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Make Friends… THEN STAB THEM! Fencing at Woodlands

Tatiana Rosario and Rose Tumminelli, Fencing Afficianados

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What is fencing?

Fencing was a sport that was once associated with Elite of society. Now the sport has evolved into a symbol of grace, strategic thinking, and ferocity. Some tend to shy away from participating in the sport because the thought of getting stabbed is to say the least, unsettling but it’s also the same rush people seek out. As fencers, we once held that initial fear but learned that in a bout it’s survival of the fittest. Kill or be killed…just gently though.   

Style

There are three different styles of Fencing; Foil, Epee, Saber. Each style has a different weapon, target, and rules.The rules are fairly simple. If you initiate the attack you get a point. If your opponent parries your attack, they get a point. If you both attack at the same time, who ever parries or initiates first (even if by only a second) gets the point. A foil has a fairly flexible blade and a small guard. Your target is the torso area (excluding the arms and head). The saber is a decently light blade with a guard that extends to the handle to offer protection for the fingers but does not include a pressure activated tip therefore slashing is more common than stabbing. Your target is the upper half of the body, below the belt is considered off target. Epee doesn’t quite follow the same rules as the other two. The sword has a large guard and tends to be on the heavy side. Your target is the entire body and there is no right of way meaning it’s whoever gets the point first or both sides are awarded points if they attack simultaneously.

Discrimination

We weren’t with the fencing team from the very beginning but we were there when we first started going to meets. At first we had a lot of problems going from broken equipment to illegal socks (seriously, it’s a thing). We thought it was because we were new at this and didn’t know what we were doing but then some things didn’t add up. When we discussed what was going on we reached to a conclusion that we were being treated unfairly. We were getting cheated out of points, getting unnecessary penalties, as well as being overall treated like we didn’t know what we were doing.

“I feel like they think I woke up one morning and said ‘I think I’m going to coach fencing’ ” says Mrs.Biddle.

Despite our coaches kind nature, she is not one to be trifled with. She quickly realized what was happening and confronted the league coordinator Dianna. Dianna didn’t seem to like us in the beginning so many arguments ensued thereafter. Over the past 3 years things have gotten better but we still have problems. Dianna no longer has a vendetta  against us and actually has become rather accommodating and sympathetic. Our weapons still malfunction and fail to pass the weight test even though they were tested the day before, which we find quite suspicious.

This year though has been quite eventful. We’ve had another unfortunate run in with Nadia, a Russian coach with credentials that over qualify her to referee for High School matches. Her calls caused the boys foil team to be cheated out of third place last year which unfortunately dealt a blow to our team morale. Despite that, we still continue to put in 110% into each competition.

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The Voice of Every Woodlands Student
Make Friends… THEN STAB THEM! Fencing at Woodlands