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Why the Sport of Fencing?

Updated on September 23, 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 sport of modern fencing has been around for over 100 years. It started as an elite sport conducted by aristocrats. It was popular among ivory league schools. When I was going to college back in the late 60s, there was only a handful of schools that have a Varsity fencing team. Today, almost all universities have either a fencing team or a club. The growing popularity of fencing is not easily explained.

- Sept. 2017

Why Fencing?

Fencing is an individual sport very much like tennis or boxing. It is between two individuals with a set of rules. It is very safe contrary to popular opinion. Safer than soccer or basketball or football which are team sports with body contact. It is made more interesting by having three different weapons requiring different skills and also combined into a team sport where a group of 9 is needed for a full team competition.

This team have the added benefit of fostering camaraderie among the members. These bonds among teammates can last a life time. It is the shared experiences that only a few can comprehend.

The individual is made to be part of the team. By doing well, he or see will be held in high regard among his peers. It is also an additional incentive. The support and cheers from the teammates can have a psycological benefit.

Lesson for life are part of this whole experience. The training and discipline required to perfect the sport is also great lessons for life.

Fencing is not a Spectator Sport

Unlike other sports, individual or team, fencing is not a spectator sport. No one will be paying money to watch a fencing tournament except in the Olympics. It is for the enjoyment of the individual fencers.

It is part of human nature that we are competitive. In life and in our job, we compete for attention and for recognition and for rewards, It doesn't necessarily have to do with money. We want to be recognized for a job well done. We get that in sports activities. By combining, recreation and exercise and mental challenge, fencing is an ideal sport for all ages.

Fencers Club - NYC


In the Fencers Club, on the wall, you will see many champions going back 50 years or more. It is the oldest fencing club in America established in 1883. On any given night, you will find people of all ages including girls and boys practicing the sport. I am amazed at some who are over 80 and still fence. How many other sports can make that claim?

92 Years Old - Dennis Willcock; Past Away at Age 94 in 2013

© 2017 Jack Lee


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