Rio 2016: Why Do Fencers Scream?

With its roots in European swordsmanship and medieval duels, fencing is known as a highbrow sport. So why are fencing bouts often filled with raucous screams? Members of the U.S. Olympic fencing team break down the reasons. Photo: AP

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11 Replies to “Rio 2016: Why Do Fencers Scream?”

  1. Those who don´t understand screaming are those who have never had a competitive career and only practice sport as an entertainment. Even I can say that if I scream vs you, I consider you a hard opponent that makes me feel pressure and be focused. if I don´t scream any point it is because it is so easy for me that I don´t even feel that pressure.

  2. have to search this because of 2521, na heedo always screams like a crazy woman whenever she point haha

  3. you shout to intimidate and make your opponent angry and nervous… and this is why this sport sucks.

  4. The comments below reflect a lot of ignorance about the emotional state you're in when fencing. There is a long tradition of yelling after a point. The traditional thing to yell is "e la!" It means "there" in French. It means "Take That" in English. But in the heat of the moment anything might come out. It's not being disrespectful to your opponent. Your opponent knows your yelling has nothing to do with him. It's your own spontaneous reaction to winning a tough touch.

    When fencing, you're wound up way tighter than tennis players. Tennis players look at one another over a net and from a distance. Fencers look at each other over cold steel aimed at your chest or head at close range.

    Not real swords, you say? Fencers have been injured and even killed in fencing bouts. Blades break, and what's left is a stiff steel stub with a jagged point. A World Champion was killed when a broken foil went through his mask and through his head.

    I got a broken Foil through my thigh when I was fencing in a tournament. That's not fun. I've played many sports in my 66 years. Fencing stands alone in terms of adrenaline and possible consequences if a blade breaks.

  5. I don't find it intimidating. If anything, it's kind of a confidence boost because it feels like they're happy to be getting a point against you, which makes you feel like you're better

  6. reason#2 is like imagine boxers or mma fighters scream every punches they made to convence refs lol

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