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Benefits of Fencing

Updated on January 31, 2018
jackclee lm profile image

I am retired and a former epee fencer at CCNY Varsity and USFA. I have achieved the rank of A and have competed in National tournament.


What are some of the benefits of fencing? The obvious one is the exercise. You can get fit while having fun. Moreover, there are additional hidden benefits. I will share some with you having fenced off and on for over 40 years.

- Jan. 2018


Fencing is an odd sport. Even though it is part of the Olympic competitions, very few people know of it or have tried it or even watched a bout. It is not a spectators sport. The actions are too fast for the naked eye and it can be boring at times. It is not a combat sport like boxing where the competitors can get injured or bleed. It is not like karate or judo where there is body contact between the players.

Finally, the blade and point is not sharp at all. You cannot get stabbed or cut with a fencing weapon. You wear protective gear like a mask and glove and jackets to protect from being poked. I will admit against some strong fencers, you can get bruised. Some fencers just don’t know their own strength or can‘t control it. Ideally, fencing is conducted with a bit of elegance. The idea is to hit your opponent without getting hit. If you csn do it with finesse, it is just so much better.

The Benefits...

Getting a good workout including increased aerobics, sweating profusely, stretching and balancing and controlled movements,

Mental alertness Is required to concentrate on your opponent and his actions and coming up with a counter action while on the fly.

Strategy and cunning is employed to trick your opponent. This back and forth is almost like a dance. Choreographed to produce an outcome.

Concentration and mental toughness Is part of the game. You need it to convince your opponent that you are fearless and a worthwhile opponent. Sometimes, it is this that wins the bout rather than brut force or speed.

Hand eye coordination is a must. You will need to react to a situation at a split second, and make a decision and follow with action and possibly counter action.

Able to judge timing and distance. Your ability to move up and down a strip and in sync with an opponent who is trying to do the same. A split second of 1/25th of a second can determine a win or loss.

The high you feel when winning is similar to a runners high. Your brain produces endorphins to create the good feeling after winning a touch or a bout.

The joy of executing a well planned attack. It is like a general on the battle field. After strategizing an offensive, executing it and winning over an opponent who is doing his best to defend it. That is a sense of satisfaction.


Fencing is a wonderful sport. In just 4 minutes or so, you can get your adrenaline flowing, get your heart rate up to 180 beats per minute, jump around in a controlled fashion, and score 5 touches against an opponent who may be equally skilled. Afterwards, you shake hands and walk away and no one got hurt except a bruised ego. How great is that?

A Non Scientific Poll

What is your opinion on fencing?

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© 2018 Jack Lee


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