Historical and modern fencing classes return to Douglas County | RecordCourier.com

Historical and modern fencing classes return to Douglas County

by Sarah Hauck
Shannon LitzChristopher Cloninger, a student at Sierra Crest Academy, explains the different types of fencing on Dec. 10 at the Douglas County Senior Center.

Wanting to share his passion for a 4,000-year-old sport, Steve Klekar is reintroducing fencing classes to the Valley.

Two classes are available through the parks and recreation department including historical and modern fencing at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center two days a week.

“I’m trying to get the program going again. We had it here for quite awhile a few years back,” Klekar said. “I thought the time was right with the center being new. I felt it was a good opportunity and good fit to try and bring it back.”

Klekar has been teaching fencing for the past 10 years.

He hopes to share the benefits of the sport with the community and create a following at the level that exists in places like Reno and Los Angeles.

“It’s a life sport. Fencers live to be really old,” Klekar laughed. “The fencing community is generally pretty close knit. I want to share the camaraderie, the friendship, the honor and respect that is incorporated with the sport.”

Both classes focus on the basics of fencing including footwork and the equipment, with the historical fencing class emphasizing a Spanish-style.

“In historical fencing there is an aspect of the use of a weapon, but fencing is a martial arts, not a weapons training sport,” Klekar said. “If you get into fencing it teaches you situational awareness. There’s the emotional control aspect. Plus when I teach I like to involve the history as well.”

Modern fencing utilizes electronic components to signify when a touch has happened, while historical relies on honestly from both fencers.

“Classical fencing is a physical touch that has to be acknowledged by the competitor and yourself,” he said. “It brings in the honor and respect side of the sport. That’s really what the classical is about.”

Before instructing parks and rec classes Klekar taught fencing at a charter school in the Valley.

His work with the school plus research that has been done encourages Klekar to use fencing as a teaching tool, not just a class.

“Fencing offers a tremendous amount of things for the individual,” he said. “It’s a math class, it’s a geometry class, it’s a history class, it’s a biomechanics class. When introduced at the school level it helps them emotionally and it has even been proven to improve children’s math skills that were struggling in that particular subject. It’s mental discipline. People learn to control their emotions.”

Klekar’s classes are open to ages 13 years old to adults.

The historical fencing class, that has a Spanish emphasis, is 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The modern fencing class is 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Both run until June 30, with the next session of classes July 1-29 and Aug. 5-26.

The July and August classes are $32.

Students must bring their own gloves that cover the wrist, and wear tennis shoes and long sleeve shirts.

Fencing equipment will be provided.

Registration can be done at the parks and recreation office at 1329 Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville.

For more information call 782-5500.