Every action movie needs an excellent battle scene.
Some of the best movie battles Diane Fiander saw involved sword fighting, and she was so captivated that she decided to pick up a sword herself. Fiander was involved in the sport before coming to Michigan and has continued her fencing career on the club team.
“I saw movies and wanted to see how it really works,” Fiander said. “It seemed really fun. I did it for a few years before I came here, and then I saw that they had a club here and started up again.”
In the movies, fencing is drawn out, with two contestants battling for an extended duration of time. But in real fencing, the game passes quickly with spectators hardly able to see all the moves. A participant scores points by hitting the opponent before being hit, and the first to 15 points wins the match.
In order to succeed, a fencer needs athletic ability — especially good hand-eye coordination and fast reflexes. Depending on their dominant hand, fencers only strengthen the half of their upper body that they use to thrust, parry and lunge.
“You’re constantly moving,” Fiander said. “Your legs have to be strong because you are constantly squatting. Your hands need a lot of quick, small movements that have to be trained.”
In the sport of fencing, there are three different categories: foil,