Fencing club keeps students en garde


Every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m., students can find the fencing club in the John W. Hart Building Auxiliary Gym.

“It’s a gentlemen’s sport, it has a lot of etiquette to it,” said David Behrmann, an instructor and junior studying plant and wildlife ecology.

He said although it is a gentleman’s sport, it always leaves him sweating.

“It’s still tough,” he said.

Behrmann said he was surprised how difficult fencing is on his legs.

“Your legs get the biggest workout,” he said.

Michael Hanson, a senior studying elementary education, said he was also sore at the end.

He said he did not expect the sport to involve aerobics as much as it did.

Hanson said he liked how everyone had their own techniques.

“Everyone has their own styles here, which makes it really fun,” Hanson said.

Eythan Bruton, a senior studying history, said he has been fencing for five or six years.

“You can choose to react, or you can choose to be the aggressor,” he said.

He said that fencing is very customizable once you get the basics down.

“I know this has been said before, but it’s basically physical chess,” Bruton said. “There’s a lot of strategy to it.”

Hanson said anyone at BYU-Idaho can join the fencing club.

“What’s nice is they provide all the equipment you need here,” Hanson said.

He said the type of fencing they do here is called foil fencing.

The foil is a descendant of the light court sword used by nobility to train for duels, according to USA Fencing.

“Points are scored with the tip of the blade on a valid target: the torso, from shoulders to groin, in the front, and to the waist in the back,” according to USA Fencing. “The arms, head, neck, and legs are considered off target.”

Because foil actions often occur at blinding speed, an electrical scoring system was devised to detect hits on valid targets, according to USA Fencing.

The foil fencer’s uniform features an electrically wired metallic vest that, when hit, causes the scoring machine to display a light on the side of the fencer that scored the touch, according to USA Fencing. The color of the light is determined by the location of the hit.

Hanson said it is a great opportunity to get involved and make friends.

“I would encourage people to come out more,” he said.

Behrmann said he started fencing about a year ago.

He said he thinks everyone should try it at least once.

“When I was a kid, I always wanted to sword fight,” Behrmann said.

He said now there is an opportunity to do so on a weekly basis.

“It’s fun, and it is free,” he said.