ONE Central Florida Short: Fencing

ONE Central Florida Short: Fencing


>>AMANDA PIRKOWSKI IS NOT A TYPICAL THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD.>>I WATCHED THE LONDON OLYMPICS AND THAT SUMMER I DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO EITHER POLE VAULT OR FENCE. I DON’T KNOW. I THOUGHT THEY LOOKED INTERESTING. SO MY DAD FOUND THAT THERE WAS A NEW FACILITY OPENED AND WE CAME TO STOCCATA HERE.>>I THOUGHT IT’D BE GREAT FOR HER TO KIND OF PARTICIPATE IN THAT TYPE OF A COMPETITIVE SPORT WHERE SHE HAD MORE OF AN INDIVIDUAL COMPETITION. BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY USED TO TEAM COMPETITIONS WITH DANCING AND THIS WAS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT, A LITTLE BIT MORE HAND TO HAND COMBAT.>>HE BROUGHT AMANDA TO THE STOCCATTO FENCING ACADEMY IN LONGWOOD TO LEARN THE SPORT FROM NESTOR GRAJALES. HE COMPETED WITH THE PUERTO RICAN NATIONAL TEAM AND HAS BEEN FENCING FOR OVER 30 YEARS.>>OUR BIGGEST GROUP IS WHAT WE CALL OUR TEENAGE GROUP, BASICALLY IS OUR 13-18 YEAR OLD. THAT’S OUR CORE GROUP THAT WE HAVE. WE HAVE ABOUT 20-25 OF THOSE STUDENTS. THEY’RE NOT YOUR TYPICAL FOOTBALL PLAYER; THEY’RE NOT YOUR BASKETBALL PLAYER. THEY’RE JUST STUDENTS THAT ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO DO. PULLING BACK, EXCELLENT. STEP BACK.>>AMANDA IS ONE OF HIS STAR STUDENTS. SHE HAS ALREADY WON INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS.>>AMANDA CAME TO US ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO. A FORMER DANCER, VERY ACTIVE, HAD DONE TRACK. AND SHE JUST LIVED FENCING. SHE WANTED TO DO IT EVERY DAY.>>I THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY COOL. IT LOOKED LIKE IT HAD A BUNCH OF TECHNIQUE IN IT. AND ALSO, I KIND OF LIKED THAT YOU GOT TO STAB PEOPLE FOR A SPORT.>>LUNGE! DOUBLE LUNGE! WE TEACH THE BASIC FOIL STYLE OF FENCING, WHICH IS THE BASIC TRAINING WEAPON. WE START OFF WITH BASIC FOOTWORK; ADVANCING, RETREATING, LUNGING. AND THEN WE SHOW THEM THE BASIC ATTACK WITH A BEAT, ATTACK WITH AN EXTEND. AND A BASIC PARRY. A PARRY IS WHAT WE CALL A DEFENSIVE MODE. ONCE WE GET THEM THROUGH THAT PHASE OF THE BASIC ELEMENTS, WE ADVANCE THEM INTO THE COMPETITIVE GROUP. AND AT THAT TIME WE START TEACHING THEM STRATEGIES AND EVOLVING THEIR FENCING STYLE.>>COME ON DOWN.>>THERE’S JUST A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES YOU NEED TO LEARN. AND SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR REFLEXES TO LIKE A CERTAIN ACTION. AND SOMETIMES THAT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO CHANGE YOUR HABITS. BUT, I HONESTLY THINK THE BLADE IS THE HARDEST PART OF THE ACTION.>>DON’T WANT PEOPLE TRIPPING ON THE MAT.>>WHEN AMANDA’S FRIENDS FOUND OUT SHE HAD TAKEN UP FENCING, THEY DIDN’T ALWAYS UNDERSTAND AT FIRST.>>MY BEST FRIEND, SHE ACTUALLY THOUGHT I WAS LIKE HOLDING LIKE A FENCE. AND THEN SHE REALIZED WHAT IT WAS AND THEY THINK IT’S PRETTY COOL. ESPECIALLY THE GUYS.>>SEVEN, TWO, EN GUARDE. READY. FENCE.>>I LIKE THAT IT’S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL. BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO THINK SO MUCH ABOUT THE GAME AND YOU HAVE TO PREPARE SO MANY ACTIONS, BUT BE WILLING TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY’RE DOING NEXT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE ATHLETICISM, BUT IT’S ALSO A LOT, YOU HAVE TO BE INTELLIGENT TOO.>>IN 2015 ALONE, AMANDA WON HER AGE CLASS AT THE PAN AMERICAN YOUTH GAMES IN LIMA, PERU AND FINISHED SECOND AT THE U.S. SUMMER NATIONALS IN KANSAS CITY.>>AS A DAD WATCHING MY DAUGHTER SWORD FIGHT, I JUST LOVE SEEING THE COMPETITION. I SEE HER SKILLS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER.>>READY. FENCE!>>THE DESIRE, THE SELF-MOTIVATION, THE DESIRE TO MASTERY OF THE SKILLS. THE ENERGY, THE SPORTSMANSHIP. I MEAN IT’S JUST A PERFECT ATHLETIC PACKAGE THAT ANY COACH WOULD WANT.>>MOTIVATION IS KEY FOR ANY SUCCESSFUL ATHLETE. AMANDA HAS A VERY PERSONAL REASON FOR WANTING TO MAKE THE MOST OF HER ABILITIES.>>IT’S ACTUALLY MY SISTER, BECAUSE SHE HAS DISABILITIES. SHE’S AUTISTIC. AND SHE HAS SUCH A HARD TIME DOING THINGS THAT ARE EASY FOR MOST PEOPLE. I WAS BORN AND I HAVE TALENT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE USE OF IT.>>I REALLY TRULY HOPE THAT SHE DOES MAKE AN OLYMPIC TEAM. AND I HOPE I’M THERE TO SEE IT. TO KNOW THAT I HAD A LITTLE SEED SOMEWHERE IN THERE TO HELP HER GET TO REALIZE HER DREAM.>>IT’S A GREAT SPORT AND I KNOW IT’S UNUSUAL BUT REALLY COOL. AND I THINK MORE PEOPLE SHOULD GET INTO IT, BECAUSE IT’S FUN, EXCITING AND IT HAS A LOT YOU HAVE TO DO AND PRACTICE. YOU ALWAYS WANT TO KEEP GETTING BETTER AT IT. I WOULD LIKE TO FENCE IN COLLEGE AND THEN MAYBE THE OLYMPICS. THAT’D BE AWESOME!>>SEE FULL EPISODES OF ONE CENTRAL FLORIDA THE FIRST THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH AT 8 P.M.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *