Monday, July 23, 2012
Guest Post: Fit + Fun = Fencing
I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.
Laertes: Say you so? come on.
[They fence some more.]
Osric: Nothing either way.
Laertes: Have at you now!
[Laertes wounds Hamlet. In scuffling, their swords get mixed
around. Hamlet wounds Laertes.]
King: Part them! They are incens'd!
Hamlet: Nay come! again!
Shakespeare, Hamlet (Act 5, Scene 2)
Fencing provides a unique mix of physical, intellectual and emotional stimulation. Unlike many other sports it's very sociable and still carries notions of honour, chivalry and nobility. Many of history's most famous names have embraced the art. Caravaggio and Voltaire, Byron and Marx, Churchill and recently Madonna all visited the fencing salle or took private lessons.
Today our language and customs still resonate with echoes of past swordplay. We reply smartly with a witty riposte, shake hands to show that we are not reaching for a weapon, and a gentleman's coat buttons left over right so a duellist can unbutton it with his left hand.
Improved coordination, concentration, endurance and cardiovascular fitness - these are just a few of the health benefits provided by regular fencing. It is also a solid workout. You can burn up to 450 calories an hour, working the stomach and the lower body muscles in particular. Firm strong thighs and butt are probably the most typical features of a dedicated fencer!
There are about 10,000 fencers in Britain, almost half of whom are women. Fencing, indeed, is the ideal sport for a woman. It is an activity which is more tactical than physical. It requires flexibility and balance rather than brute force, resulting in elegance, courtesy and quality of the relations between the fencers. You don't need to be big or strong to fight - in fact, it can work against you - but you do need fast reflexes, good co-ordination, timing, intuition and a great sense of anticipation. Another attractive feature of fencing is its powerful romantic appeal...
You can start fencing at any age and soon reap the benefits: strengthening thighs, buttocks and stomach; reduced weight and increased agility.
London Fencing Club provides a variety of courses suitable for beginners. The courses cover the basics of fencing and are the ideal taster of the sport. They're suitable for people without previous fencing experience, or for those who fenced long time ago and would like to get back to it. The participants are introduced to fencing rules, traditions, techniques and tactics. While learning the blade work, fencers exercise in pairs or with the coach. Acquired skills are practiced further during the fencing bouts.
All elements are taught slowly and repeated often to ensure that students grasp the move - as well as understanding when it should be executed! By the end of the course the participants should have acquired general knowledge of the sport and feel competent to bout with the more experienced fencers.
Sign up for beginners courses on http://www.londonfencingclub.co.uk/beginners_classes.php
Tim Gadaski is a fencing master at London Fencing Club. Tim has been fencing for more than 30 years . http://www.londonfencingclub.co.uk/