Fencing Tournament

Couple of weeks ago unbeknown to you the Russian population of this Metro Area has doubled for a few days. A surprising number of Russian-speaking coaches, parents and participants arrived to Kansas City for the U.S. Fencing North American Cup Tournament. There were of course many others (some of them even Americans :-)) but the number of foreign languages spoken at the Bartle Hall that weekend was indicative of a huge European influence on the sport of fencing. Among the participants was my niece from New York City which gave me a good reason to see the sport for myself. I spent two days at Bartle Hall watching and taking pictures, and while my photos are nothing to write home about, the people with good cameras probably had better things to do, so this is all I have.

Fencing may not be as popular as other sports but it’s lightning fast, physically demanding, psychologically challenging and beautifully choreographed. It doesn’t hurt that fencing may be an asset for college admissions. For kids like mine who don’t seem to enjoy team sports this is an attractive option. There are a few local clubs in Kansas City, one was started by a famous Russian Coach who since moved on to become a head coach at Ohio State and the other one still has a Russian Coach.
Here are just a few out of almost 300 photos I took with my slow camera.

In this video I slowed down the motion a little just to demonstrate ballet-like quality of fencing.

This video is a short clip of one of the final bouts.

By the way, commonly used word touché originates in fencing (not to confuse with the Yiddish word tuches which means something entirely different).

  • Unsporty person

    Yes, but you CAN touché on the tuches. Extra points for that!

    During my time at Columbia Univ we were at the bottom of the league in football (they famously broke a 5-year, 44-game losing streak but still languished in the basement thereafter) but did dominate in fencing, so fencing and the fencing team got a LOT of respect, given that it was our winningest/only winning sport/team.

  • This is how sewfistikated I am… when I saw your post I thought, “Hmm, chain link or picket.”

  • you should’ve been there with your bag’o’lenses