Uncategorized

No experience, no problem

Every movie worth watching includes at least one epic sword battle. From “Star Wars” light sabers, to the bloody blades of Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill,” sword fights have become a part of pop culture.

Now, students at UM can experience the real deal by joining the Fencing Club.

Fencing is the sport of dueling with swords. It is one of four sports to be included in every modern Olympic Games since the first in 1896.

There are three styles of fencing (epee, saber and foil), each with their own rules and techniques.

A huge priority is put on safety. Masks are designed to resist 1600 Newtons; to put that in perspective, a bullet delivers 400.

Girls wear breastplates, guys wear cups, and everyone wears a mask, jacket, glove, and a host of other things to make the possibility of injury very small.

At 37 members, UM’s Fencing Club is at its largest size in recent memory.

The UM Fencing Club has been around since the 1950s but, according to club President Kenneth David Fernandez Prada, hasn’t done very much until recently. Since Prada took over the club’s leadership, he has been working hard to get its name out there.

“There’s not a lot of fencing spirit in Florida,” he said, citing the northeast as more of a fencing hotbed.

Nonetheless, the Fencing Club has an ambitious tournament schedule. It includes the Temple Open, where UM competes against Harvard and other Ivy League schools.

The Fencing Club is certainly in able hands. Prada won his first international tournament at the age of 7, and was on the Colombian national team. In addition, he coached 45 other students in his high school fencing program.

He makes it clear, however, that most members have little to no experience when they join. At meetings some members are just learning to lunge, while others have scored matches along the wall. Students of all skill levels are welcome to join.

Club officer Laura Gonzalez can attest to this firsthand.

“I was never good at sports,” she said with a laugh. “But I played video games, so I was interested in sword fighting. When I saw the Fencing Club  at CaneFest, something just clicked.”

As someone who started out with no experience, Gonzalez is now one who teaches the beginners at club meetings.

Despite fencing’s serious nature, the atmosphere at a club meeting is anything but serious. Members are warm and friendly; helping each other through drills and offering words of encouragement.

“We’re a big family,” Gonzalez said.

June 5, 2011

Reporters

Darci Miller

Opinion Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.