Fencing can provide plenty of exercise in a short time, can be practiced in a limited space and needs no playing fields or specially constructed courts, and, finally, it is not limited to any season but is continuous throughout the year.
It has been said that a fencer is likely to reach his prime after ten years’ fencing and to remain at that level for a further ten years. And there have been men who took part in the Olympic games when they were considerably older than 40. It is not uncommon to see some youth expending his surplus physical energy and being beaten by some white-haired gentleman forty years his senior. It is perhaps the only sport that can be practiced almost for a lifetime. There are not many sports at which this can be done.
It cannot be claimed that fencing can make a Venus, or a Hercules, that it can create grace where there is none, or make one radiate personal magnetism. It’s not a magic potion.
One of the main draws of the sport for many people is to compete and become champions. Fencing is an Olympic sport, and anyone can get there with enough work and determination. There are local competitions and national competitions for fencers of all ages, and winning that first gold medal is something no person will forget. Some people choose to compete to feel that they’ve accomplished something as an individual (as opposed to winning by being part of a team), while others take pleasure in the equality fencing provides. Women may fence men, and up-and-coming young fencers may find themselves paired up with older, more experienced fencers who have established reputations.
A fencing club is a wonderful way to meet people and make friends. You’ll encounter people from all walks of life, and the uncommon shared interest of fencing makes bonds form quickly. Club members often become friends, and if you choose to compete, you’ll meet people from all over the country and the world. Fencing can even be a team sport! A few people can join together and compete as one unit during team competitions.
When you fence, someone is literally charging at you with a weapon. You develop the boldness and self-confidence to meet that charge, defend yourself against it, and not shy away. Fencing also relies on posture and balance. We teach our students to stand up straight and tall, and the instant change in demeanor in going from a slouch to a proud stance is palpable.
Value of Skill Over Physical Attributes
Size doesn’t matter between fencers–only skill. A well-trained fencer can bout against any opponent, older or younger, bigger or smaller, shorter or taller. While some sports may be limiting to people if they don’t fit the typical physical criteria, anyone can become a champion fencer.
Fencing is a sport that calls heavily on logic. It’s often referred to as physical chess. It’s strategy driven. Each bout between two fencers is a show of cause and effect. One move produces a response in the opponent, and their move causes a response in you. Decisions must be made quickly and in the heat of the moment. Fencing absolutely increases focus and concentration, as well as the powers of observation. It also develops self assurance and discipline. The mind must constantly work and build its decision making skills. Building on these skills can improve ones performance in many other aspects of daily life. Judging and anticipating situations, and building intuition will help in social circles as well as the workplace.
Appealing to Colleges
Fencing is known to enhance the desire to excel. It is a sport that emphasizes integrity and sportsmanship. Many colleges have fencing clubs and teams, and will actively recruit top fencers. Columbia University, Penn State University, Reed College, and the NCAA all offer fencing scholarships.
Benefits for Children
Fencing is a great sport for children because it appeals to their sense of play in a non-violent way. It also provides positive interaction with other peers and adults. They will also learn that without enough effort, they will become their own obstacle to success. Learning this lesson early in life will pay off! It teaches self-responsibility because only the fencer can score a point. No one can do it for them. This is also one of the few sports that parents can learn along with their children!
Fencing is a great way to incorporate exercise into your life. The pace is fast and intense. It is physically demanding sport and will provide aerobic exercise and improve the cardiovascular system. An excellent fencer must be flexible and graceful, and have top endurance. It improves ones speed, ability, and reflexes. The muscles which are used the most are the buttocks, stomach, and thighs. It also requires stamina and coordination. Fencing also relieves stress, which lowers blood pressure. It’s just a plain old fun way to get into (or stay in) shape!
Finally, of course, if you ask any fencer, they’ll tell you that it’s exciting, invigorating and a lot of fun!
Could I Be A Fencer?
People of all ages, from children to people well past retirement age, fence. People of all different races and socio-economic backgrounds fence. Every fencer is unique. They have their own style and own approach to fencing.
Many students who are reluctant to take part in team games enjoy the individuality of fencing. Success in competition will be due solely to their own efforts: matching their own skill, speed and intellect against those of an opponent; female competing equally with male. Some enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of perfecting and performing disciplined movements correctly and studying the theory and language of fencing.
Fencing is excellent exercise for both body and mind. As an individual sport, it allows students to progress at their own pace. So, people with physical limitations often find that fencing is a great activity for them, as do natural athletes.
Fencing, unlike many sports, cannot be learned from a book, video, or website. It takes face-to-face instruction and time to learn this centuries-old art. Our expert staff has taught hundreds of children and adults in New Jersey how to fence. We would very much like to teach you how to fence, too!
People at all levels of physical fitness can learn to fence, from elite athletes to complete couch potatoes. (People with physical disabilities can learn to fence, too—contact us for more information.)
Fencing is a sport and pursuit that will challenge your body and your mind in ways that no other activity can. Your fitness level will improve as your fencing improves, and many of our fencers report improved decision-making and analytical skills, too. Aside from the obvious physical and mental benefits, fencing is an exciting sport it is safe and a fun way to physically interact with other people from all walks of life.