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Emily Erickson '22 Headshot

Undergraduate Program

Emily Erickson '22

Medical Laboratory Science

Foiling her Opponent

This article was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times on Dec. 5 by Aaron Golding, business manager.

Did you ever want to be a Jedi from Star Wars when you were younger? Emily Erickson did, so she decided to start fencing at the age of 10.

Erickson, a sophomore medical lab science major, wasn’t involved in a lot of sports other than running cross country and track. Her dad knew she really liked lightsabers, so he told Emily that she could be just like a Jedi with her weapon. She really liked that idea when she was younger, so she decided to join the Des Moines Fencing Club, which was the closest fencing location to her home.

“It was fun learning how to fence and I miss the excitement of it,” said Erickson.

“It was fun learning how to fence and I miss the excitement of it.”

Fencing for fun

She currently fences in the adult age bracket, which is 14 and up. She explained that fencing is a very fast-paced sport which requires a lot of critical thinking skills.  These skills are important to fencers because they have to think a couple moves ahead so they are not stuck in a position where they may receive a touch from their opponent.

A touch is like a point in any other sport. She explained that depending on what bout (round) a fencer is on, they may play anywhere between five and fifteen touches.

"Fencing is just like a game of chess. It uses the same type of skills that a chess player uses to be good at chess," said Erickson.

Fencing is just like a game of chess. It uses the same type of skills that a chess player uses to be good at chess.

Emily Erickson '22
Medical Laboratory Science

Fencing is not usually dangerous, but she said it could be if people aren’t careful. Once, Erickson was fencing and her opponent’s weapon actually snapped in half. This has been the only time Erickson was worried because the weapon they use can be sharp only if it happens to snap in half. His weapon snapped right in half while she was bouting with him and it was pointed right at her neck.

For the most part, fencing is very safe, and the touch may just hurt for a little bit.

“A touch feels like a pinch,” said Erickson.

erickson-fencing-equipment.jpgIt doesn’t hurt too bad because fencers are required to wear a lot of gear. Erickson said that the gear usually gets very hot at times during practice, or while they are bouting since it is such a fast-paced sport. Erickson wears long socks, pants, sneakers, two different jackets, a chest plate, gloves, a helmet and an under-amour protector just to stay protected and safe while she is bouting.

“Right of way”

Fencing has three different weapon types, foil, epee and saber. Erickson explained that she is in the foil-weapon field. This type is the “right of way,” which makes this type special. The goal is to touch the torso to gain points.

Erickson participates in tournaments during the summer, which she really likes doing. She anticipates being more involved in fencing after college and after she finishes her collegiate athletics.

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