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Fencing Club gives sporting opportunities to students

Logan Glauner and Adam Mandrell during a fencing practice. (Northern Review photo/Alexander Dyke)

Ohio Northern has a great variety of opportunities for students to participate in various sports. Ranging from basketball and soccer to Lacrosse, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved. One of the great sports opportunities here is the Fencing club.

Fencing is a sport based on sword fighting with various different types of swords. There are three disciplines in modern fencing which are the foil, the épée, and the sabre.

The foil blade is flexible and rectangular in its cross section, and it weighs under a pound. They are usually no more than 90 centimeters (about 35.4 inches) long.

The épée is heavier than the foil and has a triangular blade. It is 110 cm overall (3.6 feet).

Both foil and épée count a hit as the tip of the blade hitting the opponent.

The sabre is different in which it allows slashing as well as the use of the blade tip. The sabre has a maximum length of 88 cm (34.6 inches).

Logan Glauner is the current President of Fencing Club. He talks about what happens during a typical fencing practice, which starts off with stretching and then followed up with distance drills. With a distance drill, a leader stands opposite of the fencers, and begins moving either towards or away from the fencers. The goal with this is for the fencer to maintain the distance initially set up between themselves and the leader.

“In my opinion, this is the most crucial part of fencing because in any bout when you are fighting another fencer, the difference in distance between scoring a point, and not scoring one can be typically as small as 1mm, depending on which blade you are using,” said Glauner.

After distance drills, fencers usually will be allowed to “free-fence” where they challenge each other with a specific blade.

On one of his favorite experiences in fencing, Glauner talked about being able to poke someone in their blade-hand. The blade he fences with designates the whole body as a ‘target area’, meaning that if the fencer is hit anywhere, they get the point. The challenging part is being able to hit your opponent in the back, or even the palm of their hand, where they are gripping the blade. They wear thick gloves so the hand shot doesn't really hurt, but it is one of the hardest places to hit.

Adam Mandrell, a pharmacy student who is one of the members of fencing club said, “There’s a few different aspects of fencing club that I personally enjoy. Part of it is the competitive aspect of it because I was a competitive swimmer my whole life up to this point. Then I decided enough was enough and I didn’t want to do that here in college. I still missed the competitive aspect of it.”

Along with that, Glauner said, “For anyone that is interested in fencing, I would strongly suggest you try it out in college. You will find collegiate fencing to be the cheapest time to compete in the sport, as well as having the largest available pool of competitors. If you want to visit our practices and try out fencing, you are more than welcome, even if it is the last two weeks of the semester, or you graduate in a semester, you name it.”

Glauner gave advice to anyone thinking of joining fencing club, “I'd recommend giving fencing more than one or two days to try out, fencing movements are not like typical sports, and they feel weird until your body learns and gets adjusted to them. Once you get past that point, can you really get into the mindset of fencing: Yourself and your opponent, each waiting for that perfect moment to strike, where 1/4 second difference in your speed determines whether you get the point or your opponent.”

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