Fencing is a great cardiovascular workout for all ages without the detrimental hard impact effects of other sports. It improves hand-eye coordination, concentration, mental alertness and physical stamina, as well as providing a fun and competitive atmosphere that builds self-confidence and respect.
Rather than dwell on the long and colourful historical aspects of the sport, here is condensed information from various book and internet sources to give a simple overview of the sport in its modern form.
Fencing as a sport has three primary events or "weapons": Foil, Epee and Sabre. The events are named and differentiated by the type of weapon used to score touches and the different rules associated with awarding points to the competitors. The basic equipment used in fencing consists of a mask, protective jacket & pants, glove and one of the three weapons. While some fencers may compete in each of the three weapons, generally skills are honed in one particular weapon. Fencing's primary goal is to score the total number of hits needed to win, while at the same time dexterously avoiding being hit by your opponent. The sport has been described as "physical chess," signifying the complicated strategy and focus lying behind the thrusts and parries of fencing duels or bouts. Fencing is well known for its power to develop character and self-esteem, increase balance, flexibility, and coordination, develop physical endurance and expand the intellect.