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Art of Fencing, Art of Life

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How to Build Your Own Home Fencing Target

Home Made Fencing Target

FACT #1: Many fencing clubs around the world are closed to classes and lessons right now due to coronavirus.

FACT #2: Fencers still need to practice their fencing, which means practicing at home. 

FACT #3: Fencing swords are long and pointy. 

FACT #4: When long and pointy things poke furniture and walls, they leave marks and holes.

FACT #5: You can make your own fencing target at home with very little trouble, which will help avoid holes in the things. 

There are of course many options to buy a fencing target from places that sell fencing gear, however, you can easily make one at home that will have a significant effect. The point here is to be creative, to save some money, and to create a target that works for you so that no fencer hurts another person or damages your home. 

Always, always remember that safety should come first. Protective gear at home is just as important as protective gear in the club. Fencing with a target is a great way to hone and maintain those fencing skills, but it should be done only with the considerations of safety. This means for the fencer and the other people.

With that said, it is simple and important to make a home fencing target!

Making a home fencing target

There needs to be plenty of space in your home fencing area, as much as you can find. There has to be enough room that you can thrust forward and lunge without hitting something other than your target. Outside or a garage are wonderful options if you have them.

We created one in our backyard with a chair that we had outside. It is so simple! Here’s what you need:

  • Chair
  • Cushions
  • Old (or current) fencing jacket
  • Foil tape or another tape

Step 1 – Stuff the cushions into the fencing jacket.

Step 2 – Mark targets with the tape

Step 3 – Stabilize the target in the chair

Step 4 – Place the chair against a table, tree, wall, countertop, second chair, etc. for stability.

Step 5 – Fence!

This is the easiest and most straightforward way to make a fencing target! It takes only a few minutes and can be done with things that you have around the house already. No need to risk going out into the world when you are in quarantine!

Many parents out there are very handy, we know that. Pinterest is full of DIY targets that can be made from materials that you have at home. Put together with some creativity, it’s possible to create a fencing target that will last for the length of this quarantine and beyond.

Here are some important things that you should remember. 

  • Material – It MUST be a fencing jacket or some other very tough material. Fencing swords have metal points, and anything that is not made of a tough material will quickly become destroyed. Don’t poke the chair! Soon you will find the need to replace it if this starts happening.
  • Stuffing – The jacket MUST be stuffed. Just a jacket is not enough. You need to have something dense underneath the jacket. A firm material like a heavy-duty dense foam, or of course a pillow as we used, would be best. The pillow that we used in the picture is a small garden pillow, but something even more firm would be best. You could also try folding a bath towel or two over and over again, using an old bath mat, or even an old yoga mat. It needs to be firm but have some give as well, or else it will damage the blade.
  • Height – The target needs to be at chest height for the fencer. Not too low or too high. If you have a chair that is tall, like a counter chair, then that works well! If not, you may need to elevate the chair that you are using. 
  • Walls – If you decide to put a target on a wall, then take careful consideration that you protect your wall. Fencers, even those with experience but especially kids, are going to miss! Think about how to protect whatever is behind your target before you get started. 

What it looks like doesn’t matter! Your fencing target doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy in order to be effective. Be creative and enjoy the DIY aspect of this fencing piece. It should be fun! 

Other ideas for home targets

There are lots of other ways to create home targets, and many of them we have written about in the past. Check out these other blogs for more information on how to create home training areas for fencers who are stuck without being able to come to the club!

6 Effective Techniques for Home Fencing Practice

Youth Fencers and At-Home Fencing Target Training: Is it a good idea?

Targets for fencing practice allow fencers to work on skills that they need during this time away from training. We highly recommend coming up with some kind of home target system, always in concert with your fencing coach of course. They will be able to give you drills and ideas to get the most out of your personal training. 
Stay connected to AFM through our Facebook page, email, and here on our blog for announcements about online classes and private lessons. We’ll continue to share information about how to keep fencing going during this time!

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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