WHAT IS FENCING
Fencing is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a martial art of fighting with blades. Competitive fencing is one of five activities which has been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games the other four being Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, and Gymnastics. The sport of fencing is divided into three weapons:
-SABER (the only weapon practiced and taught at Midwest Fencing Club)
a light cutting and thrusting weapon that targets the entire body above the waist, except for the hands. Hits with the edges of the blade as well as the tip are valid. As in foil, touches which land outside of the target area are not scored. However, unlike foil, these off-target touches do not stop the action, and the fencing continues. In the case of both fencers landing a scoring touch, the referee determines which fencer receives the point for the action.
a heavier thrusting weapon that targets the entire body. All hits must be with the tip and not the sides of the blade. Touches hit by the side of the blade do not halt the action. Unlike foil and sabre, Épée does not use right of way, and allows simultaneous hits by both fencers. However, if the score is tied at the last point and a double touch is scored, nobody is awarded the point.
a light thrusting weapon that targets the torso, including the back , but not the arms. Touches are scored only with the tip; hits with the side of the blade do not count, and do not halt the action. Touches that land outside of the target area (off-target) stop the action, and not scored. Only a single hit can be scored by either fencer at one time. If both fencers hit at the same time, the referee uses the rules of right of way to determine which fencer gets the point.
Olympic fencing refers to the fencing seen in most current competitions, including the Olympic Games and the World Cup. Competitions are conducted according to rules laid down by the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international governing body. These rules evolved from a set of conventions developed in Europe between mid-17th and early 20th century. The three Olympic weapons are foil, épée, and sabre. In competition, the validity of touches is determined by the electronic scoring apparatus and a set of rules called right of way or priority to eliminate referee error and bias.
FENCING IN THE UNITED STATES
In the United States, athletes compete at local and national levels, for the most part sanctioned by the United States Fencing Association (USFA). Locally, athletes register for tournaments in their division via a website called "Askfred.net." Nationally, athletes compete in tournaments called North American Cups, or NACs for short, as well as championship events including the Junior Olympics and Summer National Championships. At these tournaments, competitors are divided by gender, weapon, age group, and division (skill level). Age groups include Y10 (Youth 10, or 10 and younger) Y12 (12 and younger), Y14 (14 and younger), Cadet (under 17), Junior (under 20), as well as a variety of Veterans' categories for fencers over 40, 50, 60, or 70.
National ratings are awarded by the USFA and range from A through E (A being the highest and E the lowest), with U for all unrated fencers. Ratings are awarded based on number of competitors in a tournament and the strength of the tournament. Some competitions require competitors to meet the rating criteria. Division I fencing requires ratings of C or higher; Division II requires ratings of C or lower; Division III requires D or lower. A national points system for the age groups as well as Division 1 is based on results at national events and determines qualification for World Championships, World Cups, and the Olympics.
In the most common tournament format, fencers first fence 5 to 7 others (a round-robin "pool") in 5-touch bouts. The fencers are then seeded against all other competing fencers based on their pool results. A certain percentage of the lowest-seeded fencers (typically 20-25%) is sometimes cut from the competition prior to the direct elimination bracket. Fencers are then placed into a bracket based on the seeding and fence single-elimination bouts, usually to 15 touches. The winners advance in the bracket, and the losers are eliminated from the tournament.
Wheelchair fencing, an original Paralympic sport, was developed in post-World War II England. Minor modifications to the FIE rules allow disabled fencers to fence all three weapons. The most apparent change is that each fencer sits in a wheelchair fastened to a frame. Footwork is replaced by torso or arm movement, depending on the fencer's disability. The proximity of the two fencers tends to increase the pace of bouts. The fencers use standard Olympic weapons.
Fencing combines mental and physical agility in a fast mental game of swordplay that takes place on a 6-by-120-foot strip. It’s about anticipating what your opponent will do, provoking them to move in ways you want them to, and, ultimately, out thinking them to score touches and win the competition. Brute strength and speed are not needed. Fencing requires one to be responsible for his or hers own actions, as no one can score a point in fencing except for the fencer! Fencing has many benefits:
Fencing is a mental game that develops valuable life skills.
Fencing is a sport involving quick thinking, agility, poise, coordination and speed. It also develops discipline, respect, maturity and good sportsmanship, qualities that carry through to our everyday lives. Fencers learn to solve problems, cope with adversity and take what comes with grace. It is a tradition to salute before a fencing competition and shake hands afterwards.
Fencing can assist your child with admission to a prestigious college.
Most of the nation’s top colleges have fencing programs and offer fencing scholarships. These include Stanford, Notre Dame, Duke, Penn State, Yale, Princeton and Harvard. Schools with NCAA programs are looking for fencing students and that enhances the chance your child can attend a top-tier school. Fencing could put them into a different, and smaller pool, of applicants.
Fencing uses sudden and repetitive movements of the arms and legs, improving muscle tone and sharpening reflexes. It combines speed, agility and flexibility, working many muscle groups, the buttocks, stomach and thighs, in particular. A 150-pound person can burn 408 calories in one hour of fencing. Fencing is like golf… there is no age limit in fencing.
All fencers wear steel mesh masks, gloves, chest protectors and padded jackets, and the weapons they use do not have sharp edges. Although the goal is to touch opponents with weapons, injuries are rare. Fencing is considered safer than sports like football, basketball, soccer and baseball and cheer leading.
Travel the world
Fencing tournaments are held locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. These tournaments give fencers the opportunity to visit places they might not otherwise see and to experience new cultures.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Fencers and staff of MIDWEST FENCING Club are expected to treat other fencers, guests and staff at all times and in all respects in a manner free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Discrimination will not be tolerated in any form.
Fencers are expected to exercise control of their actions and demeanor at all times and to exercise good judgment by fencing appropriately for the age, size, and experience level of their opponents. Fencers are expected to wear all safety equipment and appropriate clothing, including full-length pants. Fencers shall not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, raise a weapon toward an unmasked person.
Good sportsmanship is expected from all fencers at all times. Fencers are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and courteous manner. Fencers are expected to salute their opponent and the director before and after each bout and to shake hands with their opponent after each bout in a sportsmanlike manner.
Fencers are expected to keep all equipment owned by them in safe working order and are responsible for the suitability and condition of that equipment at all times. Fencers using club equipment are expected not to use equipment that appears to be damaged or unsafe and to give such equipment to the armorer for repair.
All club activities must be treated with respect by fencers and guests. Families, friends and visitors must not interrupt or disrupt any ongoing activity or any coach or instructor.
Fencers are expected to come to classes on time.
Bullying will not be tolerated in any form, whether physical, psychological or verbal.
Mobile phones although allowed at the premises can not be used during fencing practice.
The above rules apply to all students at all tournaments.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR TOURNAMENTS
How to register for Local Tournaments?
1. Click here
2. Become a Member.
3. Fill out the form.
3. Select your club Midwest Fencing Club.
4. Click Register.
Now Click on the link was provided to you in email for registration or find tournament by searching keyword USAFC:
1. Click PreRegister
2. Enter your Last Name click GO
3. Select your name from Drop Down box Click GO again
4. Select Event(s)
5. Click Preregister.
You are done.
Official Fencing Websites:
www.USFencing.org - The United States Fencing Association (USFA) is the recognized National Governing Body for the sport of fencing in the United States.
www.fie.ch - The FIE is the organization which governs fencing throughout the world. It is based in the Olympic capital Lausanne (Switzerland) and currently counts 134 member federations.
www.midwestfencing.home.att.net - The Midwest Section of USFA.
www.il-usfa.com - Illinois division home page.
Other useful pages:
www.fencing.net - Fencing news, discussion forum, equipment reviews, blogs, shop and a lot more.
www.askfred.net - Information about fencing tournaments.
www.fencingtime.com - Fencing tournament software.
www.nahouw.net - International fencing tournaments and results.
www.usfencing.org/content/index/3782 - more vendors are listed on the USFA page.