The Physics and Speed of Fencing
How much do you know about fencing? For most people, it’s not much – a few seconds of quick moves, and a winner declared on the scoreboard. The speed of attacks and hits is so fast – it’s quite hard to follow with an untutored eye.
Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan not only understands what’s happening in those seconds, but also excels at scoring winning hits. Fencing isn’t about force. Rather, the ability to choose the right position and distance is the key. The faster fencer will ‘step-lunge’, which offers more chances to land a hit first. The speed of this move made by professional athletes can be compared to the acceleration of a race car.
What if we put Kharlan next to Alexander Grinchuk’s 600hp, which accelerates up to 100km in four seconds, on the starting line? You’d be surprised to see who’s faster.