The Fitness Benefits of Fencing

Becca Borawski Jenkins

Coach

Coaching, Strength and Conditioning, Martial Arts

Fencing is a classic art, part of our history since the Middle Ages. The image of sword fighting is prevalent throughout our media, from the swashbuckling escapades of Errol Flynn to the science-fiction adventures of Luke Skywalker. Yet, how many of you have ever seriously considered studying fencing? 

 

I recently had a chance to ask Olympic Silver Medalist, Jason Rogers, what his thoughts were on fencing for fitness, as we train at the same academy, Avant Garde, in West Los Angeles. “Fencing is an excellent sport to improve lower body strength and speed, as well as hand-eye coordination,” Rogers told me. “Fencing also develops agility and flexibility and is probably most similar to many of the martial arts in terms of the collection of skills it requires.” In fact, studying fencing has many benefits, for both the body and the mind.


Fitness, functional fitness, strength and conditioning, sports
Physical benefits of fencing:

Coordination

Agility

Balance

Flexibility

Strength

Cardiovascular Endurance

 

 

Mental benefits of fencing:

Focus

Hand-eye coordination

Problem solving

 

As we get older, keeping our brains active and our critical thinking skills intact becomes an important “muscle” to exercise. “Smart people are natural fencers,” according to Rogers. “It is an activity that not only requires learning a completely new set of fun skills, but also a strategic intelligence that many liken to chess.”

While fencing is thought of by many as a youth sport or a sport of the elite, many fencing academies conduct group adult classes and have very reasonable training fees. So, don’t think it’s too late -- why not get fit while living out the sword-fighting adventures of your childhood? “In learning fencing you are introduced to a sport of elegance and sophistication with an incredibly rich history that goes back hundred, if not thousands of years, “ says Rogers. “Plus, it’s a great date and you get extra point with your friends for being unique.”

 

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