En Garde! Grab A Sword And Get In Shape

Tired of step and slide? Want to add a little swashbuckling sizzle to your workout?

Try rapier aerobics - as in fence-your-way-to-fitness - and have a blast shaping up.

A growing number of exercisers are staying fit with swords, says fencing master Ted Katzoff, owner of Westside Fencing Center, in Culver City, Calif.

There, Hollywood aficionados - including Geena Davis, Robin Williams and Matthew Modine - and other fitness-minded folks are brandishing foils.

The two-hour sessions start with stretching and running exercises and move to footwork and blade work. The grand finale: 90 minutes of nonstop aerobic fencing. One-on-one lessons also are offered for beginners, Katzoff says.

Why this new focus on rapier fitness? Katzoff claims the sport has the attraction of other one-on-one sports, including tennis and racquetball, with the added allure of “the romantic appeal of sword play.”

“It’s excellent for hand-eye and hand-foot coordination, plus it builds great athletic stamina. But the main draw is that romantic undertone most of us have picked up on from the movies.”

For information on fencing classes around the country, call the fencing association at (719) 578-4511.


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