The Apache Pow Wow

Fencing: A Game of Mental Skill

Ariana Parizadeh, Staff Writer

Fencing is a vying sport of swordplay for all ages. There are three weapons: a foil, saber, and epeé. How the sport works is that you score a point by touching your opponent’s target with your weapon (the sword-like object) before they can score by touching you. However, the rules, strategies, and areas of target are what make the game particularly clear-cut. Most fencers prefer to use a specific weapon during games, and it is rare for a fencer to be an expert in all three weapons. Fencing is also one of only four sports to be included in every Olympic Games since the first ones in 1896.

A fencing bout takes place on a 2 x 14 meter piste. The fencer’s weapons are both wired by a cord through their sleeve to an electronic scoring machine. After touching the foil to the lamé (the suit-like metallic garment) to test its accuracy, the match begins. Both fencers start four meters apart, salute each other, put on their masks, and face each other, ready to fence (also known as en garde position). The referee then calls the beginning of the bout and the fencers remain facing each other, and are not allowed to leave the piste during the bout.

There are countless benefits that come from fencing, such as gaining the knowledge of fortitude, swiftness, and precision. You also improve your strategic capabilities while building self-confidence and flexibility. You can start at any age and it’s not something that will only take effect if you start young. An article written by the New York Times titled Just What Colleges Want: Rapier-Sharp Wits described how the skills that professional fencers developed through their training got them into Ivy Leagues.
Overall, the skills that are developed from fencing are essential qualities that are needed in life. It can also increase your academic performance in school by giving you a sharper mindset. In addition to that, fencing is an individual sport as well as a team sport so you learn sportsmanship by working with others as well as independence. To top it all off, the sport is very stress-reducing and you’re so focused while playing that any outside stresses or issues will immediately leave your mind. Hopefully, this gave you a deeper insight on the benefits of fencing.

Photo by Ariana Parizadeh

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Fencing: A Game of Mental Skill