My kids are obsessed with Star Wars and love acting out epic light saber battles. They like to employ “Jedi mind tricks” on each other while choreographing crazy moves. So fencing seemed like a good fit to harness this creative, physical energy into something greater.
Located in Deer Park, Queen City Fencers Club makes the Olympic sport of fencing accessible for families.
Owned and operated by Cincy native (and seasoned fencer) Alex Burte, Queen City Fencers Club fills a much-needed void in Cincinnati. Known as “physical chess,” fencing is an under-the-radar alternative to the standard after-school sports scene.
We dropped in for our very first class on a busy Monday night. None of us knew anything at all about fencing. Happily, my kids were immediately welcomed by each and every one of the students at Queen City Fencers Club, who ranged in age from 6 to 16 and ability from beginner to advanced. Over the course of the night, my kids were patiently shown the ropes, from basic positions and drills to sword wielding and how to suit up. As a parent I was blown away by the kindness and generosity of these kids, who welcomed my beginners and were happy to assist them through class.
Here’s what we learned at Queen City Fencers Club:
Fencing is a sport that strengthens the body and sharpens the mind
Fencing is a holistic sport that teaches discipline, honor and integrity. In addition to the physical challenges, requiring balance, speed, strength and grace, fencing also requires mental sharpness and strategy. It’s called “physical chess” and it’s like a dance, with grace and finesse and a dose of theatricality.
Fencing is a safe sport for kids of all ages
If you’re like me, encouraging kids to wield a sword doesn’t sound super appealing… or safe. But Alex explains that students start by learning fencing safety, rules, footwork and blade work — sans sword. One of the moms I spoke with said that fencing is up there with golf in terms of safety. Fencing is more about the mental strategy and physical agility — the sword is really just a prop.
Fencing is the best of both worlds: an individual sport and team club
Unlike most sports, fencing is all about individual performance. Students are encouraged to do their best — whatever that may be — without the added pressures of self-comparison. But to be part of Queen City Fencers Club provides kids with the support of a team environment, making this sport an attractive option, especially for kids (like mine) who put a lot of pressure on themselves. Beth Pratt of Liberty Township, said her 16-year-old daughter Allie has been fencing 5 years, and absolutely loves the sport and the fencing community.
Queen City Fencers Club welcomes beginners
Advanced students can, of course, hone their skills at Queen City Fencers Club, but Alex encourages beginners to jump in, too. Beginning students learn basic moves, rules, coordination, safety and confidence — before even touching a sword. As students improve, they’ll move into advanced programs, which teach more competitive fencing skills. Right now, the classes at Queen City Fencers Club are mixed, with all ages practicing at the same time. I actually loved this, as my three looked to their classmates for guidance and assistance. The older kids were all too happy to share their knowledge, and we immediately felt right at home. Nicholas, a sophomore at Sycamore High School, acted as a sort of mentor to my kids during class, and was such a patient teacher. The camaraderie of this mixed group was quite touching, and they all really got along and welcomed my kids with enthusiasm.
Fencing doesn’t require a lot of “stuff”
When you think about fencing, an image of an all-white-covered, sword-wielding person comes to mind. And this gear seems pricey. But you’ll be pleased to know that fencing actually requires very little gear, and it’s quite affordable when compared to other sports or extracurriculars. For beginners, there is actually a uniform room at the studio where kids can borrow suits, helmets and blades.
Queen City Fencers Club is an affordable after-school activity
Alex is committed to bringing fencing to the masses, and doesn’t want finances to get a prospective student’s way. The cost of beginner level fencing program is $199 and includes a 4 private lesson package, unlimited classes and a one month membership. (But financial aid is available for those who qualify.) Additionally, your first class is free!
Queen City Fencers Club is wonderful option for families searching for a sport that strengthens body and mind. If you’ve been looking for an alternative to gymnastics or tumbling, have kids that love yoga, dance, theatre or chess, or just want to try something new that will offer your kids a well-rounded sport and wonderful community, definitely check out Queen City Fencers Club.
Queen City Fencers Club is located at 4066 E Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236. For more information, call 513-818-2688 or visit queencityfencersclub.com.