4B - The M*gan Daily - Thursday, aruary 17, 2005
The Michiga ily - Thursday, Februa 7, 2005 - 9B
FENCING APPEALS TO AVID AND FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANTS
inrnywordsla first-person account
FCB offers inexpensive, refreshing drinks
By Christine Beamer
Daily Arts Writer
Clangs of steel on steel resonate
through the open space as people
with swords and deadly earnest
looks battle each other all around the
room. No, this isn't the 16th century;
it's merely a practice session for the
University's Fencing Team.
About 30 people regularly show
up at the Coliseum to practice three
times a week and to prepare for
matches with other colleges in the
Midwest. They are split into foilists,
epeeists, and sabreists, and they
spend practice sessions running,
practicing footwork, bladework and
fencing with the other members.
While fencing is a fascinating
sport to watch, it can be confus-
ing for the uneducated observer. he
point of a fencing bout (as they are
called) is to touch an opponent in a
specific area on their body with a
blade. A preliminary match requires
five touches (points) to win, while a
direct elimination bout requires 15
Since fencers would obviously
have much shorter lifespans if they
used sharpened swords, points in a
fencing bout are scored electrically.
The blades have spring-loaded tips
which are connected with a wire
inside the blade. The fencer then
wears a cord which is clipped onto
his/her uniform connecting the blade
to an electronic scoring machine.
The machine then registers a touch
to the uniform.
According to the United States
"I had looked for
a sport I clicked
with for years, and
fencing appealed to
me because you get
to play with swords."
- Katie Parzych
Fencing Association website, there
are three distinct types of fencing
- foil, 6pee and sabre - which use
three different weapons and differ-
ent bodily targets. A foil is a sword
with a thin, long blade. Foilists must
score touches on their opponents'
torso only. An epee is a descendent
of the dueling sword, which making
it heavier than a foil. In epee, your
entire body is a valid target area.
A sabre is a modern version of the
slashing calvary sword, and like in
an actual calvary setting the target
area is from the waist up (including
According to Diane Fiander,
vice president of the team, the fenc-
ers compete in foil, epee and sabre
for both genders against a large
number of teams, including MSU,
Wayne State, Northwestern, Ohio
State, Purdue University, University
of California (San Diego) and the
University of Chicago. The fencers
comoete at both United States Fenc-
By Jeremy Berkowitz I pass White Market and New York
Daily Arts Writer Pizza Depot on the way, two placesr
frequented often by Daily staffers.d
Nickels Arcade: home to a cigar Yet for some reason, FCB has failed to F
store, travel agency,and unbe- gain the same popularity. f
knownst to many students, a cheap I walk in at around 4:30 f
place to buy a drink. on A a dreary Tuesday, greetede
Back in October 2003, when FCB by the sounds of afternoons
House of Flavors first opened, Rob talks shows. The ownerc
Goodspeed, a University alum pre- Paul, who would not giveA
dicted its quick demise on his his last name, says he and
blog. four other people opened the
"This is Ann Arbor:,peo- store up in October 2003,
ple aren't buying drinks with the intention of pro-
for the flavor, they want viding students with an
to pay for an experience: inexpensive beverage. No
the sound of the cappuc- customer pays more than
cino machine, a place to $2 for anything.
sit and read in a place to The decor is very simple
go to that's not their house with some plants and leaves
or on campus." growing from the wall.
Yet, a year and a half There are a few tables with
later, the business still exists no chairs. Paul said city regu-
right at the west end of the lations do not permit them to
arcade on Maynard Street. have chairs because there is no
Partially out of boredom, bathroom.
and partially out of interest, PETER SCHOTTENFELS/Daily
I took the assignment from the FCB House of Flavors offers
weekend editors to discover the inner- many different kinds of hot and
workings of FCB House of Flavors. cold drinks for $2 or less.
The wall opposite from the cash
register is covered with about a
dozen slurpee flavors, ranging from
Pepsi to Banana Rama. Paul says his
favorite flavor is sour apple, so I ask
for a large Dixie cup which costs
exactly $2. I fill up and take my first
sip, which is quite refreshing and
cool. The sour taste hits my tongue.
My satisfaction does not decrease.
I wait there for half an hour, but
not a single customer walks in. Paul
says the store usually hits its peak
between 12 and 2 in the afternoon,
which is true for most of the stores
in Nickels Arcade. Before I leave, I
decided to grab a small white choco-
late caramel coffee. While refresh-
ing, it's not as tasty as the slurpee.
Engineering junior Chris Blau-
velt said the vanilla milkshake is his
favorite drink because he can crunch
nuts or Oreos in it, to make a sweet
dessert. He said FCB offers good
deals to students.
"I buy 'drink certificates' from
them to give to people who help me
out. It's cheap, but different, so peo-
ple appreciate it," Blauvelt added.
While small and with little to offer in
terms of a hangout, FCB gives students
a place to grab something on the go to
make their lives a tad more enjoyable.
Engineering senior Jay MacLean and LSA senior Daniel Weckstein fence epee style, a type of fencing where
the entire body is a target area for opponents.
ing Tournaments (individually) and New members
as a team in collegiate tournaments. The fencingteamis unique because
Depite being a fairly obscure club, many members are people who have
the fencing team's record has been just learned to fence. According
strong. to Fiander, the UM fencing team
Last year they ranked fifth over- accepts beginners and experienced
all at the Collegiate Club Champi- fencers alike and provides equip-
onships. This year they hope to do ment for those who do not have it.
even better, for as Fiander said, "The For example, LSA freshman Katie
squads which were weaker last year Parzych started fencing this year,
have really stepped up and are con- and has become dedicated to the
tributing to the team's success." team in a short period of time. "I
had looked for a sport I clicked with
for years," she said, "and fencing
appealed to me because you get to
play with swords." For her, fencing
is as psychologically challenging as
it is physically challenging, which
makes it a unique sport.
Music freshman Maia Dedrick,
who has been fencing since her
junior year of high school, agrees.
"It really works your mental and
emotional strength. You try to lure
your opponent in, pretending to not
know you've left an open target, and
then go in for the attack when he or
she is not expecting it," she said.
And although the fencing team
is close-knit according to Dedrick,
fencing remains decidedly individual
- there is no team interaction in the
actual bouts. As Dedrick said, "in
comparison with some mainstream
sports, it's very personal, and every
"It really works
your mental and
defeat is your own, and you can feel
it because you've just been hit."
Although there are no other tour-
naments scheduled for the rest of
this year in Ann Arbor, the Colle-
giate Club Championships are being
held at Michigan State University
in the beginning of April. And as
Engineering freshman and fencer
Marc Stewart insists, they always
love to have an audience. "Individual
tournaments tend to be more fun to
watch because there are constantly
bouts being run," he said.
So instead of watching another
basketball game, consider support-
ing the fencing team by watching
some talented people attack each
other with swords.
Don't Spend Spring Break Broke.
Instant Scheduling will take place
Monday, February 21st
11:00 AM -5:30 PM
at the Intramural Sports Building:
Broomball (Co-rec ONLY)
Visit us on the web:
Get cash for spring break with the click of a mouse.
E-filing your state tax return is easy, fast, and there's
nothing to mail. And, with Direct Deposit,your refund
goes right to your financial institution, so you don't have to.
You may qualify for free e-filing.
For more information visit www.Mlfastfile.org.
Point. Click. File.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
From left to right: A foil, an epee and a sabre, the three types of swords used In fencing.