Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

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A Fencer’s Guide to Holiday Gifts – Olympic & Star Wars Edition

Fencer Holiday Gifts Guide - A set of Star War Thumb lightsabers

It’s that time of year again, when everyone is thinking towards holiday cheer and, of course, holiday gift giving. Fencers tend to go all in for their sport, and every fencer appreciates thoughtful holidays gifts that come from the heart (but is also related to fencing!). 

This year is a little special because it is an Olympic year. We’ve got Tokyo 2020 to look forward to! We know that we’re extremely excited for the coming games and all that international fencing that’ll be at the heart of the whole thing. That’s why we’ve put together a list of fencing gifts for the holidays that are perfect for the Olympic fencing fan in your life! They range from the very practical to the lots of fun, but they all have one thing in common – Tokyo 2020!

The other thing that we’re celebrating this year is the big new Star Wars movie that’s got everyone excited about picking up those lightsabers again. It’s no secret that lightsaber fights and fencing are tactitly connected, and we love to see the enthusiasm for swordsmanship.

Whatever the answer is, we do know that the holidays and fencing go hand in hand. Check out these holiday gifts that will have everyone in your fencing life ready to shout for joy this season.

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Top Fencing to Follow on Social Media (in 2019)

Top Fencing to Follow on Social Media in 2019

You know that you love fencing, and if you’re like the rest of us then you’re probably follow fencing on social media too. You want to keep up to date with the best fencing that is out there, and honestly there’s a lot of great fencing people to connect with on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. We’ve put together dozens of fencing channels to check out. 

Note that this does not constitute our endorsement of every single one of the posts on every single one of these pages, nor are we directly or indirectly affiliated with any of these fencers. We just wanted to share the fencing on social media that we’ve found to be awesome through our own experience.

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50+ Amazing Smartphone Fencing Backgrounds

Smartphone Fencing Background

Smartphone fencing backgrounds are very popular! Everyone has a smartphone. When you have this little device in your hands all the time that you don’t have a sword in your hands, of course, you want to put your fencing mark on it – create your own smartphone fencing backgrounds!

That’s why we’ve put together a whole lot of smartphone fencing backgrounds for you. They’re arranged in categories for easy browsing. To download one and use it on your smartphone, simply click the picture and save it to your phone, then go to your pictures and set it as the background! It’s that easy. We’ve sized these pictures to fit most phone backgrounds, so no matter if you have an iPhone, a Samsung, a Google Pixel, or an LG, you’re covered. You’ll also find a link to the original fencing image where we found it online. 

Now, whenever you look at your smartphone you’re feeling the spirit of fencing! We hope you enjoy. 

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Smart Device to Help Fencers to Combat New Unwillingness to Fight Rule in Fencing

Smart Device to Help Fencers to Combat New Unwillingness to Fight Rule in FencingThe new unwillingness to fight rule in fencing has created a lot of confusion among fencers, even veteran fencers. It’s something everyone has been talking about since it went into effect earlier this year, and we’re always working to find new solutions for fencers who need to address problems like this one.

With this new rule, fencers must constantly be aware of the clock. With this new rule, if you don’t keep track of how much time has gone by then you might be in for a rough surprise in the form of a p-card! That’s hard to do in the middle of a fight when you’re also worried about your opponent getting a point against you! Even when the scoring apparatus has a timer, it’s hard to keep track of how much time has elapsed since the last touch. That problem gets even worse for a fencer in the middle of a fight when there is no timer on the scoring machine, with the ref using his or her own timer or their smartphone to direct the bout.

A lot of fencers have gotten caught getting a significant number of p-cards, including p-red and p-black cards as a result of these simple confusions.

Is there no way to better manage this problem? Surely there must be some answer to save us from the terrible fate of getting carded in a bout for something so simple and easy to track as the time?

We’re glad you asked.

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A Lesson in Inspiration – the Fencing Grand Prix in Anaheim

Absolute Fencing Gear Foil Grand Prix Anaheim 2019There are fencing competitions, and then there are fencing competitions.

The fencing Grand Prix is a fencing competition that is unlike anything else in America. There are certainly other competitions in the world that have a similar stature in terms of size or media coverage or fencing prowess, but not here in the United States. It’s a yearly exercise in the best, and it’s something I look forward to year after year.

What is the Fencing Grand Prix?

When we think of the words “Grand Prix”, for lots of people that brings to mind automobile racing. Honestly in fencing it’s much the same as it is in car racing, except instead of cars racing around courses in different parts of the world on the hunt for the top prize, it’s fencers chasing each other across the strip to hunt for the top prize.

The international governing body of fencing, FIE, organizes a series of nine events around the globe each year for the best fencers in the world to meet and challenge themselves. These competitions are called the Grand Prix, and they take place literally all over the world.

  • Men’s and Women’s Epee – Doha, Qatar
  • Men’s and Women’s Epee – Budapest, Hungary
  • Men’s and Women’s Epee – Cali, Columbia
  • Men’s and Women’s Foil – Turin, Italy
  • Men’s and Women’s Foil – Anaheim California, USA
  • Men’s and Women’s Foil – Shanghai, China
  • Men’s and Women’s Sabre – Caire, Egypt
  • Men’s and Women’s Sabre – Seoul, South Korea
  • Men’s and Women’s Sabre – Moscow, Russia

You can see that there are three Grand Prix held for each weapon, and that they are held across the globe. The competitions run from January through May, with fencers vying for international rankings and qualification for other competitions.

Grand Prix are different from the Fencing World Cup competitions, of which there are five each year. They are also distinct from zonal championships, which cover only a certain region of the world. The world rankings are fed into through qualification from World Cup, Grand Prix, and zonal competitions. The Olympics are a totally different thing, governed by a different organization, the IOC. Satellite competitions are held in addition to all of these other international competitions.

So there you are, the basics of the Fencing Grand Prix.

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