EN GARDE, PRETS, ALLEZ
For me, the only sport in the world is Fencing. Swordplay has been practised for thousands of years, and modern day fencing began as a form of military training. It did not become a sport until around the 15th century. It is an elegant, graceful, beautiful, aggressive, challenging, athletic, compelling and civilized sport.
My interest in fencing began the first time I entered the gym at my high school. The old gym in the school had wood cut out silhouettes of every sport, lining the walls. Unfortunately most of the sports pictured were not offered in our district. The silhouette that caught my eye was the Fencer in full protective clothing in a lunge. I could never take my eye off of it.
And again, unfortunately, all those years ago, there was not much of an opportunity to study fencing in my home town. But, it never left my mind. It didn't help that in 1977 George Lucas created the ultimate Sword Master.
And to this day, 39 years later, even though I am not a huge Star Wars fan, I am probably Darth Vader's biggest fan. And the characters' fight scenes were choreographed and preformed by British Fencer, Bob Anderson.
And of course he did it in all in that iconic and amazing Lord Vader armour.
But back to the real thing. When I was a bit older and now into my career I decided to seek out fencing opportunities and I was able to find a club at one of our universities, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or RPI in Troy.
So with jacket, mask, glove and foil in hand I started my adventure with fencing. The amazing thing is now as time has gone by, there are so many more opportunities to fence. SUNY Albany has a fencing club; and there is a non-affiliated club called Capital District Fencing For All.
Since the 1896 Olympic games in Athens, France has dominated the sport with 103 medals, 37 of which are gold. Team USA Fencing is ranked 19 with 13 medals.
But the point is we "medaled" in a sport that is not as dominate in our county. But that is changing and Fencing is growing in popularity.
2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Tim Morehouse is doing his share to build the love and appreciation of Fencing in the United States with Fencing in Schools.
To learn more about this amazing sport check out USA Fencing. And if you are so compelled, there are many videos on line of Fencing Competitions.