A small community in Tech that meets every two weeks from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. to work on footwork, swordwork, and camaraderie. The Double T Fencing Club meets at Texas Tech University Recreation to master these skills.
The club is coached by Aaron Clements, adjunct professor of law, and has been part of the fencing community for 32 years.
“It’s a small community and always has been, it’s had ups and downs, we’ve had ups and downs,” Clements said. “I’ve seen a lot of this ebb and flow over the 28 years here.”
Due to the pandemic, the competitive aspect of fencing is on hold. Clements said that in the past there was a vibrant community of fencers in the Southern Plains Division, but many teams experienced setbacks and losses in training.
In the past, there were usually about two contests per year, one in the fall and another in the spring. Clements said he encourages anyone, regardless of skill level, to come and try fencing.
Akari Kubo, a third year in construction engineering at Grapevine, had her eye on fencing since her first year and she finally got to give it a try.
“I just saw it on TechConnect and I always wanted to do [fencing] but during my freshman year I decided to do lacrosse, ”Kubo said. “Then my sophomore year, COVID-19 hit, but then I was able to do it my first year.”
Kubo is left-handed and so far she has said the main struggle has been to mirror instructions. Since most fencers are right handed, everything is the opposite for her.
Since she’s just looking out, Kubo said the hardest part of fencing is playing against each other and understanding all the moves.
Alexander Cesani, a seventh year mechanical engineering student from Belton, has been practicing competitive fencing since 2014.
“So I have been practicing fencing at Tech since 2014, I graduated for the first time in 2019, this is the first time that I have come back, being part of this club, since then,” said Cesani.
Cesani said that fencing as a whole is an amazing sport, having that team aspect but also not having to rely on anyone other than yourself to win.
“The actual competition is very individual, you either pass or fail based on your own merit, which I find really satisfying if something goes wrong there is no one else to blame,” he said. . “But also, there’s always, like, if something’s going right. It really feels good, it’s all the more satisfying.
For an experienced fencer like Cesani, getting to the point where you meet an opponent and beat them is such a challenge that it becomes frustrating to face them.
“It means you have to completely reinvent, like what strategy you think has worked with everyone,” he said. “So it’s a little complicated where you have to unlearn some of the habits that you might have developed.”
Cesani said that fencing is the kind of sport that anyone can participate in and be able to learn the basics of the sport in, and once you understand the basics you will feel comfortable competing.
The fencing community welcomes people of all skill levels to pick up a sword and train.
“If you want to join fencing, show up to practice and ask questions, learn and try to be open to the advice given to you,” Cesani said. “If you are completely new to the sport, it is a sport that you can participate in at any level and with enough practice, you can show up to a competition and feel comfortable enough to present yourself. “