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Fencing for Women

female fencing pictureWomen compete as effectively against men as they compete against each other.

As you can see by the adjacent engraving, women have been participating in sport of fencing for nearly as long as men.

In local and regional tournaments, women may fence in a women’s only event or the open event with the men. Why is that? Fencing is different from most sports from a physiological perspective. While most sports rely on upper body strength where men may out-muscle their female opponents, fencing relies almost solely on lower body strength.

One only needs to have enough upper-body strength to make a 27-ounce sword hit a target. Men and women are nearly equal in terms of leg strength; if one were to take the measurement of body mass vs. lean muscle mass, women might actually be stronger.

Fencing is about out-witting your opponent, not out-muscling your opponent. So if you, as a woman, can outwit a man on a regular basis, then with some fencing training, you will be beating men in fencing on a regular basis.

Fencing is a great workout.

Fencing is ideal for firming up a woman’s body. While fencing is a whole body workout, it exercises the thighs, hips and bottom hardest of all.

Bond girl Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day) said: “I found fencing scenes excellent for firming up my thighs.” If you’re looking to receive more compliments like the ones that Jennifer Lopez receives, fencing is one of your best exercise options. Why? Fencing requires lunges that force the legs to work hard and become stronger than nearly any other sport. Quick movements insure a fast paced, aerobic workout that burns 390 calories per hour.

You’re in good company: female fencers abound.

women fencingWomen have been fencing alongside men for centuries, and women’s fencing has been an Olympic sport since 1924 and was one of the first female college sports. In the 2001-2002 season, there were over 1,000 women fencers on NCAA’s Women Fencing Teams.

In the US, thousands of women compete regionally and nationally in age divisions that range from Youth 10 and Under to over-60 Veterans fencers. You can check out your competition in the national rankings on the USFA website. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Madonna, and Rosamund Pike all kept fencing even after learning the sport for their roles in Mask of Zorro, and Die another Day, respectively.

A good fencer is graceful, aggressive, strategic and strong. What other sports feature this combination?

Fencing is a martial art and is ideal for relieving stress. Yes, it’s one of those great sports where you get to hit stuff. But seriously, you’ll be surprised how life’s stresses move to the background as you focus on out-thinking your opponent and winning the bout. As you hone your technique, you’ll also develop tools for channeling aggression into your fencing style.

Women’s Frequently Asked Question’s

Will it hurt my breasts?

No!!! Women fencers are well protected and safety is our primary concern. Women are required to wear a ‘Xena-like’ chest protector. These protectors are a complete plastic bra that cover most of the torso and provides excellent protection. Fencing weapons are designed for safety; all weapons are made of pliable steel with give that will bend rather than stab. These precautions insure that your focus is on winning the bout and having fun.

Should I stop fencing when I pregnant?

Of course, you should talk to your doctor about all exercise programs when you start or when you become pregnant. Many women fencers find that they still like to perform their fencing footwork and still take private lessons through their pregnancy. Both these activities are low impact and insure that you keep your fitness level through your pregnancy.

Valentina Vezzali, won the 2004 Olympics Gold Medal, got pregnant and had her first child, Pietro, and then won the 2005 World Championships three months later. Wow!

Here is a short video of the 2011 NCAA Women’s Fencing: Championship Highlights


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