Class Profile: Fencing for the mind and body


Mehek Kapur

Two masked students face off in a friendly spar during fencing class on March 11.

Mehek Kapur, Staff Reporter

Students dart back and forth across the wooden floor, dodging their opponents and weaving between the boundary lines while trying to land blows of their own with slim silver foils, keeping perfect etiquette in a surprisingly elegant sport. This is De Anza College fencing.

Coach Nick Mattis has been teaching fencing to De Anza students for seven years as part of the Kinesiology department, and finds himself continually surprised by the effort and talent students of varied backgrounds bring to the class.

“I think the way different people progress and perfect their technique and the way they grow is interesting,” said Mattis. “The sport is unique in the fact that there’s nothing that predicts who the best fencers might be- every quarter is different.”

Students in the class find it to be an interesting new experience, and a fun way to take a break from more academic-based courses.

“I love the adrenaline I get,” said Melissa Carro, 33, child development major. “Fencing isn’t just poking people, it’s about learning the moves and technique and watching your opponent constantly.”

Mattis will be teaching fencing next quarter as well, Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30-11:20.