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Fencing fitness training information

Originating in swordsmanship, fencing is now an Olympic sport and uses three types of weapon:

Foil - A light thrusting weapon

?p?e - a heavy thrusting weapon

Sabre - a light cutting and thrusting weapon

A fast-paced and athletic sport, modern fencing takes place on a 14 x 2 metre strip, and the action is so fast it has to be judged electronically, rather than with the naked eye.

Fencing as a sport dates back to ancient Egypt, and is depicted in wall paintings from 1200BC. In 17th and 18th century Europe the ability to demonstrate speed, skill and dexterity with a sword was considered a sign of manliness, and duels with rapiers were used to settle disputes between gentlemen. The modern Olympic sport requires hours of dedicated training and requires practitioners to be at the pinnacle of athletic fitness.

Training involves developing good co-ordination, balance and flexibility in order to fine hone both attacking and defending techniques. It also requires a high level of cardiovascular fitness. The sport has the benefit that many disabled sportsmen find that their disability does not put them at a disadvantage with a foil in their hand. In fact, sparring in wheelchairs is a major sport in paraplegic sports competitions, and many disabled practitioners are able to compete on equal terms with able-bodied fencers.

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