Fencing…and kids? If you’ve never experienced fencing first-hand, it might seem like a dubious connection at first. But the truth about fencing is that it’s about much more than just fighting with swords (swords that are modified to be safe, at that). Learning to fence can actually benefit children in a wide range of ways, helping them to improve upon everything from dexterity to discipline – skills that can and will benefit them long into the future. Curious as to whether fencing is right for your little one? Break down the benefits and get to know this amazing sport in this short list.
As little ones begin to reach the age of five or six, their hand-eye coordination significantly improves. But that doesn’t mean that it’s as honed as it would be once they reach adulthood; there’s plenty of room for improvement along the way. Controlling a fencing sword forces the hand and eye to work together in tandem much in the same way as hitting a bullseye with an arrow. The small muscle groups found within the hands, arms, shoulders and neck also improve over time, allowing for faster reaction times and more precise hits. That can sometimes translate out into an improvement in other sports, drawing, or even handwriting.
Emotional Regulation and Stress Management
Kids who fence also have a unique opportunity to learn breathing moderation. In order to fence effectively, you must remain calm and focused on your opponent and the physical space he or she occupies; become too stressed out and you’ll slip and make errors. This alone has a side of effect of helping with everyday emotional regulation. Little ones learn to stay focused and deal with stress in a positive manner, rather than reacting negatively to the stress itself. This has an added side effect of boosting both self-esteem and confidence at the same time.
Oddly enough, fencing actually utilizes many of the same areas of the brain as playing music. When your child is learning fencing moves, they’re also learning to develop a rhythm that helps them to time their thrusts and parries effectively – meaning they aren’t just stabbing randomly (at least once they know the basics). When it comes time to learn an instrument on their own, understanding and being able to keep rhythm places them at an advantage over their peers. While there’s no guarantee that fencing will ensure your child gets into the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, it will benefit them if they decide to join the school band.
Whether you decide to join a fencing club at 4 or 40, you’ll experience the many benefits of fencing first-hand. From just getting a bit of exercise to learning to dial things back and stay calm under stress, it’s a fun and exciting way to get kids involved in a disciplined sport. Learn more about how fencing can benefit your child at SilverSword.