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Health | Fitness

Engarde! Ready? Fence! Cross your blade & find your heart at the Coastal Bend Fencing Society By: Grace Buchanan Photos: Rachel Durrent

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ifteen years ago, Grace Buchanan’s trembling hands unwrapped Pandora’s Box. The enchanting contents (fencing equipment) released everlasting memories that shook the earth. On that day, she realized that saber was her first TRUE love--one she’d known since 1979. Fast forward to now, and you’ll recognize Buchanan as a certified fencing coach, owner, and referee at the only U.S.F.A. club south of San Antonio, The Coastal Bend Fencing Society (CBFS). Every Monday and Thursday night at Sokol Hall, she shares her love of the sport with others. The 58-year-old still competes, and last July she fenced inUnited State Fencing Association's (USFA) Summer National Championships. Grace’s number one goal at CBFS is for everyone to have fun. Her second goal is to teach skills that make fencers successful at the sport, which means getting an impressive workout! During class, fencers practice footwork, blade work, point control, speed, distance, timing, etc… This recipe is a challenging one, something that has helped

54 The Bend

keep her and her fencers in shape. For example, Michael Clem, a Flour Bluff freshman, loves his time at the club. His dad helped jump start it by requesting lessons from Buchanan two years ago. Since then, Clem has morphed from a youngster who only enjoyed playing video games into a young man who fences well enough that he is now an Assistant Coach. His favorite saying, “Make new friends and then stab them!” Then there is Chris Williams, a 33-year-old experienced and rated USFA fencer and referee. He joined CBFS a little over a year ago. Since then, he has lost 50+ pounds by pairing his fencing addiction and cross training with special diets that helped his performance at the last Summer Nationals. Currently, he’s working on his coaching credentials and gives private lessons at the club. Sarah Dwyer is another fencer staying fit at CBFS. A 14-year-old home-schooled freshman, she is currently earning high school P.E. credits for her activities in fencing class that are paired with yoga at home. This

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Bob Jones, local talk show host, involves himself giving epee lessons. Buchanan and he are very old friends in the fencing world, and Jones is going to start helping coach epee. Together, the two started the Fencing League at TAMU-CC and Jones previously coached them. In the past, he also was involved coaching at Temple University and fenced in NCAA Div 1, USA National Fencing, and competed in the Martini-Ross International Tournament. Jones qualified for the 1980 Olympic Games in Team Epee.

May 2017  
May 2017  

Hidden Coastal Bend

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