The French fencing master, Bruno Gaby, proceeds in training the Cambodian national team in preparation to participate in the Olympics for the first time, as Cambodia is looking forward to sending two fencers to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The French coach stated that the fencers he trains have admirable qualities like high speed and accuracy, which makes them skillful fencers. The fencing sword is a sport of fencing using swords or small knives. It is a sport of battle that has its own rules and regulations. You would rarely find a country in the world that does not play this sport. It is an old tradition that the ancients have followed since the beginning of history, through different eras till our days, and in different places of the world.
Bruno Gaby, currently is the French coach of the Olympic fencing sharing his experience and he started fencing in 1968 at the club Saint Maixent, a military club because my father was in the army. He began competing in local tournaments – first the foil then the saber. Eventually, he reached the national level after many competitions and several world cups. At 17 or 18, he got into a serious motorcycle accident that pulled the fencing and further competition from beyond my reach.
But he still wanted to continue fencing so he got involved in refereeing first off by passing local, regional, and eventually national certificates for this. Concurrently with his referee career, he trained to become a Fencing Master at a school in northern France where he was able to take charge of his first big club – The Fencing Circle in Roubaix.
The opportunity to start an Olympic adventure by qualifying one of the fencers who had double nationality French and Portuguese for the Olympic games in Barcelona with help from the Portuguese fencing federation. It worked well as he had the opportunity to participate in the Barcelona games (1992) as a fencer as a coach.
Later, he was contacted by the Fencing Master of the French National Saber team, Christian Bauer. He was able to watch over the Junior national team in the competition, to follow them. Also, he continued his career as a referee as well, He participated in 20 or 21 World Championships, up to the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
The opportunity was offered to him to come to Cambodia which he was accepted and has been here now for a year and a half. Fencing is a very physical sport but also demands an intense intellectual effort.
Bruno Gaby, Coach of the Olympic Fencing said, “Fencing is a bit like chess: you must pre-visualize, anticipate but at a much more rapid speed. With fencing, in one second, you can make 3 hits. You are playing with an adversary, judging his distance, reactions – it is a highly tactical sport”.
He added more It is a sport where one does not stop improving, you keep learning. Throughout the country, Cambodian fencing comprises approx. 50-60 fencers. To form a fencer, the normal starting age is 7-8 years old. Additionally, you need another 2-3 years to make them fully understand what they are doing. To form a fencer from beginning to highest level, you are looking at 10 years.
What he loves about these fighters is they are very passionate. They seem to have unusual qualities of speed – He doesn’t know where it comes from, naturally, maybe their lifestyle, education, they have that something extra that can allow them to become very good fencers. For example, in the starting group here, there are 2 saber beginners and 2 confirmed team members for boys and the same for girls. The 2 confirmed girl sabers are certainly the best fencers in Cambodia in terms of future potential.
Bruno said, “They are very capable fencers. Many child psychologists recommend fencing for children with developmental difficulties: fencing has many advantages – to be able to practice hidden behind a mask allows you to “hide” from the other and also to express oneself differently as well, the work of coordination and laterality is very important and contributes to good development. In fencing, you must coordinate the movement of the feet, the legs, the hands so this kind of work and exercise is attractive to children who have coordination issues or the like”.
Chay Linly, Fencer said she loves fencing because fencing is a sport that makes you smarter. It ensures good health and understands how it is the game and this sport of fencing she pleased because of first she used to watch cat and mouse cartoons like Tom and Jerry. They used swords against one another.
Chay Linly said, “I began to want to know more about this sport. I came to ask for information, and then I joined the class. I have been training for 5 years, so it is a good sport and the most favorite sport for me. I am quite pleased with my coach”.
Chom Rong is a male fencer mention the reason he likes fencing is that he used to watch people practice fencing in a sports class. He mentions and he never thought he would get a chance to be in a class. Nonetheless, when school started, he enrolled with them, and with training day by day, his ability grew.
Chom Rong said, “Now I’ve been selected to be a national team member. I’m in daily training. With that, my capacity has grown and I have been able to go abroad as well. Sometimes I have been successful and sometimes I was unsuccessful.”