Bouts between expectation and reality


Co-Captain and Epée Captain Alexander Xu (23’) demonstrating an extension to fencer Srihan Srivastava (26’)

Aadya Srivastiva and Smiti Yadla

     “I found out that fencing is more than just a sport; it uses your brain, mind and body at the same time,” said Darby Ko (‘26), a new fencer on the team.

     Among the  variety of sports offered in high school, fencing seems to be the one that students are the most unfamiliar with. Fencing is considered a “lavish” sport by many because of its historical association with the rich. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, fencing used to be a sport that was very common “among the nobility of Europe in the Middle Ages”. 

     The cost for fencing gear today can go up to a thousand dollars. “I think fencing is quite an interesting sport, but it feels like only rich people do it,” said Anika Khedekar (‘26).

     According to the New York Times’ article labeled “Fencing Can Be Six-Figure Expensive, but It Wins in College Admissions” much of the credit as to why fencing is unpopular among students goes to the high costs of the equipment used in the sport and was considered an elite sport. 

    Despite the expenses, South’s fencing team has still managed to be one of the best in the district. As co-captain of South’s fencing team, Alexander Xu (‘23) states, “It’s not as simple as just stabbing the other person.”

     South’s fencing team has been playing since 2006, and has had great success since then. Last year, the boys fencing team won the District Level Championship.  “In fencing, it’s not just one person, but it’s the whole team that makes us win,” said Ko.

    Winning games comes with practice, and the right feedback, which is helped along by the captains of the team. “I expect everyone in practices to put their best in, to keep on learning, to keep on thinking about what their bounce is,” said Xu. 

     Fencing is a sport that is all about thinking on your feet, speed and agility. Fencing puts the athlete’s skills to the test, where a simple three minute match might seem longer for the fencer, and many thoughts have to be processed in a matter of seconds. “Fencers need to be willing to adapt very easily, they need to be planners, but also spontaneous,” said Assistant Coach April Licato.

     Attracting more than 20 new fencers this season, fencing is becoming the sport of choice for students. Despite the perceptions about fencing, it proves to be a sport that teaches hard work, concentration, and teamwork. 

     Ko said, “Fencing is like an obsession. You might not know it at first, but you’ll love it.”