“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”
So my fencing classes didn’t begin with my instructor saying anything that noble sounding to start our first class. Up until then, my fencing skills had been limited to light saber fights with the boys while multi tasking housework.
Every time I have seen that fight scene in “The Princess Bride” I always thought it would be cool to have those skills, but in my line of work, they aren’t really needed on an everyday basis.
So when my friend asked if I would be interested in taking fencing lessons with her, I thought,”why not?”
I was debating the commitment due to price, but found a Groupon for fencing classes that made it possible for me to attend an adult class and for my son to attend the kids one too. His logic was that he was good at light sabers so he should be good at fencing. Good logic.
This style of fencing is way more strategic than free flowing like in the movie and no death match, which was a relief.
The ends of the swords are not pointy and you get to wear white straight jackets that would feel at home in the psych ward complete with a wedgie strap. Did I mention they have two “cups” that go in your jacket if you are a female? The thought of telling my husband I wore a cup that night made me laugh. And then to top it off you are wearing a bee keeper face mask.
After our instructor spent a few weeks teaching us techniques and our footwork we were ready to rumble. We also had new phrases to learn for when we were striking. The footwork is really important because that is how you gain ground and move back so that your opponent doesn’t strike you first.
We had been working on several of the moves with each other for the first few weeks.
The first time we sparred I won both of my matches, the next week a guy defeated me and made me mad. Making him my fencing nemesis.
Tonight there was victory; I beat my fencing nemesis and my fencing buddy. Who knew I had such a competitive side? I won 2 out of 3 wins for the matches. My final bout was a higher scoring match with a longer time and ended in defeat. The scoring system is really confusing. I just tried to strike the person first and hoped I got rewarded with a point.
The matches were so much fun. I was amazed at the adrenaline and cardio you get in 3 minute bouts. I was almost relieved when the 9 minute one was over. (It wasn’t against my nemesis) Then the guys duked it out in the finals.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and even though I’m not ready for any medieval fighting scenes quite yet, I can say I was a fencer even if it was short lived.
Fencing on your list? Grand Rapids locals can check out Grand Rapids Fencing Academy or check out fencing to find a fencing club near you.