Fencing grows in popularity among students

Members of the Liberty University fencing classes quickly put on their gear and headed to the indoor track at Green Hall where one of the university’s newest clubs meets. According to Vice President Brandon Minter the club has quickly gained popularity among Liberty students.

“There were 25 new people at the last practice,” Vice President Brandon Minter said. “Five were women.”

According to Liberty’s website no experience is required to join the fencing classes.

“We take all people and train them from ground zero,” Minter said. “We supply equipment and train in foil, then epée, then advance to saber.”

According to Minter, after receiving training students may choose to become members or participate in upcoming fencing tournaments.

The team is currently competing in the United States Fencing Association (USFA), but will begin to compete in the Virginia Cup starting next semester against school like Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia according to Minter.

Currently members only compete individually through USFA, but that will change with the Virginia Cup tournaments.

“The fencing instructors are good teachers, and I was able to learn quickly,” new member Joel Isimeme said. “My favorite aspects are the people and the sport is a lot of fun.”

The team is an official Student Government Association club, but their goal is to become an official club sport.

“We would really like to be an official club sport in the next 1-2 years and then in the next 5-10 years become a varsity sport,” Minter said.

The team held a Battle of the Swashbucklers three weeks ago to parents and the public. Footage will be available online next week on the team’s YouTube page, “LibertyU fencing.” The YouTube page also has instructional videos and general fencing demonstrations.

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