Welcome to fencing! Currently in the modern sports-era there are three different types of fencing “swords” that nations compete in, with hope of bringing home an Olympic gold medal. Fencing swords or otherwise known as styles or disciplines include Epee, Foil and Sabre weapons. Each of the fencing disciplines have their own set of rules that are best fitted for the given “fencing sword”.
– Sabre is a weapon of choice for the officers in the cavalry. In comparison to epee and foil, sabre is the only fencing sword which encourages to slash rather than to thrust with the blade. Sabre sword was the weapon for the officers up on the horse. Therefore when moving at full speed the most effective fencing technique is to slash your opponent. With that in mind when a fencer is up on the horse he or she will not be able to reach opponents legs. As a result in modern sabre fencing tournaments the valid target area is everything from the waste and up…and unfortunately horses are not involved in the fencing competition.
– Originated as a practice fencing sword/weapon for the officers in the army. Foil blade is designed to be slightly lighter than the other two fencing swords thus it is much more agile. Foil fencing was predominantly used as a weapon to practice most vital hits. As a result in modern foil fencing the valid target area is just the torso; no arms, head or legs. Fencers fencing foil train mostly on their footwork and the speed of the hand. With limited target area in this fencing discipline the fencers needs to be “quick on their feet and sharp in the mind.”
– Fencing epee allows you to experience a real duel with a real fencing sword! When one imagines a duel between two fencers they are picturing epee fencing discipline. This weapon was carried by the officer for self-defense and display of status. Often carried at formal events such as parades or banquets. Traditionally fencing duels, though illegal, would be fought until the first blood is drawn. As a result, in modern epee fencing the valid target area is your entire body Targets including: head, torso, arms/hands, legs/feet. Fencing this style of weapon is best described as “chess at high speed.” Fencers must have lighting quick decision making while staying at least one step ahead of opposing fencer.
Who is Fencing for?
Fencing is a unique sport because it welcomes any type of ability. This sport does not rely on the superior athletic gifts like it is the case with many other sports. Because in fencing each opponent possesses a weapon they instantly present danger to anyone trying to get close. As a result the weapons in our sport act as a bridge between the body and a mind, where it allows for the smarter and whittier fencer to overcome even the most athletically gifted opponents.
Our fencers and coaching staff each year are posed with a task of becoming the best. Most of our fencers are training with a goal in mind to wear a Canadian maple leaf on their back and represent the country on the highest level such as World Championships or Olympic Games. To achieve this goal athletes take their journey to various parts of the world, competing at World Cups, Pan American Championships, European and North American circuits and many more. Throughout this process our students end up visiting different countries, developing a huge network of meaningful relationships all across the world, while of course competing and maintaining status of an elite athlete. Typical week of training often does involve attending combative practice 3-5 times a week, 3-4 days a week schedule time with a coach for individualised work plus after each practice do some personal work on general fitness and health. All of this may seem like a lot but we are all, regardless of ability, are one tight fencing family!