When someone says she fences, she should anticipate questions such as, “What’s that?” or, “Is that like sword fighting?” Though the sport has a rich background, it doesn’t necessarily have a rich present. In fact, fencing continues to lose popularity to this day.
Yet active fencers are passionate about their sport.
They seek private lessons, group classes, and competitive tournaments. Because such a time investment is required by this sport, people who don’t fence may not understand the commitment that fencers put into fencing. However, this commitment isn’t forced; instead, it’s welcomed by fencers who have developed a love for the sport.
While discussing the prestigious sport, Kyle Mezzi, a coach who has taught fencers at national levels, told JSR, “Fencing… challenges the mind and the body. It develops dexterity, endurance, flexibility, and grace, while allowing participants the opportunity to hone the mind’s problem-solving abilities.”
The sport practices bladework, footwork, and mental readiness. These components make for the best fencing experience possible. Essentially, the heart of fencing is how a participant reacts to a blade coming towards him.
Mezzi continued, “It is easily learning and, it has even melded to fit the needs of the blind and individuals using wheelchairs. This is sport for everyone. Fencing provides a unique mix of physical, intellectual and emotional stimulation.”
Kayla Ciccarelli, who has been fencing for six years, told JSR, “It’s something that you go into ready to love or hate. Everyone I know who picked it up ends up loving it. It’s just that people are afraid to pick it up.”
“It’s sad to see fencing not gaining as many participants as it used to,” she said. “Every time I go to tournaments, I always see the same people. If I’m lucky, I get to see a new face.”
“If we could just get people to try it, I’m sure they’ll fall in love with it like I did,” Ciccarelli concluded.
On Sunday, September 6, Cicarelli was even a participant in an international flashmob event called the Fencing Mob. Along with the other fencers who participated in this event, she did so to bring awareness to the sport and show how passionate she is for it.
Although fencing is losing popularity, those who fence make every attempt they can to revive it. With such dedicated and passionate individuals, fencing may even have a resurgence soon.