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- also known as "styles" or "disciplines" - include Épée, Foil and Sabre. Each of the fencing disciplines have their own set of rules that are best fitted for the given "fencing sword."
Here at Tim's Fencing Academy, we specialize in the Épée and Foil.
Originated as a practice fencing sword/weapon for the officers in the army to practise the most vital hits. Foil blade is designed to be slightly lighter than the other two fencing swords thus it is much more agile. As a result in modern foil fencing the valid target area is just the torso; no arms, head or legs. Foil fencers train mostly on their footwork and the speed of the hand. With limited target area the fencers need to be "quick on their feet and sharp in the mind."
When one imagines a duel between two fencers they are picturing épée fencing. Historically, the épée was carried by officers for self-defense and display of status 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 épée fencing the valid target area is the entire body. 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 their opponent.
The sabre was the weapon of choice for the officers in the cavalry. When riding a horse 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. In modern fencing sabre is the only weapon that can score points with the edge of the blade and the target area consists of the arms, torso and head.
Fencing is for Everyone
Fencing is a unique sport because it welcomes any type of ability and fencers can start at any age. This sport does not rely on the superior athletic ability like 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 more cunning 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 competing and maintaining the status of an elite athlete. A typical week of training often does involve attending combative practice 3-5 times a week, 3-4 days a week of scheduled time with a coach for individualised work, plus personal work on general fitness and health. All of this may seem like a lot but we are all, regardless of ability, one tight fencing family!