Why Fence?

Words of Wisdom from Some Famous Fencers

Bob Anderson, former Olympic Coach for Great Britain

“Fencing is a sport of perception and intuition as well as one of technique.” (All About Fencing)

Rene Pinchart, US Olympic Coach

“Not everyone can be the champion of the world. The fencer’s goal is to be the champion of himself.”

Ed Vebell, US Olympian

“It is instinctive among the uninitiated to think of fencing in terms of a swashbuckling hero dispatching a whole platoon of guards centuries ago. The notion is exciting but it hasn’t much to do with the sport. Fencing is sophisticated and its movements are not wild; the inherent excitement is always controlled. Few sports offer such exhilarating mental and physical rewards over such a long span of time as fencing. The natural grace of fencing is enhanced by the control, which is imposed by two restricting factors. First the action is limited to a narrow field, the strip. Second, the basic rules make it more like a formal debate than an assault.” (Sports Illus. Book of Fencing)

Julius Palffy-Alpar, a world-renowned teacher

“I consider fencing to be a great art which raises men to Knights in their thoughts and behavior. Fencing is a school of humility and develops speed, perfect control of the body, balance, beauty, and strong grace It should be recommended to all men wanting to master their feelings and actions during their lifetime Through this art they will think clearly and act always with style in their decisions.” (Sword and Masque)

Geoffrey Hett, British Olympian

“Fencing can provide plenty of exercise in a short time, can be practiced in a limited space and needs no playing fields or specially constructed courts, and, finally, it is not limited to any season but is continuous throughout the year. It has been said that a fencer is likely to reach his prime after ten years’ fencing and to remain at that level for a further ten years And there have been men who took part in the Olympic games when they were considerably older than 40. It is not uncommon to see some youth expending his surplus physical energy and being beaten by some white-haired gentleman forty years his senior. It is perhaps the only sport that can be practiced almost for a lifetime. There are not many sports at which this can be done. It cannot be claimed that fencing can make a Venus, or a Hercules, that it can create grace where there is none, or make one radiate personal magnetism. I would only say: Fencing is a very good sport.” (Fencing)