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Parry Riposte!


Parry Riposte!

When we fancy a sporting session we usually go for a knock about on the tennis court or a kick around on the football pitch, never have I heard someone say, “Let’s have a quick bout on the strip.” Derived from both French and Italian swordsmanship, Fencing has come a long way from the life or death situation of a Duel. It is nowhere near as popular as it deserves to be, so I decided to go for a quick refresher session to find out if it is as fun as I remembered at school.

It is no wonder that you might be put off the sport by the outfits you have to wear; a bee-keeper type mask, straitjacket and either a very Clockwork Orange-esq cod-piece or plastic chest protectors! When I was suited and booted I picked up my foil, this is the lightest of weapons and is easy to move around to learn and practise the various positions, and we began to twist our wrists back and forth to piece together basic defence and attack positions. Initially, I was discouraged by the amount of French used to describe blocking positions but these can easily be transformed into numbers.

Once you have learnt a few ways to block your opponent, and remembered to riposte (attack) straight afterwards, you start getting competitive. Combat is the original form of competition and this is certainly an elegant way to entertain that primal instinct. Brute strength is not an advantage here; this is a sport for the resourceful.

Fencing teaches control, technique and sharpens your senses. Posture is imperative, as is quick footwork and short bursts of power from your legs. This type of exercise will get your heart rate up and push your muscles to the limit, as you reach for that elusive winning point. Absolutely anyone can have a go and everyone will improve their lightness of foot and probably their French too!

Carrie Cartwright-Owen


Fitness article provided by Walmley Pages, sutton Coldfield community magazine advertising local business to the Sutton Coldfield public.