Mr. P has been fencing for three months now. He loves it and is getting better every week. He’s so tall, when he concentrates and uses his lunge he has a great advantage. More often they are dressing electric or “wet”.
When the dress electric they wear all the usual gear, two layers of protection, a jacket, a gauntlet and the helmet. With electric they add a disco mesh on top. The mesh and the sword all plug in to the scoring system. They help each other hook up their gear before and after each bout.
The bouts are refereed by coaches. It all moves very fast and is fun to watch.
The kids salute each other, the coach and the audience by raising their sword to each, before and after the bout. At the end of the bout they also shake hands, the hand not in the gauntlet. Each kid seems to have their own little way of waving their sword – it’s pretty cute.
It still cracks me up that these little guys are being coached by Garik Balayan – he has coached Soviet World and Olympic champions, the Chinese National Team, amongst others. But he clearly loves coaching kids and they love him. Coach Greg has competed at the international level. Crazy.
What has also surprised me about this sport is, it is one of the cheaper sports for kids to participate in. Sneakers. Sweatpants. Everything else is supplied.