This term often conjures up memories from childhood, playing with sticks. Or perhaps it is a nostalgic reminder of the cult classic movie The Princess Bride. For those who might be a little more versed in swordplay, it could bring up visions of light sabers from the Star Wars sagas.
Fencing is the martial art of swordsmanship that traces back to the 1300’s. It was developed for duels and self-defense at that time and was used largely in a military capacity. In the mid-18th century, this skill started transitioning to a sport.
As an individual sport, the fencer has to engage in both offense and defense simultaneously. It is a quick sport and requires agility both mentally and physically. What is appealing to many about fencing is that it is a lifetime sport. The participant does not need a certain level of athleticism to start, and there is no age limit. Whether you're seven or 70, if you are looking to pick up a new sport, fencing could be for you.
Colorado Springs is unique for many reasons; one of which is the distinction of Olympic City USA. Many current and former Olympians and world class athletes still call Colorado Springs home and look to stay involved with their sport in one way or another.
Kathryn Lewis-Salem discovered the sport of fencing early on and started as soon as she was able. Her college offered fencing as a sport and she was soon hooked. She notes that she appreciated the history and tactical nature of the sport. It didn’t hurt that the movement itself is beautiful and has been referred to as its own artform.
Personal Responsibility, Growth + Resilience
Lewis-Salem established the Front Range Fencing Club 19 years ago to introduce Epee style fencing to Colorado Springs. Today, there are three certified fencing coaches teaching beginning, intermediate, recreational and competitive fencing to those interested. The equipment is provided by the club to start as this gives the participant the opportunity to be active for a while before committing.
Class sizes are small and coaches make it a point to foster personal responsibility, growth and resilience alongside the fundamentals of the sport itself. Classes are set up so participants can come one time a week for socialization and community or more if the competitive nature strikes.
It’s a great sport to pick up with a partner, too – Lewis-Salem notes there are parents who come with their children as well as couples and friends who have taken on this activity together. If the pickle ball revolution just wasn’t for you, but you are still looking for a community sport that challenges both mentally and physically, visit the website to see how you can get involved.