A lesson in fencing at the Knoxville Convention Center

A lesson in fencing at the Knoxville Convention Center

📅April 4th, 2014, 16:19

En garde! The United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs 12th Annual National Championship glides into the Knoxville Convention Center this weekend. More than 700 athletes from the USACFC will pack our exhibit hall for the country’s largest collegiate fencing competition. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and it’s free and open to the public!

If you’re interested in learning about the sport of fencing, the USACFC championship is a great place to start. Collegiate athletes of all skill levels will compete, from those who picked up a sabre for the first time this year to experienced national contenders. According to the USACFC, you can take up fencing at any age, so come out to the Convention Center this weekend to see if fencing is right for you or just enjoy cheering on the competitors.

To prepare for the weekend’s festivities, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things you need to know about fencing.

1)      A fencing match is known as a duel or a bout. Opponents work to score “hits” or “touches” against each other. For different events, there are different rules on how to score a “touch.”

2)      Fencing is a fast-moving sport. The tip of a fencing weapon is the second-fastest moving object in sport after a marksman’s bullet. Because of this, touches are recorded electronically by the players’ body wires and announced by a colored light on the side of the fencer who made the touch.

3)      Three weapons are used in the sport of fencing. The sabre, epee and foil are all acceptable weapons, and the foil is considered the best for beginners.

4)      Footwork is key. Being nimble and light on one’s feet can mean everything because of the quick moves struck in fencing.

5)      Fencing requires a lot of equipment. Competitors wear a mask, glove, jacket, body wire, breeches and protective plastron that covers the torso and sword arm.

6)      Fencing has been around for centuries. As a sport, fencing can be traced back as early as 1200 AD.

7)      Fencing is an Olympic sport. It has been included in every summer Olympics game since 1896.

8)      Some of the world’s greatest leaders participated in fencing. Both Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were active fencers.

9)      Fencing inspired ballet. Ballet emerged in 15th century Italy as a dance interpretation of fencing.

10)   Fencing provides countless benefits. It aids in mental agility due to its requirement of fast and accurate decision-making under pressure and supports coordination.

We hope these fun facts will help as you watch these athletes parry their way to victory at the Convention Center this weekend. Come support the 40 colleges and universities participating, including Knoxville’s very own University of Tennessee Fencing Club!