"Honor, adventure, skill and science - I love fencing!"
How I did it: With great trepidation I signed up for a fencing class my first semester in college in order to fulfill a physical education requirement, but before the class started I ran into one of the Fencing Club members in the dorm and he encouraged me to come to the club which started before the class. Never sat in on the official class sessions in the end, but got an 'A' because of my club participation. When I went abroad the next year, the fencing club at the uni where I studied was one of my primary hangout groups, and the next year when I returned I became the president of my home club and started teaching the newbies that year. Can't imagine what college would have been like without fencing and my fencing buddies! Can't explain how much I miss it now! A nice side effect was the quicker, more finely tuned reflexes I developed, which I've unfortunately lost to a certain extent after years away from the sport. I love fencing for the way it engages so thoroughly both mind and body, for its honestly won reputation as something like a physical form of chess, and for the fact that you're never done learning or sharing what you've learned, and you can continue learning into old age. I also love it, of course, because of all the associations with swashbuckling, honorable adventurers, and everything that comes with those stories.
Lessons & tips: When thinking of fencing so many people think it would be impossible to learn, saying that they are too uncoordinated, but like anything it's a case of slowly developing the skills and getting your body accustomed to the kinds of motions required - don't be afraid. If you're interested, go for it. You'll have a blast with the sport, and the people involved are some of the coolest, most accepting, most interesting and thoughtful people I've met anywhere (nothing like the ones Holden Caulfield runs into in The Catcher in the Rye, at least not in my experience). Just stay away from the flicking :P (I definitely go for the more classical school of thought (yay, Nick Evangelista! ;) )
Resources: my 2 college fencing clubs and their coaches, a local fencing club in my home city, competing fencing clubs (everyone helps each other, at least at certain levels of competition)
Nick Evangelista's The Art & Science of Fencing
Fencing.net - a great place to find information on fencing and look for a fencing club near you.
The US Fencing Association - another great source of info and club listings if you're in the US
Your local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronisms, which focuses on more historical forms of fencing and other kinds of sword arts.
The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts - a serious bunch of people who I've never met in person, but they have some interesting info up
The American Fencing League - a bunch of people also focusing on developing more historically accurate fencing groups - the 'fence as if it were sharp' group :)
Local fencing clubs are always glad to have new people
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