Strike, Parry, Thrust: FIU’s Fencing Club

Two fencers fighting. | Angela Alvarez, PantherNOW

Angela Alvarez | Contributing Writer 

FIU is home to many clubs with all sorts of interests, especially when it comes to sports. One stands out as especially striking: fencing. 

“We are not a competitive club like the others, but rather a learning environment… if you want to become competitive, and that is your choice,” club president Joel Garces explained. Even though the club does not do tournaments or participate in competitions, students can get a lot out of the sport. 

The FIU Fencing Club was founded by brothers Alan and Joel Garces in 2018. Their mission is to promote fencing as a sport on the MMC campus and throughout its surrounding community, as well as teach students who may not know much about the sport.

“The club pretty much started when fencers wanted to spread fencing to people that hadn’t had the opportunity otherwise… we wanted to be accessible for all,” said Joel. “When my brother and I made the club… we hoped to make a club that you don’t have to pay to go into…you can be any level of experience.” 

Fencing is a sport in which two opponents fight each other using very thin swords. In the thrilling, quick-paced sport of fencing, players compete against one another while utilizing sword-like weapons to attack, earn points, and defend against attacks from your opponents.  In order to prevent injury to one another, the swords’ tips are covered, and the contestants are outfitted in safety gear.

Fencing is frequently compared to physical chess since both games require concentration, attention, strong game analysis, and a thorough understanding of the strategies and techniques involved. 

The three tools used in fencing are the saber, épée, and foil. The objective of fencing is to score a point or touch by striking your opponent’s target with your weapon before they manage to score a touch on you, but each weapon has its own set of rules, tactics, and target regions. 

 The fencing club practicing their stance. | Angela Alvarez, PantherNOW 

Both Garces brothers wanted a club that was inexpensive, unlike the fencing clubs throughout the South Florida area. Their goal was for students to have an affordable experience in combat sports without having to buy uniforms, equipment, and such. Anyone can join the club, no matter their level of e since they will be taught there.  

Students who are currently in the club seem to enjoy their time fighting with their teammates.

“It is great for cardio, plus, it is such a relief that it is free,” said Daniel Matos, a club member. “The gear and equipment are already there… the duels relieve a lot of stress… after a few rounds, it clears your mind.” 

“I found out through a friend… I’ve always wanted to try fencing,” said Angelica Salazar, another club member. “It’s great that this us something without paying extra money… plus it really helped get me out of my shell, I tended to be anxious and shy so this club has really helped…. It also makes a good workout!” 

The club’s practice times are 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the WRC South Basketball Courts on the MMC Campus. Because the club is not rigid, its times can be flexible with the students’ schedules. 

To stay updated, search for them on Panther Connect or follow them on their Instagram, @fiufencing. 

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