Learn to fence with the DMACC Blades

By Lucy Hernandez

The DMACC Blades Fencing Club brings members together to learn about fencing and for some, even compete. Students will learn about fencing, how a tournament is run, the rules, and the weapons. They meet every Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m., in Building 5, Room 1240. 

The Fencing Club started out as an interest of Melanie Lahart and her fencing partner and coach Steven Barrens. Lahart has been fencing since 1965. She believed it would be uniquely different for DMACC. If students want to continue fencing after DMACC they would have the resources to do so. Lahart is part of the CIFA (Central Iowa Fencing Academy) so club members can continue there after their club involvement if they want.

“It’s something different, you don’t need to be the strongest, you don’t need to be the fastest,” Lahart said.

The club currently uses three different fencing weapons but have been playing around with the idea to add a fourth, said Lahart.

Students do not need anything to join the club. For the first month, students learn the footwork. If the student wants to continue, they can talk with the coaches about purchasing the gear needed. Members cannot fence without gear, as it is a safety issue. 

Fencing has a lot of different options for gear, and the club offers recommendations for those who want to compete. The two main options are cotton or stretchy gear. 

Lahart tells students not to go for the cotton gear because it is heavy and makes it difficult to move. For women, it is recommended to buy stretchy gear. It costs around $450, however, that will last you your entire fencing career.

If an individual does not wish to compete there is always the administrative side. There are other things that you can do like, help run the event, take pictures, and more, but you must have a baseline understanding of what you’re seeing and doing.

Anyone is welcome to join, it is also offered to faculty and staff. 

Reasons why you should join?

“It is a sport you don’t have to be the biggest, you don’t have to be the tallest, you don’t have to be the fastest, you can just come as you are,” Lahart said.

For those worried about not having any skills, they will start at the beginning with you. 

Lahart said members will have fun,  learn different techniques, and it is also good for the brain. The club, and fencing as a sport, are very inclusive and diverse in every aspect.

“Come join us, enjoy it,” Lahart said.

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