Blades and Glory!

Blades and Glory!

Are you captivated by the swashbuckling antics of the masked outlaw, Zorro?

Ever wished that you are one of rapier wielding member of The Three Musketeers?

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Now you can make those idle dreams into reality! So, grab your sword as we venture into the world of fencing in this week’s edition of Alternative Sports.

In case you are wondering, fencing is the scintillating sport that features fast paced footwork and graceful sword strokes. Liken to a game of physical chess, fencing is only one of the five sports that has been featured at every modern Olympic game.

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So what do you need to begin your sword duelling escapades? Well, the basic fencing attire you need comprise of a tough cotton jacket, plastron (an underlying arm protector), breeches (short trouser), mesh mask and glove. They are designed to grant fencers mobility without compromising safety.

Fencing jacket, breeches and mesh mask
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Next, you will get to choose from a selection of three distinct weapons.

The foil is a light thrusting weapon which is highly recommended to all beginners. The foil’s target area covers the torso, groin and back. A point is scored only if you strike with the tip and not the sides of the blade. A fight is stopped whenever a hit is registered. However, the point will only be awarded if it is within the target area. If both fencers simultaneously land a valid strike, the officiating referee will decide who gets the point by applying the rules of “right of way”.

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The sabre is an advance cutting and thrusting weapon with a wide target area. The valid target area covers all areas above the waist with the exception of the arms. A point can be scored with both the tip and sides of the blade. The fight is not stopped if a hit is registered outside the target area. If both fencers simultaneously land a valid strike, the referee once again determines who get the point by the conventions of “right of way”.

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The épée is the most popular weapon of the three. It is a heavy thrusting weapon with a valid target area that covers the entire body. A point is scored with the tip and not the sides of the blade. Unlike the foil and sabre, the rules of “right of way” do not apply to épée as simultaneous hits are awarded.

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It is important to note that you are not pigeonholed into a weapon once you have made your initial choice. In fact, most fencers are masters of all three weapons! Each different weapon imparts a unique skillset which in turn can only make you a better fencer.

So do you feel an itch in your fingers to wield a blade yet?

You can always head down to the new Z Fencing academy at our SAFRA Toa Payoh clubhouse. Alternatively, head over to the local fencing body Fencing Singapore International (FSI) to learn more about the local scene.

Unlock the fencer in you today!


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