The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Slash and thrust

Metti Etana, 20, anthro/pysch major, displays fencing equipment demonstrates fencing techniques for students during club day on Sept. 13, 2012. Tony Wallin | [email protected]

City College has many chartered clubs that meet throughout the course of a semester all across its campus. But the fencing club is the only one that will make you think you stumbled into some sort of medieval fight club where duels are settled with swords.

Each Friday in the South Gym, the club meets to practice and hone their skills under the guidance of their head coach, Professor Brian Gillespie and the club’s president, Taylor Valmores.

“We give you three free lessons then if you want to stay on with us you would pay club fees, which is only 20 dollars for the whole semester,” says Valmores, who is also president of City College’s Student Associated Council.

“We teach you to how to fence and you can go with us to compete against other schools,” says Valmores.

Others join to club simply for a fun and different way to keep fit.

“It is an extremely good workout,” says Coach Gillespie. “It’s really good for development of leg muscles and core muscles; it definitely keeps you in good shape.”

One of the founding members of the club, broadcasting major Stephen Crane, 23, was already a trained fencer when he helped start the club back in 2007.

“Back in 2007 a guy came into my fencing class asking about starting a club and I thought ‘I’ve fenced before, maybe I can help him out with it,’” says Crane.

Crane had been fencing for years and is one of the club’s premier talents but all skill levels are welcome to join the club.
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The last remaining original member besides Crane, architecture major Jonathon Taylor, 30, had dabbled in smithing swords and was interested in learning how to use a sword because of its use in pop culture and its role in a cult classic film of the 80s.

“[The] Princess Bride always comes to mind,” he says. “I actually sign up for the tournaments here as Inigo Montoya [a main character in the film].”

The Princess Bride seems to be a well-watched movie among the club’s members. “I googled best sword fight scenes in movies of all time…” says Valmores. “[The] Princess Bride is still one of my favorites.”

Although fencing offers the fun of swinging a sword and dueling, it also is very technical and tournaments take place to test their skills.

Throughout the semester the club usu- ally competes around three times in tournaments set up with other colleges.

Though the club member’s are mostly male, the club is open to both men and women of all ages and athletic ability.

“We welcome everybody,” says Val- mores of the club’s admission policy. “I’ve seen some really fast people that are really small, and some tall people that have a long reach.”

The fencing club meets every Friday in South Gym 105 from 1p.m. to 4p.m.

Contact Coach Brian Gillespie at (916) 849-5721 for more information on the club.

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