Taking A Stab At Fencing - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Taking A Stab At Fencing

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When it comes to headline making sports, we're used to football, basketball, hockey and baseball. But fencing is a sport that's hundreds of years old and making a comeback. The Fargo-Moorhead Fencing Club is on it's way to a first ever state championship, and it's coach, just got back from an international tournament.

A church school's gymnasium isn't your first place to look for a weapon.

Fencer, Bernadette O'Keefe, says, "It's very physical, but it's very mental at the same time."

But on a Tuesday night, it gets a little intense.

"It's really fun," says Bernadette.

The Fargo Moorhead Fencing club has lunged it's way into popularity, after starting out with just a few people, they now have 45. And this weekend, they're competing in their first Minnesota state tournament.

"We're preparing really hard. I just had an individual lesson, that's why I'm a little sweaty," says Bernadette.

But all the success starts with a master musketeer. Enrique Alvarez is one of the best of the best. After growing up in Spain, he's a fencing master, and he just got back from coaching at the Pan American Games.

"I try to concentrate on coaching and to create athletes," says Enrique. 

So, I wanted to see if he could teach me... And yes, I got schooled. Bernadette was pretty good. But my next battle, I wasn't ready for. Meet 8-year-old Micah Herbel.

"I mostly like beating people," says Micah.

At a fierce four foot stature, I thought I could take him.

"I mostly like to poke people. I sometimes make up my own moves," says Micah.

Reporter, Amy Unrau, says, "I tell you what, that Micah, I'm three times as old as him. And he kicked my butt."

"It requires a lot of athleticism and people don't believe it, but you get sweating like crazy," says Enrique.

It's a sport of poise, intelligence and endurance. Skills I thought I had, but if I want to be a musketeer, maybe I'll just stick to the candy bar.

If you want to give fencing a try, you can get all the information on the Fargo-Moorhead Fencing Club website.


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