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I Got My Ass Handed To Me By An Olympic Fencer And Actually Enjoyed It

I probably shouldn't've tried fencing for the first time against a Rio-bound Olympian, but whatever.

Hi, my name is Shannon, and I was recently "lucky" enough to sabre fence Rio-bound Olympian Dagmara Wozniak. Did I mention I have ZERO fencing experience? Yeah.

This is Dagmara. And as you can see, she's fierce AF.

I went down to the Manhattan Fencing Center, where Dagmara does all of her training, to see what the sport is all about (and also to meet my fate).

The Manhattan Fencing Center, located in Midtown, was opened in 2007 by U.S. Fencing Hall of Famer Yury Gelman. The center trains anyone 4 years old and up in all three types of fencing: sabre, foil, and epee (learn more about each fencing weapon here) — and is home to many world, national, and NCAA Champions, including recent Rio silver-medalist Daryl Homer.

I fangirled a little when I met Dagmara. I mean, she was literally leaving for Rio that Sunday.

First, I had to get my gear on... and there's A LOT of it.

My favorite part of the uniform was definitely the breast plate, which goes on under the jacket.

Next, Dagmara was nice enough to give me a few pointers, which was great because I had no clue what I was doing.

The first thing I learned was how to move my feet, which felt very similar to how my siblings and I used to pretend fight while watching Peter Pan.

Then she taught me how to hold my sabre and "parry" my opponent's attacks. The best incentive to remember what she was teaching me was that if I didn't do the right block in time, I'd get whacked with the sabre.

She also taught me how the scoring system works and where your sabre has to hit someone in order to get a point.

Everyone obviously had A LOT of faith in me.

Finally, it was time to put on our masks, hook up to the scoring box, and fight. I was totally pumped and not scared whatsoever.

According to Dagmara, you always salute before starting a match. But once that's done it's totally cool to start trash talking.

We played two matches, where the first person to five touches won.

The hardest part was trying to see the ridiculously thin sabre through my mask.

Since it was impossible to land a touch on her, I decided to switch it up with some fancy feet to try and catch her off guard.

Most of the time, I just stuck out my sabre and hoped for the best.

At the end of every match, you're supposed to take off your helmet and shake hands, which I did with sportsmanship — even though I had just lost all my dignity.

So here's what I learned: Fencing is quick and graceful, and it's a game of finesse.

It was also a legit workout and so much fun.

At the end of the day my coworkers had a little reminder for me.

You can watch my embarrassing journey in full here and look out for Dagmara and Team USA on your local NBC broadcast.

View this video on YouTube

BuzzFeedBlue / Via youtube.com

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