Fencing is America's favorite sport because it combines the visceral excitement of swordplay with the awesome outfits of beekeeping. Fight fashionably with today's Groupon: for $12, you get a two-hour Introduction to Fencing class at Iowa City Fencing Center (a $25 value). Classes are generally held twice a month on rotating Saturdays and Sundays from either 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The next available sessions are on Saturday, August 13 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, August 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
With her 30-plus years of fencing know-how, Iowa City Fencing Center's Judy O'Donnell leads first-time fencers through sword-wielding basics. The two-hour Introduction to Fencing class hones minds and muscles alike through the stimulating challenges of foil-style fencing, teaching beginners the art of guarding stances, appropriate defensive maneuvers, and how to turn opponents' weapons into an effective shish kebab. The instructor then pairs students for their first bout, during which they employ arm and footwork techniques and quick-thinking skills to parry attacks and sneak between dueling partners' defenses for a point-winning touch.
Iowa City Fencing Center's air-conditioned fencing facility boasts two large practice rooms, outfitted with all necessary fencing equipment and amenities such as an Olympic–quality sports floor, ADA–compliant changing rooms, and an observation area for family and friends. The CPR- and first-aid-certified staff keeps close watch on dueling newbies, ensuring that all sparring apparatuses meet safety standards and that classes are as safe and fun as skydiving inside a marshmallow.
Iowa City Fencing Center
Iowa City Fencing Center founder Judy O'Donnell has speared more than 30 years of experience in the Olympic sport of fencing. She has represented the United States numerous times on an international stage, and has taught beginners and global competitors alike.
In 2010, Judy opened ICFC to share with the community her lifetime's worth of dueling wisdom, offering instruction in all three styles of fencing: foil, epee, and saber. Her encouraging commands bounce off the walls of two large training rooms, where groups meet to practice blade work and churn out meticulously carved pumpkins. Classes at ICFC are available to students starting at the age of 5, and private lessons provide the opportunity to train with Judy one-on-one.
415 Highland Ave.
Iowa City, Iowa 52240