En Garde! Fencing Flash Mob Coming Our Way


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A fencing demonstration sponsored by the International Fencing Federation in Rome
Brian Woodman Jr.
This coming Sunday, if you are in Hartford, you may do a double take – as a fencing flash mob gathers near the state capitol.  The first of its kind in Connecticut, and according to organizers, a sport popular in many Latin countries and gaining favor among Latino college students in the U.S.  
Joyce Bolaños, the event’s sponsor, said the flash mob will be one of several fencing-based flash mobs to be held throughout the world on that day (http://www.usfencing.org/news_article/show/408357?referrer_id=669365) to draw attention to the sport.  Other fencing flash mobs are planned in such locations as Paris near the Eiffel Tower Rome near the Coliseum and in Argentina, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and numerous other countries.  
 “It is growing worldwide; every year a new fencing federation is formed around the world,” said Bolaños, a Peruvian who grew up in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. “It is popular in South America, Central America and growing in the Caribbean as most federations in Latin American countries are formed by the military academies.
Bolaños, who has fenced for more than 30 years, still competes and is a board member of the International  Fencing Federation. She  said the Italian Fencing Federation (http://www.impiantisportivi.coni.it/en/national-sports-federations/italian-fencing-federation-fis/165-FIS.html ) generated the idea earlier this year as an initiative to draw attention to fencing; an Olympic sport that trains competitors in the use of thin swords like epees and foils, which use the point of the sword as contact, as well as the heavier, edged sabers.
“We want to promote the sport and show that it is an awesome sport for everyone! You can fence for a lifetime, there is no age limit.”

“I chose Hartford because it has the General Lafayette statue in front of the Capitol Building,” said Bolaños. “Why General Lafayette? He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Musketeers of the Guard on April 9, 1771 in France and later on, upon recommendation of Benjamin Franklin, he served General George Washington as his aide de camp, where he served bravely during the American Revolution.”
She urged fencers to come ready. “We would like the general public to come and watch and take pics and video and post to social media,” she said. “Please use #Hartford #Fencingmob or send them to fencingmob@gmail where they will be posted in real-time in a worldwide collage!  For those children that would like to try, we will have special fencing equipment just designed for beginners so they can try it out!”
For more information on the fencing flash mob, which will be held Sunday, September 7 near the State Capitol at 3 p.m., visit, Viva Hartford Media, (http://www.vivahartfordmedia.com/?page_id=4541).