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re: What Age For Fencing?

Postby thebonovox » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:23 pm

You can start fencing at a pretty young age if the child has a basic level of coordination, and its a great sport to pick up even into late adulthood.

At the Blade Club (http://www.bladeclub.com.sg), the fencing students are as young as 6, and as old as 50+.

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Where to buy fencing shoes

Postby jesschan » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:05 pm

Hi! My son has been learning fencing for over 2 years and he really enjoys it. Bought him an entire set of equipment and gear early last year which cost me a bomb and he has almost outgrown his shoes by now. Any idea where to get fencing shoes that are not so expensive? His current pair costs over $100...

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Re: Where to buy fencing shoes

Postby thebonovox » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:23 pm

jesschan wrote:Hi! My son has been learning fencing for over 2 years and he really enjoys it. Bought him an entire set of equipment and gear early last year which cost me a bomb and he has almost outgrown his shoes by now. Any idea where to get fencing shoes that are not so expensive? His current pair costs over $100...


Hi,
It is not necessary to purchase shoes specific to fencing, as long as the basic requirements are met. The typical shoe used for fencing has a thinner sole at the toes and gradually thickens towards the heel (where impact from lunging is the greatest). At its thickest, the sole shouldn't be too high, though, to minimize twisting at the ankle, especially for the rear foot, during movement.

It is for this reason that fencing shoes have a roundish heel (easier for correct movement and lunging onto).

The other major consideration is for the shoe to have strong and well-glued soles. Specialized fencing shoes usually have a reinforced area on the side of the shoe near the ball of the feet. This helps to protect the sole from wear and tear due to the sideways movement of the rear foot.

Standard track shoes are generally a poor choice because they get worn out too quickly. Shoes that have flat soles also tend to be poor choices because there isn't enough cushioning for lunging impact.

Some cross-trainers have these features and serve as a good alternative for fencing. Cost can vary for these; one good choice that's tough and long lasting is the Adidas Feather III. Blade Club's olympic fencer and coach swears by these, and similar models are used by many fencers overseas and here. That one is about $120 at Queensway.

For a sub-$100 pair, you may wish to look into shoes used for squash or tennis. There should be a good price range to shop in. As long as the requirements are met, it doesn't matter too much if the shoe was designed specifically for fencing or not.


Fencing gear is generally not cheap, but there are cheap alternatives to consider, and ways of lowering cost. Your son is clearly still growing and will probably need more equipment later (due to wear and tear and growth). Basic essentials consist of mask ($90), glove ($25), suit - jacket and pants ($150), and weapon ($70-80). The total is about $340-$350 - this is for everything he needs to do basic training with, but should meet all safety requirements (350N and C.E. certified gear). At this price, its not cheap but hopefully not prohibitive.

If he is competing, costs will increase. In Singapore, it is a requirement to have an underplastron, an additional piece of protective garment. These have to be FIE certified, and cost about $120. Also, depending on which weapon he fences, he may need to get a metallic vest ($90-250 depending on type) and body wires ($10-$20 apiece).

Clearly, costs escalate for a competitive fencer but you shouldn't worry about them until he's sure he wants to do it seriously. At the Blade Club, we encourage students to buy personal equipment (mask, glove, suit, weapon) but we support parents and students by loaning them other gear, until they are ready to be competitive. For those who are brand new to the sport, we are even willing to loan all the gear, and generally we don't expect our students to purchase anything until they have hit a basic standard.

I hope this helps to explain the costs involved and to assure people that fencing really doesn't have to be expensive.

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Postby jesschan » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:06 pm

Hi! Thanks for the detailed explanation. I had already spent a fair bit on his existing mask, glove, foil, body wire, chest protector, jacket and breeches, plastron, lame, socks, bag, school t-shirt and shoes, not to mention fees. Good thing is he really enjoys it and looks forward to every fencing competition organised by the school.

I was told by my son's coach that the shoes must also have non-marking soles, that's why I am thinking of getting squash or badminton shoes which are probably cheaper but I am not sure whether they are suitable and I do not want him to suffer any sports injury due to unsuitable shoes.

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Fecing Attire

Postby Dont Worry Be Happy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:33 am

My son is also into fencing and his choice of weapon is Foil. He was told that his fencing attire can only be hand wash but my wife has problem with the stains. Is it okay to machine wash the fencing attire? :?: , i do not want to damage the "uniform".

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Postby heutistmeintag » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:05 am

Just to add to the list of schools, Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School also offers fencing and it's one of their niche sports.

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Postby jesschan » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:57 am

The fencing attire is so thick, very difficult to dry if not put in washing machine. I used to handwash it initially, then I gave up and machine wash the breeches, jacket and plastron using "delicate" cycle.

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:59 am

jesschan wrote:The fencing attire is so thick, very difficult to dry if not put in washing machine. I used to handwash it initially, then I gave up and machine wash the breeches, jacket and plastron using "delicate" cycle.


Be careful with the breeches. My maid practically destroyed the tight elastic bands at the ankles with her rough handling. Ouch to my wallet.

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Washing of fencing uniform

Postby Dont Worry Be Happy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:35 am

jesschan wrote:The fencing attire is so thick, very difficult to dry if not put in washing machine. I used to handwash it initially, then I gave up and machine wash the breeches, jacket and plastron using "delicate" cycle.


Thanks for the advise. i will let my wife know about it.
BTW, i believe that Singapore Sport School also has a Fencing Academy.
For all those young Fencers out there who excel in the sport, maybe you can give the Sport School a try for your Secondary Educations.

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Washing of Fencing Uniform

Postby Dont Worry Be Happy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:30 pm

i have advised my wife regarding the washing of the Fencing Uniform. One problem solve and another arise, can the uniform be used in a drier?
:?:
With the raining days, it takes years to totally dry them.

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