THE club for fencing lessons in
St. Louis, Belleville, Collinsville,
Columbia, Fairview Heights,
and the entire Metro East.

Best of the Best: Stories

Welcome to the Arena.

Do you realize how unusual you are?

As you travel through your life, each day seems pretty normal, boring even. It is only if you are able to view your life from the outside that you get an idea of how special you are.

Recently some of our adult fencers were talking and Yinka wondered out loud why so few people fence. I had to remind her how freakishly unusual she is. A girl who immigrates from Nigeria at 6 years old, who becomes an eye doctor; in her 30’s a competitive fencer, a percussionist in a Symphony Orchestra, and a member of a professional bagpipe band? Ridiculous. It can’t be done. Did she stop to realize how impossible this is? No she didn’t. She just did it. You all know her, she is the nicest person you will ever meet, but she is not normal.

You are not normal either. Kids from small towns and rural communities, you have picked an elite international sport that takes a lifetime to master. You practice in a farmers’ coop building on the edge of a corn field on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in Southern Illinois. You couldn’t be more all-American if your names were Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. And you can’t wait to take on the best fencers in the world. You are not normal. You are remarkable.

The other night Corey asked about the Teddy Roosevelt quote on the wall at the Grange. Roosevelt’s quote embodies what it means to be a remarkable person:


Yes, we absolutely do fence in a cornfield! Literally at Bluff Grange, a farmers' coop building in the corner of a cornfield on the bluffs over the Missisippi River Valley near St. Louis in Southern Illinois.

We have both recreational and competitive fencers of all ages.