The Olympic Games were founded in 1896. Since then, fencing has been an integral part of the Olympic Games. Swordsmanship developed along with the discovery of the secrets of metallurgical crafts. Swords are an extension of the hands of sword fighters. Metal swords had advantages over wooden swords, even in their first and primitive forms. Originally, the swords were made of bronze, later steel. Then the level of mortality and endurance increased. Forging techniques of legendary antique swords remain the mystery for the modern masters of this blacksmith’s craft. Thanks to modern science today, the dedication with which old masters and gunsmiths have learned sword-making technology has become understandable. Throughout history, the knowledge of sword making has progressed and become more sophisticated. When it comes to military skills, the discovery of gunpowder has somewhat suppressed swords and fencing as a sport.
The scene of the bloody clashes between gladiators were the Roman arenas. Gladiators were preparing in special schools, and after training they came to arenas. They taught basic combat techniques in schools. The word gladiator is derived from the words “gladius” and the Latin “gladiatores” (short sword). In Roman times a short sword was used in Roman legions. At that time Africa and Asia had various fencing schools with blades that differed in design from European swords. A major conflict occurred several centuries after Roman rule. European knights clashed with light and fast Asian horsemen. European knights used large two-handed swords and heavy armor, while Asian horsemen used curved swords that they carried in one hand. Due to numerous changes, European swordsmiths easily gave up large and bulky blades. The end of this period of transition marks the appearance of a medieval slender sword called the “rapier”. This slender sword had a thin blade intended primarily for stabbing. This sword also forms the basis on which modern day swordplay originated.
After a period of barbarism and instinctive fencing, significant schools of fencing were established. This way of fighting is based on hitting you as fast and as hard as possible, to avoid being hit by someone. With the development of cities different social inclinations arose. Many arts are being developed and fencing skills are being improved. The experience of fencing of the European and Arab world is united in the Spanish School of Fencing. The Italian fencing school was somewhat similar to the Spanish fencing school in the south of Italy. The cities of Venice and Bologna also made their contribution in fencing. French fencing schools were building their own special fencing style. Germany continued the development of fencing originating from the Renaissance period. Members of the upper social classes carried the sword as an integral part of life. The sword was used to resolve the dispute. The practice of dueling was sanctioned from the position of church and state. Illegal duels and sword clashes continued and lasted until the early 20th century. The founder of contemporary fencing was Domenico Angelo.
1763 Domenico Angelo founded the first fencing school in London. To date, basic postures and leg work have been used and have not been changed. Attack and defense techniques have had some changes. The contribution of the Domenica Angelo School to the transfer of fencing from the military to the sports domain is significant. During the 19th century fencing became an integral part of education at many prestigious universities. Fencing has, to this day, retained a touch of elitism.
Fencing is one of the five basic sports at the Olympics (in addition to swimming, gymnastics, athletics and cycling). Fencing is divided into three disciplines: floret, sword and saber. Competitors specialize in performances in one of three dicpiline fencing. It is rare for competitors to compete in all disciplines from now on. The kitten is more massive than these three weapons. The weapon weighs 750 grams, while the target is to attack the entire body of the opponent. Sword bites bring points. The floret has a mass of 500 grams. It has emerged as a direct connection with the former rapier. The saber attacks the upper body of the opponent, ie from the waist up. Blades and stitches are scored.
The swordsman goes out to the battlefield in clothes, which are prescribed by the rules of this sport. Fencing shoes are made separately. Socks are hayed to above the knee. The trousers are worn with leggings just below the knee. The jacket cuts along the body. The jacket has a belt that runs between the legs and buckles on the other side. The jacket and pants must overlap 10 cm. For sabers and florets, a plastron is required, connected to a system that electronically registers the hits of an opponent. The gloves protect the hands. The mask protects the face from injury. Fencing clothing is made of thick fabric with the addition of kevlar or similar material that increases resistance to combat / stitching. The breast protector is an accessory (more commonly represented in women’s fencing).
A hit or point in fencing is the contact of a weapon with an opponent that closes the power circuit. The competitor’s sword and clothing are part of a complex system that is wired to a points recorder. This method has been used since 1933 for the sword, 1956 for the floret and 1988 for the sword. Shots on the sides of the sword and floret do not register as points and do not interrupt the action.
Fencing is not a widespread sport but it has fans all over the world. Fencing is an extremely challenging sport, both physically and intellectually. Good physical fitness must be achieved and maintained. Fencing has an effect on the development of concentration, confidence and decision-making ability. Fencing is a compulsory subject in acting academies as part of the study of the stage movement. Fencing clubs are a great environment for the development of younger generations, both new and future athletes, because they encourage persistence and dedication to work (to improve their own skills and respect for opponents).
A number of campaigns have been launched in Europe and the USA in recent years to encourage children to start studying fencing. The price of equipment is one of the main obstacles. Foam and plastic swords are currently being made that would be accessible to their children. A more pressing reason for launching these campaigns is that fencing is a sport that encourages and develops movement coordination, improves physical posture, has a positive effect on concentration and teaches children the importance of personal effort in advancing throughout their lives. Fencing gives children a moral compass as a direct descendant of knightly games. The fencing of children and the next generation leads to true human values.
Photos: http://www.fencingacademyofboston.com , http://www.sonic1029.com , http://www.safencer.co.za