ST. CLOUD - It doesn’t get a lot of the headlines, but Fencing is once again a sport you’ll find in the Summer Olympics.  And, it’s a sport you can learn right here in St. Cloud.

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St. Cloud Community Education offers fencing classes on a regular basis.  So, I dropped by a recent class to learn more about it.

Instructor Gerald Benford says the basic equipment used in Fencing includes: a jacket, glove, mask and three different types of swords – Sabre, Foil, and Epee.

He says, while you’re watching the sport during the Olympics you’ll notice all the terms are spoken in French: like allez, pret', and wi...

He says you might also hear an “En Garde” or two as well. Everything waste high is the target area on your opponent. And, it really is sport that requires the skill of learning your opponents weaknesses.

He's watching to see what your weaknesses are. If your weakness is your movement he'll use and establish with you back and forth a pattern of movement. It's like dancing. He'll get a rhythm going with you, then he'll break the rhythm and hit you suddenly.

It’s called a “bout”. Scoring goes up to five points. And, a typical bout can last about 15-20 minutes.

If you’re interested in taking up the sport, Community Ed has another class August 22-26 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Discovery school. It is for all ages. They will also offer the class again for Fall and Winter.



Photo by's Jim Maurice