I’ll be honest, a vast majority of my knowledge in fencing was derived from the 1998 movie The Parent Trap, starring Lindsay Lohan.
Fencing appeared to me to be a sport for intelligent individuals with quick reflexes.
Staying focused, predicting your opponents next move and shielding yourself from continuously requires a large amount of skill.
I, on the other hand, tend to run into large objects such as tables knowing very well they are there and walk directly into them anyways.
The result is a lot of completely avoidable and unnecessary pain.
Despite my lack of balance, coordination and agility I decided to embark on the adventure of fencing.
Fencing is a club on campus open and welcomes new members, no matter what skill level.
Colin Baker, 18, started fencing on campus last semester.
“I met most of my friends through it,” said Baker. “When I first came to Delta I didn’t know anyone. Club Rush came around and I met all of these people. I thought it was really hard, but I kept with it. I’m really glad that I kept with it.”
Baker, along with the rest of the club made me feel welcomed and shared personal stories of when they started fencing, to help ease my worries of being the worst fencer the club has ever seen.
The club began practice with learning the correct postures, terms and overall introduction to the sport.
I stand at a mere 5’1” and my arm length isn’t something to brag about, so I began to wonder if this sport was meant for me to try at all.
My first opponent was Ramon Zuniga, a current staff writer for The Collegian.
Ramon allowed me to be more comfortable in my first experiences holding the foil, making advances and parrying.
Parrying is the act of moving your foil in defense to avoid being struck.
And just in case you’re wondering, I’m terrible at it.
After recognizing I wasn’t skilled in the act of parrying, the club decided to have me focus on advances at my opponent and moving my foil correctly.
Once I began strictly advancing towards my opponent, I felt confident and in control.
The next step was to I begin practicing against other club members.
Before I knew it, I was ready to match up against an unfamiliar face.
To be honest the general consensus was that I wasn’t ready for an actual match but to be paired with more advanced members of the club. So I boldly went in to my next match.
Nick Banis, student, describes his fencing on the team as “exhilarating experience,” said Banis, “it really gets my adrenaline pumping.”
That feeling was exactly what I experienced while in my match. I straightened out my back, adjusted my hands to the foil and went all in.
Though it was technically impossible to lose because my opponent was not allowed to strike me, I feel pride in my victory.
Fencing like any sport requires time and dedication to improve. My experience with the fencing club allowed me to try something out of my comfort zone and build my skill set.
After getting to know the club members I realized the team is like a family and they’re always welcoming of beginners.
Practices are three days a week located between the Science and Math building and Shima building on campus, all interested students are welcome to stop by and try out fencing. Practice is held Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.