Eagles lunge towards fencing

EWU fencing club teaches recreational combat to all skill levels

Eagles lunge towards fencing

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer


Some Eastern students gather up their equipment in the Phase, in preparation for a night of fencing.

According to http://library.thinkquest.org, fencing goes as far back as the beginning of the evolution of man. Fencing has been active in places such as ancient Egypt and Rome. Fencing has also been around during the dark ages as well. Ancient Egyptians had carvings of figures from dates as early as 1200 B.C. that illustrated athletes fencing with masks and weapons.

Greek and Roman civilizations used short swords and light spears and they ended up teaching their students in schools. The 15th century is when modern fencing started and Spain brought the first official fencers. Fencing eventually spread throughout Germany and Italy, as people became more interested to take up the sport of fencing.

The 16th century started the popularity of dueling. Many fencing athletes were killed because of the amount of fierce competition during those times.

President of the fencing club Meghan Woods said, “Fencing, in some respects is like track, in that you compete as an individual.” The EWU fencing club focuses on individual performance rather than team performance. According to Woods, the fencing club does not necessarily compete as a school.

Woods went on to explain what specifically goes on in fencing competitions. “So, competition starts, they divide the fencers into groups of about five to eight, depending on how many are there and that’s your pool,” Woods said. “So you fence everybody in your pool, and then depending on how you do in your pool, they list you in numerical order from best person to worst person.”

According to Woods, after that part of a typical fencing competition, the top fencers will proceed to play the fencers with the worst rankings, for example, No. 1 will play No. 10 and No. 2 will play No. 9. That pattern will continue until there is one winner. For pool competitions, whoever gets five touches in 3 minutes wins the match.

The club has mostly been fencing recreationally so far this year. A few years ago, some of the members competed at a fencing club in Spokane. Club member, Zach Lesperance explained what the club does during practice. “Tuesdays and Thursdays what we do is we practice footwork, blade work, just a bunch of drills.”

He also points out that on Saturdays; the team spars against each other. Lesperance explains the type of equipment the club uses. This includes jackets, helmets, swords and electrical score-keeping equipment. The club also funds for the equipment they need. “We do fundraisers, we sell sweatshirts. I think we do a couple other fundraisers throughout the year,” Lesperance said.

The club has gotten more members during its’ tenure on campus. “There are a lot of new members this year,” Lesperance said. “Typically our club is rather small, we get maybe about 10 people at the most.”

“I was looking for a club that I can join to be somewhat sports related. But wouldn’t be too involved that I wouldn’t be able to study or would take too much time,” Parks said. He states that fencing is not too time consuming and along with his fellow club members, he simply enjoys it.

Club member Kevin Parks talks about how much he likes fencing. “I do this for fun a lot, but I really enjoy improving as well,” Parks said. When looking for an activity on campus, Parks found that fencing was the perfect thing to do.