Fencing came to prominence as a more civilized way to duel, replacing gauche argument-settlers including mediated staring contests or thumb-wrestling to the death. Settle disputes gracefully with today's Groupon: for $25, you get four beginners' fencing classes at Gryphon Fencing in Placentia (a $60 value or $15/session). Each class meets weekly over the course of one month.
With more than 70 years of combined fencing experience, the veteran swordsmen at Gryphon Fencing share swashbuckling skills with new students during their introductory fencing lessons. Rookie blade-weavers learn beginning blade dances by creating a custom four-session package, with three classes from which to mix and match. Introduction to Fencing builds footwork and blade-handling skills while sharing the history and etiquette of traditional swordplay. The Saber Seminar features a weapon designed with the cut-and-thrust style swordplay common to the high seas and live-action Dungeons and Dragons sessions. In All Things Epee, students develop their dueling abilities, focusing on the epee and the balance required to cross swords with deft opponents. Classes unfold in Gryphon Fencing’s 3,800-square-foot studio, where students thrust and parry on cork-padded wood floors and top-of-the-line fencing strips while VSM scoring systems track metrics including the number of successful strikes and the syllable count of cutting sword-themed limericks.
Gryphon Fitness Studio
On the same expanse of cork-padded floor at Gryphon Fitness Studio, feet pivot into tango turns, sabers flash and meet with a clang, and bodies twirl in midair, suspended from shining hoops. Of course, not all of this takes place at the same time. The space is reserved to let instructors, including a former fencing state champion and Zumba enthusiasts, share their various passions. Though their specialties span a range that includes dance, fitness, aerial arts, and three types of swordplay, they all focus on giving each student individual attention and consideration. Rather than pushing their guests toward competition or training them not to blink in progressively brighter spotlights, they devise routines to challenge students at their preferred pace. During day camps for children, the instructors bask in a chorus of happy young voices as they explain the basics of kung fu, fencing, and acrobatics.