Anonymous said: why are fencing stages so narrow like in kendo we have a fairly sizable circle so why the hell does fencing have like a grocery aisle
Hello kendo anon - let me begin with the statement that kendo is super rad and I’ve really enjoyed it every time I’ve tried it. I have two answers to your question, and I’m going to start with the snarky one:
Why not have a narrow fencing strip? Why does baseball have a diamond? Why is hockey played on ice? Why are there only two hoops in basketball? Why is kendo in a circle in the first place? It’s a sport. It has weird sport rules and weird sport simplifications. Also having a narrow strip makes it way easier to have a bunch of people fencing at once, so it’s a super convenient simplification.
Serious(ish) answer: I don’t know what the historical reason is, but in general having a narrow strip limits the action to forward and back (and some extremely judicious side-stepping), which makes the sport easier to referee, forces fencers to be better at distance and blade-work, and also makes it easier to focus on your opponent. It’s less realistic (maybe - I think sabre approximates the original horse charges pretty well at times), but again, sports. Sports = simplifications, and then they get really complex in really cool ways because of those simplifications.
(H/t to my teammates, who provided a lot of comments when I got this ask at practice.)