Fencing Among Safest Olympic Sports

Post date: Jun 6, 2014 2:45:24 PM

Fencing is one of the safest Olympic Sports out there.

The governing associations of modern fencing regard safety as the top priority for the sport. It is far too common to find someone who is afraid of trying fencing due to incorrect assertions about the sport. Fencers at the club or competition wear protective vests and helmets that are each capable of mitigating a minimum 700 Newtons of force (the equivalent of the weight of a 70kg person concentrated on an area the size of the end of a pencil). On top of this, you should know that the fencing weapons are not sharp. The tips of the two point weapons (Foil and Épée) are covered by a point similar to the eraser end of a mechanical pencil. The blades themselves, like in Sabre, are rounded; in fact, in 14 years of fencing, I have never once seen a fencer cut by being hit by the blade of a weapon. At the worst, fencers can sometimes be bruised by a hard hit (typically the result of an incorrect action on the part of one of the fencers). In the event that a fencer is worried about getting hit too hard or injured by the blade, clubs generally will provide concerned fencers with additional plastic protection for their torso, protecting them from feeling even the of hardest hits.

Not only do fencers not get injured by weapons, but the basic fundamentals of the En Guard position and fencing actions/rules result in fewer joint and muscle injuries than similar Olympic Sports (see graphic below).

All in all, fencing is a safe sport and great way to strengthen your cardio, core, and legs.

For more details about fencing safety, check out this Fencing.net article (Fencing: Safer than Badminton) or this Scientific Article published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.


Written by David Themens, 2014-2015 UNB Fencing Club President.