Fencing was first introduced to the summer Olympics in the summer of 1896. Since then, different forms of fencing have been featured in renowned films like: The Mask of Zorro, The Princess Bride, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars. This unconventional sport has sprung an immense interest in senior Alan Garces.
Garces has been fencing for eight years. His interest was first sparked when he saw the sport in a film. He then went onto tell his parents that he wanted to start fencing; his mom was able to find a club and the rest is history. For Garces, time management and planning is crucial to his success in school, Boy Scouts and fencing.
“Fencing does not not interfere with my school attendance because it takes place in the evenings and on [the] weekends. As far as interfering with my academics, I have had to learn to balance both by managing my time accordingly” said Garces.
Despite his tight schedule, Garces has been able to rank Division 1. To be able to obtain this superior ranking, hours of dedication must be put in place. Practice usually begins with stretching and warm-ups. From there the fencers will work on footwork. They will then pair up to practice different moves and skills. The remainder of the class is used to apply the different moves and skills that were practiced. Competition can be extremely nerve wracking for competitors.
“First competitors are divided into pools of five or six. After fencing all the competitors in the pool, a fencer is ranked and placed in a direct elimination bout. The winners of those bouts move on to fence their next opponent. This continues until there is one fencer left” said Garces.
Despite Garces’ years of experience, he still has to take precautions when fencing. On one occasion, Garces’ leg was injured when a sword broke and punctured his leg.
“After removing it from my leg and getting rest I was able to go back to fencing with nothing but a scar” said Garces.
Garces is currently an assistant coach at his club. In college he would like to continue assisting aspiring fencers. After college, in his spare time, he would be more than willingly to help a club and/or team reach their goals.
Garces feels a large connection to fencing. This sport has allowed him to grow into the person he is today.
“I have learned that one needs to be confident in one’s ability without worrying about failure,” said Garces.
Fencing has proven to be a valuable sport and pastime for Garces. He recommends anyone to try it, so they could see why it is such an enjoyable activity.