We are proud to announce the start of the Wheelchair Fencing training program at Delta Fencing Center in Stockton, CA this fall 2012!
Who can participate
Anyone with an injury or disability comparible to a below the knee amputation (polio, cerebral palsy, paraplegia, hemiplegia,
quadriplegia, or TBI, for example) is elligible to participate in wheelchair fencing.
There are three different classifications for fencers based on a functional assessment test: A, B, & C with A's belonging to the
fencers with the greatest mobility, including (usually) full control of their abdominal muscles and good upper body strength, B's
who are mostly paraplegics with little to no abdominal control and good upper body and arm and hand strength, and C's with the
least mobility, generally no control of abdominal muscles, and often loss of grip or hand strength in one or both hands.
What is wheelchair fencing training like
Blade work and strategy for wheelchair fencing is very much the same as it is in able-bodied fencing, but, because the
fencers compete in such close proximity, the game tends to develop more quickly and there is less time to react. This is why
it is so important early on to begin to develop good habits and skills.
Working under the tutelage of a bona-fide fencing coach and practicing with other experienced fencers, (both wheelchair and
able-bodied) is highly recommended. At Delta Fencing Center, we will take you through a series of lessons and drills
specifically designed to reinforce learning all of the basic offensive and defensive skills necessary to win a bout.
These skills and drills further support and help to develop muscle memory to keep your actions small and tight.
While able-bodied fencers focus on moving up and down the strip, advancing and retreating with their lower extremities, ever
changing the speed and tempo to gain an advantage over their opponent, so it is with wheelchair fencing. The difference being
that the wheelchair fencer uses his upper body position, shifting it incrementally to open or close the distance between
himself and his opponent.
Coach Zoran's note: When I saw the wheelchair fencing for the first time, years ago, at the North American Cup in Atlanta, I think
I stopped breathing, completely amazed by the speed of the bladework and the accuracy and point control, compared to my fencing
opponents in Div III and Div II at the time.