The Cross Roads Fencing Center  teaches Epee fencing, the easiest to learn of all three weapons, and probably the easiest to follow as an observer.

Recall The Mask Of Zorro,  Anthony Hopkins as Old Zorro, training Antonio Banderas as the new Young Zorro in the use of the sword: "You know how to use that?" "The sharp end goes in the other man, no?" and there you have Epee fencing at its simplest - hit your opponent with your tip. Try and hit without being hit.  And just like real fencing, if you both attack at the same time, or your opponent counter attacks while you attack, you are both injured - or in our case, scored upon. 

Classes start with warmups and stretching.  Games teach the important aspects of fencing: patience, distance, listening! and to build student camraderie.  Footwork drills build muscle conditioning and endurance for the back and forth flow of a fencing bout.  Drills with the blade teach the moves of offense, defense, deception! And Safety - learning how to handle the weapon when not fencing so no one around you gets hurt.  After a couple of classes, the students will start fencing each other under the watchful eye of a coach, learning the rules of a fencing bout and receiving encouragement  in what they're doing correct and adjusting their techniques for things that are incorrect or done poorly.

As classes progress, the students will start combining their moves into ever more complex combinations and adding their own style.

What is Fencing?


Fencing goes back hundreds of years, back to the days of Knights in Armor protecting the honor of their King with their large two-handed Broadswords, or the Japanese Samurai and their two-handed Katana.  Later on, the broadsword gave way to the rapier, with its thinner profile and sharp tip, perfect for piercing the weak spots in a suit of armor, and to the sabres of the Huns, masters of horseback.   As civilization progressed, the Knights faded away, and the Lords and Barons and other "Gentlemen" developed Dueling as a way to settle their differences. Eventually duels died out, but swordfighting maintains its mystique and place of Honor in the military.

Honor & Tradition

When  Fencers line up to fence each other, they follow in the footsteps of History. They line up at their On Guard line and Salute each other, copying the Knights of old who would raise their visor so the opponent could see who they were up against. The Referee and spectators (whether present or not) are also saluted. Masks are donned, a slap of  the thigh to indicate start, and the fencing begins.  At the end of the bout, both return to their On Guard lines, masks are raised, all are saluted again, and a firm handshake and a Thank You while looking the opponent in the eye are exchanged in the middle of the strip.

 

 

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