Summary: We must not only be able to know the word of God, but also know how to use the word.

Olympic Fencing

A Modern Sport

The sport of fencing is fast and athletic, a far cry from the choreographed bouts you see on film or on the stage. Instead of swinging from a chandelier or leaping from balconies, you will see two fencers performing an intense dance on a 6-feet by 44-feet strip. The movement is so fast the touches are scored electrically – a lot more like Star Wars than Errol Flynn.


Competitors win a fencing bout (what an individual “game” is called) by being the first to score 15 points (in direct elimination play) or 5 points (in preliminary pool play) against their opponent, or by having a higher score than their opponent when the time limit expires. Each time a fencer lands a valid hit - a touch - on their opponent, they receive one point. The time limit for direct elimination matches is nine minutes - three three-minute periods with a one-minute break between each.

Fencers are penalized for crossing the lateral boundaries of the strip, while retreating off the rear limit of their side results in a touch awarded to their opponent.

Team matches feature three fencers squaring off against another team of three in a "relay" format. Each team member fences every member of the opposing team in sequence over 9 rounds until one team reaches 45 touches or has the higher score when time expires in the final round.

Fencing at the Olympic Games will feature a single-elimination table format, much like that used in Tennis. There will be no preliminary rounds, as the initial seeding into the table will be determined by World Rankings.

The Weapons

Foil, epee and saber are the three weapons used in the sport of fencing. While some fencers compete in all three events, elite generally choose to focus their energies on mastering one weapon.

Foil - The Sport of Kings

The foil is a descendant of the light court sword formerly used by nobility to train for duels. It has a flexible, rectangular blade approximately 35 inches in length and weighing less than one pound. Points are scored with the tip of the blade and must land on valid target: torso from shoulders to groin in the front and to the waist in the back. The arms, neck, head and legs are considered off-target - hits to this non-valid target temporarily halts the fencing action, but does not result any points being awarded. This concept of on-target and off-target evolved from the theory of 18th-century fencing masters, who instructed their pupils to only attack the vital areas of the body - i.e. the torso. Of course, the head is also a vital area of the body, but attacks to face were considered unsporting and therefore discouraged.

Although top foil fencers still employ classical technique of parries and thrusts, the flexible nature of the foil blade permits the modern elite foil fencer to attack an opponent from seemingly impossible angles. Competitors often "march" down the fencing strip at their opponent, looking to whip or flick the point of their blade at the flank or back of their opponent. Because parrying (blocking) these attacks can be very difficult, the modern game of foil has evolved into a complicated and exciting game of multiple feints, ducking and sudden, explosive attacks.

There were many pages of information on how to score points and the equipment needed and etc.

So I have studied the rules of fencing and I understand the rules of the game. I know what equipment I need in order to enter a bout. I am I ready to join an Olympic team? No of course not, I’ve never put the information that I have learned to use yet. I had no chance to exercise my knowledge on the mat. What if I purchased all the right equipment and I walked into the gym where other Olympic hopefuls were practicing. Do you think people would assume that I knew how to fence? Maybe, but what if I started talking about all the rules and made the people aware of the fact that I was educated about fencing. Do you think people would assume I knew how to fence? Pretty good chance they might believe I had entered bouts before. What would happen if I actually stepped on to the mat with an Olympic fencer and tried to beat him/or her? Do you think people would know for sure that I didn’t have any experience at all fencing. I think so. Because you see it isn’t enough to just be educated and dress the part, I must know how to use my sword!

I starting the message if your listening closely. When I was praying for a message for tonight the Lord spoke to me and said “Just holding the sword in hand isn’t enough.”.

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