Art of Fencing, Art of Life

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Five Ways Beginner Fencing Summer Camp is Different from other Summer Camps

Five Ways Beginner Fencing Summer Camp is Different from other Summer Camps

Beginner Fencing Summer Camp is Different from other Summer Camps. Here is why –

There are 13 summer vacations in a kid’s life. 

That’s all! Just thirteen. What a child does during those two months can enrich them, expand their minds, and open doors to new experiences that they’ve never imagined. Filling that time between the end of school and the beginning of school can be tricky. We want our kids to continue to be engaged intellectually and physically, but we also want them to have that sense of being a kid while they can. It doesn’t last long!

Summer camp is a perfect way to fill some of those weeks, because it gives kids an intensive chunk of time to focus on learning or improving a skill or activity. Summer camp is summer camp right? Wrong! Not when it’s fencing camp! Beginner fencing summer camp is an experience unlike anything else your child can participate in during those summer months.

Here are five ways that beginner fencing camp stands out as a way for your child to get the most out of one of those thirteen summers.

9 Tips on How to Fence a Taller Fencer

9 Tips on How to Fence a Taller Fencer

The age categories in fencing generally mean that you’ll be fencing someone who is about the same height as you are – generally speaking. However it’s not uncommon to come across a fencer who is much taller than you are, and that can pose its own unique set of challenges. To take on a fencer who towers over you, you need to rethink your strategies.

Kids especially can benefit from learning how to fence against opponents who are much taller than they are, as growth spurts can mean that there’s a foot difference in two fencers who are within just a year or two in age, and even for between the kids of the same age. Also, young fencers can be easily intimidated by the prospect of fencing against much taller opponent, and unclear what they should do in this case.

Here are nine tips for how to fence a taller fencer.

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

Understanding Fencing Team Competition

understanding-fencing-team-competition-resized-2To the novice fencer, competition can be overwhelming. Besides there being three different weapons, each with their own unique rules and conventions, there are also two different formats to the competition – team and individual. I bet that the first image when many novice people heard about fencing team competition was that it involved five fencers all fighting each other Avengers style, Iron Man and his crew versus Captain America and his team with everyone trying to get points all at once. And while it might sound really fun to have a large group of fencers all whipping their way to the winning point, in reality team competition still involves one-on-one fights between fencers. Sorry guys, no melee here.

So then what is the difference between individual and team competition? How does it all work? It’s actually not that complicated at all! Do keep in mind that these same structures are present no matter what the weapon is, though there are some few variations along the way which we will explain. Also keep in mind that every competition is slightly different, so this is really meant to be a general guideline that will help you to make sense of it all.

Fencing Impact On My Education and Well Being

Fencing Impact On My Education and Well BeingI’ve been fencing for almost seven years and those seven years have been busy. I started high school, I took the SATs and ACTs, I went to prom, I graduated, and I just finished my first year of college. People always asked me how I managed to dedicate hours to train daily and still do well in my school work, tests, and still manage to have a social life. My answer was fencing.

Fencing for a minimum of eighteen hours a week sounds like it takes over all my time, leaving me stressed out when it came to any other aspect of my life. But in reality, I would have been more stressed out without fencing.

Exercise has many more benefits than just improving fitness and staying healthy. Working out increases alertness and energy, which means that even after working out for three hours straight, I have enough energy to continue my day with close to full productivity. Exercise improves mental health which puts a positive spin on my day. Working out also plays a part in improving the immune system, so I don’t get sick as often.

There was a time in high school when I took time off from fencing to focus on school. During this period of time, I did not work out as much and was honestly very depressed. I was always frustrated for no reason, I rarely completed my assignments on time, even though my schedule was close to empty. I was often sick and would miss school because of fevers, colds, and headaches. I stopped spending time with my friends and family because I just wanted to be alone… always. Every aspect of my life was deteriorating. After a few months, I returned back to fencing and my grades started getting better. I was on top of my responsibilities and was active in all the different organizations I was part of, both in and out of fencing. I didn’t get sick as often and I started spending time with important friends as well. Most importantly, I was happy.

I now fence for a Division 1 NCAA team in college and when I talked to people on the team and alumni who had taken a break after graduating college, many of them revealed that they had similar experiences. My little sister also went through the same thing when she was in middle school.

Evidently, fencing has helped with productivity in fencers of various different levels from all around the country. Of course this is applicable to other sports (and working out in general), but for me, personally, it was fencing. And I can not be more thankful for having a sport that really helps me keep at my best!

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