Is Fencing Hard To Learn?
Fencing is a sport that combines swordsmanship and martial arts.
With origins in the 19th century, the fencing went through modifications and refinements in both Italy and France before becoming the sport it is today.
Fencing is a sport that requires discipline, precision, and tons of practice.
Fencing is a rather easy sport to learn, but it is difficult to master. Anyone that is serious about learning fencing will follow these 8 steps.
So, what are 8 steps that can improve your fencing skills?
#1 – Be an Athlete.
Fencing requires strength and endurance. Having some form of athletic training included in your fencing training is necessary. Building strength and endurance will allow you to last through entire matches without getting tired.
There should be a special focus on your arms and hands because of the movements you will perform while fencing. Grip training is a great idea for a fencer.
#2 – Focus on Footwork.
Footwork is just as important (if not more important) than your actual arm techniques when it comes to fencing. Your footwork will place you where you need to be for each strategic movement you make. Practice your footwork until you have it perfect. And when you think it’s perfect, practice it more!
#3 – Pick a Single Discipline.
There are three different fencing disciplines – foil, épée, and sabre. Each discipline has its own weapons, techniques, and rules, and each one has its own competitive scene. Because the three fencing disciplines are so separate from one another, it is wise to choose one and master it instead of focusing on all three.
- Foil uses a light thrusting weapon that cannot weigh over 500 grams and targets the torso.
- Épée also uses a thrusting weapon, but the maximum weight is changed to 775 grams. This discipline can target the entire body.
- Sabre uses a light cutting and thrusting weapon that cannot weigh more than 500 grams and can target the entire upper body except the weapon hand.
#4 – Ask Opponents for Advice.
If you are constantly being bested by your opponents, ask them what you are doing wrong. Let them give an honest critique of your fencing technique, so you can take note of specific mistakes you are making and work on fixing them.
You can even ask opponents that you beat for advice as well. Let them tell you the moves you performed that gave you the upper hand, so you can make a note to work on perfecting those moves.
#5 – Watch Other People Fence.
One of the easiest ways to improve your own fencing technique is to watch other people fence. You can see which movements are effective and which are ineffective. You can witness beginner mistakes and focus on avoiding them in your own matches. W
atching other people fence can show you how proper footwork is done and the best techniques to gain an advantage in your own matches.
#6 – Develop Your Own Technique.
This step goes hand in hand with watching other people fence. Develop your own technique! You’ll notice that some fencers have certain moves that work for them but not others; this is the norm when it comes to competitive sports that require techniques to be developed.
Your body and personal fencing style will work hand in hand in showing you what your strongest movements will be. Play on your strengths always.
#7 – Take Private Lessons.
Private lessons give you time to practice and master your fencing movements, making you a better fencer. It’s recommended that you find a fencing instructor that is a good fit for your learning style and personality and stick with them for consistency. Find a trainer that can become your mentor and not just a teacher.
#8 – Take Care of Your Body.
Fencing is a sport that requires good health. It is important to eat well and take care of your body. Get proper sleep and make sure to pay attention to your body and how it feels.
If you are feeling sick or have even a slight injury, don’t participate in a match. Sitting out a match for your health is better than injuring yourself even more trying to compete with an injury or illness.
Are You Really Ready for the Challenge of Fencing?
Passion for the sport and a desire to perfect your technique are common reasons to stick with any kind of physical activity, but these reasons are paramount with fencing.
The sport requires both physical and mental discipline and endurance. Often, people refer to fencing as “a physical game of chess” because of its physical and mental requirements.
- What are some reasons that you have to be quick in both physical and mental reactions when it comes to fencing?
- Fencers have to be able to react extremely fast. It is said that fencing swords are the “second fastest moving object at the Olympics after the marksman’s bullet.”
- In a sabre fight, the match is very fast and powerful. They tend to only last seconds!
- You have to be extremely mobile and flexible to dodge and counter your opponent’s movements almost instantly.
- It takes speed to be a successful fencer. Your legs and arms turn into your sport equipment and they must be in great shape.
Why is Fencing Worth the Challenge?
As a strength and endurance sport that works out both the mind and body, fencing is, surprisingly, an amazing choice of sport. While it can be costly to get into and is one of the more complex sports to choose, there are many benefits that cannot go unmentioned.
Some notable benefits of fencing are:
- It helps to develop mental agility. Fencers are required to constantly make accurate and safe decisions very quickly, and this translates into having better and more sound reactions in daily life.
- It improves coordination. The combination of footwork and arm movements that make up your techniques in fencing promote coordination.
- It builds arm strength. Not only does your dominant forearm get a thorough workout, but your grip also strengthens.
- It increases speed and agility. As the “second fastest” sport in the Olympics, fencing definitely helps to develop speed and agility in the body.
- It creates powerful legs. Fencing footwork is no joke. It requires constant practice, which develops maximum strength in the legs.
There are a number of benefits gained from fencing – as long as you have the patience and determination to stick with it.
Are You Ready to Become a Successful Fencer?
Fencing has made its way from being a military training tactic in the mid-18th century to one of the five sports to have been featured in every single modern Olympic Games. It is not a sport for the light-hearted and unmotivated. It requires focus and ambition. It requires enthusiasm and discipline.
That said, it is not a hard sport to master. The old adage, “Practice makes perfect,” constantly comes to mind when considering fencing as a sport. Make sure to adhere to the 8 steps that will improve your fencing skills, and you’re sure to be a fencing pro in no time.