Fencing is an exciting & dynamic sport that requires athletes who possess good coordination, balance & timing. Participation in competitive fencing builds skills in problem solving, time management & goal-setting while at the same time providing a unique physical challenge for young athletes. It is an Olympic, Pan-American, Canada Winter Games, & Ontario Winter Games sport offering many opportunities for young Canadian athletes to pursue competitive fencing at all levels from provincial to international.
In the early stages of a fencer’s career, he/she will learn the sport primarily during group practices. A typical practice may include a warm-up, fencing-specific physical training, footwork drills, bladework training done with a partner or in a group line lesson with the coach, and finally sparring.
As a fencer progresses in skill, he/she will eventually need to take individual lessons with the coach. These one-on-one training sessions can vary in length (from 20 to 60 minutes) and intensity depending on the goal of the lesson. An individual lesson may focus on teaching specific technical skills, training the athlete to perform these skills in different tactical environments (offense, defense or counter-offense), or on preparing the athlete for competition by more closely simulating an actual bouting scenario. These individual training sessions are crucial for the athlete who wants to progress and compete at a high level.
The typical fencing season for most begins in late August or early September and finishes at the end of May. During the summer ‘off-season’, the athlete may enjoy some down-time from fencing by participating in another sport, work on their physical conditioning, which the coach can help to plan, and attend summer training camps. The serious athlete will continue to train with the coach during the summer months as well, although at a much lower intensity.
Elite athletes however, will have very little time away from the sport, as they do not want to lose the technical skills that they have acquired during the season. Senior athletes may also continue to compete in international competitions such as World Cups during the summer.
There are three different fencing disciplines: epée, sabre, & foil each having its own unique characteristics & rules.