Fencers tend to be pretty enthusiastic about our sport, whether we’re adult fencers or kids. We want to encourage other people to learn about the sport and so to share our passion, but how can we best do that?
Sometimes we can be shy about putting our interests out there with our friends because we’re a little afraid that they won’t like things as much as we do. This can be especially true for tweens and teens who are dealing with social pressures and struggling to find their way through their very social worlds. How can you even get that conversation started?
Some fencers are naturally gregarious and just put it out there, but if you or a fencer you know wants some new ways to get the conversation going, then check out these fencing conversation starters.
- Wanna hear a joke?
Here are three fencing jokes that will make sense to non-fencers!
– Why was Cinderella so bad at fencing? Her coach was a pumpkin!
– What would you get if you cross a fencer with the Invisible Man? Fencing like no one has ever seen.
– What did the mummy fencing coach say at the end of practice? Let’s wrap this up.
(jokes courtesy My Town Tutors)
- Let’s watch The Princess Bride!
Or any other movie that has lots of fencing in it! Pirates of the Caribbean, the Three Musketeers, The Fencer, or even Star Wars! This can be great for kids who want to share their love of fencing with their friends in a fun way. Inviting a friend over for popcorn and a movie allows us to talk about this thing that we’re so passionate about in a way that is easy and accessible.
- I got a new sword. Want to see it?
This is a great way to get the conversation started. Getting a new weapon is always exciting, and it’s intriguing to non-fencers! Most people who have never practiced fencing have never seen a fencing sword before, so they’re curious about what a fencing sword looks like, what if feels like to hold, that kind of thing. There’s nothing quite like seeing an epee or a foil in person for the first time!
- Check out this fencing video!
Just about everyone has a screen in their pocket these days, so pull up a fun fencing video on YouTube! FIE has a wonderful channel, and you’ll find tons of great and fun fencing videos online. Try this one of two guys fencing with fences (yes, you read that correctly). Videos are a perfect way to bridge the gap and get the conversation going about fencing.
- Would you like to come to a fencing competition with me?
This works really well if you’ve got a friend who is interested in fencing in a bigger way, but who’s not ready to jump in just yet. You’re of course welcome to invite them to a competition where you’re competing, but keep in mind that you’ll be prepping and competing for most of the day then. What you might want to do instead is to pick a fencing competition in your area that you’re not competing in so that you can devote your time to your companion.
- (Speak in another language.)
Many fencing coaches don’t speak English as their primary language, not to mention there are lots of fencing terms that aren’t in English. Ask your fencing coach to teach you some phrases in their native tongue and then break them out for your friends! It’s sure to get a conversation going, and you can explain that you learned it from your amazing fencing coach. Of course you can also break out your fencing terminology and wow your friends too!
- Have you heard of Race Imboden? (or any other Olympic fencer)
Even in years that there aren’t Summer Olympics with fencing in them, the topic of Olympic athletes is always one that gets people talking. Such socially active fencing starts as Race Imboden and Miles Chamley-Watson make a lot of news. Bring up the name of your favorite Olympic fencer and you’ll find that your friends will be keen to talk about them!
- Did you know my fencing club is nearby?
People don’t always even know that there’s a fencing club in their town! It’s funny, because sometimes the best things are right under our noses. If you want to start a conversation about fencing, one of the best ways is to bring up your club. Once you get talking, try inviting them out to see what a class looks like!
- Wow, I started fencing 3 years ago!
Or however long ago you started fencing. Time flies when you’re having fun in your sport, and it’s a lot of fun to look back and reminisce about how you got started in the sport. Young fencers might say something like “I’ve been fencing for a year already!” or however long they’ve been in. What’s great about this is that it’s so personal. People will often respond with something like “I didn’t know you’d been fencing that long!”
- Fencing is the best. Wanna learn more about it?
That’s right, just being direct about what you love about fencing is a good way to get going. Just say it! A major reason that we make friends in the first place is that we want to share our interests with one another. If your child is passionate about fencing, encourage them to talk about it with their non-fencing friends. Connecting our passions with our relationships is something that makes us happy! Whether our friends join or not, they can still be there to support the things that we love.
Fencing is a niche sport that is growing all the time, in large part because fencers are so incredibly passionate about it. Encourage your young fencer to talk about the things that they love like fencing, and you’ll watch their confidence grow. And adult fencers are of course encouraged to share their love of fencing with the world too!