Crossing swords in Cayman

Many view fencing as something
quaint, representing a bygone era when hot tempers led to honour being defended
with cold steel. Yet the sport of fencing is very much alive, with its
combination of chess-like positioning and lightning-fast strikes.

“Fencing is a unique sport – it
requires physical agility, precision, strategic thinking and courtesy. It is a
wonderful way for youngsters and adults to keep fit and enjoy themselves at the
same time,” said Joanna Humphries, who, along with her husband decided to set
up a fencing club last year.

“We have to bring an instructor
down from the USA as there is nobody locally who is able to teach fencing. She
usually comes three times a year and we try to run a children’s camp from 3pm
to 5pm on weekdays and an adult’s camp over the weekend,” said Ms Humphries.

The sport attracts many who might
not have been drawn into other sports and if the safety guidelines are adhered
to, it is a very safe sport as well. People from all age groups can
participate, and since there is no requisite body type as one will find in many
sports, it has wide appeal.

The indoor nature of the sport also
makes it independent of weather conditions, with local courses having been
taught in the Purple Dragon Dojo.

“We have a limited number of people
we can teach and usually limit the children’s fencing to 15 and the adults
fencing to 10. We have had a number of repeat fencers – in fact, the majority –
and a few new faces each time,” said Ms Humphries.

Although the programme is still
busy finding its legs, it already has one success story to its credit.

“The children’s classes have been
over-subscribed and I am delighted to hear of at least one child who is going
to take up fencing at his new school overseas because of learning the sport
here in Cayman,” said Ms Humphries.

The next training camp will be held
in December. Anyone interested in learning more about fencing in Cayman can
contact Joanne Humphries at jvd@candw.ky and sign up for regular emails and updates.

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