Tab Tries: Fencing Society

Sitting on the fence about which societies to join? Features Editor, Maisie Anteney-Tipper, gives fencing a go!

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When I arrived at fencing I was expecting it to be a doddle. I’ve watched Pirates of the Caribbean and Johnny Depp never seems to out of breath after a sword fight! I was so wrong. Fencing is incredibly hard work, you have to be quick, agile and have brilliant reactions. Add to this the four layers of protective clothing, facemask and sword-wielding opponent and fencing becomes terrifying.

After 90 minutes of training I was absolutely exhausted. I woke up the next morning with all sorts of aches. Those Disney Pirates are definitely misleading!

Fencing is one of only 5 sports to have been in every single modern Olympics and is becoming increasingly popular across the country. Team GB member Richard Kruse recently came sixth in the Fencing Grand Prix in Tokyo and we placed 7th in the Paralympics. Although we weren’t quite so lucky in the Olympics according to one member Fencing Team GB were quite simply “shit”.

Fencing is a relatively simple sport; the aim is to simply touch your opponent with the tip of your sword. Competitors tend to focus on one of three weapons; Foil (a lighter sword commonly used by beginners), Epée (a slightly heavier version of a foil) or Sabre (which is more of a cutting weapon).

This all seems very easy until I realise the game is played in a completely different language. “En gard”, “Rapiére”, “Fente”. I feel like I’m back in French class and have absolutely no idea what’s going on!

But don’t let this discourage you! Fencing was a great experience, after all it’s not everyday you get to stab someone.

Plus UEA is a great place to try it out! There are only 13 university clubs recognised by British Fencing including our very own! The club has over 100 members on its books and brings in the most BUCS points out of all the societies.  Fencing Soc also has a great social side, they seem to practically live in the pub and have recently been paintballing!

The club caters for everyone, from complete novices like me to experts. They have 3 student coaches, Tom, Rob and Martin, which means there’s always someone on hand to help you improve! The club has a great atmosphere and it’s clear that everyone there is really passionate!

If you would like more information about UEA Fencing Soc you can contact them through their Facebook page or pop along to their 24 hour Fenceathon at the Forum on the 11th August, all in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and the Stroke Association.

Got something you want The Tab to try? Comment below or email us at [email protected]