CCA Previews ’17: Fencing

by Abdul Qayyum (17A01B)

“Fencing is a game of living chess, a match where reflexes only work in combination with intent, and mind and body must work together at every moment.” -V. E. Schwab

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Fencing For Beginners

Fencing is fun. The satisfaction that envelopes you when stabbing another human being is one that is weirdly thrilling and of course, unique to fencing. I mean, you could choose to stab people in other situations, though you’ll probably get arrested.

Jokes aside, fencing gives you the opportunity to practice a weapon-based combat sport without the annoying threats of blood and death. During a bout, every step, gesture and breath becomes a symphony of calculated movements, readying yourself for the final strike. Whether just an extension of the arm or a full-blown lunge, the feeling when your side of the scoreboard lights up, coupled with the cheering of your supportive CCA mates, is simply indescribable.

In fencing, you will get the opportunity to participate in competitions, whether you are an experienced fencer or just a newbie. For the less experienced, Novices, Junior Championships and Invites are good starting points to gain experience, and even bag some medals. Sounds impossible? Our fencers in the Batch of ‘17 have proved it possible by clinching bronze and silver medals, and even placing above fencers who were more experienced! On the other hand, for the more advanced, Inter Schools and Senior Championships, as well as many other local and overseas fencing competitions will provide you with the stage to showcase your skills and experience. With a wide array of competitions, we can assure that your fencing journey will not be a dull one.

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Smiles after stabbing people during Novices 2016

Fencing is also challenging. Known as the very physical version of chess, fencing is a sport that tires both the brain and the body. Through the sport, you will begin to unlock parts of your body you never knew were essential in kinesthetic activity. Most novice fencers experienced their first ever butt cramps this year.

The sport also comprises of three different weapon types, with specific rules generated for each one. Epee fencing utilizes the heaviest and longest sword of the three, its bouts akin to a dance of careful, precise steps. Epee fencers wait patiently and distantly for the tiniest windows of opportunity, during which they attack sharply and resolutely.

Foil fencing uses a similar point-weapon, where more complex rules of priority comes into play. Foilists play an elusive and tactical game, exerting both strength and skill in their display of swordsmanship.

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Powerful lunge and a missed target. This is foil fencing.

Finally, sabre fencing is aggressive and quick. Sabreurs wield a fully conductive metal blade and their goal: to connect any part of the blade with the opponent’s electric jacket or mask. In moments lasting split-seconds, sabreurs attack and respond with lightning dexterity, its bouts a flurry of strategic slashing.

Enough about the sport itself, one thing that’s for sure is the sense of family and friendship our CCA offers. For a group that spends most of its sessions stabbing and slashing each other, it is almost baffling to see the RI fencers so bonded and happy to be with each other.

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Raffles Fencing @ Sentosa

Besides trainings on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and physical training sessions, our CCA often goes out, having post-training dinners at Junction 8, and even exploring Sentosa and Botanic Gardens together. We are a happy and bonded lot where no member is excluded and no fencer ignored!

Above all, fencing is a sport that places honour within chivalry and humility trumps mere skill and victory. We are a CCA which welcomes both curious new fencers and over-powered veterans, a CCA that includes all and excludes none.

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A semi-candid picture of RIF ’17.

Plus, you never know when you are walking down the street and sword-wielding criminal challenges you to a duel.  Just know that with fencing, you will develop into disciplined, honourable and humble gentleman/lady, one who knows how to slice a bugger when necessary.

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