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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In praise of plastic

WDS at Dartington Community Dayby Robin Catling.

From Pirates of the Caribbean, to Star Wars and even Transformers, it seems every other movie poster features a character with a sword; there’s been a slew of TV and online ads featuring Olympic fencers in action, TV shows such as Arrow and the Musketeers keep the skill and the romance of the sword alive. It’s no wonder even the smallest children want to give it a try. …

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New to Fencing: Start Here

What is fencing?

Fencers on pisteModern fencing is a martial art derived from older forms of duelling with swords. The objective is to hit your opponent without being hit yourself. Modern fencing is a competitive form that emulates a duel – the weapons are blunt and a secondary objective after winning the bout is not to injure anyone. Read more…

The fencing experience – a newcomers’ guide

LSFC club sessionBefore you even walk into any fencing club or tournament, you’ll hear the bright sound of clashing steel. This is both combat martial art and sport.

The modern sport of fencing has three different events: foil, epée and sabre, each with its own history, target area and rules. The goal in all three weapons is to hit the opponent on the valid target area without being hit yourself… Read more…

Fencing: Does it hurt?

Catling - epee competitionNot if done properly. Although executed at speed, a good, clean fencing attack hurts no more than a tap on the shoulder. The force of the blow is normally absorbed by the flex of the blade. Reckless and overly aggressive fencers can occasionally deliver painful blows, however. Fencing *is* a martial art, so you should expect minor bruises and welts every now and again. They are rarely intentional. The most painful blows tend to come from inexperienced fencers who have not yet acquired the feel of the weapon. Read more…

Safety First

Epee maskFencing is a safe sport. Regulation equipment conforming to safety standards and common sense fencing helps to maintain our good safety record. Read more…

Where next?

If that has piqued your interest, try the following posts:

Thinking of starting fencing?

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Fencing: where, when, how much?

OCRA fencing and Holiday SchemeWest Devon Swords holds beginners’ courses through the year as well as other displays and demonstrations

Our typical six-week beginners course in épée or sabre is held in a local sports centre or community hall and usually costs: £30 for  Juniors (up to 16 years and registered students) and and £36 for Adults.

To register:

call: 07956 409818



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