Troy has been fencing for around ten months and has only recently started competing.
“UGA Open was a learning experience. I won three out of five pool bouts in the open saber event, which was better than I thought I would do. Competing is fun because it helps enforce coordination, footwork, and timing.”
“I want to compete more,” he says, “to continue to get better.” Eventually, he’d like to earn a high rating and start fencing internationally.
To most people, Elle looks like most 14-year-old girls. During the day, she walks around the halls of her middle school in Atlanta, surrounded by her classmates. But after school, she straps into a wheelchair, grabs her weapon and gets ready for battle. That’s because Elle is a wheelchair fencer. It all started when Elle’s mother signed her up for a summer camp at North Atlanta Fencing Center, or NAFC. Elle tried it for a few days. She enjoyed it but struggled physically. When she was just six years old, she was hit by a golf cart. One of her legs was badly broken and the muscles were severely damaged. She went through five surgeries, a blood transfusion, and a year of rehabilitation. For the most part, she recovered, but her leg still holds her back sometimes. In this case, her leg helped her find a new passion: wheelchair fencing. Both Elle and her mother are excited about Elle’s new love and the opportunities it is opening up for her.
Angad began his career fencing at Milton High School, but now competes at the NCAA level at Columbia University in New York.
“We practice twice a week at the school from 8AM-12PM. We also get to practice around local clubs, so I go to New York Athletic Club two to three times a week with them. Bladework and footwork are still important, our coach stresses the fundamentals, and we do a lot of situational bouting-one minute, one touch is a big focus!
His long-term goals include staying competitive on the squad and maintaining his position on the travel team. “I definitely want to keep doing the sport for the rest of my life; it is not only athletically challenging but intellectually stimulating as well.”
As captain of Lassiter High School’s Fencing club, Donovan sets an example of leadership by his actions on the strip.
On Saturday, October 26th, 2013, Donovan competed at Georgia Southern in the Halloween Open and received his D2013. “I was elated! It was an awesome feeling. I fenced a lot of fun people. The tournament itself was great, and people there were really nice. I had some trouble in the beginning because my primary weapon broke, but overall, I feel like I had good focus. In the bout to get my rating, it was intense. My opponent was very skilled and very quick. In the third period it was 14-14, and I got a killer wrist touch on his fleche that won me the bout. It was neck-in-neck all the way through, but I’m proud of what I did.”
Donovan plans on getting his C by the end of the 2014 season. He will continue to train at Lassiter and NAFC and compete in more USFA tournaments.
Dan has been fencing for a year and a half and his hard work is shown every time he is in the gym!
“Competing is fun because I get to fence other people outside of the club. I gain a lot of experience from going to tournaments. I’d have to say AFC’s Kick-Off this past September was the most challenging tournament because it was my first tournament not at NAFC. I fenced people more experienced than I was and I didn’t know half of the people there. It was very different.” In addition to practice, Dan also participate in Forge: Boxing Cross Training, plays the flute, and attends Dean Rusk Middle School.
For the rest of the season, Dan wants to compete in as many tournaments as he can. “Even though it’s my first season of seriously competing, I’d love to go to Nationals this summer.”
As president of KSU’s Fencing Owl’s team, Ethan spends a lot of time with his head in the game. His first experience fencing was at Smyrna Community Center, but it was only until he saw a flyer at Kennesaw State that he perused his interest in the sport.
On September 26th, 2013, Ethan competed in a Regional Open Circuit in Fredericksberg, Virginia. “I personally thoroughly enjoyed the tournament, and feel like I learned much from it. This tournament was my first regional event, as well as the largest event in which I’ve competed. This initially made me very nervous. Once pools were assigned and I knew where I needed to be, I felt much more relaxed and at ease. I felt like my pools flew bye, and before I knew it I was in DEs. After I lost my DE, I was initially upset and very flustered, but that soon subsided as I watched in support of my fellow teammate, Mason Callahan.”
Ethan’s goals for the rest of the season include getting a rating, consistently making it past the first Direct Elimination round, and becoming a better strip coach and spectator for his team.
Twelve-year old NAFC fencer Joe Gonzalez recently decided that rather than divide his time between baseball and fencing, he wanted to focus his efforts on the strip. When asked what helped him make the decision between sports, Joe said “I had more fun fencing than I did playing baseball. I have better friends here than I did in a lot of the other sports that I played. NAFC has a great team environment.”
To up his game, Joe participates in the Forge Boxing Cross Training class and also takes private lessons from Head Coach John Terris and Coach Jerry Heilpern. “Joe is extremely focused and a hard worker. I’ve seen such a vast improvement in his skill and his maturity. Joe is shaping into a a great fencer.” says Coach Terris.
Joe is looking forward to a fun and challenging 2013-2014 tournament season. Keep up the great work Joe! Your dedication is inspiring to us all!
Emma Turner has been fencing for since the beginning of the 2013 school year. She is twelve-years old and attends Lovinggood Middle School. She first became interested in fencing because, being part of a set of triplets, she wanted to do something that was just for herself. For Emma, the most challenging thing to master in fencing is proper footwork, it requires a lot of balance! She has participated in soccer and swimming, but according to Emma fencing is cooler because you get to fight people and she then has have weapons to torment her two triplet brothers with!
Scott and Kayna Wilbur
The Wilbur’s have been fencing for almost two years. Scott works for Aarons Corporate Office and Kayna is employed at Garrett Middle School.
Kayna tried fencing in high school while Scott became interested in fencing in college. For Kayna, the most challenging aspect of fencing is learning to effectively vary her timing, and for Scott it’s learning the various tactics.
Scott feels that fencing is more mental than other sports. According to Kayna, fencing is a much more engaging sport than some of the others as it combines physical and mental at a higher level.
For this competiton season Scott would like to learn more about fixing weapons, and Kayna wants to continue to work on the essentials: speed, distance, and timing.