Fencing is an activity that requires fast reactions, which are planed based on spatial and temporal analysis of the weapon and the opponent. Thus offensive and counter-offensive actions require high
visual attention. The fencer defensive and offensive performance may be improved by identifying which visual information are more relevant to predict the weapon and opponent movement. We aimed at
identifying the most frequent body locations at which high-level fencing athletes concentrated during their practice.
In a preliminary study, we evaluated three high-level epee fencing athletes (S1, S2, S3) of both genders during their training practices. All the subjects agreed to participate in this study, which
was approved by an Ethics Committee. The athletes performed their training section using an eye tracking (Tobii Glasses 2) under their protective masks. This device used had 4 cameras to monitor the
retinas movements and one camera that registered the images viewed by the subject. Data was analyzed with Tobii Glasses Analyzer (Version 1.16). Three main areas of interest (AoI) were identified in
the subjects’ view videos, they were: the opponent armed arm (arm), trunk (trunk) and face (mask). The frequency the subjects focused on the AoI (FAoI) were calculated.
S1 focused greatly on the mask (66 time versus, 22 for the trunk and 20 for the arm), while S2 and S3 focused greatly on the arm (S2: 28 times for the arm, versus 14 for the mask and 24 for the trunk;
S3: 22 times for the arm, versus 0 for the mask and 21 for the trunk)
These preliminary study showed the influence of different coaches instructions on the strategies used by the athletes during their training practices. Eye tracking seems to be a usefull and viable
tool to be used to improve fencing training. The next analysis will correlate visual information with success of performance.