I have taken up foil fencing as my sport of the year (why not?!) and I am now at an intermediate level. My experience of fencing so far:
It hurts. I have had a blood clot on my left thumb and somehow I got hit on the knuckles of my fighting hand and all the skin was removed. However, it is rejuvinating, invigorating and real. In those moments of a fight, as you look towards your opponent, at her sword, target area, mesh mask – that is all that matters. I’m trying to read my opponent, to sense her energy. As the fight begins all my energy is focused. I’m reading each move and reacting with my own – stratagising, attacking, defending. All this takes place in just a few moments, until one of us scores. It takes seconds. To my mind, this intense real focus is a necessary energy for real acting. I feel the emotion and I go. Forever present in the moment. It’s also nice to stab someone with a sword and cheer in their face afterwards about it.
British Olympic fencer Laurence Halsted says he did not have to “act” when he starred in the music video for “Two Spot Gobi”. His emotions were real, he simply did his thang! Have a little look here: