Blade Runners

If you happen to be around the intersection of Rt. 32 and Guilford Road and someone challenges you to a sword fight, politely decline. And speaking of that, don't call them swords either.

Foils, épées and sabres, yes. But not swords.

Inside of a nondescript building labelled BFCC (for Baltimore Fencing Center Columbia) they battle near endlessly, tethered by wires that signal when the tip of the weapon has found its mark.

Coaches, including (from left) Larbi Soufiane, Gabrielle Galvez, Bin Lu, and David Griffin, teach people ranging from rank beginners to competitive fencers in the center's warehouse-sized back room. (At top, Jonathan Cohen, left, attacks Galvez with an épée.)

The pace is fast, and the battles can sometimes be over very quickly. And many of the swordfights in the movies do not measure up, at least to the purists at BFCC.

There is one notable exception: The Princess Bride gets universally high marks for authenticity.

More more info, visit their web page. And if you go, just make sure they do not know that you are not left-handed.

Tag(s): Play

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