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Fencing: Right To The Point

January 30, 2019

Think you’ve seen us do it all? This week on My Rec Life, the Blog Squad joins the Drexel Fencing Club for one of their weekly practices.

Fencing is a very technical 1v1 sport where fighters are awarded points by landing their blade on the opponent. Fencing encompasses three disciplines, each of which require a different weapon: foil, epee, and saber. Fighting strategies can differ greatly depending on the battle type as each of these disciplines have different rules. Saber fencing is fast-paced and aggressive with each point typically being scored within a matter of seconds. Foil is more specific, points can only be scored by contact of the tip of the blade with the torso of the opponent. Epee is similar to saber but points can only be scored with the tip of the blade, which is heavier than that of a saber sword. Many have seen fencing on TV or in the Olympics but few understand the technical mastery necessary to excel at the sport until they suit up and try it for themselves.

How y’all doin,’ Matt here! To be honest, walking into fencing practice I was unsure whether or not they’d let me put on equipment and hold a sword for liability reasons. Sure enough, (after filling out some paperwork) I was ready to suit up and fence! Dahrah Muhammad, the Fencing Club President, started practice with some footwork drills, as footwork and posture are fundamental aspects of fencing. After mastering the steps enough to avoid tripping over myself, I was able to learn some of the essential blade positions involved in saber fencing. I decided to try saber over foil and epee because I liked the way the outfits looked. I found out after the fact that in saber I would have about half a second to decide how I was going to attack and another half a second to come up with a defensive plan if my attack was thwarted. Needless to say, as I am sure the video speaks for itself, my saber matches were potentially some of the shortest on record in the Drexel Armory. Regardless, by the end of the two-hour practice, I had gone from having no experience at all to competing against multiple Fencing Club members. Dahrah was very patient in helping us get the fundamentals down and I had a blast challenging myself to learn a new sport. I would highly recommend looking into the Drexel Fencing Club for those seeking to be part of a competitive fencing community or for those who would simply like to learn more about the sport.

What’s good jabronis, Robbie here! To date this has maybe been one of the most enjoyable videos to star in and I think that has to do to the uniqueness of the sport that is fencing. Dahrah and Coach Ahren La Londe were really helpful and had high energy levels while teaching Matt and I how to fence. Well, sort of how to fence. We learned pretty fast that there is no such thing as a real crash course to fencing and that to perform in the sport there is a lot of practice involved, but we had a blast. They taught us a few fundamentals and eventually “fed us to the sharks” so to speak. Both Matt and I were able to fence against members of the team. As you can see we were not exactly olympic level, but we really enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of fencing. It is extremely technical and is actually really hard on your lower body which surprised me. You are basically doing a squat the entire time, while positioning your feet in an “L” shape. Safety was also a huge topic that was stressed upon. The team definitely has a grip on what it takes to make sure everyone doesn’t get hurt and we were grateful for that. This is a more out of the ordinary video that I hope everyone enjoys because it isn’t everyday that one gets to try fencing. But lucky for you, you can! They are always open to new athletes to join and would love you to check it out. Until next week!

The Drexel Fencing Club practices from 7 PM - 9:30 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 8 PM -10 PM on Wednesdays in the Armory Conference Room this winter. If interested in getting involved or learning more about the club, send an email through their DragonLink page.