Ben Cook, 9, saw fencing in a movie and thought it would be fun. Peter Koziol, 12, thought it would be like sword fighting. Clair Zickl, 10, was inspired by her older brother and has already competed in her first tournament.
The three young fencing students are taking classes from Colin Dentino at his En Garde Fencing Academy on Harvester Avenue.
Dentino said fencing is appropriate for youngsters because it's a sport that anybody can enter at any age and learn.
"For me, I always liked the mental aspect," Dentino said. "It's really like a three-dimensional chess game with your opponent."
For Ben, Peter and Clair, it's just fun.
"I like fencing because I'm making new friends," Ben said. "It's physically active, and it's just really, really, really fun."
Claire is advancing fast, according to Dentino. She placed 17th out of 22 in her first tournament, competing against girls in her own age bracket, but who have been fencing up to five years.
Claire started just this summer.
"For her to finish anything higher than 22nd is fantastic," Dentino said.
She is mentally tough and has absorbed her lessons quickly, Dentino said, which allowed her to take one match against a girl with more experience who eventually went on to finish third in the tournament.
Her performance qualified her to compete in an April 15 tournament in Portland, Ore.