Touché! UConn’s Fencing Club

Glenn Thierfeldt, a sophomore electrical engineer, at the Willis Nichols Hawley Armory for fencing practice on March 4, 2018. (Garrett Spahn/UConn Photo)
Fencing, a club sport at UConn, is a fast-paced form of swordplay that requires lightning-quick responses. (Garrett Spahn/UConn Photo)


The UConn Fencing Club practices two to three times a week at Hawley Armory. The club, which is open to both men and women, in any major, competes in a tournament each semester, and also competes in meets with other fencing clubs in the area.

As a form of swordplay, fencing’s origins date back to ancient civilizations. However, organized fencing began only in the late 19th century, and entered college sports around the same time. The Intercollegiate Fencing Association held its first matches in 1894, though the competition was open only to men at that time.

Fencing is a sport that requires both physical and mental skill, and lightning-quick reactions. There are currently three different types of fencing, each with its own style of weapon and separate set of rules. UConn’s Fencing Club practices all three forms: foil, épée, and sabre. The expression ‘touché’ is used as an acknowledgment of a hit by one’s opponent.