Fencing is a competitive sport, primarily. Most people train to become competitors. Depending on your age, you can compete in some of the categories, but not all of them. Since fencing is age-based, not everybody attempts to compete, even though they may be older and placed in their own “veteran” category.
In this case, it is important to distinguish between a person who practiced fencing for 30 years and someone who is in their 50s but hasn’t practiced at all. These could not realistically be placed in the same two categories.
With that in mind, here is a brief overview of what it would take for one to become a fencer.
Fencing is a sport where one dodges back and forth for basically the entirety of their match, particularly if it is an exciting one. When one practices, fencing becomes quite the tiring sport. Moving around back and forth is not just walking, but sometimes involves sudden and quick movements which will tire out anybody. Even the professionals get tired after a match.
Great footwork implies good balance and healthy ankles, knees and joints in general.
Know and Choose The Right Sword Fighting Technique
This is taught by masters, obviously, or nowadays, coaches, most of whom have been at some point, or rather, are, masters. Depending on the style, sabre, foil or epee, different techniques are taught, because the scoring in the sports is different. Sabre can use the side of the blade, while epee and foil can only use the tip. Depending on the type of fencing and the grip, weight of the sword, your practice will vary and be different. It will also be different if you are facing a left handed or right handed swords person.
Dedication and Patience
Becoming a good fencer does not come with simple practice and will. One needs patience and a great deal of dedication to become good. Even then, fencing is very competitive and not everybody who is good gets to become a legend, or someone who will go down in the history books as a fencer who won several Olympic medals or impressed people with their skill, despite not winning anything.
Given fencing’s competitiveness, becoming great takes a lot of time and effort and some talent, as well.
One doesn’t need to attend the Olympics and compete if they want to be a fencer. Local fencing clubs will be more than happy to welcome a new member, if not a master swordsman, then a person who will be there to practice with dedication and help others become better. Local tournaments are a great place to compete if one strives for dueling on a piste.
Fencing is a hard sport that requires precision, footwork, sword mastery and a bit of talent if one wants to be among the best.