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Image of Top 5 Things for Young Fencers

When I started my favorite sport, fencing, I learned there are a lot of difficulties starting as a young kid. My fencing club, Redstar, had older kids, so it was very hard to make friends. It made me learn to live with losing. Being small in height allowed me to do different counterattacks which came in handy to try to score touches. I had to practice a lot. Fencing has a lot of challenges and I was not sure if I would stick with it. For younger kids, you have to be patient to learn new things. I think you need to know a few things if you are going to start fencing young.

5. Dealing with a Loss

I believe it is important to learn to lose. As I mentioned in my other article about fencing, one of the major skills to know is how to deal with defeat and this can be useful even outside fencing (like school). I often face high schoolers at fencing. Most of those times I lose, even as bad as five to nothing. My goal with most opponents is to try to score at least one or two touches. I try to work on what I need to get better to score a few touches. This is the amazing thing about Redstar: there are so many great fencers that it can be hard to win as a seven year old.

4. Learning to Fit in

Another very important skill about when you start fencing young is to try to fit in. It can be very scary being the youngest kid with nobody even close to your age. I had no idea I could find anyone similar to me. I remember a kid the first year I was there who was a year older than me. Abraham was my first friend at fencing. He helped me do better and was nice to me. Another kid (still doing fencing) now in high school, Connor, told me what I needed to work on. Even now, I listen to what he says about exercising. Joe is the person I always go to talk to about history, even though he is four years older than me. This all took me time. I am not as shy as I used to be.

3. Small but Powerful

You have an advantage being small among older fencers at the salle. The taller kids have the advantage of counter attack to extend and then time me out by just stepping back. This works all the time for every kid or adult taller than me. I had very little advantage. But, I have my own little trick: the squat down and hit. As they are attacking stop them by extending and ducking so they cannot get you. It works most of the time on taller people. You can also step in on them by locking out so they cannot hit. So kids, if you want to start young, do not be discouraged by someone’s height because you have an advantage of your own!

2. Practice Makes Perfect!

The second most important skill in starting young for fencing is to practice a lot. When you do warm-ups, or just have spare time at home, do not let it go to waste. I remember not trying as I did warm-ups and footwork. My mom had to set me straight by telling me that I would not get better by not trying. After that, I decided to do sit-ups and pushups every day to get better. Now I suit down early to do pushups, sit-ups, and running so I can get stronger. I have learned I cannot go to competitions or nationals this year without practicing and trying at fencing. Nothing good comes easy.

1. Stick With It

The most important skill with starting as a kid is to stick with fencing. In my 4.5 years of fencing, you bet there are a lot of people coming and going. I have been through about five different phases of people coming for a few months and then going. When new people come in, I feel like they will not stay long. It is not hard to see why; there are so many hard skills to keep with the time-consuming sport. How do I stick with it? Simple: I like the sport. There were times when I did not think I would ever be able to compete, but I decided to persevere. It took a lot of practice, but I made it. You may feel fencing is too much to handle, but believe me: it is well worth the effort, so please stay with it.

I know it may sound scary to start fencing after reading all of my difficulties. Please try it. You will have a great coach and people to hang out with. If you can speak up, you will make some good friends. Practice will get you everywhere when you start. Know that you may not win, but try a small counter attack. To earn the fun of competitions, though, please try to stick with the sport. Try fencing as a young kid at Redstar Fencing Club!

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What a great article!  You are a very talented writer.  PopPop and I are so proud of you.  

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thanks, can't wait to see you in June

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