Fencing, the sport of swordsmanship, is steadily making marks in
the world of Chicago children's sports. Popular in Europe, where
fencing schools have been in existence since at least the 12th
century, fencing traces its roots all the way back to ancient Egypt
and Greece. It is often referred to as "physical chess" since it
requires not only physical agility but also foresight and
Two Chicago fencing clubs are now offering children's
programming focused on this popular Olympic and Paralympic
City Fencing, the largest training academy in Chicago, trains
all ages in Epée-where a point is scored when any area of the
opponent's body is hit-starting at age 8. Beginner classes, held at
the Menomonee Drucker Center in Lincoln Park, are designed as an
introduction to the basics of fencing; intermediate and advanced
fencers may, with coach approval, join one of the Windy City
Fencing teams. Many students have gone on to compete in national
Chicago Fencing in suburban Glenview offers both Sabre-where
the target includes everything above the waist, except the hands
and the back of the head-and Epée fencing instruction from age 4.
Private lessons are also available.
Fencers today train with a pointed, light and flexible training
"weapon" called a foil or an epée (similar to a sword, minus the
sharp point) and wear conductive (lamé) suits that cover the target
area. When the tip of the "weapon" comes into contact with the
target area of the opponent, a buzzer lets the fencer know he has
Visit the official United States Fencing Web site at
usfencing.org for a searchable guide to area fencing clubs and
in-depth information on the sport.
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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