Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: November 2016

4 Reasons it’s Better to Lose a Fencing Bout than to Win One

TOPSHOT - Tunisia's Ines Boubakri reacts after losing Italy's Elisa di Francisca in their women's individual foil semi-final bout as part of the fencing event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 3 in Rio de Janeiro on August 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINIFABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

The thing about fencing is that in every bout there’s always a winner and a loser. The winner gets to walk away with the joy of having bested his or her opponent, but what does the loser walk away with? It turns out that to lose fencing bout is not that bad, actually the loser walks away with a LOT.

Non-Combativity in Fencing: The Reasons and The Rules

Non-Combativity-in-Fencing-The-Reasons-and-The-RulesIn the recent Arizona SYC, I witnessed a situation when in a pool bout an inexperienced referee called “HALT” and moved the bout to 1 minute due to non-combativity. Of course both coaches jumped in and explained the rule to the referee, who needed to verify with the head ref the nuances of it.

And of course, if even some referees are confused about the rule, what should we expect from the novice fencers that oftentimes have never  even heard about the term “non-combativity” prior to their first competition and their referee’s call?

An easy to understand explanation of non-combativity

Getting the Most out of Your Fencing Coach

 Getting the Most out of Your Fencing CoachGood fencing and good coaching go hand in hand – great fencers always have amazing coaches to support and guide them on their path.  We often hear people talk about the attributes of a great fencing coach. They should be experienced and dedicated, firm when necessary and fun sometimes too. They of course have to know the art of fencing inside out, but more importantly they’ve got to be able to share that knowledge effectively.

It’s All About the Fencer

Fencing Blade Size: How to Choose the Right One

How to choose the right fencing blade sizeGetting the fencing blade size right is an important, if sometimes mystifying, process. It’s one of those things that so many new fencers just aren’t sure about!

Where it starts

The regulated weapon size for youth 10 events is #2, while older category fencers use #5. What those numbers mean is that the #2 weapon is 3 inches shorter than the #5 weapon is. But that extra length also means that it is a bit heavier.

Typically kids retire their Y10 short weapons once they age out of Y10 category.  And typically they rush to purchase a shiny new “real size” weapon. Most parents know about either #5 or #2 blades and oftentimes do not know exactly what to purchase when.

The goal of this post is to help novice parent choose the right blade for their child. One word of caution though – before you make your decision based on what I write in this post, consult with your coach. They see your child fence every day, they know their strengths and weaknesses and will be able to make the right choice of the weapon.

So what do blade size numbers mean?

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