By Diana Caissie
Special to the Citizen Chronicle
BRIMFIELD — Local residents of Brimfield and the surrounding towns have been showing up in increasing numbers to Andrew Bloch’s fencing lessons at Hitchcock Academy on Wednesday evenings. Lessons are offered for both youths (ages 8-16) and adults (ages 16 and up).
Fencing is a sport that was developed from the art of swordsmanship, used for dueling and self-defense. Over the early years of the Renaissance, schools of fencing in Spain, Italy and France were equally popular but were primarily used to train soldiers for the military. In the mid-18th century the focus of fencing shifted to a sport with the publication of The School of Fencing by Domenico Angelo, an Italian fencing master of a school in London. Much of his posture and footwork are still used in today’s sport.
In Bloch’s lessons, he places a heavy emphasis on the proper footwork and technique before his students fence for the first time. Discussion of the classic French techniques are vital for safety and provide a good foundation to become great fencers.
If you are interested in learning how to fence at Hitchcock Academy, see www.hitchcockacademy.org for more information or call 413-245-9977.