“There is a beast inside every man. And it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.”
But arm yourself with an epee, a foil, or a saber, and you unleash within you a tactical, agile competitor. Fencing is a discipline which combines the physical conditioning of gymnastics with the grace of ballet and the mental agility of chess.
More than requiring you to move quickly, competitors have to execute their movements with precision, whether they are in a defensive or attacking stance. This charging or retreating movement and the meeting of swords is the “conversation” of a fight.
Republic Fencing and Sports Club provides sports enthusiasts and the epicurious an avenue to engage in this tactical sport. Founded on March 3, 2014 by four athletes Nick Galan, Alex Ragot, Eric Brando, and Fritz Gutierrez, Republic Fencing is the first fencing club with a permanent situated fencing hall in Makati. They have a thoroughly studied system designed to pave the way for both athletes and non-athletes of the sport, and to unite and strengthen their skills in fencing.
Here’s a quick look at our session with Republic Fencing.
En Garde: Conditioning and Orientation
The session begins with a quick orientation on the rules of the game, equipment, terms used during a match, and the arena. We proceeded with the warm-up, as is required for any sport. After which we did backward and forward drills on the arena to condition our legs for the actual fencing duel.
Allez: Learning the Basics
Proceeding the workout, we wielded our fencing weapon of choice and learned about the movements required in fencing, chief of which are “lunge”, which is the attack, and “parry”, the defense to the attack.
Everything about fencing has to be precise. From the position of the feet and the attacking arm (both of which have to be at 45-degree right angles), hand to the waist, elbow tucked in, chin parallel, and the sword slightly angled. In between lunging and parrying, players have to remain aware of their position. A slight deviation of any body part can mean that his or her opponent can easily deliver a winning strike with the simple tap of his or her saber, say, on slightly cocked elbow.
Touche: Friendly Duel
The culminating part of the session is the fencing match, best of five. The actual duel is exhilarating, to say the least. It is said that part of fencing is psychological: using your mind, patience, and waiting for the right moment to strike.
En gard. Assume the basic stance and prepare to engage. Pret. The judge will say this to alert the fencers that the match is about to begin. Allez! This is the signal for the fencers to begin the match.
There is no danger of stabbing or poking out your opponents’ eye since you’re both wearing protective gear. Fair warning to those who want to take a stab at fencing: after the session, one side of your body will ache, depending on whether you are right- or left-handed.
Overall, it was a fun experience. You get to make like an actual swordsman, test out your mental chops, and improve your speed and agility. Quite frankly, it’s an empowering sport, not only because it feels like engaging in an actual sword fight, but also because it mandates grace and panache from the fencer.
Prices and Packages
Group Classes – Php 5,000 (8 sessions, 2 hours each)
Private Lessons – Php 6,000 (8 sessions, 1 hour each)
Drop-in Fee – Php 800, including coaching fee and rental of fencing gear
Membership – Php 2,000 (1 month); Php 5,000 (6 months); Php 9,000 (12 months)
Member kit: FREE Republic Fencing t-shirt, car sticker, and training towel per package, use of facilities without ongoing class, and free equipment repairs.
Discover fencing and engage in a friendly duel. You’ll find that this sport is more than just fancy equipment, meticulous foot work, or dynamic strikes. The match first begins inside the mind and is translated into bodily movement at a high velocity. It’s great exercise for both mind and body. Allez!
Republic Fencing and Sports Club
Basement 1 Makati Square Don Chino Roces Ave.
Legazapi Village, Makati
Contact Number: 0905 249 2211
Facebook: Republic Fencing and Sports Club
Twitter and Instagram: @republicfencing