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Fencing finds Mason

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Fencing finds Mason

Club founders Sean Young and Sam Klemic demonstrate proper fencing form. The sophomores created the club this year. (Photo credit to Emmy Reitinger)

Club founders Sean Young and Sam Klemic demonstrate proper fencing form. The sophomores created the club this year. (Photo credit to Emmy Reitinger)

Club founders Sean Young and Sam Klemic demonstrate proper fencing form. The sophomores created the club this year. (Photo credit to Emmy Reitinger)

Club founders Sean Young and Sam Klemic demonstrate proper fencing form. The sophomores created the club this year. (Photo credit to Emmy Reitinger)

Emmy Reitinger, Staff Reporter

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As I stepped into the room, I was surprised by how many people had shown up. The room was packed full with eager faces- some new, some experienced- all ready for an hour and a half of fencing. This marked the first fencing club meeting at George Mason.

Fencing involves two competitors who use their sword in an attempt to hit their opponent to score a “touch” or point. Although fencing goes beyond this basic principle, it is broken down into foil, sabre, and epee, which all are different types of fencing with varying target areas, types of swords, and rules.

Here at GMHS, sophomores Sean Young and Sam Klemic decided that they wanted to get more people interested in fencing. So this year they decided to start a fencing club sponsored by Mr. Deal, which meets every Thursday in the Home Ec. room (F003), and meets from 3:00 to 4:30.  

Senior Zainab Youssri and sophomore Luke Reitinger practice during a fencing club meeting.

Junior Zainab Youssri practices with sophomore Luke Reitinger during a fencing club meeting. (Photo credit to Emmy Reitinger)

Everyone’s story of getting into fencing is different. For Klemic, he started fencing because his dad had really enjoyed the sport. Young got into it through a camp.

“I really enjoy fencing, and I knew some people at school fenced, and we also thought it would be cool to teach people,” said Young when asked why he and Klemic wanted to start the club.

Currently, not many public high schools have fencing programs, but having a fencing club at school is a great way to get more people interested and involved in the sport.

“I’ve always been into swords… so when I saw fencing I thought I want to do that,” said Junior Zainab Youssri.

Many people are attracted to fencing because of how different it is from other sports.

“It’s kind of like athletic chess…because of all the strategy involved in it,” Young said.

“And it’s about really getting into the mind of your opponent,” Klemic added.

That may seem strange, but a major part of fencing is strategy and it’s what many people like most about the sport.

“Our goal is to mainly teach people strategy, drills, and hopefully teach them enough that they can really fence on their own,” said Young.

Currently, since the club is made up of so many beginners, the club isn’t actually fencing real bouts often, but that is a goal that Klemic and Young have for the future, once everyone gains more experience.

Since the club meets in the Home Ec. room, there are no actual strips or electric equipment to be used. Although this does prove to be a challenge, since fencing requires the sword to be plugged in, the club can still do many activities such as footwork drills and bladework practice, which are the more important parts of learning to fence.

Whether you’re an experienced fencer or a beginner, doing drills is essential to improving your fencing.  So the club works on different footwork drills such as simple steps forwards and backwards as well as lunges and flèches.

The club also works on various bladework exercises, like different parries, and beats, as well as practicing attacking and defending.

Although the club is still new and developing, it’s well on its way to establishing a fencing community here at Mason.

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