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:
- 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!
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!