How fencing teaches you life lessons

Bernardo Perez ‘20 deems fencing as a lifelong sport that will teach you discipline and form

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New York Fencing Academy, Fencing Match

New York Fencing Academy, Fencing Match

New York Fencing Academy, Fencing Match

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How Fencing teaches you life lessons

Bernardo Perez  ‘20 has won some national events as a fencer under the guidance of his coach at the Iowa City Fencing Club (ICFC).  Perez has been a fencing since he was ten years old when he passed the ICFC and decided to pop in and join the club.

 

“Fencing is a lifelong sport… you can play this sport at any age,” Perez said. Perez is prominent in this sport since he went to many regionals and some national level competitions. He describes the national competitions as being very difficult because the competitors are alien until you get to fight them.  He won his first regional either at the beginning of fifth grade or sixth grade and typically goes to nationals every other year but he has not won any of those yet. The events usually take place at Chicago, St. Louis or Columbus.

Fencing shares some aspects with other sports such as form and discipline although they are uncommon in other sports. When there are regionals all of the clubs in Iowa join up to help each other and give advice to each other. Perez typically joins a group of twelve when competing on a national level to help each other get better at the sport.

 

Perez describes fencing as a sport of form and technique. He has competed in over hundred events, starting with local events and eventually working up towards nationals. Perez hopes to continue his fencing career and be like his coach one day.

 

“ My coach is my inspiration because she went all over the world and has competed in Europe and has far more experience than anyone else at the club,” said Perez. His coach has traveled to Europe and many other parts of the world, Perez has traveled around the U.S. to compete in regionals and nationals. His future plans are to join a prestigious fencing club when he goes to college. He also coaches college students at a U of I practice facility which adds to his experience as a fencer.

“You will become more experienced as you travel around the world,” stated Perez. Meeting and facing a lot of people made Perez better at the sport than he was before. Also, it made him grow into a better person than before. It also taught him how to conquer adversity and it taught him that more time equals better quality overall. He also learned that persistence leads to product. “It sucks sometimes because you’re getting suited up in pounds and pounds of protective gear on a hot day just to get stabbed repeatedly when you don’t parry correctly or miss an attack, but it’s all about practicing until you get it right. It’s also a sport that involves a lot of mental training – a lot of fencing is about getting in the right mindset before a bout, and I think that the same mindset has helped me de-stress in other aspects of my life,” said Wingel Xue ‘18. These were the life lessons Perez and Xue learned through fencing and you, too, can learn them the same way.

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