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About Fencing

Fencing is the art of seeking the perfect touch. The perfect touch is easy to define: it is yours and not your opponent's. This pursuit requires total dedication to the moment, total dedication of your mind and the body working together, in an environment that is quite unpredictable. This is the first dimension. In the one dimensional view, Fencing is a zero sum game. There is one bout, one winner, one loser.

Like all great sport there is a central irony in fencing. You are seeking perfection, as I mentioned; at the same time, your opponent is seeking to unravel every plan you have, to make every attack on his or her blade meet only air, to make your attacks fall short, to make your parries futile, in short to make a farce of your pursuit of perfection. But to fence at your best, your opponent must fence at his or her best, otherwise there is no contest, and certainly no perfection. You need your opponent to be at their best to be your best, even as their best is to make you fence your worst. The lesson of this irony is that fencing is not a zero sum game. Two evenly matched fencers working with seemingly exactly opposite goals work together to create a great bout that belongs to both of them. This is the second dimension of fencing.

The third dimension of fencing is that of community. We must look beyond hits, bouts, training exercises, equipment, training partners and coaches and look at the environment that makes all this possible. This environment is a community of communities. It is our club and other clubs, but it is aslo the university community that we operate in, and it is also the provincial, national, and world-wide fencing communities that make the sport possible.

Our club seeks to train fencers to be great fencers, which means fencers who pursue perfection, who do so with respect for themselves, the game, and their opponents.

An introduction is Theodore Norvell's Invitation to Fencing. We hope this article will entice you to join MUN Fencing!