Whenever I imagine fencing I think of a time centuries ago. Two fine gentleman are having a disagreement regarding a bad cup of tea and a scone lacking the proper ratio of currants to pastry and the only way to settle the manner like gentleman is to duel it out. So one removes a white glove from his jacket pocket and swings it at the opposing fellow and there you have it. They must duel. With thin, flashy dueling swords and fencing jackets with full-coverage masks.
Admittedly, my crazy mind is not exactly what you would call historically accurate, but since when has that stopped me. Recently I was able to join the young buccaneers of the Gateway High School fencing club for an assignment with the local section of the Denver Post. These teens were dedicated to this craft in way that was really fun to see. They don’t have a specific space open to them at the school, like a gym or a classroom, so they set up shop in one of the hallways, backdrop of brick and orange lockers. They take turns sparring and help each other learn better technique, all under the direction of teacher Kevin Heinrich.
It occurred to me as I was photographing that I don’t believe I’ve ever actually seen fencing in person. The clang of sabers and shuffling of feet. The triumphant cries and formal saluting to one another at the end of a match. It was all very old world and respectful and I gotta tell ya I almost wanted to give it a go myself. Which of course would have resulted in me stabbing myself in the thigh or side or eye, so I deferred to my better judgment and stayed behind the camera.
And all fingers remained intact.