Fencing hosts successful tournament

Stabbing is not usually condoned on Tech’s campus, but there is one exception: the Fencing Club.

Tech’s Fencing Club was founded in 2009 and now has over 80 members.

“My favorite part about the Fencing Club is all the people…We all have that common factor where we love fencing,” said Susanna Dong, second-year CS Major and secretary of the Fencing Club.

Members of the Fencing Club range from amateurs to experts, although according to Dong, they are all more than welcome.

Dong, herself, got involved with fencing in high school but the Tech club has allowed her to expand her knowledge of the sport.

A surprising amount of knowledge is necessary to succeed in fencing. Or as Dong puts it, “The hardest aspect is the mental component.”

“Sure you have to have sudden bursts of energy and things like that, but you also have to always be thinking ‘What is the other person going to do?’”

Fencing is split up into three different weapons: foil, épée and saber. While the basics of using each weapon may be similar, there are special footwork and techniques associated with each weapon.

Members are not left alone to tune their techniques, though. There are several practices a week, that begin with a run, footwork and then individualized practice. There are also multiple tournaments throughout the semester.

The Tech Fencing Club hosts its own tournament at the beginning of March each year. Schools from around the south usually participate, such as UGA, UF and Clemson, along with individual teams and clubs.

This year’s tournament was especially a success, with multiple Tech students and alumni earning high rankings. Cory Walker, a fourth-year CS Major, earned fifth place in an épée event and Christopher Denecke, a third-year BA Major, earned fifth place in Open Sabre.

Alumni also ranked highly.

It is not all about the competition, though, according to Dong. Her favorite memory of the Fencing Club stems from a tournament at William and Mary during last years spring break.

“It was a seven-hour trip north to Virginia with seven other fencers packed in one van. The tournament was very relaxed and we spent every moment in the weekend together. We even played mini-golf and ate Dairy Queen Blizzards. It was a very exhausting trip and got back at 4 a.m. on Monday, but it was very worth it,” Dong said.

If their efforts to find and recruit new fencers work out, Dong is certain that next year’s tournament will be even better.