Why learn to do anything? Because it’s an adventure! Whether you thought of fencing because you watched too many sword-fighting movies as a child (Zorro, The Three Musketeers, The Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) or because you are just looking for something to do that’s a little different; fencing is an adventure. While it’s true that not everyone wants to actually do fencing, almost everyone has at one time or another fantasized about learning how to fence. Most of us give up on our sense of adventure with the advent of adult responsibilities, but why should kids have all the fun when it is adults who have the resources?
If you want to reclaim your sense of adventure and try something you’ve always wanted to try, taking a class can help you get past the ‘can I really do this?’ storm of doubt that assails us when we are daunted by trying to do something new and are afraid to fail or look foolish or feel stupid. To actually try a combat sport is a brave thing to do, you have to overcome a lot of expectations and fears to even start. You might discover that fencing is not for you, but at least now you know something about it and you can move on to your next opportunity for adventure.
In class you will find that there are no ‘naturals’ in fencing. Everyone must learn the specific physical and mental skills of fencing; physically talented athletes may find the gross motor skills easier to learn in the beginning, but those with a gift for patience and hard work will also acquire those skills. Those with a disinclination to apply mental effort will eventually learn that thinking and planning can overcome an opponent who is faster or stronger. In short, you learn to fence in a way that maximizes your skills and abilities and the desire for victory encourages you to strengthen your weak points.
Fencing does not depend on a particular size, shape and fitness level for success, competitors come in all shapes and sizes. Since fencing is a lifetime sport, there isn’t a deadline for proficiency, instead you just keep acquiring and practicing new skills and preparing for the next challenge, whether that is a competition or a bout with a teammate at training. The commitment of going to a class keeps you getting out of your house to meet with your new friends and you also get to experience the joy of mastering skills while improving your fitness and mental adaptability
You find out quickly in fencing that failure happens all the time, you don’t have to take it personally. You learn to find the right solution or practice the proper skill until you can overcome the mistake that caused the failure. This is a particularly useful life skill since life doesn’t stop for you just because you made a mistake or failed a test or had an accident. You have to be willing to take risks to succeed; just as in life, sometimes you get rewarded for it, sometimes you lose by it, but you keep going. In fencing there is always the next opponent, the next training day or the next tournament, the next adventure.
Adventures are not always nonstop fun, but they are frequently challenging and always educational. Fencing is an adventure waiting for you to try it.