5/19/13: A Schedule for our "Summer of Swords" (été d épées)
"Summertime and the living is easy," or so the old song goes. In anticipation of mine and Leslie's second child, I will be modifying the schedule for summer. Call it my Paternity Leave. This new schedule will go into effect on Friday, June 7, coinciding with the first day of summer vacation for many club members. In the afternoons, we will be dropping the Wednesday and Friday classes, but staying open later on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. My plan is to give everyone a chance to spar after 5:00 pm. This flexible schedule will accommodate picking up children at any time between 5 and 6 pm. On Tuesdays, I will be encouraging people to fence electric. So please be sure to bring all of your competition equipment.
In the evenings, we will be moving all classes to 6:00 pm and encouraging everyone to stay a little later. Even the Wednesday night Drill classes will begin at 6:00 pm. I will most likely be leaving each night around 7 pm, but there will be others present who can lock up. I will discuss private lessons with people on an individual basis. Saturdays will likely remain the same, although there will not always be a structured footwork class. Sometimes, it will just be Sparring.
Please consider attending whatever classes and sparring sessions can fit into your schedule. Even if you think you are too old, too young, or too experienced, I will find a way to make you benefit from being at the club. For example, Youth fencers who have advanced beyond the current lesson will be encouraged to simply spar amongst themselves. Any Seniors who are present will be free to spar with them, too. And if the class is truly inappropriate, then I will let you know.
Finally, I will be pushing epee fencing quite a bit this summer. Say what you will about the epee, but it requires less equipment and is easier to understand. Plus, I think that weapon, with its "anything goes" mentality, will be a perfect match to the summer mindset. Heck! The two words, when said in French, even sound similar to my American ear: "été" and "épée". Yes, I'm going to call this our "été d épées" -- or "Summer of Swords."
I have some epees and body cords wired and ready for anyone to use. All you have to do is ask.... Otherwise, please let me know if you have any questions about the schedule, or about private lessons.
5/19/13: A Schedule for our "Summer of Swords" (été d épées)
"Summertime and the living is easy," or so the old song goes. In anticipation of mine and Leslie's second child, I will be modifying the schedule for Summer. Call it my Paternity Leave. This new schedule will go into effect on Friday, June 7, coinciding with the last day of school. For fencers under 13 years old, we will be dropping the Wednesday and Friday classes, but staying open later on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. My plan is to give everyone a chance to spar after 5:00 pm. The schedule will be flexible enough to accommodate those who need to pick up their children at 5:00 pm or at 6:00 pm. On Tuesdays, I will be encouraging people to fence electric. So please be sure to bring all of your competition equipment.
Monday at 4pm: Youth 12 Drills and Sparring
Tuesday at 4pm: Just Sparring
Thursday at 4pm: Youth 10 Drills and Sparring
Saturday, 10:30am - Close: Drills and Sparring
For those over 13 years old, we will be moving back all classes to 6:00 pm and, most likely, I will be leaving each night around 7 pm. I will discuss private lessons with people on an individual basis. Saturday's will likely remain the same, although there will not always be a structured footwork class. Sometimes, it will just be Sparring.
Monday, 6pm - Close: Intermediate Sparring (electric equipment optional)
Tuesday, 6pm - Close: Advanced Sparring (electric equipment required)
Wednesday, 6pm - Close: Group Drills
Thursday, 6pm - Close: Sparring (electric equipment required)
Friday, 6pm - Close: Tournaments (aka "Friday Night Fights")
Saturday, 10:30am - Close: Drills and Sparring
Please consider attending whatever classes and sparring sessions can fit into your schedule -- even if you think you are too old, too young, or too experienced. I will find a way to make you benefit from being at the club. For example, Youth fencers who have advanced beyond the current lesson will be encouraged to simply spar amongst themselves. Any Seniors who are present will be free to spar with them, too. If the class is truly inappropriate, then I will let you know.
And finally, I will be pushing epee fencing quite a bit this summer. Say what you will about the epee, but I think that weapon, with it's "anything goes" mentality, will be a perfect match to the summer mindset. Heck! The two words, when said in French, even sound similar to my American ear: "été" and "épée". In fact, I'm going to call this our "été d épées" -- or "Summer of Swords."
I have some epees and body cords wired and ready for anyone to use. All you have to do is ask... Otherwise, please let me know if you have any questions about the schedule, or about private lessons.
5/17/13: Youth Circuit Recap
Last Saturday, the final meet of the 2013 Central Coast Youth Cirtuit was held at the San Luis Highlanders Club. The Youth 10 and Youth 12 pools were combined into a single, capstone event with 15 people, and I am pleased to announce that Presidio fencers finished with all three medals. Presidio North's Theo Brown defeated Torrie Ball of Points West, Ventura, for the Bronze. The 3rd place match was certainly a heated fight, as Brown was the underdog based on the season's prior results. On the neighboring strip, the championship bout was equally tense; Theo Funk and Li Meinhold danced back and forth, trading attacks and parries. Funk and Meinhold fence each other so often, that they are wise to each other's tricks. In the end Funk defeated Meinhold by running out the clock. At the end of the meet, all three medalists then congratulated one another for a job well done. They are pictured here (Brown, Funk, and Meinhold, with thanks to Pamela Brown for the photo).
In the Youth 14 event, the two people to beat were Jim Fisher and Shaina Morris, both of San Luis Obispo. They had eight medals between them, having taken first and second at each of the season's previous meets. Presidio's hopefuls were Kenyon Prater and Carter Block. Prater met with success early, and he defeated Morris in the preliminary round. Unfortunately for him, she changed her game in the direct elimination bout and knocked him out. Prater's preliminary round victory, however, meant that Morris was seeded in fourth place and would have to face her teammate in the semi-final round. In other words, it meant that, at best, Fisher and Morris couldn't finish first and second. This paved the way for Presidio's Carter Block, who made his way up the elimination ladder and met Fisher in the finals. Although he put up a good fight, flustering Fisher for a few points, the San Luis fencer won out. Block finished with the silver, and Morris with the bronze.
When the tournament ended, the organizers tallied up the results from the entire season to determine the overall champs. Here they all, acknowledging all medalists:
Youth 10 Foil
1st: Theo Funk, Presidio, Santa Barbara
2nd: Li Meinhold, Presidio, Santa Barbara
3rd: Edie Irving, Highlanders, San Luis Obispo
Youth 12 Foil
1st: Torrie Ball, Points West, Ventura
2nd: Theo Brown, Presidio North, Los Olivos
3rd: Olie Roerich, Points West, Ventura
Youth 14 Foil
1st: Shainna Morris, Highlanders, San Luis Obispo
2nd: Jim Fisher, Highlanders, San Luis Obispo
3rd: Carter Block, Presidio, Santa Barbara
The complete season results can be found at centralcoastfencing.org. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who participated, as well as everyone from the clubs in San Luis, Los Olivos, and Ventura. We had a very successful circuit. We now have the summer to prepare for next season, which kicks off in October. And on that note, be on the lookout for Friday Night Fights to return to our club. We plan on including some youth tournaments to help everyone stay sharp. More information to follow.
4/25/13: Swiss Fencers and May Tournaments
I have received word that a Swiss fencer, aged 16, is looking for a host family for a study abroad program for 2013-2014. If you are interested in participating in a student exchange program, the please shoot me an email. I'll forward your information to someone who can coordinate the effort.
The final Youth tournament for the season will be held in San Luis Obispo on May 11. All events start at 10:00 am. Please let me know if your child is interested in participating. I have fliers at the club with all of the pertinent information. This will be a good opportunity for some of the younger fencers who have been looking for a first tournament.
The SLO Open, scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, will be a great event for the Seniors at the club. If you haven't preregistered on FRED yet, then please be sure to do so soon.
And finally, we will be holding summer camps each week in July. We cap enrollment at 12, so if you are interested in a fencing camp, then please talk to me soon.
4/15/13: Tournament Results
As Rich Kaplan would say, "Wow! What a tournament!"
First, a huge pat on the back to the students at UCSB for managing a 3-weapon tournament in near-record time. The foil registration closed at 10:00 am, we were starting pools by 10:20 am, and the finals were being fenced at 3:00. The final event, saber, finished around 3:40. With a run like that, we certainly hope to be using UCSB for more events in the future.
Second, I want to thank Walter, Jeff, Gage, Parker, Timo, Matt, and Sean for their help refereeing. Certainly, the event couldn't have been run without you.
Now, on to the results: since the tournament was a D-rated event, most Seniors at the club were able to compete. We sure had a good showing. In the foil, Jieh Meinhold won and earned his C-rating. Alex Arbelet finished with the silver. Nick Cleland finished with the bronze. That's three club members finishing with medals. Congratulations!
And Oliver Bublitz won the epee to earn his D rating! He's now a Double-D, with ratings in foil and epee.
You can glean more excitement from the results, which are posted here:
Now, let's get ready for the May tournaments in SLO. There will be a Youth event on May 11, and a Senior event on Memorial Day weekend. The Senior tournament, aka The SLO Open, is already posted on FRED. Sign up now to reserver your tournament t-shirt.
The SLO Open always has the best t-shirts!
4/09/13: Adjusted Schedule for this Saturday, April 13
Fencing this Saturday, April 13, will be pushed back an hour to accommodate an event at the Cross Fit Gym. Basically, parking is going to be really tight until 11:00 am or so. Instead of holding the regular Footwork class, we'll just keep the place open for Sparring.
Think of this as an opportunity to check your equipment for Sunday's meet at UCSB. We will be back to the regular schedule next Saturday, April 20.
Thank you for your understanding. I apologize if this excludes anyone from fencing Saturday
3/30/13: Dates for Summer Camps
We will be holding our Summer Camps on a weekly basis starting July 8 and ending August 2. Space is limited each week to 12 people, so sign up early. Additional camps may be held if these four fill up.
Visit our camps page for more information.
3/24/13: Sean Strong Earns his A'2013 rating in Epee
Following his 3rd-place result in the SoCal Summer National Qualifiers, Sean Strong entered the Orange Coast Open down in Long Beach today. He finished with the gold in the epee event and earned an A rating -- this is the top rating handed down by the US Fencing Association.
Sean is now the FIRST member of Presidio Fencing Club to earn an A rating. Please be sure to congratulate him on this achievement. Or, better yet, pick up an epee and spar a little bit.
3/24/13: Summer Nationals Qualifiers
The SoCal Summer Nationals Qualifiers for Division II, Division III, and the Veterans Division were held in Santa Clarita this weekend. Our club had a pretty good showing.
Pictured here are the medalists in the Division II Mens Foil event. Timothy Stanton won the tournament, defeating Algrid Szumlas of Fortune Fencing Club by seven touches in the finals. Sean Strong and Walter Goodwater tied for the bronze. Parker Muir finished 6th, Jieh Meinhold finished 7th, and Sam Wuebben finished 11th.
In the Division III Mens Foil, Spencer Mullanix finished 5th, missing the qulifying round by a mere three touches.
Oliver Bublitz finished 3rd in the Division II Mens Epee event, also losing by three points.
Harriet Eckstein finished third in the Division III Womens foil,
The Summer National Championships will be held in Columbus, OH at the end of June. The following Presidio club members have qualified:
Div II Mens Foil
Div III Womens Foil
Division II Mens Epee
Veterans Womens Foil
Veterans Mens Foil
Veterans Mens Epee
Youth 10 Mens Foil
The Division 1 qualifiers will be held at the end of April as part of the Stro Memorial Regional Open Circuit. Check askfred.net for information.
3/18/213: Reno North America Cup Results
Rory Pannkuk won the bronze medal at the Reno NAC in the Mens Wheelchair Epee. He fenced all three weapons, but saw his best result in epee. Be sure to congratulate him on Tuesday or Thursday. I highly recommend giving wheelchair fencing a try. And congratulations to Coach Mario, too!
3/16/13: Tournament Results and Updates
Theo Funk and Li Meinhold competed in the Meade Anderson Regional Youth Circuit down in LA, finishing 8th and 9th respectively, out of a field of 31. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, they had to fence against each other in the round of 16.
On Sunday, March 10, we held the 4th Central Coast Youth Circuit tournament. Fencers from Los Olivos, SLO and Ventura were all in attendance. Check the results at www.centralcoastfencing.org, including the point totals for the season. There are certainly some close races. It looks like a number of trophies will be decided at the fifth and final meet, to be held at the San Luis Highlanders in May.
We also hosted an Unrated USFA tournament for Senior fencers. While the gold went to a fencer from LA, we were able to award a bronze medal to local-boy, Spencer Mullanix. I'd like to give special thanks to Nick Cleland, Sean Strong, Jieh Meinhold, Parker Muir, and Timothy Stanton for their invaluable help with refereeing. Also, Sophie Russo deserves considerable applause for her expertise with managing the bout committee. Thank you, everyone!
The Summer National Qualifiers for Division 2 and Division 3 are being held on March 23 and 24 in Santa Clarita. On April 7, there will be an Open at UCLA -- The Okawa Open. And then, on April 14th, we'll hold a D-and-Under at UCSB in Robertson Gym. All of these are USFA events, and competitive membership is required. Please shoot me an email if you have questions about participation. Pre-registration for all events can be found on ASKFRED.net.
There's plenty of fencing in April and May. Get ready!
2/03/13: DPHS Fencers win Gold and Bronze in the SoCal Scholastic League
Parker Muir, Timothy Stanton, and Sean Strong won the gold in the Varsity A division of the Southern California Scholastic Fencing League's annual foil team event. Strong and Muir both attend Dos Pueblos High, while Stanton is home schooled. Since DPHS does not have a school-sponsored fencing program, the three were able to form a composite team to represent Santa Barbara High Schools.
The Gold Medal team defeated Chaminade High School of West Hills, CA, in the gold medal match. Other schools in attendance were Harvard-Westlake, Victor Valley, and composite teams from high schools in Los Angeles and Thousand Oaks.
Two other DP students formed a Varsity B team: Nicholas Cleland and Spencer Mullanix. Since most teams are made up of three fencers, Cleland and Mullanix started each match with a considerable deficit. Still, the two only lost twice -- and both defeats were by a slim margin. They ended up with the bronze medal in their division.
Congratulations DP Fencers!
2/03/13: Goleta Middle School Fencers win Bronze in the SoCal Scholastic League
A composite team of middle school fencers from Goleta finished third in the Southern California Scholastic team event for middle schools. The trio of Carter Block, Liam Strong, and Kenyon Prater started off strong with victories over Gryphon Fencing of Placentia and the B and C teams from Chaminade Middle School. They were defeated by Chaminade A and Harvard-Westlake. Congratulations middle school fencers!
2/02/13: Sam Wuebben takes Silver in SLO Unrated Foil
Sam Wuebben finished with the silver medal in the San Luis Highlanders Unrated Foil event. He lost 12-15 in the final round against a college student from Cal Poly. This is Sam's best finish in a USFA tournament. Congratulations, Sam!
1/9/13: Congratulations to our New Medalists in the New Year
Sean Strong won the first Southern California Open of 2013 to earn his C-rating in foil. The tournament was held in Santa Clarita last weekend.
Also held last weekend was the third Central Coast Youth Tournament of the season. Theo Funk and Li Meinhold took first and third respectively in the Youth 12 event. Halia Sparkman brought home the bronze for Youth 10. In the Youth 14 age category, Carter Block won the bronze medal after narrowly losing to Jim Fisher of San Luis Obispo. Fisher defeated Shaina Morris, also of San Luis Obispo, in the final match.
The next Central Coast Youth Tournament will be held at Presidio in March; the fifth meet is scheduled for May at the San Luis Highlanders club. The goal of our youth classes between now and May will be to get everyone ready for participation in at least one of these events. Please visit centralcoastfencing.org for information on youth tournaments. Athletes can also check their current standings in the Central Coast League. Remember that points are cumulative throughout the season. They are taking the top three results to determine the overall champions.
12/17/12: Junior Olympic Qualifiers
The dust has settled from the Junior Olympic Qualifiers last weekend. Our fencers enjoyed some amazing successes and some suprising heartbreaks. A special congratulations to Parker Muir, who finished with the Gold in the U17 Mens Foil. Here is the list of qualifiers from the club:
Jieh Meinhold - U17 Mens Foil
Parker Muir - U17 Mens Foil
Sophie Russo - U20 and U17 Womens Foil
Timothy Stanton - U17 Mens Foil
Sean Strong - U17 Mens Foil, U20 and U17 Mens Epee
Junior Olympics will be held in Baltimore on President's Day Weekend. Good luck, fencers!