11/27/13: Happy Thanksgiving
Remember that the club will be closed today through Friday. If you need to work off that extra helping of mashed potatoes, then please come and spar on Saturday morning. Even the youth fencers are welcome, and I'll have the electric gear available for those who do not have their own. We will open at 10:30 am.
Also, to the Junior and Cadet Foil fencers: the Junior Olympic foil qualifiers are still on December 8, but they have been moved to the Cal Tech Campus in Pasadena. For those of you who are Seniors in High School and who are interested in going to Caltech, this is a good opportunity for me to introduce you to their Varsity fencing coach.
The JO Quals are listed on askfred.net, so please pre-register. In fact, even if you think you have pre-registered, please check again. If you are turning 17 before February, then you must fence in the Junior tournament. If you are 16 or younger, then you can fence in either the Junior or the Cadet, or you can do both. The Junior tends to be a tougher tournament; those Cadets to qualify in the Junior tournament also are qualified for Cadet.
Junior Olympics will be held over the holiday weekend in February in Portland, OR. So far, Sean Strong has qualified in the Junior and Cadet Mens Epee. Who else wants to make a trip to the Great Northwest?
10/28/13: Monday Announcements
The club will be closed on Halloween. There will be no classes or sparring.
The next Youth Circuit is scheduled for November 10 at the club. Youth 14 registration closes at 9:30 am. Youth 10 and Youth 12 registration closes at Noon. Then, there will be a senior unrated tournament at 2:00 pm. Pre-register for the Unrated foil on askfred.net.
We will also be hosting a swap meet for used gear. Bring anything you or your little fencer might have outgrown. s
10/13/13: Monday Announcements
Last weekend's tournament saw some mighty fine fencing. In all, competitors came from eight clubs, including two from Orange County. Here are the finalists:
Gold: Kincade Avery, Presidio
Silver: Jonah Marmorstein, Presidio North
Gold: Li Meinhold, Presidio
Silver: Theo Funk, Presidio
Bronze: Kiran Heidler, San Luis Highlanders
Gold: Shaina Morris, San Luis Highlanders
Silver: Liam Strong, Presidio
Bronze: Theo Brown, Presidio North
Gold: Kevin Sparkman, Presidio North
Silver: Sam Wuebben, Presidio
Bronze (T): Lucas Nichols, UCSB
Bronze (T): Justin Shelton, UCSB
Congratulations to all of the medalists, and thank you to everyone who participated in the tournament. Thank you also to Walter and Kim for running the bout committee, and to Anna Koprack, Jeff VanHousen and Parker Muir for refereeing.
The next tournament in the circuit will be at Presidio Fencing Club on Sunday, November 10. As was done last year, I plan on holding a swap meet for people who want to buy and/or sell old gear. I will have gently worn jackets and knickers, as well as new foils and lames for sale. Everyone is welcome to bring their gear to sell at the swap meet, too. Let's try and get everyone outfitted.
Tentatively, I will start the Youth 14 event at 9:30 am, the Youth 10 and Youth 12 event at noon, and the Senior at 2 pm. This schedule will give the Youth 14 fencers who might also want to participate in the Senior event some time to rest in between competitions.
10/7/13: Monday Announcements
First, thank you to the teams who came together for yesterday's fundraiser. The turnout was enormous. The foil event alone had 10 teams, all fighting for the title of "Most Awesome." True, it was a long day. But it sure was a lot of fencing. Proceeds went to the Central Coast Fencing Foundation, the non-profit that helps promote our sport. In the past, the CCFF has provided scholarships for training, and grants for traveling to national meets. They also organize the area's Youth circuit and other tournaments.
And in case you are wondering, UCSB proved to be the "Most Awesome" team on the Central Coast, winning both the foil and epee events. The saber was won by a team from Cardinal Fencing (i.e. Stanford) in Palo Alto. But that's OK. We'll get 'em next year.
There is another tournament this weekend. It's the first Youth Circuit event of the season. It will be held at the Los Olivos Elementary school on Alamo Pintado on Saturday, October 12. Registration for the Youth events (ages 8-14) is $15 and it closes at 9:30 am; everyone should try to be there by 9:15 at the latest. All participants must have working competition equipment, including an electrical foil jacket and a mask with a conductive bib. I have some gear at the club available for loan. Email me if you are interested in attending. We will be talking about the tournament in all of this week's classes.
The Youth tournament will be followed by a Senior tournament for persons born in 2000 or earlier. The Senior tournament is an "Unrated Foil," and it is sanctioned by the US Fencing Association. This means participants must have the competitive USFA membership (which can be purchased online, or at the tournament), and they must have all of their own competition equipment. The winner of the Senior Foil will earn an "E" Rating.
More information about the Senior tournament can be found on AskFred.net. Those interested in attending should register here: http://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=23220. Note that Youth 14 fencers can do both events if they so choose.
So, who is going to be the club's first newly rated fencer of the season?
P.S. The next Youth Circuit tournament will be held at Presidio on Sunday, November 10th. I will have information on the format next Monday.
9/23/13: Monday Announcements
Congratulations to Isabella Franco, who finished with the silver medal in the Scholastic Foil Tournament yesterday. She competed against a field of 23 high school women, and went undefeated until the championship match. This is Isabella's best finish to date. Congratulations are also due to Carter Block, who finished 8th of 22 in a middle school foil tournament. The complete results from the Scholastic tournament can be found here: http://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=23225
Five of our high school men traveled to Long Beach to participate in the Orange Coast Open. The competition was stiff. Our results highlight: Timothy Stanton scraped his way to the quarter finals and finished 8th in a field of 39. Orange Coast results are here: http://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=23061
We'll have a debriefing of the competitions during practice this week.
And remember: this Friday night we'll hold a Fight. Doors will open at 5:30 pm, and the competition should start at 6:00 pm. The format will be a doubles team foil, with one prize going to the winning team, and another going to a raffle winner. All registrants will be entered into the raffle. Registration is $10/person. No need to form a team before coming. Just show up and we'll assemble teams before starting.
9/15/13: Some Quick Announcements
USFA Membership is Required to Fence
It was brought to my attention that our Club only has twenty members registered with the United States Fencing Association. Please remember that USFA membership is an absolute requirement to participate. You can purchase membership via paper form (available at the club) or online at http://usfencing.org. Find the BECOME A MEMBER link in the top left-hand corner.
Our Division is Southern California. Our club is Presidio Fencing Club. If you have already registered for USFA but have not acknowledged your Division and Club, then please do so.
The "non-competitive" membership is sufficient for club practices, Friday Fights, and Central Coast Youth Tournaments. It costs $5. The competitive membership is $60 and is required for all USFA and Scholastic tournaments. You can always upgrade at a later date.
Friday Fight on 9/27
I am hoping to hold a doubles tournament on the 27th. It was good fun when we did this a couple of weeks ago. Mark your calendars for a fun night of fencing.
Events impacting parking on 9/28
Then, on Saturday 9/28, everyone needs to be aware of two major events that could impact activity at our Saturday practice. The first of these is the annual Sol Food Festival. Cota Street will be blocked off at Santa Barbara Street in order for the vendors to set up their wares.
As if this wasn't enough, the Cross Fit gym next door just announced they will be holding a major fundraiser that day. They've said that the parking lot will be jammed up all day long. They have agreed to mark out six parking spaces for me, but there are usually more than six people in attendance on Saturday mornings. I encourage people to carpool to the club that day.
Team Tournament on Sunday, 10/6
And finally, we are still planning on a 3-person team tournament on Sunday, October 6th. Anyone can make a team, and there will be handicaps assigned to even the fields a little. Currently, there are only two teams registered for the event: one from Presidio and one from the Bay Area. I suspect UCSB and Cal Poly will be fielding a number of teams. Who else from Presidio is interested in participating?
9/2/13: LAIFC Invitational Results
The LAIFC Invitational is one of the best tournaments of the year in Southern California. The competition was stiff. In fact, each of our fencers was knocked out by an opponent who has at least one national title to his name. What a way to open the season! Here are our results:
Keric Moore: 3rd of 35 in Mens Foil
Timothy Stanton: 14th of 35 in Mens Foil
Sean Strong: 10th of 35 in Mens Epee
Congratulations to our contenders!
9/1/13: Salle is Closed Monday for Labor Day
Remember, the club will be closed on Labor Day. We'll see everyone on Tuesday.
And in case you missed it, last Friday's Fight took a double's format. That is, we made teams of two -- one A fencer, and one B fencer. In each team, the A's and the B's had to work together to defeat the A's and B's in the other teams. A's only fenced A's and B's only fenced B's. When two teams met, the B's fenced each other until one team reached three points. Then, the A's took over the score, with the first team to reach 5 points being declared the winner.
There were 6 teams, and so we fenced a round robin, and then an elimination round. The team of Mario Rodriguez and Li Meinhold took the gold!
This was a very fun format, and one which I believe helps bridge the disparity among the many different ages and ability levels of the fencers at the club. I hope to be able to use it again in future Friday Night Fights. Actually, I am looking at the Calendar right now, hoping to nail down a few more dates before the end of the year.
And if you liked the team format, then I encourage you to form a team of your own and sign up for the Central Coast Team tournament, happening at the club on October 6. This tournament will be a fundraiser for the Central Coast Fencing Foundation. Everyone is welcome, despite age or ability. The tournament organizers are pretty good about coming up with ways to make the event more challenging for the more-experienced fencers out there.
The first High School/Middle School Foil tournament (i.e. Scholastic Foil) will be held on September 22 in Los Angeles. You can find both that and the Central Coast Team Tournament on ASKFRED.net.
8/26/13: News and Announcements
Happy First Day of School, Everybody. I have three quick announcements below.
Announcement 1: Schedule Changes
The club will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day.
Then, on Tuesday, September 2, our new schedule begins. Remember: Youth practices will be Tuesday through Thursday at 4:00 pm. Senior practices start at 6:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday, with an optional conditioning lesson preceding class at 5:30 pm. Mondays and Saturdays will be for sparring.
There will be no Youth practice this Wednesday, August 28. The Fall schedule starts next week.
Announcement 2: Congratulations to Coach Gage
A big congratulations to Gage for earning his Moniteur Certification in Foil. This is the first professional certification for fencing coaches (he was formerly an Assistant Moniteur). At an annual coaching clinic last weekend, Gage passed the practical exam with a near-perfect score.
Gage will be leading Sparring classes this Fall, and assisting in more of the group classes.
Announcement 3: Tournaments
We'll have a foil fight this Friday at 6:00 pm. It is the first Friday Fight of the new season. There aren't many pre-registered, but I am really hoping for a good turnout. All foil fencers are invited, regardless of age or ability.
The LAIFC invitational is happening this weekend. Tonight, August 26, is the last opportunity to preregister. This will be a very high level tournament. Here are some of the guest players:
Épée - Yana Zvereva, ranked 8th in the World in Sr WE
Foil- World Champion Yulia Julia Khakimova,
Foil - Grand Prix finalist Igor Zapozdaev,
Foil - European bronze medalist Vadim Ayupov
Pre-register here: http://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=23016
The first Scholastic League Foil tournament will be held on September 22 in West Hills. Anyone who is interested in fencing on a team for their high school or middle school should consider attending. Pre-register here:
Expect more tournament information via the age-specific email lists I mentioned in a previous message.