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Wheelchair Fencing: What Is It?

Wheelchair fencing
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Wheelchair Fencing? Is that even possible?” That may be your reaction when you first hear about this adaptive sport, but the answer is yes. You can learn all the skills of fencing right from your wheelchair.


What is Wheelchair Fencing?

Wheelchair fencing is an adaptive sport that allows people to fence from their wheelchairs. Wheelchair fencing is challenging. In fact, adaptive fencing is so competitive, it’s a Paralympic sport.

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How Is It The Same As Traditional Fencing?

Wheelchair fencing is the same as traditional fencing in several ways. First, the uniforms worn for protection are typically the same. You still need to protect all the same body parts! Also, the sport requires quick reflexes and agility. An electronic signal box is connected to the athlete to detect when a touch happens. And finally, the actual fencing equipment used is the same.


Well Then, What Are The Differences?

Wheelchair fencers are not allowed to move. The chairs are anchored to the ground, and if any movement occurs, the duel is paused until that competitor is secured again. In traditional Olympic fencing, the first competitor to give fifteen touches wins, but in wheelchair fencing, the number is reduced to five. There are different categories of fencers for the Paralympics. The Paralympic Committee assigns each competitor a score based on his or her abilities, and that is what determines which category they compete in.


How Can I Start?

If you think you may be interested in wheelchair fencing, start by checking out your local fencing clubs or schools. Since much of the sport is the same, the instructors there might offer to let you attend class to learn the basics. To duel competitively, you will need to go online to find the nearest competition near you. The website for the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation might be a good place to start looking.


This post is based on information found in the article, Wheelchair Fencing 101, by Roll Rev.

Autor: Annie Beth Donahue is a professional writer with a health and disability focus.