By Sergey Danilov
7 Reasons to Start Fencing
1. Fencing improves your fitness and coordination
Hours of sitting for online classes, computer games, or Netflix will inevitably make your body feel a little clumsier and out of shape. Well, fencing improves fitness and develops a number of skills. As you learn to move quickly on the fencing strip (2 x 14 meters) in specific positions and with different motions, you aim to outsmart your opponents and execute the actions before they even realize that you “fooled” them. Fencing makes you work hard physically, keeps you in shape, and improves your coordination, speed, agility and strength.
2. Fencing makes you think
All actions in fencing require not only focus on your own position, but also the ability to read and anticipate actions and movements of your opponent. Fencing develops strategic thinking on the same level as chess or other logistical games. That is why the common nickname of fencing is “physical chess”. Fencing teaches the athlete to find the way in situations when it seems there is no way, and find the most effective ways to make the right decisions in a short period of time. These skills will help you succeed off the strip as well — in school, college, careers, family, life.
3. Fencing teaches you focus and resilience
You win, you are happy. You lose…well it happens, but you will be responsible for it and only you. Every loss will teach you to find your own mistakes, practice and master the skills and try again and again, until you succeed. Isn’t this what we need in life? Instead of stressing out, you learn to focus and work hard to perfect something (even if nothing is ever perfect) until you achieve your goals.
4. Fencing is a very safe and low injury sport
Fencing is one of the safest sports in the world. Hard to believe, right? Fencers must wear protective gear, made of high-tech materials, including masks and gloves. Body contact is prohibited, and safe and proper protocols are taught from the start. Fencing is one of the sports with the lowest risk of injury — occasionally, there may be a few small bruises if someone hits too hard accidentally, but that is a big maybe!
5. Fencing teaches you time management
Well, you learned the sport, you got busier… now you have to manage all the time you have to succeed everywhere. During sparring with your opponents, you will learn to manage time in “split seconds”; during practice you will learn to manage your time to complete everything the coach told you to do; outside of practice you will learn to manage your time for academics, training, competitions, family and friends so you can accomplish everything you want.
6. Fencing is for everyone
Any size, any age, any gender, any ability — you can succeed in fencing! This sport is called “physical chess” for a reason. It’s all about using your unique traits to your advantage. Unlike sports like volleyball and basketball where height is an absolute game-changer, fencers primarily utilize their lateral movement, quickness, and precision. This means that shorter and taller people can both use strategy to score a touch on their opponents. Fencing is a demanding and safe sport that one can practice throughout a lifetime, which means that you may cross paths with fencers from ages 8 to 80 and learn from all different kinds of people throughout your fencing journey.
7. Fencing can help you get into college
Your child may not be thinking of fencing as they prepare for college admissions, but maybe they should — especially, if he or she has a passion for and dedication to the sport. Fencing can give your child that extra edge that’s needed to get into a great college. 32% of male fencers and 38% female fencers who compete in high school will continue to compete in college with a partial or full scholarship. Compare that to football which only sees about 7.8% of its students continue with the sport in college. Fencing can really benefit your college application and enrich your college experience.