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Swordplay amuses, entertains aspiring fencer

Some may think that swordplay is reserved only for The Mask of Zorro or The Princess Bride. Well, not anymore with students like Brianne Raymer, ’06, keeping the sport alive.

Raymer began fencing about seven months ago after being spotted for her potential.

“A man named Vladamir came to school,” Raymer said. “I was being my regular, sarcastic self, playing with swords, and found out that I was actually pretty good at playing with swords. Vladamir said, ?Why don’t you come play swords with me?'”

The uniqueness of the game intrigued Raymer enough to follow up on the sport and begin playing.

“I think it’s a really funny thing to do,” Raymer said. “It’s unique and weird and, seriously, who does it?”

As with any other sport, time to perfect skills is required.

“The thing I like the least about it is definitely the time commitment,” Raymer said. “But, I don’t do any other sports, so I have to stick with it.”

Although some are taken aback when they learn Raymer fences, the people she gets to meet make the jibes worthwhile.

“People usually laugh when I tell them I fence and that’s why I like it!” Raymer said. “I get to meet the most interesting people. I especially like being there [at the fencing center] on nights when I direct bouts [matches].”

Raymer even competes, and plans to continue through college.

“I compete locally at the Sierra Fencing Center,” Raymer said. “I like doing that. It challenges me and helps me improve.”

The sport of fencing requires a lot of footwork.

“I go back and forth on strips with a person,” Raymer paused here and sighed deeply. “It’s exhilarating.”

Along with fencing, Raymer enjoys other unusual sports as well.

“I like ping-pong and curling,” Raymer joked. “I’m not that athletic. I can pretty much fence, snowboard and run. So, if I want to say active, my options are pretty limited.”

Raymer desires to broaden her expertise of outlandish sports.

“Every morning, I get up and pose the question: what prestigious European sport am I going to conquer today?” Raymer mused. “Next stop, polo!”

Sierra Fencing Center is located at 3052 West Bullard in Fresno. Their phone number 265-7442.

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