Fencing and health

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Fencing has long been considered a martial art and has an extensive history of practice. Competitive fencing is part of the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Combat Championships and it is a popular sporting activity for children and adults. This article presents a literature review of the anthropometrical, physiological, psychological and psychomotor characteristics of fencing, supported by data from published research studies. As competitive fencing is highly physically demanding, metabolic changes in aerobic and anaerobic power and muscular involvement during competition performance are addressed. During fencing practice, it is important to take proper precautions to prevent heat illness and physical injuries. Muscle overuse, muscle strains and ligament sprains are the most commonly reported injuries in fencing. Serious injuries such as penetrating accidents with broken blades are rare but not unknown. Although protective clothing can lower the risks faced by elite fencers during intensive training and highly competitive sporting events, it can also contribute to heat stress, which can be lethal especially when thermal cooling cannot be effectively applied with proper rehydration. In addition, protein requirements are related to muscle mass, which affects an individual’s optimal sports capacity. Common myths surrounding protein supplements are examined to ensure proper administration. Thus, this review summarises the broad areas of fencing and health with the objective of ensuring fencing is practiced as a safe and health-promoting sport. Copyright © 2014 OMICS Group.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMartial arts for health: Translating research into practice
EditorsShirley S. M. FONG
Place of PublicationFoster City, CA.
PublisherOMICS Group eBooks
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Chung, L. M. Y. (2014) Fencing and health. In S. S. M. Fong (Ed.), Martial arts for health: Translating research into practice (pp. 42-49). Foster City, CA.: OMICS Group eBooks.


  • Fencing
  • Metabolic requirement
  • Muscle strength
  • Protein catabolism
  • Thermoregulation


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