Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Author: Igor Chirashnya (Page 1 of 31)

5 touch bout vs. 15 touch bout – What’s the Difference?

5 touch bout versus 15 touch boutAt a recent big national tournament, a parent and I watched as a much higher ranked epee fencer lost 5:2 in the pools to a much weaker opponent. It happened so fast! I mentioned to the parent that in a 15-point match, the stronger opponent would likely have won. She of course immediately asked “why is that?”

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Ode to Fencing

Love of sport - love fencing valentine day

It’s Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, we’ve got a short poem that extols our love of fencing. We hope you enjoy.


How do I love fencing? Let me count the ways.

I love fencing to the height of the podium and the breadth of the strip.

My passion reaches higher, my skill takes flight in every competition trip.

I love fencing to the level of each day’s hard work,

Packing and unpacking the fencing bag in which my smelly glove does lurk.

I love fencing freely, without demanding that it return anything more than I give.

I love fencing purely, for the joy that it brings me in the thrill of swords clinking.

I love fencing with a passion that I put to use in lessons and in classes.

I love fencing when I forfeit a touch or lose the bout.

This goal of winning is not the only thing this is about.

Smiles, tears, aching muscles, tired legs

I shall still love fencing when for a rest my body begs.


*this poem was inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s classic poem Sonnet 43

**image credit –

Rating Skipping in Fencing

rating skipping in fencingWhat does it mean when a fencer jumps to a high rating at a local or regional competition?

Sometimes a fencer gets a high rating at a local or regional competition, suddenly going from a U or an E rating to a A or a B fencing rating. Does that mean that they’re suddenly a Division 1 fencer? The answer is no, even though that rating does feel really good at the moment. Getting this kind of rating jump doesn’t make them a real mature Division 1 fencer.

Progress takes time

There is nothing instant about this process. Progress in fencing takes time. There are no shortcuts to be had here, no amount of raw talent or specialized training will skip over the hours that need to be put in on the strip and with a coach to make the progress happen. This is true for any sport, but especially in fencing where just muscular performance isn’t enough. There are a lot of tactical and mental elements in the game, and those cannot be winked into fencing.

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What are the Junior Olympics in Fencing?

What are US Fencing Junior Olympics and How to QualifyThe Junior Olympics are not just a little Olympic Games!

The name is just a nice name (and many US sports use this name for their respective championships). A nice name that confuses people who are new to the sport, but again this competition is not intimately tied to the big Olympic games that happen every four years.

If you’re new to fencing, then something you probably want to know pretty quickly is what all of these big championships are. What is the big deal with these competitions? How can someone new to the sport make sense of them?

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Building Camaraderie with Your Fencing Opponent

Building camaraderie with your fencing opponentWhat is an opponent? When a fencer is battling another fencer for points, what is the emotional level that they should be at? How much of the “enemy” is a fencing opponent?

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