What Do You Call A Person That Fences?

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Fencing is a fascinating sport that takes after much older techniques with the sword. It has been around for centuries and only continues to grow as a sport in the current age. Anyone that begins practicing fencing will find that is extremely athletic and full of respect from its roots.

What do you call a person that fences? Someone that participates in fencing is simply referred to as a fencer. There is no distinction between genders or disciplines. However, there are titles that can be earned for those who teach others to fence.

Read more below on the different terms associated with the sport of fencing and what it takes to become a great fencer yourself.

Read Also: 13 Best Fencing Shoes - A Buyer's Guide To Fencing Shoes

What Is a Fencer?

A fencer is, very simply, a person who participates in the sport of fencing. They could fence merely for fun and exercise or compete in worldwide fencing competitions.

Anyone that practices fencing would be considered a fencer.

Fencing has changed over time from covering a much wider range of disciplines to the very specific sport that we all think of when we hear the word today. The word fencing was originally derived from the Latin word “defensa,” meaning protection.

What Is Someone That Teaches Fencing Called?

Learning to become a fencer requires a knowledgeable teacher to show you the way. It’s easy enough to use generic terms for them like teacher, coach, or instructor, but other titles can be used as well. 

The United States Fencing Coaches Association lays out guidelines for becoming certified at four different levels.

Fencing Coach Certification Levels:

  • Assistant Moniteur
  • Moniteur
  • Prévôt
  • Fencing Master

Assistant Moniteurs are qualified to aid any coaches certified under the other three levels in teaching beginner level and group classes. They have to be under the direct supervision of a coach with a higher certification to be able to teach.

A Moniteur can instruct recreational beginning classes all the way up to coaching for competition. This level of certification is perfect for anyone wishing to teach in a school or club environment. They do not require any sort of direct supervision to be able to teach.

Prévôts are proficient in several kinds of teaching methods, giving them a greater range of coaching abilities for competing fencers. At this level, a coach can train other fencers to become either Assistant Moniteurs or Moniteurs.

To become a Fencing Master, you must know and be able to teach fencing at a very high level. They can coach any level of fencer, and even teach others to become Prévôts or Moniteurs. 

Passing the certification of master in all three fencing disciplines will officially make a person a Master of Arms.

What Are the Different Kinds of Fencing Called?

The sport altogether is called fencing no matter what discipline you choose to focus on. There are three different weapons to choose between. Each of these weapons is made in its own unique way and is limited to different target areas on the body during a bout.

Foil

A foil is a blade used for pointing and thrusting. Its blade is rectangular in shape, and the entire weapon measures around 110 cm long. The foil evolved from the court sword, which was ideal for both attacking and protecting given its shorter, stronger build.

The target area of a foil is only the torso. In the front, the target area covers from the shoulders to the groin, and in the back from the shoulders to the waist. The arms, legs, and head of an opponent are off-limits.

Épée

The épée was fashioned after a dueling sword. As such, a bout of épée fencing goes on much as a real duel might have. The épée is the heaviest of all the fencing swords and features a larger guard to better protect the sword hand. Its blade is triangular.

During an épée bout, there is an anything-goes sort of attitude. There is no defined target area that a fencer must keep to. Instead, the entire body is open to strikes. To earn a point a touch must still come from the tip of the blade, making it a pointing and thrusting type of bout.

Check out our complete guide on how to choose the right epee for you.

Sabre

Derived from the slashing cavalry sword, a sabre is made to be a point and thrust weapon as well as a cutting weapon. It is a bit shorter than its counterparts at around only 105 cm in length but has a similar weight as a foil.

Sabre fencing is a mad dash for points and can be much more aggressive than the other two disciplines. 

The target area starts at the top of the head and goes all the way down to the hips in the front and the back. The arms also count as a valid target.

Unlike in foil and épée, points can be won by using the edges of the blade as well as the tip.

How to Become a Fencer

Recreationally speaking, it’s not tough to become a fencer. In the most basic sense, all you have to do is find a fencing class near you and sign up. Once you start to learn the art of fencing, you are a fencer.

However, simply taking a class isn’t all there is to become the best fencer you can be. Several factors make a fencer good or even great during training and bouts. 

If you take fencing seriously and want to be a competitive fencer, you should keep these things in mind.

Dedication – Being dedicated to the sport will make you an overall better fencer. It’s not just about attending all your classes but taking the initiative outside of them as well. 

Keeping yourself physically fit is incredibly important. Fencers must be able to make strong, quick movements in bouts, which requires excellent muscle control.

Psychology – It’s crucial that your head is in the game just as much as your body. To be a great fencer you should be able to read your opponent and know what they’re going to do next. 

You must develop an instinct during a bout that tells you what moves to use and when. Having that kind of intellect will undoubtedly push you to the next level.

Adaptability – Not every fencing bout is going to be the same. The conditions of your bouts will differ from opponent to opponent, and it’s important to learn from them every single time. 

You have to be able to change your plans on a moment’s notice to suit your needs so that you can stay on top of the game.

Respect – Amazing fencers are respectful fencers. As a fencer, you should show respect to your opponents and the officials of bouts as well as yourself. Fencing is a sport built on chivalry and isn’t supposed to be about showboating. Always be a good sport and let your actions speak for themselves.

You Can Be a Fencer Too

Fencing has an interesting origin and has narrowed a lot over the years that it’s been around. 

Whenever you hear the word fencing, you know instantly what it’s referring to. Though it’s no longer a dangerous duel to first blood, it’s still just as exciting.

If you decide that you want to try out fencing for yourself, you’re in luck. 

Fencing is a popular sport and ranges from very basic beginner classes to the highest levels of competition. No matter what level fencer you become, you will still be considered a fencer along with the rest.

Read Also: 11 Best Fencing Gloves - A Buyers Guide To Fencing Gloves 

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