Patriot Profile: Aiden Holmes is a competitive fencer at a national level

Sam Kelderman, Sports Editor

“I was about 10 years old, and I wanted to be a sword fighter when I grew up, so my mom put me in fencing.” Freshman Aiden Holmes is fulfilling his childhood dreams by fencing—a competition in which two people fight with swords to score points—and this sport has allowed him to meet new people spanning from Portland to Canada, and to compete against nationally ranked fencers just like himself.
He travels across the country with people in his club for national competitions. In the second week on November, Holmes traveled to Wisconsin to compete against some nationally ranked competition.
“I lost quite a bit, but also won some as well,” Holmes said. “I fenced two of the top fencers in the nation, and even though I lost those matches, it was a good experience because I got to see how good the top competition is and what I can do to improve and get to that point.”
Competing nationally has allowed him to see more of the country as well.
“I have gone to states that I would have never gone before without fencing,” Holmes said. “Ohio is an example. There is not much to do in those states, but I get to experience traveling and seeing these states which I think is interesting.”
Holmes is a part of the Salle Auriol Fencing Club in Seattle; he enjoys fencing with the tight knit community and meeting new people along the way.
“Right now, fencing is a really small sport,” Holmes said. “This has allowed me to meet people all over the country. I have some really close friends living in Canada and Portland because of we are all apart of Salle Auriol.”
In order to make it to these national tournaments, a fencer like Holmes has to qualify in local competitions.
“To move on, you score points by getting touches,” Holmes said. “Touches are hits on another person. In pool matches, you get matched up against individuals in your pool and score by getting five touches. In elimination games, you score by getting fifteen touches.”
Holmes may continue fencing in the future.
“If there is fencing at my future school, then I will probably continue fencing, but I do not know how serious I will be because I may just want to focus on school in college, but I’d love to continue fencing,” Holmes said.