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.
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.
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.
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.
2011 Cross Roads Fencing Center, LLC. All rights reserved.