By Danujan Thirumavalavan.
When freshman Michael Corban first started fencing at a young age, he knew that fencing would be something that would stick with him for a very long time. He has committed to hours and hours of practice every week, and is still pushing himself to higher levels.
Last year, Corban was ranked #10 in the Y14’s(14 and Under) nationally and is still competing to improve his ranking. He describes the success he had last year.
“I am extremely proud of my accomplishments and the hard work. I have fenced four times a week, and I think that has really payed off,” said Corban
Corban also said that it is important for him to compete in as many fencing tournaments as possible.
“I compete in all fencing tournaments whether it is national, regional, or local, and I think that by doing this, I can play a variety of players with different skill sets,” said Corban.
Corban said that he travelled to many places across the country to compete in national tournaments.
“I travelled to Louisiana, Ohio, California, New York, New Jersey, and many other states across the country to compete in fencing tournaments,” said Corban.
Freshman Ali Khan is currently one of Corban’s competitors, but describes Corban as just a better all-around player than him.
“I lost to him because he is a national fencer. He is equipped with many skills that I don’t have. Also, the fact that he is a really good attacker and defender makes him a very hard opponent to beat,” said Khan.
Khan added that Corban is “one of a kind” and one of the best fencers he has ever fenced against.
Freshman Ethan Stafford comments on Corban’s success, saying that his prodigal status should not be understated.
“I think it’s very good that he is such a good fencer. I think that anyone at our age that can be nationally ranked at anything is just a phenomenal thing for them to be successful at,” said Stafford.
“I started fencing in fourth grade. It was a beginner type of class for people who wanted to start fencing,” said Corban.
Corban also said that his mom had a big influence on him when he first started.
“My mom wanted me to try something new, and so that led me to attend that class. She then introduced me to fencing, and that is where I found my passion,” said Corban.
Corban said that fencing came to him very naturally when he started. “When I first started fencing, my teachers told me that I was the best in the class. That is when I started to pursue fencing as a hobby,” said Corban.
Corban says that you have to get the mental strength before mastering the fundamentals.
“I think that what is most important for me to remember as a fencer is that 80% of fencing requires mental strength while only 20% of it requires physical strength. If you aren’t strong mentally, you won’t be able to compete at high levels,” said Corban.
Corban also added that the mental aspect of fencing could determine how a fencing match plays out against your opponent.
“You definitely have to remain calm in certain situations. If you don’t remain calm, you’re probably going to freak out, mess up, and possibly lose the match,” said Corban.
Corban said that you must master the fundamentals in order to compete at national levels.
“You definitely have to master every technique in order to be successful in fencing matches,” said Corban.
Corban currently trains at the Olympia Fencing Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.