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Brief Histroy
Posted by Brillmart 2006-02-09


» Brief Histroy

Brief History:
Fencing has been around for a long time, in fact ever since Adam was a boy. The invention of gunpowder and improved iron foundry techniques brought about the mass production of guns and the decline of swords. The sword moved from the weapon of choice to the mark of a gentleman and essential dress accessory for every fashion conscious gentleman, thence to parlour sport for the gentry and now since 1914, a codified International Sport.

From d’Artagnan to Luke Skywalker, Mousquetiers to Jedi Knights, from short swords and rapiers to light sabres, fencing has stood the test of time, past present and future. It has a context in the romantic, gallant and chivalrous. It is a sport that fascinates and inspires the imagnination, without bounds.

Fencing is one of the original Modern Olympic sports, in first 1896 Olympics, and has been contested at every Olympics since then. Apart from a brief historical diversion when “stick fighting” was included in the programme, the sport has evolved to a dynamic high-speed athletic contest for men and women who can compete in all the events foil, epee and sabre. For social and receational fencers to competition, from the young to the young at heart, fencing has something for everyone.

In New Zealand fencing evolved through imigration, with interested people participating informally. One of the main sources of fencing contact was based around the ports, with encounters occuring with naval officers and cadets, and maratime crew members of visiting ships meeting like minded interested residents and university students for impromptu bouts and competitions. NZ fencers would wait with anticipation the rrival of frigates and known and unknown likely lads.

Canterbury University Fencing Club is belived to be the oldest organsied fencing  club, with Auckland Swords Club also pre-dating the formation of a national Association.

On the 15th June 1938 the national federation was Incorporated as the New Zealand Amateur Fencing Association (Inc.), with four sub Provincial Councils; Auckland, Wellingtoon, Canterbury and Otago-Southland. The first national championships were held in 1939. The Assocaition remained as NZFAFA, with minor contstitutional changes until 1997, when the Association officially changed it's name to Fencing New Zealand and the Provincial Councils were  renamed Fencing North, Fencing Central, Fencing Mid-South and Fencing South.  See in the downloads section an organigram of the FeNZ structure.

You can also continue by checking out the New Zealand Legends, our own heros and heroines, in the section of that name in the President's Corner.

This history is an on-going project. There are many untold tales. We would appreciate preserving this information and knowldege. Anyone with more to add or interested in recording and dcoumenting our story and oral histories please conatct Fencing New Zealand.

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