Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Rolando Balboa

Five minutes with the Brooklyn Fencing Center's founder and head coach.

Brooklyn Fencing CenterBrooklyn Fencing Center

Why should kids choose fencing over another sport?
Aside from developing hand-eye coordination, it teaches patience and how to think. It's like playing chess with your body: Sometimes you have to attack, sometimes you have to defend. It's very exciting.

Any Olympians working at the center this summer?
We have one, Dan Kellner. He was on the men's foil team in 2004. The kids know he's an Olympian. We have some footage of him fencing in the Olympics, which they like.

Be honest: Does it hurt to get jabbed?
If you hit the right way, nobody's going to get hurt; it's only if you hit the wrong way and you hesitate that it hurts. It's kind of like somebody jabbing you with a pencil. We do get a lot of bruises—minor, though, not major.

How might a child change by spending a summer at your camp?
We get a lot of shy kids who are not into team sports, or sports at all. They become more active, less shy, interact a lot more with people. The minute they put on their mask, they come alive.—James Lobo



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