Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fencing



My son has been taking fencing lessons for the past 1.5 years.  It is an interesting sport that we pursued because he was interested in swords at home. 

Some people refer to fencing as "physical chess" because it involves strategy.  It is a sport that not only increases physical fitness but also requires focus/attention, as well as a mix of quick thinking and impulse control.  At his lessons, the coaches focus on sportsmanship, attention/listening, and basic fencing moves (5-6 year olds).  The sport of fencing is divided into three weapons: foil, sabre and épée.  He is learning épée.

Fencing is one of only 5 sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games (the other four being Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, and Gymnastics).  The practice behind modern fencing originated in Spain, with Spanish armies eventually carrying fencing into Italy.  In the 18th century, the Italian and then the French school of fencing brought about improvements.  When dueling fell into sharp decline, fencing continued as a sport, with tournaments and championships.  Starting with épée in 1936, an electrical scoring apparatus was introduced.