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Sword Fencing - Chess at the Speed of Squash

February 24, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Fencing is, without a doubt, the best sport in the entire universe. If you've only ever watched it, but never tried, you might want to disagree -- admittedly, it's not the best spectator sport. But if you're taking part, there's nothing better. Let me briefly tell you why.

Have you ever been so absorbed in something that you lose all sense of time? To me this is the best way to forget about your problems, relieve stress and live in the moment. Well, there's not much that's more absorbing than trying to stop someone running you through with a yard of steel. Fencing is a brilliant stress reliever that engages you mentally as much as physically

Mentally fencing is very similar to a game of chess. As a fencer you're constantly trying to outwit your opponent. Your brain works hard and fast, trying to answer the questions --

  • Do you attack first or defend and wait for an opportunity to hit back?
  • How do you attack and where?
  • How do you control your panic as they try to hit you and how do you stop them?
  • How do you get them to attack so that you can hit them with your favourite counter attack?

But at the same time you're trying desperately to score a hit and (usually), even more desperately, to avoid your opponent's blade.The permutations are unlimited and it's intensely one on one. It's this element of mental skill which allows anyone, of any age and physical ability, to compete.

Physically, fencing can be as demanding as you want it to be. I started fencing in my early twenties and my coach is still fencing in his eighties. I've watched six-foot tall fencers being beaten by four-foot tall opponents and twelve year olds beating thirty year olds. Wheelchair fencing is a Paralympic Sport and fencing is open to anyone. You can adapt your technique to suit your physique, speed it up or slow it down and play aggressively or passively. And of course, those lunges are great exercise if you want to tighten your tush!

Fair play and a sense of tradition are an integral part of the sport. It's very gentlemanly. Fencers always salute before trying to stab each other, and always shake hands after the victory or ignominious defeat!

If you'd like to try, don't put it off. The years flash by too quickly. Go and search on Google. There will be a club close to you and they'll let you borrow the equipment to try it out. But I will warn you, addiction and obsession can become a problem. When the fencing bug bites you it doesn't let go and, just like golf, however long you've been playing, you know you can always improve your game.

Go on, give it a try, it doesn't hurt (well not very much).

Source: EzineArticles
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