All athletes, even champions, start at the bottom.

Nobody knows this better than Steven Moore, who is one of the top five fencers in Canada.

But years ago, as a pre-teen, the coach wouldn't even let Steven join the team, let alone hold a sword.

Now Steven is one of the best sabre fencers in the country, a referee in the sport, and a coach, something that makes his father swell with pride.

"I remember when Steven won one of his first championships, I went back to [coach] Jean-Marie and said 'You remember at the beginning, he didn't make the team,' and I said 'Look at him now out there. Thank you for finally letting him make the team," said David Moore.

Steven's interest in fencing began at College Jean Brebeuf, where he wanted to join a team -- any team.

"I wanted to try a sport, it was this or volley ball. I was like, okay, so I tried fencing," said Steven.

The coach initially refused, but Steven hung on, watching, wishing and waiting, until Jean-Marie Banos let him join.

That patience and determination has set Steven apart, even though he is shorter than most top fencers.

"With his work ethic on physical training it makes such a big difference. I believe that even if he's smaller I think he can do very well even at a high level," said Banos.

Based on how a sword is used by soldiers on horseback, competitors score by hitting their opponent's upper body with either the tip or the edge of a sword.

However rules about 'right of way' must still be observed -- in many cases it's no good scoring a point if your opponent is able to strike you simultaneously.

Fencing with a sabre is fast and furious work, and Steven relies on being explosive while on the piste.

"I'm very aggressive on the strip and I'm also very passionate. and I think that is what characterizes a sabre fencer," said Steven.