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On the Fence about Fencing

Although dueling with swords may frighten you at first, fencing is worth a try. Photo by Flickr user astronomy_blog.
Although dueling with swords may frighten you at first, fencing is worth a try. Photo by Flickr user astronomy_blog.

About a year ago, my parents decided to make me try fencing.

“But I don’t want to go get stabbed with a metal sword every week!” I whined. They told me that it would be good for me and I would like it. I put up a fuss, but they signed me up anyway. Now, although I hate to admit it, I really love fencing.

However, I only know one other person who fences, which I think is sad. It makes you stronger, improves your reflexes and hand-eye coordination and is just plain fun.

When I told my friends that I was going to start fencing, most of them didn’t really know anything about it. I didn’t want to do it at first, but then again, I hate to try anything new and it’s a good thing my parents made me do it.

Learning to fence at Avant Garde, my current fencing club, has been a really great experience for me. During the group class, we spend the first part of class doing exercises meant to improve our endurance, flexibility and strength as well as get us warmed up. We get help from the teacher on our technique and practice the proper fencing stance, advancing, retreating, etc. We also discuss strategies and learn sequences. Then we put on our fencing gear and start fencing each other!

If you aren’t very fit when you start fencing, you will be soon. Like any sport, it’s a lot of work, but it’s fun and your hard work pays off. The fencing stance requires your knees to be bent, with your feet at right angles. At first, this was really uncomfortable and tiring, but now my legs are much stronger and I can hold that position for a long time. My arms are also stronger, from holding a metal sword. My reflexes are much better now as well. Saber fencing, the type that I do now, is very fast and you have to be able to respond quickly to avoid getting touched. It also improves your hand-eye coordination, because you have to be able to control your weapon.

I really enjoy my time on the fencing strip. Although this may sound strange, it can be very relaxing to go and fight with someone after a long day at School. Whacking someone with a sword feels really good when I am stressed. I’ve made new friends at my fencing club, have become stronger and fitter and have found a sport that I really enjoy.

I hope that fencing becomes more popular. It’s a great sport to do, and if you don’t already have a sport that you’re interested in, try fencing.