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Warren-Wilson College Fencing

This site is still under construction. Please bear with us as it undergoes many changes in the next weeks.

The art of fencing has a long and rich history, steeped in traditions handed down by the great masters of centuries past. It is in every sense a martial art, much like Tae Kwon Do or Aikido.

While most people think of fencing as nothing more than playing with swords, the reality is that fencing teaches us control, discipline, confidence, self-esteem, honor, and fellowship, as well as offering physical conditioning, increased stamina, improved reflexes and reactions, and greater overall health.

The Martial Art of Fencing

Working with swords, even the blunted, bated blades designed for modern fencing, requires precision, self control, confidence, presence, and discipline. Training in the art of fencing provides these qualities, and much more. In fact, fencing has been used as a rehabilitative device for troubled youth, and as a form of physical therapy. But more importantly, the art helps us learn to think clearly under pressure, to understand the relationship between mind, body and emotion, and can help maintain a sense of personal balance.

Fencing and Theater


"To produce a decent film duel, you must have a thorough knowledge of swordplay and how to translate it to the stage or screen. It's Vital."

                        -- Ralph Faulkner, Hollywood's Fencing Master

Fencing has been a staple of stage and screen productions for as long as there has been theater and cinema. Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Cary Elwes, Manny Pitinkin, Catherine Zeta Jones, Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen, well known for their screen 

 portrayals of swordsmen and swashbucklers, all had extensive training in classical fencing before beginning their careers as actors. And what production of Hamlet can be successful without actors who know something of the use of a rapier?

Fencing at WWC

Fencing classes are available and are free to the entire Warren-Wilson community. The classes focus on modern sport fencing, providing basic skills which may then be expanded upon when exploring competition, historical, classical and theatrical fencing.

All levels of experience are welcome at every class. New students will learn the basics with the help of more experienced fencers even as those same veterans learn more advanced skills. An overview of each term's lesson plans is available. While these plans will be followed precisely, attention will also be paid to the needs of each student. The class is an ongoing study with open enrollment (just show up and we'll get you started), and anyone is welcome to join at any time. It is recommended that beginning students attend the introductory workshop.

Eric Newcomb, the instructor for the class, has more than fifteen years fencing experience, including modern, classical, historical and theatrical fencing. He has taught fencing for the past three years, and has choreographed scenes for several stage productions, including Renaissance Faire acts and two productions of Hamlet, as well as a number of other theatrical combat scenes.

To learn more about Warren-Wilson Fencing, select from the links at the top of the page.