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Sydney Sabre Centre - Choose Your Weapon

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by Lexa T (subscribe)
I love to unearth the layers of the story, finding the essence with my endless questions and what I sense. Enjoy the reads. Travel
Published July 1st 2012
Sydney Sabre Centre - Choose Your Weapon
Do you have a secret desire to be a Musketeer or a swash buckling pirate and duel with a sword? Here is your opportunity- without the fatalities of course.
Touche! Stuff dreams are made of. Image

Grab your dreams and strut your stuff to the newly opened Sydney Sabre Centre in Stanmore. A brand new fencing centre with Olympic standard facilities. The only integrated training centre in the southern hemisphere dedicated to fencing, online and in house retail products.
The flying lunge in action, sheer elegance and dynamic! Image

Sabre fencing is a rapidly growing sport which has to be the new interval training with some extraordinary added extras.

It's fast, dynamic, tactical and more fun than I could have imagined and I was surprised how quickly I was yelling 'touché!' in my very first lesson.
Choose your Weapon!

One for all and all for fun Image!

I went along to the Sabre Centre to feed my own inner desire and participated in an introductory lesson.

Firstly, you don the essential protective gear, a mesh helmet, a plastic breast piece – for women and long sleeve shirt, given a glove and a sabre sword.

Next, you learn the basic footwork, walking forward and backward along the mat several times until you get the hang of it, then you are introduced to the three basic sword blocks and hits and finally, you will put the two actions together.
Learning the basic steps along the mat.

Next, learning the basic three sword blocks.

I was a little tentative hitting the instructor on his helmet in the beginning fearing I would hurt him, but I soon got over it and the fun began quite quickly, nothing was going to penetrate those helmets.
Putting the two together, see the blur? That's me in action! At this point I was feeling pretty good until I looked at the photo and noticed the instructor was taking it easy.

Now we were ready to fence or dual as I liked to consider it.

More protective clothing; slipping on the Kevlar jacket and the essential wiring that slips through the sleeve of the jacket to attach to the sword. It then runs to the back of your jacket and attaches to the cabling connected to the scoring box. I looked like a three year old wearing a harness so I would not run away.

There is also a clip which attaches to the inside of your helmet. All this is necessary to record your hits on your opponent. We tested everything was working and we were ready to begin.
Beginners (me) fencing all wired up and actually fencing.

Experienced fencers in action, note the same pose as previous picture, can you tell the difference? Nahh, not too much, just a little more work on the feet positioning perhaps, maybe style too.

Going in for the hit, Touche! I had 'vacant left arm syndrome', it felt out of place, should I place it up in the air, stiff down my side, behind my back, where should it go, how do you hold it? Something they neglected to tell me.

Each point lasts around 10-15 seconds and a bout goes to 15 points, that's around a mere 5 minutes. Sounds pretty passive, yet with the explosive action and concentration required to score a point it takes quite a lot of energy both mentally and physically. The sweat begins to ooze out of your body. This is a proper combat sport and you require focus from the start.

Playing competitive squash for many years took its toll on my ankles with the rapid turns and twists, alas I had to hang up my racquet. Sabre fencing gave me the same explosive action I loved, moving along the mat is only in a forward and backward movement which pleases my poor injured ankles. You also get a good workout in your thighs and glutes, yes they were a little sore the following day. It also fed my competitive spirit.
After the introductory lesson with the instructors.

I could not resist showing one of my winning scores! Ah yes, even at my age I still had it that competitive spirit and ability.

It's more fun than you may think.

I would love to hear from anyone who pursues their secret desire. Send us your comments in the comment box at the end of the article.

So Who is Fencing and How Much Does it Cost?

Any gender and just about any age group can learn and participate in the sport.

From 5years to 95 years.

Many parents are joining with their teenage children.
Mothers with sons and fathers with daughters.

Singles and couples come along.
If you are a single, there will others in the group classes to partner with at bout time and you will meet a whole bunch of new friends.

Grab a few friends together and have some fun sorting out who is the best if you have that competitive spirit.

Children as young as 5 years old.
Young children are taught a great discipline and use very soft foam swords not not injure themselves or others.
Kids use these very soft foam swords in the beginning.

I am a female baby boomer and found it pretty easy it pick up the basics and was able to win a few games against a young male on the night. Fitness is a certain requirement, although mental and tactical agility goes a long way - so don't be dismayed because of age or gender.

Introductory session costs $35 inclusive of lesson, equipment and bouting.
Single classes cost $25.

For more information visit their website:
Info on Pricing

Classes Timetable;
You can make a booking via email: or
Phone: 0421 460 713

If you just want more information, email contact:
The equipment is brand new and state of the art. No smelly old stuff here.

Choose Your Weapon and Scoring

Our modern day sport of fencing is divided into three sword or weapon categories, which differ in the type of sword used, where you can 'hit' your opponent and scoring.

Historically, these three swords were used in duels to the death, they now have a state of the art electronic score board equipment to determine the winner. Fear not, the ends of the swords are folded and blunt and you wear lots of protective clothing.
Modern fencing head wear and sabre.

Sabre – is the fastest and most explosive of the three disciplines, so you have to have your wits turned on at all times, so it will be the most fun. It is the only sword with a military tradition and was the standard weapon with cavalry in the majority of armies until World War I.

You score a hit using a thrusting and cutting action with the side of the blade, targeting the entire body above the waist, excluding the hands. In the old days, it was considered 'bad form' to injure a horse, you don't have to worry about that at the centre, we are in the 21st century.

If both fencers hit at the same time, the person who has 'right of way' - the person who initiated or was the first aggressor gets the point. So it pays to be the first off the mark.

Sabre is the most fun and the most appealing to kids.

Foil – was invented in France in the 18th century as a training weapon for the short sword carried by the gentlemen of the day. It was used to practice fast and elegant fencing, later becoming a dueling sword.

It is much slower than sabre with short bursts of speed. You can only score in a light thrusting action hit your opponent with the tip of the sword and only on the torso. Foil has the most rules, way to many to go through them all. It is also the only sword that flexes.

Epee - is a heavier sword than the foil and sabre. It replaced the rapier in the 17th century as a civilian duelling sword.

The rules are simpler, there is no 'right of way'. You can score by hitting you opponent with the tip only anywhere on the body and if both fencers hit they both receive a point.

History of Swords

The earliest sign of forged steel was around 4500 BC, with the Sumerians the true founders of metallurgy. The Roman god Vulcan was dedicated to the forge.

Swords have been used across many cultures for centuries. With the Vikings, Egyptians, Romans, Turks, Medieval, Samurais, Indians, Chinese, Ninjas, Scottish, Celtics, Arabians, Africans, Crusaders and during the Civil War until the rifle became a more efficient weapon.

Fencing is now a modern day Olympic sport and LARP – Live Action Role Playing began in the 1970's use foam swords.

Legendary and Ceremonial Swords
Legendary Swords

Stories of The Sword in the Stone and Excalibur, instilled with magical powers surrounded King Arthur of Britain's reign.
Excalibur Sword. Image

Ceremonial Swords
Many modern armies wear ceremonial swords. US Marines wear a Sabre. In India the curved blade Kukir. Japanese Self Defence Force officers and infantry are still issued with Katanas.

Random Did you Knows

Fencing is one of only four sports that has appeared at every modern Olympic Games.
Olympic rings. Image: Wikipedia

Why do fencers shake hands with only their left hand? Because their right is so sweaty after a bout!

The Three Musketeers
d'Artagnan was not one of the Three Musketeers, they were his friends; Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.
They used Rapiers as their preferred weapons.
The Three Musketeers and d'Artanion. Image: Wikipedia

Opening a Bottle of Champagne with a Sabre.

Napoleon was known to say. "Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it."

The sabre was used by Napoleon's light cavalry. To celebrate their succession of victories across Europe, the officers would open the champagne with their sabres.

The story goes that Madame Clicquot entertained Napoleon's officers in her vineyard and would give them bottles of Champagne.
Madame Clicquot's famous Champagne

It later became a popular tradition with the aristocracy at parties. With a slight shake, champagne needed to flow from the bottle to wash away any broken glass.
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Why? Because you have always dreamed of becoming a Musketeer
When: Introductory classes: M-F 6.30pm-7.30pm Sat 10.30am-11.30am & 11.30am-12.30am Sun 12.30pm-1.30pm & 1.30pm-2.30pm
Phone: 0421 460 713
Where: 112/118 Parramatta Rd Stanmore
Cost: $35.00 introductory class - equipment and bouting all incuded
Your Comment
Awesome article Lexa. Totally made me want to try fencing and sounds great fun. Something I would have never considered doing before
by Julian Groneberg (score: 3|1802) 2797 days ago
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