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Fencing - 101

Why Fence?

Does it hurt?

Are there any benefits to fencing?

Who cannot fence?

Who can fence?

What is fencing?

What should I wear/bring to my first session?

What is the protective clothing?

Do Fighting Fit offer electric fencing?

Fencing has a number of benefits for the health of both mind and body.  As an athletic discipline it can improve speed, agility, flexibility, reflexes, balance and co-ordination.  As an exercise regime it gives you an intense cardiovascular and FULL body workout with excellent results in toning of the thighs, stomach and backside! Fencing burns more calories than many other activities - if you don't believe us, take a look at www.healthstatus.com and compare them.  

 

As a mental discipline it can improve focus, concentration, hone strategic thinking and decision-making skills.  Aside from all of the above, if you just want to keep in shape, fencing is great all-round exercise and can be more sociable than many other fitness activities.

Fencing is one of the oldest sports still participated in on a regular basis. It is fast, exciting and a great way to stay in shape.

 

There are three types of weapon used in modern fencing, Foil, Sabre and Epee.

 

Our club members fence with a foil, which is widely used as the training weapon of fencing and is a great grounding for all three weapons, if you decide to have a go at the others at a later stage.

 

Whilst fencing can be highly competitive there is certain etiquette to be observed, you must always salute the referee and your opponent. Shake hands with your opponent at the end of a bout and you are expected to control your emotions (either when you win or lose) at all times.

Anyone can fence young or old, male and female. At Fighting Fit our minimum age for 'adult' fencers is 14, although we also have a childrens' Squad for under-14s and run Mini-Fence® sessions for five-to-seven years-old. Both sexes compete against each other, as Male strength is NOT a requirement of a good fencer, but agility, speed, skill, technique and cunning are.

There is no definitive answer as to who should not fence, although it may be advisable for someone suffering from elbow, knee or groin problems (which could be effected by fencing) to check with their doctor first.  Some medical conditions may require you to produce a medical certificate from your doctors to state they are happy with your participation.  Some of our previous beginners included those on treatment for Cancer and those with a stoma.  So if you’re game, your doctors said yes, then there is always a way.  Give us a call if you have any worries.

Loads! It's a perfect way to stay in shape, fantastic stress buster, intense cardiovascular and full body work out. Fencing has excellent results on the thighs, buttocks and stomach (good for all those ladies out there who want to tone up!). Athletically, fencing can improve your speed, agility, flexibility, balance, reflexes and co-ordination. On the mental side apart from having a good bash at someone - which is excellent for stress, fencing can also improve focus, concentration, decision making and hone strategic skills. Fencing burns more calories than most other fitness regimes especially the boring, repetitive, solitary ones! Fencing is most certainly not boring!

Not if done properly. Although executed with appreciable energy a good clean fencing attack hurts no more than a tap on the shoulder, the force of the blow is normally absorbed by the flex of the blade. Reckless and overly aggressive fencers can occasionally deliver painful blows however, fencing is a martial art, so you should expect minor bruises and welts every now and then. These are rarely intentional.

 

The most painful blows tend to come from inexperienced fencers who have not yet acquired the feel of the weapon. The primary source of injury in fencing (as in most sports) is from strained muscles and joints. Proper warm-up and stretching before fencing will minimize these occurrences. Here at Fighting Fit we ensure that a group warm up regime is followed by any fencer before being allowed to participate in any fencing.

At Fighting Fit we will supply members with all necessary safety clothing and fencing equipment. As a beginner all you really need is:

 

T-shirt

Tracksuit bottoms (not shorts - legs must be covered)

Trainers

Enthusiasm

 

The other equipment used can really be put into two categories - the protective clothing and the weapons.

The clothing worn by a fencer consists of the following:

 

Padded long-sleeved jackets are tight fitting, padded in the chest area with a high collar, and fasten up the back or on the side opposite the weapon hand. They usually extend below the groin and have a strap from the bottom end, joined at the back and front to ensure the jacket cannot ride up and show any bare skin.

 

The plastron is a partial jacket (½ a jacket in effect) worn under the long-sleeve padded jacket (above) on the weapon arm to give extra protection, especially under the armpit. The plastron seams do not match up with those on the jacket, in case a blade finds its way through a loose seam.

 

Several different sorts of chest protection are available. Some jackets have pockets into which round plastic protectors can be placed. Specially moulded plastic full breast plates are also available.

 

Gloves are worn on the fencing arm only. The opposing hand is always bare. The glove covers about half the forearm with extra padding on the backhand to protect the weapon hand and must extend over to cover the cuffs of the jacket to ensure no blade can penetrate up the sleeve.

 

Masks protect the head and face. They have a small holed wire mesh visor to ensure no blade can enter and a padded bib, which covers the neck. This bib section must be pulled down over the high collar on the jacket, again to ensure no gaps are visible. Masks must be able to withstand about 25llb (120 Newtons) of force.

 

At first, some people may find the mask uncomfortable but usually the straps just need adjusting. If you find the mask is uncomfortable please see a club official who will help you find the right size and fit.

 

Breeches are ¾ length trousers, worn with knee high white socks. Breeches are worn with all of the above but are not classed as a full health and safety requirement. We therefore at Fighting Fit do not supply breeches as part of the safety equipment, although many fencers do like to purchases these after a period of time. Any fencer wishing to enter competitions must however wear breeches.

Yes we do. All electric kit is supplied buy us , so there is no need for any extra kit costs.  When you fence on the electric scoring box , you will need to put on two more items of kit. They are;

 

The Lame

Also known as the electric jacket. This is a lightweight metallic skillet worn over the padded jacket. This jacket also indicates the target area used in foil fencing. This metallic jacket is used only in electric fencing. The jacket itself when hit by an opponent using an electric foil will set off a light on the electrical scoring box to show the fencers and the referee that a touch has been made.

 

A Body Wire

This is a wire that connects the electric foil via the fencer to the electrical scoring box. The body wire is feed through the fencers' glove from the foil and up the arm and out the back of the jacket. This is then connected to the electric box and also hooked up to the back of the fencer so that no wires are hanging to cause a trip hazard.

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