Fencing to become club

by Beacon Staff • April 25, 2007

"There are certain aspects of football, guys running around smashing into each other," Brodie said. "I can appreciate the violence in that."

But contact sports don't hold a candle to combat sports in Brodie's mind.,Freshman Matt Brodie has nothing against team sports. He can even see the appeal of violent sports like football.

"There are certain aspects of football, guys running around smashing into each other," Brodie said. "I can appreciate the violence in that."

But contact sports don't hold a candle to combat sports in Brodie's mind.

"Combat in general is so much more visually pleasing," Brodie said. "How can you watch someone do Kung Fu and not think it's beautiful?"

Brodie's sport of choice, fencing, was not originally available at Emerson, so he debated whether or not to be proactive in his first year in college.

"I didn't even think about starting a club when I first came here," he said.

But perhaps that fighting spirit influenced Matt's decision to bring swordplay to Emerson.

Fencing made its debut at the college earlier this semester.

Brodie, one of the strongest orchestrators of the Emerson fencing team, decided there was no way he could go without the sport during his college tenure.

"When I got here, I was really bummed that they didn't have a team," he said. "I met a bunch of people who not only had [fenced] before but were still really passionate about it."

With a round of fliers and the aid of Facebook, Brodie set out to put together a fencing group, gathering the interest of about 60 people.

Today, Brodie relies on just five to six regulars but believes there is room to grow heading into the coming years.

One of Brodie's primary objectives is to get his players into real competition.

"My first goal ... is to start sending kids off to these tournaments," he said. "You can't learn how to fence really well until you get into competition and fence other good fencers."

While sending students beyond Emerson for competition is a priority for Brodie, he couldn't be happier with the support he has gotten from the Emerson Athletic Department.

"[The Athletics Department has] been very receptive," he said. "It wasn't like I had to show up and plead with them to get the club going."

While the team has not achieved club status yet, Brodie said it is simply a formality he did not bother going through due to a quickly ending semester. Though Emerson allots some money for club activities, much of the equipment Brodie would like to bring in likely can't be covered with Emerson's club cash allowance.

Put quite simply, Brodie's number-one focus is "raising money to buy all the equipment that we need."

Fencing is one of many sports that is found to be more or less prominent depending on where you are in the world. Brodie explains that fencing is a different experience, with many clubs around, while Boston's fencing options are quite limited.

"It's weird not to find clubs all over the place," Brodie said. "If this was Europe, it wouldn't be a problem."