BUTTE — Butte’s known as a football town, even a handball town, but how about a fencing town?
The Butte Fencing Club has been practicing the ancient sport that combines grace and athleticism.
“Let’s face it, we’re the nerds of the jock world,” said instructor Travis Hughes.
It may seem nerdy, but those who participate in the weekly fencing class say the sport of swordplay is a good workout.
“Oh, it is very physical. It’s great exercise. Great work for your calves, your thighs, your arms, your legs. It’s a whole full-body worker,” said student Conan Walker.
The fencing club has been in Butte in one form or another for about 20 years.
“People just want to play with swords and if we can make it educational and a good exercise then they don’t even know they’re doing all that boring stuff. They’re just having fun,” said Hughes.
Caleb Hill, who is a student, added: “A lot of fun, just a lot of fun. I had a pretty severe arm injury in 2016 and this has just helped rebuild my muscle and my confidence in my arm.”
There’s even a class for children, like 11-year-old Serenity Popham, who is not afraid to go one-on-one with an opponent.
“I’ve been doing it for a while, so I’m kind of used to it. So it was kind of scary in the beginning, but now it’s not scary at all,” said Popham.
“What’s really fun about this sport, this game, this martial art is you can get yourself really keyed up, stab your friends, and get really into the thick of it. And then in the end you shake hands and everybody’s friends again,” said Hughes.