Basics of Fencing
To take lessons in fencing, most clubs and coaches require students to be members of the United State Fencing Association and be in good physical condition or at least not have medical conditions which procude physical activity.
Most clubs have equipment available for use however prospective fencers should be prepared to obtain equipment from one of the many suppliers. A jacket, mask, glove, underarm protector and weapon are the basic pieces of equipment required to participate in practice sessions with knickers (fencing pants) required at tournaments; women require the additional protection of a breast protector at all times. General tennis shoes can be used in many lessons and tournaments so long as the fencer can safely complete the motions required to participate in the sport.
Beginners should expect to have 6 to 8 weeks of training (along with individual practice) before even being paired to “free fence” with another fencer.
Most beginning lessons are conducted with the foil, a point based weapon where the torso is the target surface to be contacted, where the basics of stance, movement, attacks and defense are taught. Fencers who complete basic training may progress to more advanced weapons and/or tactics which will allow them to complete or bout more competitively.
Fencing is a life-long sport, often with fencers coming and going from the sport through-out their lives. Salle’s are available in many cities around the country and world. Be sure to check the USFA website as well as any countries you are visiting for location information.
Remember, the only way to get better at fencing, is to fence…