Fencing/European Martial Arts
There is a growing fencing community that
seeks to develop their fencing as a European martial art and gears their training
for actual combat rather than sport. Practitioners commonly take up fencing to
enhance and expand their existing studies in martial arts. Competition for strictly
classical-style fencing exists but is more difficult to find. Classical fencers
often compete in Olympic-style fencing and achieve great success. Many resources
can be found on the Web by key-wording "Classical Fencing". We recommend
visiting the Association of Historical Fencing web
site, a non-profit organization. Those that pursue fencing as a martial arts can expect to learn hand-to-hand fighting techniques, stick/cane fighting and other martial arts activities.
Medieval- and Renaissance-era reenactors
and enthusiasts practice fencing as part of their involvement in SCA
or Renaissance festivals like those held locally in the Tampa Bay area. Fencing tournaments
are frequently held and fairly comprehensive rules for competition have been devised.
rules are roughly analagous to modern epee with significant provisions for
left-handed parrying/blocking weapons and cuts. These fencers seek to gain honor and
accolades from their SCA kingdom's peers and nobility.
Actor combatants study fencing to enhance the realism
of their performances. Theatrical fencers explore the visual aesthetics inherent
in fencing as well as learn fencing terminology and real fencing technique. Thespian
fencers must balance safety and realism in order to achieve the greatest stage
or cinematic experiences for their audience. This pursuit requires as much discipline
and hard work as any martial artist or sportsman. Check out the SAFD
- Society of American Fight Directors if you think you have what it takes!