How has sport fencing...

...helped your overall game, both empty-handed and with weapons? How has it helped you understand fighting in general?

Although I've never taken a fencing class ever (I'm going to this year w/ my wife), a lot of its concepts are so applicable to my overall game (my savate, my bowie fighting, jfjkd, etc.).

Anyone else had this experience?

YES.

It allows me to move more easily.

4R,Since I don't really practice much in the way of empty hand stuff, aside from some very basic BJJ and the unarmed aspects of FMA, I can't really comment upon the impact that my fencing background has had on those things, but I can say that fencing has pretty much been a positive asset to the stickfighting and knife sparring aspects of my FMA training. Since so much of fencing is based on actual bouting (sparring), I already had a decent sense of timing and distance when I first started in FMA in '97. I started FMA before YL and I began our more archaic WMA experiments, so I must admit that I had to get used to the more non-linear aspects of stickfighting, ie., sidestepping, slipping, etc. However, once I assimilated such things, stickfighting became really fun. Also, with the knife sparring, parrying (so fundamental to fencing) was a big no-no, but stop-hitting and stop-cutting, on the other hand, worked just great. The vast majority of my standard sports fencing training and experience is in foil, but I know enough of the basics of saber too, which really comes in handy with all of the FMA stuff--sticks, swords, & knives. Stickgrappler has already noted many of the similarities and/or parallels between Western fencing and FMA on his "random q's" thread, and I must wholeheartedly agree. BTW, the moulinet is very similar to the "reaping strike" used in FMA--a circular cut generated from the elbow.I hope you find your fencing training useful and enjoyable, and please feel free to post ANY questions about fencing here.TFS