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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Ngo fences his way to victory

Freshman Maximus Ngo continues to improve his fencing through experience and hard work.
Photo courtesy of Max Ngo
Freshman Maximus Ngo fences against his opponent in a competition.

With his calm and composed demeanor, freshman Maximus Ngo dominates the fencing piste (playing area), climbing his way up national ranks with rapid strikes and honed instincts.

Ngo has been fencing for around four years, and he is currently ranked 11th in Canada and 36th in the United States for Youth 14 for Men’s Saber. Fencing comes with challenges, and Ngo has had his fair share of struggles to get to where he is now in fencing. 

“The physical and mental training is very hard. [When] you fence, once they say, ‘Prez? Allez!,’ which means start, you have milliseconds to think what you’re gonna do, if you’re going to attack or go backward. That’s really hard to decide sometimes and I just get stuck in the middle, just frozen,” Ngo said. 

Ngo dedicates three to five days every week to fencing practice. He travels throughout Canada and the U.S. to compete almost every month, and with his demanding schedule, Ngo has learned how to manage his academic classes and fencing practices. 

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“Fencing challenges me. It made my time management better since you have to balance between [at least an hour long] fencing practice and schoolwork,” Ngo said. “I also adapt to things faster since [fencing is] all reactive and muscle memory.” 

Ngo’s inspiration for fencing comes from his older sister, who used to be on the Canadian national team. He wishes to follow in his sister’s footsteps, and Ngo has set his sights on playing for a national team in the future. Ngo utilizes the perseverance and determined mentality he has acquired from his sport and applies it to his everyday life. 

“A lot of times I wanted to give up, but I didn’t, and it paid off. I just talk to myself and [tell myself], ‘Don’t give up,’ in some situations [where] I feel like it’s mentally impossible,” Ngo said. 

Fencing serves as an outlet for Ngo, in which he can channel his energy and passion on the fencing strip. He is motivated by the feeling of pride from triumphing over his opponents.  

“When I start [fencing], I just focus on the belt,” Ngo said. “Fencing just brings me a sense of joy; it feels good to release all your pressure. Once I’m fencing, I forget everything else.” 

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Lydia Chen, Staff writer
Hi, my name is Lydia Chen. I am a freshman staff writer for The Hoofprint. I have been dancing for almost 10 years, and I am currently on the WHS dance team. During my free time, I enjoy watching movies with my family and riding bikes. One fun fact about me is that I am a middle child with one older brother and one younger brother.
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