Words like “flunge,” “riposte” and “fleche” may be unfamiliar to many. What do they all have in common? They’re found in the USA Fencing Glossary of Fencing Terms.

There are so many different activities that BYU-Idaho offers its students. From karaoke to Zumba, there is something for every student. One activity of which many students may be unaware is fencing.

Fencing bouts from the BYU-I fencing group. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.
Fencing bouts from the BYU-I fencing group. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.

Each Tuesday and Saturday, the fencing group on campus meets in room 210 in the John W. Hart Building from 7-9 p.m. All skill levels are welcome, from intermediate fencers to those picking up a saber for the first time. 

Christian Chan, the student director of the fencing group, has been fencing since 2019. Some may be nervous to try it, but Chan has suggestions for newcomers. 

Fencing bouts from the BYU-I fencing group. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.
Fencing bouts from the BYU-I fencing group. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.

“If you’re thinking about it, just come,” Chan said. “It’s a great way to get some activity in your life, and it’s also just really fun to be here. It’s a really fun environment.”

Fencing bouts from the BYU-I fencing group. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.
Fencing bouts from the BYU-I fencing group. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.

For Aubree Rutter, a fourth-semester fencer, it’s about the opportunity to strengthen her skills.

“There’s always something new to learn,” Rutter said. “I can always pick up things by watching more experienced fencers.”

In a typical fencing bout, two opponents face each other. The judge says, “En garde. Ready. Fence!” They each try to make contact with the other person’s body before they are hit. It’s all about quickness and reading the opponent.

“A lot of it’s about reading what your opponent does,” Chan said. “You can see a lot about your opponent just where the shoulders are and how the feet are moving.”

Students can register for the fencing group online.