Fencer from Seisen competes overseas

Fencer from Seisen competes overseas
  • Middle School
Rachel Grantham

Our Seisen Phoenix Athletics Newsletter will be featuring our Phoenix athletes who embrace the Phoenix spirit, demonstrating the same mental toughness, grit and commitment to their chosen sport beyond those engagements we offer in school. 

Haru Studebakerfencing

Grade 7




"Sometimes I get good results, but on other days, I find it hard to get those same results. I have many good but bad days too. The good days are starting to outnumber the bad though."


Ms. Grantham: What is full name and grade

Haru: My name is Haru Studebaker, and I am in 7th grade.

Ms. Grantham: How old were you when you started your chosen sport?

Haru: I started fencing when I was 10, around the end of 5th grade.

Ms. Grantham: How did you start and become interested in your sport? (Parents' signed you up? You saw someone competing and decided to attempt it)

Haru: I became interested in fencing when I saw that my old school had a fencing after-school program. Unfortunately, I could not  sign up for it then. So, when I came to Japan, I really started to get interested in fencing, and I signed up at a local fencing club.

Ms. Grantham: How long have you been engaging in your sport?

Haru: I have been fencing for about a year and a half.

Ms. Grantham: How often do you train, and where do you train?

Haru: I train about 4-5 times a week at many fencing clubs but mainly NEXUS and Minato Fencing Club. Sometimes, I also go to Setagaya Fencing Club and Meguro Fencing Club.  I also have a coach at NEXUS with whom I do private lessons twice a week.

Ms. Grantham: What level of competition do you engage in?

Haru: I have competed at local, regional, national, and overseas level tournaments.

Ms. Grantham: How successful have you been? Did you win or do extremely well in certain competitions, and please describe what competitions they are.

Haru: So far, my best result has been fifth place. In local competitions, I do pretty well, but in regional and national tournaments, since there are people from all over Japan competing, I usually finish in the top third to half. In competitions, there are different categories, such as middle school boys and middle school girls. Usually, the fencers are split into groups of 4-6 people per group, which are called pools.  Fencers fight against every group member in their pool. The first one to get  5 points in a match wins. Once all of the pools are finished, the fencers are ranked by who has the most points. This is called the seeding. From here, the fencers go into the direct elimination round. The person who is seeded the highest goes against the person who is seeded the lowest. Matches are usually 10 points. If you win, you advance to the next round. The direct elimination rounds are tough because the opponents get stronger as you advance to the next round. 

Ms. Grantham: Have you faced any challenges in Fencing?

Haru: I think one of my biggest challenges is to get consistent results. Sometimes I get good results, but on other days, I find it hard to get those same results. I have many good but bad days too. The good days are starting to outnumber the bad though. 
My other biggest challenge is incorporating the fencing moves that I learned in the private lesson into actual bouting/fighting. I find it difficult to use those techniques at the right time during a match, so sometimes I can’t use them. 

Ms. Grantham: Any final words of advice for budding athletes?

Haru: Keep practicing because if you don’t practice you won’t get any better. Also, rewatch videos of yourself so that you can see what you’re doing wrong. That way you can fix your mistakes and improve.  

Ms. Grantham: Can you give me a final sports quote, please?

Haru:“You can’t win unless you try”




  • Phoenix Soars

More Seisen News