring apparatus and more concise rules has made the sport more exciting than ever.
Why Try Fencing?
Fencing is a sport of skill, speed and finesse in which there is little advantage in brute strength. Control of movement and quick thinking can overcome, to a great extent, lack of height, reach, or strength that would be a severe handicap in many other sports. It is for these reasons that members of both sexes can fence together on far more equal terms than is possible in most sports. It can be enjoyed by people of any age, and offers a multitude of benefits. Fencing is both a physical and a mental workout, in which fencers learn to hone their strategies against opponents of varying skill levels, and build up physical endurance, agility, and accuracy. Confidence and sportsmanship are gained through participation in fencing and extend throughout other areas of life. You can begin fencing as a youth or an adult – for fun, for fitness, or to train to compete. Best of all are the friends you’ll make.
Read about the fencing weapons, armour and safety guidelines.