Exercising Your Mind and Body
It's a frigid 20 degrees outdoors. But, inside the Rock Quarry Park house, a basic fencing class is heating up.
The foil fencing class, sponsored by Columbia Parks and Recreation, is for students 10-17 years old. Instructor John Konzal says it's more than just a physical workout.
"It just keeps your mind active," he said. "It's a mind and body combination and I think, for that reason alone, it's gonna grow. I think people are going to get interested in it."
Fencing, one of four sports in every modern Olympics since 1896, is becoming more popular in Columbia. There are two beginning fencing classes and a skills enhancement class to advance your training.
Becky Gerdes says foil fencing gives her son, Reed, a chance to do something different at his own level.
"Getting him up, getting him active, getting him working with other peers, and learning some new skills. And learning that there's other sports than just the standard soccer, etc., etc.," said Becky Gerdes. "There's other options out there, you just kind of have to search them out sometimes."
And, compared to team sports, Konzal says fencing relies more on critical decision-making.
"It teaches you individual discipline," he explained. "It's like a chess game or maybe a tennis match. It's a one-on-one thing. You basically get into this rhythm, and you're just trying to outsmart the other person."
And, because fencing involves complex decision-making, Becky Gerdes says that gives her son a chance to be himself.