Fencing was once more than just a beautiful sport.
It was the art of the sword, later the sword or sabre, which allowed the swordsman to defend his life or, more importantly, his honour. Later it became a compulsory sport in the education of the nobility’s offspring and later became a spectacle for true sports aesthetes.
Another is so-called historical fencing, which is used mostly for staged fights at festivals or to make historical films. But still, modern fencing is associated in most people’s minds with swords and special tracksuits. Musketeers and knights of our time: sportsmen and artists It should be said that epee is not the only possible choice when taking up fencing in the 21st century.
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There are actually three types of weapons: apart from the epee itself, there’s the foil and the sabre.
Their fencing techniques differ greatly due to the particularities of the blade:
the rapier is a stabbing type of weapon;
a sabre is a cutting weapon;
the epee combines these two abilities.
Naturally, sporting these types of projectiles is safe, but the fighting style is dictated by their type. Artistic fencing is used to demonstrate the beauty of fencing. It places more emphasis on costume and refinement of movements than on the sporting component. It’s something in between a real fight and a theatrical performance.
Age is no barrier for a good fencer, but only if they want to make fencing their hobby.
They enter professional sport early – at the age of 8-10, the cut-off point is 12, and that’s considered late. But even amateurs can compete with each other in this art, participating in tournaments and improving their category. So age really doesn’t matter that much. But health condition can be a hindrance on the way to fulfilling a musketeer or pirate dream.
If a person has problems with their back, knees, calf muscles and Achilles tendon, unfortunately, this is not the kind of leisure activity they want to do – active work on these areas requires that they must be in good working order. Common contraindications to active sports include heart problems. Fencing is no exception, so if you have these problems, choose a calmer hobby. But as long as your heart and all the other parts of your body are OK, you can still take up arms and tackle the ancient art of fencing.
One, two, three – where to start?
Step one is getting your kit. A regular tracksuit will do for you and you will need trainers with a thick sole to protect your foot while doing squats. There are even special trainers for fencers that are quite affordable.
You don’t need a gun or a fencing suit at the first stage. When you pass the first stage of training and the second one on your way to the goal (learn to stand, lunge and move), your instructor will explain what you need to buy.
The third obligatory part is the warm-up. Without it, no competent teacher will allow you to start classes. In addition to classical exercises, known since school, warm-up includes exercises that strengthen leg muscles and endurance (cross steps, walking and half-and full crouch, etc.) Much attention is paid to stretching.
Training: nuances and types.
Beginners usually think that fencing training is just a fight. In reality, however, it is preceded by a technique and a practical part. To practise their technique, athletes are paired up, but there is no time or score limit, they just attack and defend, polishing their skills.
Combat sparring is not a competition yet, but it is as close to it as possible: it assumes a winning and losing side. The latter kind of training is as close to a competition as possible, e.g. fights can be held between representatives of different schools. Here everything is serious: diplomas, medals and the taste of victory. Safety precautions and injuries. First aid Any sport is at risk of injury, but the extent to which injuries are serious depends on the attitude of the individual. If you follow all of your trainer’s advice, the risk of bruises and sprains (the most common fencing injury) will be minimised.
If you do get a sprain, apply a cold compress to the injured part of your leg, then wrap a bandage around it and let it rest for at least a day. Cold will also help, as it will help the swelling go down more quickly.
Where to study If you’re a beginner and you’re no longer a child (normal fencing schools accept kids under 20 at most), you should choose a private institution. But in any case you will need a certificate of the appropriate form, which certifies that you are ready for physical exertion. With a little preparation and a lot of effort afterwards, your dream of a musketeer’s cape or a pirate’s hat is sure to come true!