Fencing is mere sport, or?


2018-05-11 08:32 GMT+8

I have read the introduction to a book titled ‘What can you learn from fencing for life?’ It is written by Britta Heidemann, the most successful German swordsman. This book says the fencing piste (or strip) is just like life: you face an opponent or a challenge on both sides. How to get motivated, define goals and prepare for such a challenge is important. Mental strength and being able to face pressure as well as dealing with defeats are only some of the key success factors in fencing. Britta shows that everyone can pick the best out of themselves and be prepared for all battles of life. It was then that I understood fencing is an intense battle of mind. 

An early form of fencing for sport dates back to ancient Egypt. However, fencing as we know today was derived from the European duel. Fencing schools were established in Italy, Spanish and France, elevating the practice to a form of exercise. There are three forms of modern fencing, each uses a different kind of weapon and has different rules, this way the sport itself is divided into three competitive scenes: foil, épée, and sabre.

A hundred years ago, the sabre was a combative weapon, based on ancient scimitar-type swords. The foil, however, was considered to be a work of art, and because of this, the foil competition took place in a greatly different manner than the épée or sabre. Foil fencing in 1900 was judged subjectively, unlike modern gymnastics or figure skating, although no numerical scores can be traced for the 1900 foil fencing.

Fencing in France was developed into a sport during the 17th century, with a codification of rules and terminology and a system of teaching, by masters. Also, it became one of the most popular sports in France in 1900, and the French school later refining the Italian system. The fencing events received great coverage in the media, being covered in all the daily newspapers, the sporting newspapers of the time. There were events for amateurs and professionals, who were termed fencing masters in 1900, and basically made their living by teaching fencing. In 1900, the épée was also known as the dueling sword.

Fencing is a great way to incorporate exercise into your life. Fencing cannot be learned from a book, video, or online. It takes face-to-face instruction and time to learn this centuries-old art. I recommend you visit a fencing club in Paris.

Time Capsule Fencing Club of Paris is the oldest fencing club in Paris and was founded in 1886 during the golden age of fencing, known then as the Cercle Saint-André-des-Arts. Everything has remained intact inside the club walls since its creation in the late 19th century. Here, you can watch the master and his students, surrounded by crumbling walls, antique scoreboards, trophies and old photos that testify to the history of French fencing.

Fencing is really more than just a sport – it’s a passion! You could be a pence, too. When you fence, you will feel an unmatched sense of self-confidence.

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