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On guard for GFORCE!

Added 07 Nov 2017 by GFORCE

You might not know this but fencing is an Olympic sport that has featured in every single modern Olympic Games so, on guard – or en garde as the French would say, is a phrase we’ll be hearing much more as the popularity of Fencing grows.  There is also Wheelchair Fencing for the really strong at heart!

So what’s it all about?

Fencing is one of the oldest sports in the World with references to it on the Pyramids in Egypt.  Often described as physical chess.

There are three weapons used in modern fencing. All involve fast feet, quick reactions and lots and lots of passion!

The Foil which is derived from the ‘Court Sword’ where one fought to defend ones honour and the first person to draw blood was declared the winner.  The target area for foil is the torso, excluding the arms, legs and head and it is governed by strict rules of right of way with hits being scored by hitting your opponent with the tip of the blade.

The Sabre is the lightest weapon and hits are scored with the tip or by ‘slashing’ your opponent.  It is derived from the cavalry sword and so any part of the body above the waist is target as it was considered ungentlemanly to hit your opponents horse.  Sabre is also governed by strict rules of right of way.

The Epee is the heaviest weapon and the descendent of the true duelling sword.  The whole body is the target and there are no rules of right of way – whoever hits first scores.  Hits are scored with the point and bouts can be quite strategic as avoiding being hit takes on a different meaning!

All fencing bouts take place on a ‘piste’ and you can lose hits by going off the end of side of the piste. A referee controls the bout, makes sure the rules are followed and awards hits.

The bout ends when one fencer reaches the total needed to win (usually five) or when the time allowed runs out (three minutes). If the scores are tied after time has run out a tie-break is used.

What next
The England Fencing’s senior team have been selected for the 5 Nations, in Cardiff on November 25 at the Welsh Institute of Sport. Where they will be defending their title from 2016.
The team will also be taking part in the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Australia next year along with a team of Veterans who will compete in the Veteran Commonwealth Championships.

For more information about the England team, visit http://englandfencing.co.uk.

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