A Physical Game of Chess: La Jolla Fencing Academy opens to teach swordsmanship

In mid-February, La Jolla Fencing Academy opened at 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive to bring the classic sport to anyone who has ever wanted to shout, “en garde!”

Ashley Mackin
La Jolla Light

Touted as “a physical game of chess,” fencing enhances one’s abilities to concentrate and to strategize, which founder, head coach and international champion Dmitriy Guy, said are among some of the most important traits of a good fencer.

“Fencing teaches you how to be focused and make quick decisions. It also works the other way around; if you are already able to make fast decisions and focus, you could be a good fencer,” he explained. “You have to lure your opponent into the chain of your actions or change your actions based on what they do — so you have brain work, foot work and blade work at the same time, which is not easy.” Other qualities include quick reaction time, agility, leg strength and fast footing.

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Fencing is serious business at UCSD

To be a top college fencer doesn’t just take mad skills with a weapon. It also requires a sense of humor.

Tod Leonard
The San Diego Union-Tribune

The star quarterback doesn’t walk around campus with people shouting “hike!” at him. But as soon as UC San Diego’s David Hadler and Taly Yukelson reveal to any acquaintance that they compete in fencing, the person usually jumps into a goofy stance and yells, “On guard!”

Blame it on the Three Musketeers.

“As if they know what an on-guard positions looks like,” Yukelson said dryly. “There’s no use in trying to fix it.”

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Fencing is a very detailed and complicated sport with its own terminology. To help our fencers, families, and enthusiasts learn these terms we have compiled a list of terms commonly used on the fencing strip. Fencing vocabulary