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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students learn intricacies of fencing in NW class

Aaron Whitaker and Anthony Guiterrez engage each other during a NW fencing class session. The class meets on Saturday mornings in the NW gym. Many of the students take the class each semester even after moving on to four-year universities. Instructor Jon-Anthony Davis has taught the class for three years.
Photo by David Reid/The Collegian

By Eric Poe/sports editor
It is an early Saturday morning in the NW gym, and a fencing class is taking place.

Two students are clad in the customary fencing jackets and foils, or swords, along with the mandatory masks. Instructor Jon-Anthony Davis gives the signal to engage, “En garde.”
Davis has taught the NW fencing class for three years and has a lot of experience in the sport.

“I’ve been fencing myself for about 15 years and coaching for about 10 years,” he said. “It started out being a very small class, and now I have students who have been here two or three years.”

Many of the students have moved on to four-year universities but still return to take the class twice a year.

“Most of us have taken the class semester and semester over again,” student Aron Bush said. “We have formed a tight-knit group, and we do stuff outside of fencing. It’s just a big happy meeting every Saturday morning, and we can all just have fun.”

The fencing sessions are less of a class and more of a weekly get-together for the students and the teacher, Davis said.

“One of the goals is to just have fun,” he said. “Not too many people want to take a Saturday eight in the morning class. That’s the time everyone wants to sleep in. But I try to interpret more fun, more entertainment, more activity into it. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s good physical activity.”

Student Aaron Whitaker praised Davis’ teaching technique.

“It’s nice to have an instructor that fences competitively,” he said. “Some teachers you find just do things by the book, and he teaches you little tricks.”

Traci Lawrence appreciates the individual attention.

“He takes you step-by-step because it is beginner and intermediate combined,” she said. “So you get the training with Jon as well as the other classmates who have done it before.”

Bush said going against other students helps the learning experience.

“By fencing each other, you learn about different styles of fencing because we each develop our own style,” he said. “By putting us all against each other, we learn more from experience than anything else. And that’s invaluable.”

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