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Fencing Is Actually Metal As Hell

1. Most of us think of fencing as weird swordfighting for rich people to do inside private gyms in their posh mansions.

Most of us think of fencing as weird swordfighting for rich people to do inside private gyms in their posh mansions.

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James Bond was all about fencing. Fencing handsomely.

2. Well, we’re wrong. Fencing, which is going on at the Rio Olympics right now, is a tremendous athletic activity, and it’s actually completely badass.

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3. First of all, fencing is one of only FIVE activities that have been featured in every single modern Olympics (alongside athletics, cycling, swimming, and gymnastics).

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4. Fencing requires agility on your feet and tons of leg strength, because you’re constantly in a squatting position. Olympic fencers typically train between four and seven hours per day, five to six days a week.

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5. This is what the individual épée rounds look like.

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Whoa.

6. It’s like a beautiful ballet. Except the ballet dancers have SWORDS.

Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

7. You wear these cool AF electronic masks that look like they’re straight out of Star Wars.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

They register every instance of your opponent’s weapon making contact with your suit.

9. You compete on this crazy stick of gum looking thing called a piste.

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10. And the fencers move so quickly that it looks like a cool ’80s music video.

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11. You’ve probably seen a fencing weapon before, but up close, they look straight out of the Middle Ages.

Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

Individual fencing bouts consist of three 3-minute rounds, or until one of the competitors scores 15 points by striking their opponent with one of these bad boys.

12. In épée fencing, the ENTIRE BODY is a target.

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That’s right, head to freakin’ toe.

13. In fact, this is what women fencers have to wear to protect their chests.

Looks super comfy!

14. Think football players celebrate too wildly? Well, fencers are famous for their intense screams.

Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

Here’s a good montage.

16. Let’s just face it: None of us will ever look this cool doing anything.

Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

17. It’s a good old-fashioned duel.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

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