Fencing is a great sport that sparks the imagination of young and old and, at the highest levels, is very entertaining to watch.
Each year thousands of people seek out the sport of fencing and a large number who try it out continue on with the sport, as evidenced by the growth in fencing clubs around the United States in recent years.
While fencing is sometimes hard to find, most large colleges and universities offer basic instruction in their PE departments, and a few also offer it in their continuing education series. Also, many university clubs help supplement their operating costs by running beginning fencing classes and those are taught by experienced fencers.
When looking into taking a fencing class, there are a few things to consider and a few things you should know to get the most enjoyment out of your first fencing class.
First off – make sure to do some basic stretching beforehand. In fencing you do a lot of work with the legs, so stretches that focus on the groin, hamstring, and quads are good. After your first class you will definately feel it in the groin, so learn the “butterfly stretch” and make sure to stretch after every session.
Next, wear comfortable clothes. Don’t wear jeans! You should wear sweat pants that move with you – you’ll be doing lunges so nothing to tight that will restrict movement. A close fitting shirt would be good also since you’ll do some footwork without a protective jacket, but all weapon drills will be with protective gear on.
Women should make sure that the club has hard chest protectors for you to use.
For shoes, stay away from running shoes. Use a court shoe or cross training shoe. Basically anything that provides stability for side to side foot motions.
Most beginning fencing classes cover the basics of footwork and use of the foil, one of three fencing weapons. Most classes meet once per week for 8 to 10 weeks and range in cost from $100 to $150 depending on the level of expertise of the coaching and the area of the country you are in.
Lastly – bring in a sense of fun and desire for learning. You won’t be great your first class in – but there is a lot to learn in the sport. After a few classes, you just may find yourself hooked.
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