St Raphaela's Secondary School

Fencing

Fencing

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Fencing is a sport where two competitors at a time use sporting swords to score points (typically 5 or 15) within a set time. Fencing is both highly technical and tactical. It is a dynamic, fun sport that appeals to both young and old.

There are three different disciplines in Fencing, each using a different type of sword and each with their own specific rules. These are the Foil, the Sabre and the Epee.

The Foil:

The foil was a training weapon for duelists. Training was carried out with protective padding and a walnut on the tip of the blade to prevent injury. In this weapon, the emphasis was put on attacking the vital organ area, specifically the torso. It gradually developed its own unique rules and style. As dueling became less commonplace, foil took over as a major competitive sport with a distinct difference from Epee fencing. "Right of way" is important in Foil fencing.

The Epee:

The Rapier was developed in Italy during the 16th century, and is still used in the sport today, though now known as the Epee (the French word for sword). Its evolution to the modern day weapon arose from the adaptations that were required to improve its offensive and defensive capabilities. Originally it was a very light, long blade which could inflict damage using both the point and edge. It required athleticism and expert technique to be wielded affectively. Of the three weapons used today, the modern Epee, in spite of many improvements, remains the closest to its roots.

The Sabre:

The Sabre came to the sport from the 18th century Hungarian cavalry, and the modern weapon is descended from the Turkish scimitar. It is a simulation of horseback battle as the target area for the weapon is above the waist. This allowed combatants to spare the horse and not the man at a time when good cavalry horses were difficult to come by, especially on the battle field. Sabre style is also subject to the "right of way" rule.

Fencing at Saint Raphaela's Secondary School:

At Saint Raphaela's Secondary School, the Transition Year students do fencing once per week as part of a modular program.

There is also an opportunity for students who are interested in developing their Fencing skills further, to join the Saint Raphaela's Fencing club, which usually meets after school on Wednesdays. In the fencing club we use the Epee.

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This is Ana Maria Arrar Ivan-Roncea and Ava-Mae O'Brien who competed at the Lord Kilannin Trophey competition which was held in Loreto Abbey Dalkey. This was their first competition which they enjoyed and learnt a lot about how Fencing competitions are run. They were up against some very experienced and older Fencers and will bring this experience forward to future competitions. Well done.

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