The fine art of swordplay
02 Sep 2019
Fencing is as much a mental as a physical sport and it is this combination of strategy and stamina that so appeals to Year 11 student Oscar Aynsley. “It’s utterly fascinating. It’s a very individual, very selfish, sport and every bout is different. I like having to think on my feet, size up the opposition, make swift decisions on strategy and tactics and then follow through. There are lots of different strategies and multiple ways to win.”
His analysis, action and reaction – parry and riposte – earned Oscar the win in the mixed epee individual competition at the recent Mid South Secondary School Championships, held at the Fencing Institute in Addington on the weekend of Saturday 24–Sunday 25 August.
At the same event, Year 10 student Tim Wang won the mixed foil individual competition and a combined Rangi Ruru Girls’ School–Christ’s College team of Tim, Year 12 student Eden Pidgeon and Evelyn Kuo came second in the mixed foil team event.
There are three types of weapon used in fencing: foil, sabre and epee. The epee, Oscar’s choice, is the longest and heaviest and competitors can target anywhere on the body; the foil, Tim’s choice, is shorter and lighter and the target is the torso; and competitors using the sabre, the shortest of blades, can score with cut as well as thrust and target the entire body above the waist.