SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– It’s year one for Hillcrest High School’s Fencing club.
Instructor and Teacher, Adam Bedinghaus, says he formed the club after realizing his students shared the same love for fencing but couldn’t afford to take classes.
“People think that there’s no thinking involved, but there’s quite a bit of thinking that goes into fencing,” said Bedinghaus.
Bedinghaus said fencing goes beyond just being a sport – it teaches life skills.
“Sportsmanship is a big thing in fencing; you don’t scream at people, you’re not aggressive,” said Bedinghaus. “You teach people poise and control and kindness, and if you win or lose, you’re kind to that person you do not berate them or anything,” said Bedinghaus.
Bedinghaus said he has witnessed his students go from being shy and timid to coming into their own.
“I was standing there learning everything going through all the motions for six months, maybe before I got to bouting, and when I finally did, it was the greatest thing,” said Sophomore Matthew Bruns.
Bruns said one of the things fencing has taught him is patience and how to think through things.
“It’s not just athleticism in fencing; it’s like a debate in bouting you’re going back and forth,” said Bruns.
Bruns says he’s learning life lessons that he’ll take with him even after he graduates high school.
The club is free and is open to all Hillcrest High School students. Bedinghaus says he hopes to extend the club to all Springfield high school students in the future.