Straight to the Point

Sophomore Fencer Talks About Goals, Inspiration

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Straight to the Point

Sophomore Tamara Eslava practices fencing at the Texas Fencing Academy. Eslava began fencing a few months ago after she was inspired by the

Sophomore Tamara Eslava practices fencing at the Texas Fencing Academy. Eslava began fencing a few months ago after she was inspired by the "Three Musketeers" movie. "At first I was kind of scared thinking I would never get the hang of [fencing] but [now], I've been practicing and practicing [and] I'm not there yet, but I think I am good enough," Eslava said. "What made me keep going was my own goals. I want to at least do a sport and if it's not a school sport, [then] an after school sport. I want to push myself to try new things and fencing was one of them." 

Photo courtesy of Tamara Eslava

Sophomore Tamara Eslava practices fencing at the Texas Fencing Academy. Eslava began fencing a few months ago after she was inspired by the "Three Musketeers" movie. "At first I was kind of scared thinking I would never get the hang of [fencing] but [now], I've been practicing and practicing [and] I'm not there yet, but I think I am good enough," Eslava said. "What made me keep going was my own goals. I want to at least do a sport and if it's not a school sport, [then] an after school sport. I want to push myself to try new things and fencing was one of them." 

Photo courtesy of Tamara Eslava

Photo courtesy of Tamara Eslava

Sophomore Tamara Eslava practices fencing at the Texas Fencing Academy. Eslava began fencing a few months ago after she was inspired by the "Three Musketeers" movie. "At first I was kind of scared thinking I would never get the hang of [fencing] but [now], I've been practicing and practicing [and] I'm not there yet, but I think I am good enough," Eslava said. "What made me keep going was my own goals. I want to at least do a sport and if it's not a school sport, [then] an after school sport. I want to push myself to try new things and fencing was one of them." 

Morgan Kasel, Reporter

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Sword fighting may seem like something meant only for Musketeer movies and adventure books, however, for sophomore Tamara Eslava, fencing has become more than something out of a fantasy; it has become a major part of her life. 

“At first I was kind of scared thinking I would never get the hang of [fencing] but [now], I’ve been practicing and practicing [and] I’m not there yet, but I think I am good enough,” Eslava said. “What made me keep going was my own goals. I want to at least do a sport and if it’s not a school sport, [then] an after school sport. I want to push myself to try new things and fencing was one of them.” 

Eslava started fencing a few months ago after she was inspired by the “Three Musketeers” movie. Although no one in her family currently participates in the sport, Eslava said that she was able to learn a few beginning techniques from her cousin who did fencing a few years ago. Eslava said that she enjoys fencing because of the physical aspects of the sport. 

“I think it’s the adrenaline that kicks in,” Eslava said. “Whenever I’m fencing [adrenaline] makes me want to continue doing it. [Fencing] is also a good way to exercise.”

Although she has not fenced in any competitions yet, Eslava said that she hopes to start sometime during Thanksgiving or Christmas and is practicing at least three times a week to prepare. 

“It’s a sport that you actually need to experience to understand the gist of it, to understand how it works,” Elsava said. “It’s so much different than other sports.” 

Eslava trains and will eventually compete through the organization Texas Fencing Academy. There are about 20 other students and the academy is one of two fencing schools offered in the Austin area. Practices at the academy usually begin with a heavy warm up, which includes body weight workouts such as crunches and planks. Then, fencers move to push ups, lunges, and workouts focused on building leg strength. Eslava said that it is extremely important to keep up with the physical demands of the sport, especially for someone just starting out. 

“I would say to exercise a bunch,” Eslava said. “If you don’t workout or do warm-ups it really does affect you. Also, keep on practicing because it’s all about body muscles and remembering [moves].” 

As a saber, Eslava practices with a unique sword and fighting style. Saber fencing consists of fast attacks and quick, split-second decisions. Points are scored by hitting an opponent with the tip of the blade, whereas in Foil fencing, competitors aim to hit the opponent in the torso.The final fencing technique, Epee, consists of heavier weapons and points are given for hitting any part of the body.

Along with the different fighting techniques, Eslava said that fencing is unique because of the friendly environment and the people who practice the sport. 

“The environment and the people around are very nice and kind,” Eslava said. “And they do really help you out. As well as this is a sport that not a lot of people really know about and I feel like it’s really nice to have other people experiment with different kinds of sports that are not very common.”