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Introduction to Fencing 102

Updated on November 17, 2017
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.

The Salute

Introduction

Fencing ettiquette is the topic of this lesson. Before anyone pickup a weapon, one should learn the rules of the game.

- Aug. 2017

Background

Every sport has its own ideosyncracies. Fencing is no different. The ettiquette rules are part of a long tradition. It was a gentlemen's sport before going mainstream. Now, it is very popular with women and children of all ages. Here are some basic ettiquette when fencing.

  • Never point a weapon at a person without wearing protective gear, both the fencer and the opponent.
  • Always salute the director and the opponent at the start of a bout.
  • Always shake hands with your opponent after the bout, win loose or draw.
  • Listen to the director and follow his instructions and commands.
  • Don't argue with the director over a controvertial call.
  • Don't celebrate a winning touch or taunt your opponent.
  • Don't release the electric cord from far away, it can damage the reels.
  • Hold your weapon upright for the weight test at the start of a competition.
  • Don't hold up the competition with extended delay.
  • Always ask the director before taking a timeout.
  • Always check your weapons to make sure they are in working order before a tournament.
  • Never use unnecessary roughness during a bout.
  • Never turn your back against an opponent until a halt is called and clearly heard by your opponent.
  • Don't distract you opponent with loud noises.
  • Safety is first and foremost.

A Word About Safety

Fencing weapons are not like swords. They do not have a sharp cutting edge or a sharp point. In that respect, it is a safe weapon. However, it is made of steel and it does have potential to poke an eye out. Hence, we wear a meshed mask for protection. We also wear protective gear such as a plastron for protecting the underarm area.

Some common sense will go a long way to maintain a safe environment. Avoid using too much power or strength when in contact with an opponent. Less is better. There is always a danger of collision or breakage of the weapon when too much force is used. When a blade breaks, it becomes a deadly weapon. It can pierce jacket and skin and organs.

Summary

Contrary to popular belief, the sport of fencing is not a contact sport. It is combat using a weapon. There should never be body to body contact when done properly. The rules are regulations are in place to protect the fencers, judges and spectators.

Respect for the director and opponents are expected conduct of behavior. Enjoy and have fun.

© 2017 Jack Lee

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