Fencing is a sport which is quickly becoming popular when it comes to kids activities because of everything that the child can learn. There are three main forms of fencing, and each have their own type of weapon. The three swords are known as the foil, the saber and the epee.
These started out as lighter and safer practice weapons for duelers. The foil blade is relatively flexible and around thirty-five inches in length with a square cross section. It is lighter than the other two swords, and the use of a foil as a tool for practice and training, plus competition, has helped shape fencing as a sport overall.
This sword is as long as the foil, however it has a blade which is much heavier with a cross-section that is triangular and has fluting on the sides of the blade. The weight, shape and fluting began with the rapier, which was designed mainly to inflict a thrusting wound and allow blood to flow more freely. The epee is a thrusting weapon as well, and you score points by striking anywhere on the body. The guard is a cup shape so that your hand and wrist are protected.
The saber is used to thrust and slash unlike the first two weapons. The saber had its beginnings as a military weapon, and today’s saber has a flat, light blade with a front striking edge and spine that is flat. The guard is fairly large and cup-shaped, having a curved guard which wraps around your hand at the end of the handle. You score points by striking your opponent with the blade’s front side, plus the forward third of the point or back edge of the blade.
Another thing your child will learn when they begin fencing is the lunge, as it is the fundamental technique that can be used with all three of the weapons. It is commonly seen in all the contemporary fencing styles.
It is performed by kicking forward with your front foot, then pushing your body forward with your back leg. It can be used together with the different blades to give an offensive action and is one of the most basic and common kinds of offensive footwork.
You can also start by extending your arm, then advancing and hitting your target simultaneously while the front foot is landing.
The Simple Parry
You’ll also need to know the simple movement of the parry, which is a deflection of the blade of your opponent with yours. You need to learn a few steps to do this successfully. First, retreat on your opponent’s initial extension, then as they lung, take a second, smaller retreat and then parry in the right line. If your opponent is doing an advanced lunge, take a third retreat before you parry to make up for the extra footwork. As your opponent is recovering from the lunge, riposte.
At Silversword Fencing Academy, we will teach your child all the basics that they need to know about fencing, so that they can be successful and enjoy this sport as they are learning several life skills as well.