Youth (and adult) Fall Fencing Sessions begin September 11! Click here to register.
For the past 20 years, Oak Brook Park District has been helping children and adults improve coordination, confidence, and focus through the royal art of fencing. Now more than ever, it’s important to engage children in active, social activities that exercise the body and the mind.
Fencing for Fitness:
While the cardiovascular benefits of fencing are obvious, the sport also greatly improves balance, core strength, and flexibility. Unlike repetitive exercises such as jogging or cycling, fencing requires the use of the body’s full range of motion. Moreover, the constant work and practice of engaging your arms and legs to work together efficiently greatly improves coordination and body awareness.
The complex physical maneuvers offer other benefits including:
- Increased strength: Long lunges and repeated thrusts or cuts are great for total body strength
- Improves overall speed
- Increases nimbleness in the feet and hands
Fencing for the Brain
Fencing is an excellent academic companion. Often referred to as “physical chess,” fencing requires athletes to work on logic, strategy and tactics. Athletes work on “being present” and practice staying acutely focused in the moment, a skill that needs attention in our digital age.
Fencing also trains students to remain calm and maintain composure. Kids have the opportunity to practice the art of reacting to high pressure situations with strategy and precision instead of emotion.
If that’s not enough, here are some of the other mental benefits of fencing:
- Relieves stress
- Boosts reflexes
- Hones decision making skills
- Improves observation skills
- Instills a desire to excel
Fencing for the Future
Overall, the average percentage of high school athletes that transition from competitive sports in high school to playing in collage is approximately 7.9% for women and 7.6% for men. However, in the sport of fencing, more than 38% of high school female fencers and nearly 30% of male high school fencers go on to collegiate teams (scholarshipstats.com).
According to College Scholarships.org, the uniqueness and specificity of the sport can give athletes an edge in scholarship opportunities. “Just as it is in the game itself, going after a fencing scholarship takes some strategizing, persistence, and skill, but can be very rewarding.”
Fencing for Personal Development
Studies show that children that are more physically active demonstrate higher self-esteem in social situations. As fencing depends on mental acuity, it may be a good fit for kids that don’t excel in mainstream sports.
Fencing teaches students how to exercise courtesy and respect at all times while simultaneously instilling a healthy competitive attitude.
Best of all, this is a sport that can be explored by the whole family! The Oak Brook Park District offers youth and adult fencing. The next session for both groups begins September 11.
Oak Brook Park District Fencing Instructors
Instructors Sue Oeste and Piotr Borzuta have been masterfully teaching the art of fencing in Oak Brook for more than 20 years.