When you think of fencing, you may be reminded of swashbuckling in Pirates of the Caribbean or any lightsaber duel from Star Wars. However, what you may not know, is not only is fencing an Olympic Sport, it is also a great workout adults and children can use to get or stay fit.
What is Fencing?
Fencing is a respected sport that is rooted in the tradition of historical arms and combat. You score points by using your foil, epee, or saber to strike your opponent all while using coordinated footwork to move back and forth on an area called a piste. Fencers wear safety equipment such as facemasks, gloves, and protective jackets.
How It Started?
Ancient societies such as Babylonians, Romans, Greeks and Persians used some form of fencing. Originally, fencing was a means of preparing soldiers for battle through the practice of sword fighting. Fencing is dated all the way back to 1190 BC in ancient Egypt.
The game changed greatly in the fifteenth century as Spain began developing official rules and regulations for the sport of fencing. Manuals were written in order to establish rules and regulations on fencing. The Italians went further and added the skill of wielding a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. This is the origin of the term known as “swashbuckling”. The sword is the “swash” and the shield is the “buckle”.
In the mid-eighteenth century fencing shifted from a form of training soldiers into the sport it is known as today. An Italian swordmaster named Domenico Angelo moved to England and began teaching the Spanish, Italian, and French art of swordplay. It was during this time that Angelo established the vital guidelines for posture and footwork still prevalent in modern-day fencing. Fencing is one of just four sports that have been included in every Olympic games since 1896.
Why Fencing is Good For You?
In order to succeed at fencing, you’ll need to be agile, aggressive, strategic, and strong. Therefore partaking in the sport of fencing offers a variety of exercises for both your body and mind. Added benefits of practicing fencing are an increase in coordination, agility, balance, flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular endurance. Fencing is a sport that will offer a workout for your entire body including your arms, thighs, hips, and glutes. There is also the added benefit of further developing your cognitive agility. There are some who refer to fencing as playing “physical chess” because of the requirement to use a combination of judgement and tactic with every movement of your body.
Doctors Recommend It
Since fencing causes the body to move through explosive starts and stops throughout periods of high energetic activity which also transition into periods of low energy (recovery), it is a form of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. While your body’s anaerobic fitness improves, you are able to push your physical limits harder for longer periods before the lactic acid builds up within your muscles causing you to fatigue, which will force you to slow down or stop altogether. Fencing is an aerobic type of exercise and supports your heart and mental health. Your body will increase the oxygen in your blood and release endorphins that lead to a positive feeling of health.
As previously stated, there are mental benefits to fencing as well. You will enjoy improved focus, problem solving, and reduction in your stress levels. Since fencing is a combative sport, you will need to use all of your energy on your opponent and in doing so, you temporarily involuntarily forget about things that are causing you stress so that you can meticulously plan your movements against your opponent to score. You’re also developing an avenue in which to direct your stress and aggression positively through exercise as you further improve yourself as a fencer.
Typical Fencing Class
It is important that students get educated on the necessity of protective gear and overall safety. There is also a time of warming up and stretching which is vital in the prevention of fencing related injuries. Usually, warm-ups are made to be a fun way of improving your conditioning and flexibility. Once the warm up is complete, you will then go through a variety of movements that will assist with you developing a basic fencing vocabulary as you learn to “thrust”, “parry”, and “riposte”. Next, you will begin to string movements together while practicing your skills with a series of rotating partners. Finally, when you are ready, you will begin to fight with other students.
Sign Up Today
Are you ready to improve yourself mentally and physically? Space City Fencing Academy services Pearland, Texas and the surrounding areas. Call us today to sign you or your child up for fencing classes. En garde!