News
February 17, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
RP and Sunday festivities SSU and SCOE offer high school internship Cotati comes out against CASA Possible change to parking rules Where are the ski lifts? Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. SSU fraternity banned for five years The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud Mackenzie leaves SMART New signs point in the right direction RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board White receives Matt Walsh Memorial Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP RP has a new director of public safety Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming New laws take effect Jan. 1 Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Cardinals rout Cougars How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

Fencing in Sonoma County

  • Vanessa Derammelaere is seen Attacking making a lunging touch on Jacob Peralta in their 15-point foil fencing bout last Sat. The eleven-year-olds were evenly matched, but Jacob managed to best Vanessa by one point 14-15. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
February 1, 2019

While the sport of fencing has been around for literally hundreds of years, it is one not often considered by people, especially for their children. However, the sport of fencing is not only physically challenging, it is also mentally challenging, and fun. En Garde Fencing in Santa Rosa, which currently trains approximately 90 children and adults from throughout Sonoma County, teaches the three disciplines of Olympic fencing, including foil, epée and sabre. However, En Garde is unique in that it also offers classes in HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), Archery and even an LED Saber class. The diverse offerings help to give individuals and children the opportunity to get an effective, yet enjoyable, workout.

“Everybody needs to do something active – something physical that gets them sweaty,” says Jim Liebich, owner and Head Coach of En Garde Fencing. “But just try dragging an 8-year old into a gym and have them do some pull-ups, push-ups or squats. But if you hand them a sword, they’ll say ‘I’ll do squats!’ ‘I’ll do lunges!’ On top of that their brain is developing too because this is a strategy game. The physical development of a child is intimately linked with their mental development. If you want to have good results in school, you need to be physically active. You will do better at anything if you’re physically active.”

Fencing also appeals to those individuals who prefer an individual sport and it is an activity that an athlete can stay with for years – through college and into adulthood. As a sport it is ranked on the low end of the spectrum for repetitive injuries which are so prevalent in other types of exercise.

“Fencing is basically an individual sport,” says Liebich. “There are a lot of kids who are not interested in team stuff. For some kids the individual sport of fencing appeals to them more than just being another person on a team.”

For Liebich, it is important to offer a space for children and adults to feel safe and not bullied, whether they are good at the sport or just learning. The gym focuses on camaraderie with experienced fencers helping junior ones and all levels engaging in bouts with each other to practice their skills.

“We definitely have people here who are competitive and want to go to tournaments and improve in that direction,” says Liebich. “But we don’t turn away someone because they’re not interested in that. We actually have a recreational emphasis. If you want to come and enjoy yourself and have something that develops your mind and body just for the sake of physical fitness and having fun, everyone is welcome here. I don’t value the competitive more than I value the recreational. They’re equally important to me.”