As we continue coverage of our month long Fit Kids Initiative, we visit New York Fencing Academy where NY1's Erin Clarke tells us kids are building their physical—and mental muscles.
Just about every kid loves a good sword fight—whether pretend or for sport.
It turns out, the activity builds strong muscles too.
Take it from these kids at the New York Fencing Academy in Brooklyn.
"When you hold the blade, your arm gets stronger and like when you extend, we do some extending drills, you have to keep your arm extended while you fence and so that like kind of makes your hand stronger so you feel more muscle," says Anna Temiryaev, 9. "When you sit in en garde, low the thighs, you can feel it, your thighs usually get a lot stronger."
"I've seen myself with a bit more stamina. I could do a lot more. I could push more in myself," says Alan Temiryaev, 14.
That's not the reason they started with the sport, but it's even more of a reason to continue.
The siblings and most students here work with NYFA's owner and head coach, Misha Mokretsov—who says parents send kids as young as four to his Coney Island club to reap the benefits of this sport.
"Fencing is a higly demanding coordination sport and especially for little children, it's very important to do sports that will be developing their agility, as well as, coordination. So fencing we have a lot of moves that are small or are changing direction, so it develops a lot of coordination," Mokretsov says.
In addition to making kids faster, stronger, more flexible and coordinated, coaches also say fencing works the thinking muscles.
"It's also very a mental sport, so you're getting developed in terms of critical thinking, strategy," says instructor Slava Zingerman.
That's something that helps fencers when they're off the matts and in the classroom.
"It can help you out with patience. You have to wait and see opportunities. You have to think a lot more."
Building technicall skills and physical fitness is something that will benefit these kids for years to come.
For more information about the New York Fencing Academy visit fenceNYFA.com or give them a call at 718-996-0426.