The fencing club is looking to accept new members throughout fall and spring term as in the winter term is when most of their competitions tend to be. The members are always open to helping new people, club president Maxwell Bestvina said.
The fencing club meets twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays. At Wednesday practices, the club focuses on learning new techniques and moves and improving these skills. At Sunday practices, the first half of practice is dedicated to conditioning as members work on the machines to build their endurance. Then, they end the practice with actual fencing.
“We are trying to incorporate teaching new technique while getting them to experience fencing because then at the end of the day, the best way to get better is to just fence more and more,” Bestvina said. “It’s just trying to find that balance of working on technique, working on physical endurance, and just getting experience fencing.”
The club is student led, so the more experienced members teach the new members the new techniques. Treasurer Alina Lundholm is one of the few members who had past experience fencing. Lundholm helps many new members with skills and she said that no one judges the new members if they have no previous experience.
“To get good at fencing, you do really have to practice and focus on nitty-gritty things,” Lundholm said.
The club practices working well as a team, not just individually. To help improve their team connection, the club hosts bonding sessions, such as going out to dinner or having movie nights. They consider themselves a family, Bestvina says.
“A lot of people think that fencing is an individual based sport, (but) you can’t really get better unless you know how to work with a team and respond (to)one another,” Bestvina said.
The fencing club hosts a few tournaments throughout the year. The next one the Augustana club will host will be in January. However, the details are not fully settled yet. But, the club does practice with Scattergood Friends High School for some competition. Augustana has also had tournaments in the past against Knox College and Bradley University.
For anyone looking for a reason to join fencing, Lundholm said the best thing about fencing is “You get to hold your sword and let out your aggression.”