What fencing is all about?

Fencing is an Olympic sport in which opponents compete against each other with weapons. It’s quite different from the sword fights seen in movies. Rather than swinging from chandeliers or jumping off balconies modern fencing takes place on a strip in a gym. The main objective is to score points on the opponents by thrusting them with your blade before they score on you. The sport offers a wonderful mix of competition and camaraderie, balanced with a strong tradition of etiquette and honour.

Is fencing safe? Are the weapons real? Are they sharp?

Newcomers to fencing often express concerns about their safety. Foremost on the minds of many parents is the question of whether their child could be wounded while fencing. Fencing is an extraordinarily safe sport considering its heritage and nature. Yes, the weapons are “real”. No, they are not sharp. The ends are blunted and covered by either a rubber tip or flat metal button. Proper protective gear eliminates any potential risk.

Does fencing cause injuries?

It is a contact combat sport without injuries. It’s incomparably safer than hockey, mountain biking, football or snowboarding. The primary source of injury in fencing is from pulled muscles or joints. Proper warm-up and stretching prior to practice will minimize these occurrences. Accidents can befall fencers as they do the adherents of any sport, but chances are that the greatest fencing-related danger any fencer will ever face will lie in risking a car accident while driving to the fencing practice.

When can my child start fencing and how often?

It’s very desirable that if parents or children think to excel in the sport they better start at the age of 8-12. Most children at this age have the ability to respond well to both group and individual instructions. They can practice as much as time permits. Normally, we start with an introductory course. Then kids who want to continue go to the next level.

My son is tall, lean and left-handed. He tried many sports and failed. Can he try fencing?

Absolutely, just because the kid isn’t on a hockey, baseball, soccer team or oriental martial arts class doesn’t mean the kid isn’t held to high standards in other sports. More over, he or she might have a knack for fencing. Being tall, lean, and left-handed will work tremendously to an advantage in our sport as a left-hand stance will create a lot of difficulties to the opponents.

Is personal equipment required for classes?

We make every effort to provide equipment for introductory classes. Usually, students begin purchasing their own equipment after they decide to stay with the sport. Their own gear helps in taking lessons and is a must when they go for tournaments. Personal hygiene should be considered as well.

What equipment should one purchase and from where?

Fencing costs more than soccer but less than hockey, golf or skiing. There are many vendors to choose from and we will advise students and parents of the most economical way to enter the sport. Once you finished an intro course and decided to go further we will help to choose what’s required.

How does a child enter a fencing competition?

We will assess his or her progress, determine readiness and will help to select the appropriate tournament. Competitions are a great way to try out their skills outside the club, meet people and make friends; however this is a sport with winners and losers. Club level competition is feasible within 4-6 months. However, at this point it should be considered as a learning tool and not as an effort to win. We will help kids to focus on enjoying fencing as a game and good sportsmanship rather than just on the result. The parents’ positive role here is more than valuable.

How long does it take for a kid to become good?

A serious skill level can take a few years of regular relentless practice. Progress can be faster or slower, depending on the child’s aptitude, dedication and the age at which they begin. Real performance athlete development normally requires at least 3 practices per week, along with regular competitions and might take up to 2-3 years.

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