Competing in men’s and women’s foil, epee, and sabre, UR’s club fencing team has traveled throughout the Northeast taking on competitors.
Foil, epee, and sabre are the types of swords used in fencing. The foil is a light, flexible sword with a rectangular cross section. The epee, the largest of the swords, contains a triangular cross section and is used more for thrusting. Finally, the sabre is more of a slashing sword, used for cutting. For someone who does not understand fencing, it is hard to pick up on the distinctions among the three disciplines just from those descriptions. In order to experience those differences, in-person or online, watch fencing.
Junior Isaac Manly fences foil for the club. From Oxford, Mississippi, it may be surprising for some that he started fencing at a young age.
“I got into fencing as a kid because I wanted to fight with swords,” Manly said. “Eventually, I started learning actual techniques” and the rest was history.
A seasoned veteran, Manly discussed the necessary components to success in fencing. “It’s physically tough because you have to outcompete your opponent, but it’s also mentally tough because of all the rules,” Manly said. The point system in fencing is extremely strict with only certain maneuvers counting toward your point total.
The fencing team most recently competed in the College Fencing National Championships in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. UR Women’s Epee team finished 15th in the competition.
Like many club sports, there is no varsity level of fencing, but this does not lower the level of competitiveness.
Manly does not believe this deters people from joining as the team tries “to maintain a positive community that is inviting to all.” He encourages students to stop by one of their practices in Spurrier and talk with anyone on the team if interested.
Fencing might be a daunting sport to even attempt to get into, but the club fencing team accepts all skill levels. Whether you began fencing at a young age or have never touched a foil, epee, or sabre, the team wants you to try. In partnership with the Back Alley Fencing Club in the city of Rochester the club fencing team has plenty of gear and a professional coach to help all levels succeed.
Whether you want to take a stab at fencing or support your fellow ‘Jackets, the fencing club provides a unique experience for all.