Donald E. Hull, 60, says fencing keeps him young.
Watching him fence with his students and advanced fencers, you might think he was a teenager the way he moves about with grace and agility along the 2-meter-wide 14-meter-long fencing strip.Hull is a fencing master who teaches swordplay including the foil, the epee and the saber Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. in an adult education class at East High School.
A man of many talents, Hull is also an artist and art teacher, a photographer, a ham radio operator, a sailor (he built his own 16-foot sailboat) and a professional hypnotist working not on the stage, but with doctors and psychologists to teach people how to rest and relax. He was an optometrist for more than 20 years until retiring 14 years ago to devote his full time to teaching fencing and art.
Hull became interested in fencing when watching Hollywood movie swordplay as a boy and bought his first fencing equipment when he was in the U.S. Navy stationed in Naples, Italy, just after World War II. He studied fencing while a student at the University of Utah in the late 1940s, won several Utah state fencing trophies and has been teaching fencing ever since.
"For a brief, splendid period I was part owner of a fencing school, the European Fencing and Sports Academy, in Salt Lake. But a member of the firm ran away with the money and someone who ordered a great deal of fencing equipment didn't pay his bill, so we had to close our doors."