By: Devin Bender
KU Fencing Club gives students a chance to learn sword fighting techniques such as lunge, parry, advancing and retreating and guarding. The club teaches a variety of different fencing styles: foil, épée, and sabre. These styles are the main types in the Olympics.
Students with no prior experience are encouraged to join, as the club’s goal is to teach newcomers how to fence. Allen Stork, Vice President of the club, warned, “You are going to get stabbed.” However, the club requires students to wear protective gear to fight. Students should come prepared in sweatpants, a short-sleeved shirt and sneakers.
The club provides the rest of the equipment like the jacket, a mask, a glove and trousers. The Armorer, Stephen Sokol, provides all fencers with the appropriate gear so they are safe during gameplay. Students are allowed to bring their own armor and weapons as long as it fits within the parameters of the rest of the club.
KU Fencing Club offers students a chance to meet new people and friends of all majors. “I got involved after my friends dragged me in, and ever since I stayed with it,” said Stork. In addition, the club competes in tournaments with other schools at the Reading Berks fencing club. Students will also be able to learn about the long history of fencing.
The club starts off with a 20-minute warm up that includes running on the track downstairs and stretching. After the warm up, they put on their gear and train with their weapons. The members practice their parry techniques by taking turns tossing extra gloves at each other. The person on the opposite side of the person throwing has to swing at the right time to block the projectiles.
To ensure that people are committed to the club, members who stay with it for four weeks must pay a $20 club fee each semester. The Fencing Club is located upstairs in the gaming lounge at the KU Student Recreation Center. Students will need their KU IDs to access the doors. Once they enter, they must go through the end of the hallway to the doors at the end. The club meets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
To watch the Keystone’s video on the fencing club, check out our YouTube channel!