Benefits of fencing to children

Parklands Juniors fencingFencing is very much an individual sport and over the years we have seen time and again the fencing attracts many of those children who turn away from the main stream team sports, those who can’t run, throw, catch or kick, those who aren’t natural athletes in group environments.

Give them a sword, however, and something fires their imagination. …

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Understanding Priority or ‘Right of Way’

Final - Challenge International de Paris 2013-01-26 Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia CommonsIn foil and sabre, the priority or ‘right of way’ is one of the most difficult concepts in fencing to understand. For these two weapons, there is no such thing as a double hit; only one fencer can score at any moment in the bout.

If only one light comes up for one side or the other, no one has to worry about priority. The priority rule determines who is the attacker and who is the defender when lights for both fencers come up on the scoring box. …

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How to Watch a Fencing Bout

Final - Challenge International de Paris 2013-01-26</a> Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia CommonsWhen you watch a fencing bout, what exactly are you looking at?

Newcomers to competition, including parents, partners and even some of the new fencers may find it confusing to watch and, more importantly, understand fencing. It is a fast sport fought in short bouts (fights) according to strict technical rules with little time to analyse or find explanations.

For this non-fencer and newcomer, this is, in summary, how fencing ‘works’. …

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Fencing age groups

Youth fencing is usually divided up by age bands. The age of a fencer is normally taken as at Jan 1st in the current year, so if a fencer has not reached their 14th birthday on Jan 1st they are considered Under 14 for the whole of that year.

Some schools’ competitions use a similar system, but based on September 1st, in keeping with the school calendar.

Children under the age of 8 are not normally allowed to compete.

Fencers under 17 are referred to as Cadets and those under 20 are called Juniors. Lots
of competitions also use other age-groups, like under 11 or under 13, but these don’t have specific names.

Fencers over 40 may qualify for veterans competitions. There is no upper age limit.

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HEMA – is it safe?

Messengers class training longswordStudying historical combat techniques with heavy weapons is rewarding and fun, but, like most other martial arts, inherently risky. We all have proper jobs to go back to, families to look after, bills to pay; things that are difficult enough without the added burden of trips to A&E, bandages, splints, crutches and the long-lasting effects of concussion (genuinely no laughing matter). We are not 24/7 Medieval or Renaissance warriors. This is a hobby more than a lifestyle choice. …

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