Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Fencing is a noble art, based on the traditional skills of swordsmanship and one of the first ever Olympic sports, but just how difficult is it in reality?

BuzzFeed decided to find out by pitting a selection of regular men and women against one of female fencing’s leading stars, Monica Aksamit.

The 27-year-old Aksamit is of Polish descent, but was born in New York and raised in New Jersey.

She began taking fencing lessons at just nine-years-old and at the age of 18 she was well and truly on her way to making her mark in the sport by winning a team silver medal at the 2008 Junior World Championships, then a team gold medal and individual bronze medal at the 2009 Pan-American Championships.

Aksamit has continued to add to her trophy cabinet in the years since, with her crowning achievement being a bronze-medal win for Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

At the time of filming this video, the 6ft, 170lb Aksamit was ranked No.3 in the U.S. and No.33 in the world, making her a formidable adversary for the naïve, untrained opponents she was going to be facing off against.

Two men and two women all tried to get the better of Aksamit in a series of duals, but in the end they were all easily skewered by a combined total of 18-1, proving just how much skill and technique is required to wield a blade effectively.

The late, great Bruce Lee was known to be a great admirer of the art of fencing, and studied the sport in great detail while creating his own martial art, ‘Jeet Kune Do.’

In particular, aspects of stance, footwork, efficiency of movement and strategy were key aspects of fencing that Lee blended with other disciplines like boxing and traditional martial arts in order to design his own unique style, known as ‘The Way Of The Intercepting Fist.”

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