Focus, determination and concentration are few of the traits that Aaron Rohrer, senior, takes into each fencing match. Fencing, an Olympic sport, is competed worldwide by high school students, yet unlike other popular sports, fencing is an individual sport. All preparations and forms of readiness come from the individual fencer, differentiating it from most team sports people know of.
“Fencing, unlike other sports, is an individual sport, so it’s more about what you can do and how you perform,” Rohrer said. “Basically, you need to train yourself to get better, so it’s not really a team sport where you are working with other players, but more of ‘how do you train to be the best while competing against people who do the same thing?’”
Rohrer has devoted five years of his life to the sport, fencing since the age of 12. He believes that there is little that separates fencing from other sports that many high schools offer.
“There are physical preparations for tournaments that are a part of your practice. You really also have to be mentally prepared going into the tournament, not saying ‘I don’t care if I win or lose this one.’ It’s just all about how you fence,” Rohrer said.
Putting in eight to 10 hours a week to prepare for each match, Rohrer has made a name for himself in the fencing world, ranking 77th in the nation.
The hard work and determination to be a success in this sport has lead Rohrer to exceed his coaches and even teammate Jason Lin’s expectations.
Lin, junior, has been fencing with Rohrer for the last three years and the two travel constantly for tournaments and matches.
“Aaron has been fencing for longer than me, so he’s kind of just like a role model to me,” Lin said. “He puts a lot of thought into fencing.”
Lin has been able to learn from Rohrer’s “energetic style” of fencing. The two constantly work together to improve their skills and shape their weaknesses into strengths.
Sean Flaharty, advisor of Fencing Club, values the sport just as much as Rohrer and Lin.
“I’ve fenced most of my life. When I started teaching at NP in 2002, I asked around to meet a few students that were fencing in Thousand Oaks and together we started the club. Students keen on fencing have kept it going all of these years.” Flaharty said.
The Fencing Club on-campus is always looking for new faces to join the sport, as their goal is to help students grow as mature fencers.The club meets Tuesdays after fifth period, and Rohrer encourages those who are interested to join.
“A lot of people have a misconception about fencing as a sport itself. They generally see it as a phony club or something to join, but it’s really not.” Rohrer said. “It’s an Olympic sport and that’s the fencing that we do. We train to be the high caliber of fencers so that everything we do is to train to get better. It’s a very physical as well as it is a mental sport.”