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Fencing is universal kind of sport. The kids, their parents and grandparents may take a foil, epee or a sabre and compete with their fellow fencers. In European countries there are clubs where fencing weapon skills are passed over from generation to generation. For instance, in France there are over 750 fencing clubs. Children start going in for fencing from five years old. The kids, who start fencing, discover a new fascinating world. Their fencing outfits are just like those of the adults, but the weapons they use are lighter and shorter. The Federation of Fencing of France (FFE) has published a trainer’s book, which looks rather helpful to both, children and young coaches. Hereby we offer a few pages from that book for your attention. We hope the book will be of interest to everybody who likes fencing.

I discover the values of fencing

Thanks to fencing and the lessons of my coach, I’ve got improved:

I am polite

I've got a competitive character

I am respectful

I am helpful

I am persistent

I am attentive

I am composed

I am diligent

I take part in the club events

I know safety rules

I know how to dress to be protected

  • Fencing jacket, which I wear, should meet the safety rules. I should not forget to clasp my fencing jacket and keep my collar up to protect my neck.
  • I check that my glove covers the cuff of my fencing jacket.

I can choose a proper mask

  • the collar of the mask should not be torn or damaged.
  • the back "tongue" of the mask should fit tight the back of my head.
  • to make sure the mask fits me well, I bent down and shake my head; the mask should not fall off.

I know how to behave on fencing strip.

  • Fencing strip is a track of limited size, marked by boundaries from all sides.  
  • If I step off the side of the strip with one foot, the bout is halt and I should get back to my place.
  • If I get off the strip with both feet, the bout is halt and I can return to the strip one meter back from the place where I was.  
  • If I step beyond the rear boundary of the strip with both feet, I get one hit scored as a penalty. This happens every time when I get off the strip.

The lines, drawn on the strip, help me to find my way during the bout:

  • at the beginning of every bout and after any scored hit I should stand behind the line, which marks the position "en garde" 
  • This warning line reminds me, that I am one meter off the end of the strip.
  • The length of the strip for the youngest fencers is 10 meters

    Learning to judge   

    When judging the fencing competition:

    • I speak loudly;
    • I know four commands: "En garde."! , “Etes vous prets? (Ready?) "Allez"! “Halt”!, accompanied by gestures (images1,2,3,4);
    • I can move together with the fencers during the bout to see both arms and electric scoring box all the time;


    • I can point with one hand to the fencer, who got a hit, and with the other hand to the one who made it (image 5);
    • I can identify invalid hit (image 6);
    • I can show the moment, when an attacking fencer gets in defense (image 7);
    • I can identify poorly performed attack (image 8);
    • I also know how to identify the right of way for the participant, who initiated the point in line (image 9);

    Source : Federation Francaise d'Escrime (FFE)

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