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Thread: Am I too old to start fencing now???

  1. #1
    Just Joined alltimerebel's Avatar
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    Am I too old to start fencing now???

    Hello! My name is Hydie and I am new to this board. Recently I've been checking out the Olympic games, and found fencing a very exciting (and challenging) sport. I am very interested in learning it. So I am planning to take beginning classes in collge this fall. I am 18 right now and going to be 19 in March. Am I a little too old to start fencing now? I mean, most people who play sports start learning at a very early age. I was never too athletic (until lately, I've been doing a lot of running, walking, cylcing, and weight-lifting at home) but I am really interested in this sport. I have no prior knowledge or experience whatsoever. What would you suggst? Would the sport be too tough for an 18-year-old? How much time do you usually put into trainings (esp. at the very beginning)? I am not planning to be playing Champions or Olympics but I just want to learn. It seems like such a wonderful and unique kind of sports. Please tell me what you think. Thanks. And I hope to know you all a little better really soon.


    - Hydie

  2. #2
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    no
    you aren't too old

    training time depends on the club

  3. #3
    Senior Member Peach's Avatar
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    You aren't too old to start, as long as you are willing to put in the time it takes. There certainly are many people who started fencing as children, but others have started all the way into late middle age and been able to compete. It's a life-long sport in which intelligence and craftiness play a large role. I started at 43 a couple of years after my daughter started at 10, and we've both had success in competition.

    You're probably too old to have your fencing be much of a factor in your college acceptance or any possible scholarships, certainly! But a surprising number of people begin fencing for the first time in college.
    “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”
    Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

  4. #4
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    Its really never too late to start. It might be too late to start and fence at an olympic level as you will quickly find out how much better people around you are. But years fencing doesnt really matter, its hours practicing that counts. so if you were to practice 4 hours a day every day of the week with good instructors and compete regularly and chase stronger opponents then you could become very good very quickly. I knew a kid who practiced almost 9 times a week (highschool and private club) and competed almost every weekend and became an A fencer in less than 2 years and he started when he was 16 or 17.
    Epee Fencers do it to the hilt!

  5. #5
    Just Joined alltimerebel's Avatar
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    Another question

    Thanks for your suggestions, guys! I really appreciate that. As EpeeConvert said, a person has to practice a lot if he/she wants to be good. So I am wondering, how many hours do you guys usually spend practicing a week (or a day) on average? Also, how much do you usually spend on this sport? Is fencing affordable? Thanks again for replying so soon.


    - Hydie

  6. #6
    Senior Member Taomagicdragon's Avatar
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    my school has fencing as a sport lol. so.....
    During the season: around 16 hrs (total practice/competition)
    off season: around 10 hrs (for practice/armory)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Taomagicdragon's Avatar
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    I started 9 months ago when i was 16, I've spent a totalt of probably around 450-500 dollars so far.
    3 electrical foils (french)
    1 dry foil (french)
    1 lame
    1 jacket
    1 pair of "uumpa luumpa" pants
    3 pair soccor socks
    1 chest protector
    2 body cords
    1 buzz box
    1 pair sneakers
    1 mask
    1 weapon bag
    2 gloves (one spiffy leather one lol)
    1 under arm guard
    That's all the stuff my money got me ( though you ONLY need 2 foils for competiton where I live up in CT)
    I hope you do start fencing, it's a lot of fun to make friends then stab them lol

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sarah's Avatar
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    Not at all! Truly age does not matter in this sport. I agree with epeeconvert, the amount of time practicing is what matters. I knew a lot of people who had been fencing since before they were ten, and not all of them were superb fencers, and I know a lot who started in their thirties and they were excellent! I even know a very nice man who was in his seventies when he truly started up fencing, and he's been fencing now for over a decade now. Fencing is a sport that is great fun for people of all ages. I always end up fencing with the fencers in their +thirties, it's invigorating.

    I would recommend practicing three times a week for at least two hours at a time. At one time I would go to my club every night from five to nine and quite frequently staying until ten. Yes, fencing can get very expensive, but I've found that if you are careful with what you choose to buy you can keep it to relatively sound spending.

    I hope that you get into the sport and enjoy yourself! Good luck to you!

    Sarah

  9. #9
    Senior Member swordsen's Avatar
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    this question comes up often enough that we really need to put it in the FAQ witht he answer of course being that you are NEVER too old to start fencing. the oldest beginer student I have ever taught was on the high side of 65.
    If you give a man a fire, he is warm for the night.
    If you set a man on fire, he is warm for the rest of his life.

  10. #10
    Pun
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    I wouldn't say your too old. The only problem I foresee is ego, almost every older person who I have seen join my club as beginners quit after not too long because they dont really like the fact that 13 and 12 year olds who have been fencing a while beat them in the beginning. That said your not really that old and If you take the classes through your college you should be more in your age group, and again your not really that old, I am more talking about ppl in their late twenties to early thirties who have always wanted to try it but didn't exactly plan on fencing kids half their age who can beat them consistantly. I started when I was 15, but I always had a natural talent for it, so I was quickly one of the best in my club, that said its also a very amatuer club when I join a real club Im sure Ill have a lot of work to do. But as long as you want to keep getting better and really want and like to fence I see no reason why you shouldn't. Its a great sport.

  11. #11
    Member bwoodward's Avatar
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    You are younger than I was when I started. I started when I was in grad school in 1974. I fenced for a year and a half, graduated, then had to wait 30 years for my town Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to have a fencing club. Now I'm 52 and I'm in fencing class with 2 six year olds, a handful of high school and college age kids, some young adults, and some older adults. I think I have more fun than any of them. Start now.

  12. #12
    Senior Member electricepeeist's Avatar
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    You can find beginner kits at BG and the like, in either cheap or okay qualities...depends how much you're willing to spend. I got pretty good quality BG stuff as my first gear (I started at age 11) and it's only now worn out, and we didn't pay too much for it. But depending on the club, you may not even need a full kit until you're sure you're going to keep doing it (my club has discarded whites, gloves, masks, and weapons for beginners). Still, most of the companies have a lower-grade (though not poor-quality) line of equipment for beginners.
    "Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be: and if it were so, it would be: but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

  13. #13
    Member OffTarget's Avatar
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    It is very interesting how often this subject comes up. I believe it has been started a couple times since April 2004 and (as I searched it then - 35 y.o. rookie that I am) it had been stared several times before that.

    BTW I found out that it is legal in the United States to take up fencing even after one's 30th birthday

  14. #14
    Senior Member greenchick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffTarget
    BTW I found out that it is legal in the United States to take up fencing even after one's 30th birthday
    Oh, thank doG -- I guess this means I can stop running from the police.

  15. #15
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    never too old.

    My son got me started when he was 12 and I was 44, and we both love it. Recently I've been getting sabre-slashed by a very qick and agile 62 year old. It's a great lifetime sport. Good luck and have fun!

  16. #16
    Member Scott Allen Abf's Avatar
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    I did not start fencing until I was 30. 30!

    Not like I am going to win any medals (other than the occasional small local tournament ones) but, hey, one is never too old.
    Scott Allen Abfalter
    Knight Blades Fencing
    Cocoa, FL

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rogue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Allen Abf
    I did not start fencing until I was 30. 30!

    Not like I am going to win any medals (other than the occasional small local tournament ones) but, hey, one is never too old.
    Same here. Fence, enjoy. Repeat.
    Last edited by Rogue; 08-16-2004 at 09:26 PM.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Grey's Avatar
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    If you are seriously considering staying in the sport competitively, it will be better to buy better equipment for the long run (say at least 2 or 3 years and above). 1600N FIE masks shouldn't rust, compared to the average 350N masks. Same goes for weapons. It may be about twice or thrice as expensive, but it lasts twice/thrice as long, more balanced (at least in my experience), adequate flexibility and lightness.

    Experiment and find your favourite configuration.
    "Man is how he behaves sword in hand."
    "Fencers only recognize fencers, potential fencers and hopeless invalids."

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