Fencing is a great way to incorporate exercise into your life. The pace is fast and intense. It is a 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Finally, of course, if you ask any fencer, they’ll tell you that it’s fun!