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Huntsville Fencing Club Newsletter

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting Saturday September 30, 2017 Noon to 2 PM

 

When and Where

Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, September 30, 2017, and will run for 8 Saturday sessions from 12 PM until 2 PM at our facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville. We apologize for the relatively short notice, but juggling the instructor’s schedule is always difficult.


If You're Interested...

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email us ASAP.
This will not commit you to anything, it just gives us a rough idea of class size in advance. We like to have at least six students. Average class size is 12, and some classes are much larger. If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email us and I'll let you know if we can work around them.

If you were unable to complete a previous class, or if you completed one of our previous classes and you want to get back into fencing but it’s been a while, you may pick this class up provided there is room (there almost certainly will be), at no additional charge.


Beginning Fencing Class Purpose and Goal

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the beginning fencing course is over, we will conduct a clinic, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.


Equipment and Clothing for Fencing

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the 8-week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic--pants, T-shirt, and socks--and athletic shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar long pants must cover the legs. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Shorts should not be worn for fencing for your own protection when getting hit by a blade. Court shoes or cross training shoes are preferred over running shoes because of better joint protection, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector "cup" for the course.


Age Requirement and Special Requests

In general, we prefer students to be at least 12 years old, although we can make exceptions for students as young as ten. If you have a child under twelve who wants to take the class, please contact the instructor at: huntsvillefencing@gmail.com
. Please note that we integrate youth with adults in our beginning classes.


Course Fee

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the end of the second Saturday’s class session. If paying by check, please make payable to “Huntsville Fencing Club.”


Required (Non-Competitive) Membership with our National Association, the USFA

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Further, students or their parents must register and make payment online. (Registration may also be made through the regular mail, but the USFA charges an additional $10 for this option.) We'll provide instructions on how to join the USFA during the first class, but in any case, it's fairly straightforward, just like signing-up and making a membership payment for any club or organization online. We do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like, you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise our beginner students to join at any other level.



Paperwork

Two forms will be sent separately to avoid the possibility of this primary email being incorrectly screened as SPAM. If you don't receive the forms, please let us know. One form is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is the trial membership application required by the USFA to satisfy its insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under 19 require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We'll mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler.

 

 

Affiliation

 

The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club in good standing. The HFC, its officers, and its instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers are background screened in accordance with USFA Safe Sport requirements.


Directions to Our Facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue

Heading west on Bob Wallace from the Parkway, turn left at the Tower Loan sign into the east (left) parking area. Our facility is at the end of the building at the back of the parking lot on the left. An HFC sign is on the door. Tower Loan is roughly three tenths of a mile from the Parkway.


Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting Saturday June 17, 2017 Noon to 2 PM

 

When and Where

Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, June 17, 2017, and will run for 8 Saturday sessions from 12 PM until 2 PM at our facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville. We apologize for the relatively short notice, but juggling the instructor’s schedule is always difficult.


If You're Interested...

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email us ASAP.
This will not commit you to anything, it just gives us a rough idea of class size in advance. We like to have at least six students (average class size is 12, and some classes are much larger). If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email us and I'll let you know if we can work around them.

If you were unable to complete a previous class, or if you completed one of our previous classes and you want to get back into fencing but it’s been a while, you may pick this class up provided there is room (there almost certainly will be), at no additional charge.


Beginning Fencing Class Purpose and Goal

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the beginning fencing course is over, we will conduct a clinic, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.


Equipment and Clothing for Fencing

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the 8-week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic--pants, T-shirt, and socks--and athletic shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar long pants must cover the legs. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Shorts should not be worn for fencing for your own protection when getting hit by a blade. Court shoes or cross training shoes are preferred over running shoes because of better joint protection, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector "cup" for the course.


Age Requirement and Special Requests

In general, we prefer students to be at least 12 years old, although we can make exceptions for students as young as ten. If you have a child under twelve who wants to take the class, please contact the instructor at: huntsvillefencing@gmail.com
. Please note that we integrate youth with adults in our beginning classes.


Course Fee

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the end of the second Saturday’s class session. If paying by check, please make payable to “Huntsville Fencing Club.”


Required (Non-Competitive) Membership with our National Association, the USFA

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online. (Registration may also be made through the regular mail, but the USFA charges an additional $10 for this option.) We'll provide instructions on how to join the USFA during the first class, but in any case, it's fairly straightforward, just like signing-up and making a membership payment for any club or organization online. We do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like, you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise our beginner students to join at any other level.



Paperwork

Two forms will be sent separately to avoid the possibility of this primary email being incorrectly screened as SPAM. If you don't receive the forms, please let us know. One form is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is the trial membership application required by the USFA to satisfy its insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under 19 require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We'll mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler.

 

 

Affiliation

 

The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club in good standing. The HFC, its officers, and its instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers are background screened in accordance with USFA Safe Sport requirements.


Directions to Our Facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue

Heading west on Bob Wallace from the Parkway, turn left at the Tower Loan sign into the east (left) parking area. Our facility is at the end of the building at the back of the parking lot on the left. An HFC sign is on the door. Tower Loan is roughly three tenths of a mile from the Parkway.


Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting February 18, 2017 Noon to 2 PM

 

When and Where

Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, February 18, 2017, and will run for 8 Saturday sessions from 12 PM until 2 PM at our facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville. We apologize for the relatively short notice, but juggling the instructor’s schedule is always difficult.


If You're Interested...

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email me ASAP.
This will not commit you to anything, it just gives us a rough idea of class size in advance. We like to have at least six students (average class size is 12, and some classes are much larger). If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email us and I'll let you know if we can work around them.

If you were unable to complete a previous class, you may pick this class up provided there is room (there almost certainly will be), no additional charge.


Beginning Fencing Class Purpose and Goal

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the beginning fencing course is over, we will conduct a clinic, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.


Equipment and Clothing for Fencing

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the 8-week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic--pants, T-shirt, and socks--and athletic shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar long pants must cover the legs. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Shorts should not be worn for fencing for your own protection when getting hit by a blade. Court shoes or cross training shoes are preferred over running shoes because of better joint protection, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector "cup" for the course.


Age Requirement and Special Requests

In general, we prefer students to be at least 12 years old, although we can make exceptions for students as young as ten. If you have a child under twelve who wants to take the class, please contact the instructor at: huntsvillefencing@gmail.com. Please note that we integrate youth with adults in our beginning classes.


Course Fee

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the end of the second Saturday’s class session. If paying by check, please make payable to “Huntsville Fencing Club.”


Required (Non-Competitive) Membership with our National Association, the USFA

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online. (Registration may also be made through the regular mail, but the USFA charges an additional $10 for this option.) We'll provide instructions on how to join the USFA during the first class, but in any case, it's fairly straightforward, just like signing-up and making a membership payment for any club or organization online. We do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like, you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals
. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise our beginner students to join at any other level.


Paperwork

Two forms have been sent separately to avoid the possibility of this primary email being incorrectly screened as SPAM. If you don't receive the forms, please let us know. One form is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is the trial membership application required by the USFA to satisfy its insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under 19 require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We'll mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler.  

2017-17 Trial Membership Form.pdf       Huntsville Fencing Club Waiver and Registration Rev 6 15.pdf

Affiliation

The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club in good standing. The HFC, its officers, and its instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers are background screened in accordance with USFA Safe Sport requirements.


Directions to Our Facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue

Heading west on Bob Wallace from the Parkway, turn left at the Tower Loan sign into the east (left) parking area. Our facility is at the end of the building at the back of the parking lot on the left. An HFC sign is on the door. Tower Loan is roughly three tenths of a mile from the Parkway.


Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 

Sept 2nd, 2016

Friday, Fun Fencing Tournament.

A club tournament Tonight - Theme will be announced.

7:00 - till.  Be there!!

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting September 17, 2016 Noon to 2 PM

 

When and Where

Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, September 17, 2016, and will run for 8 Saturday sessions from 12 PM until 2 PM at our facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville.


If You're Interested...

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email me ASAP.
This will not commit you to anything, it just gives us a rough idea of class size in advance. We like to have at least six students (average class size is 12, and some classes are much larger). If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email us and I'll let you know if we can work around them.

If you were unable to complete a previous class, you may pick this class up, no additional charge.


Beginning Fencing Class Purpose and Goal

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the beginning fencing course is over, we will conduct a clinic, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.


Equipment and Clothing for Fencing

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the 8-week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic--pants, T-shirt, and socks--and athletic shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar long pants must cover the legs. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Shorts should not be worn for fencing for your own protection when getting hit by a blade. Court shoes or cross training shoes are preferred over running shoes because of better joint protection, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector "cup" for the course.


Age Requirement and Special Requests

In general, we prefer students to be at least 12 years old, although we can make exceptions for students as young as ten. If you have a child under twelve who wants to take the class, please contact the instructor at: huntsvillefencing@comcast.net
. Please note that we integrate youth with adults in our beginning classes.


Course Fee

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the end of the second Saturday’s class session. If paying by check, please make payable to “Huntsville Fencing Club.”


Required (Non-Competitive) Membership with our National Association, the USFA

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online. (Registration may also be made through the regular mail, but the USFA charges an additional $10 for this option.) We'll provide instructions on how to join the USFA during the first class, but in any case, it's fairly straightforward, just like signing-up and making a membership payment for any club or organization online. We do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like, you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise our beginner students to join at any other level.


Paperwork

Two forms have been sent separately to avoid the possibility of this primary email being incorrectly screened as SPAM. If you don't receive the forms, please let us know. One form is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is the trial membership application required by the USFA to satisfy its insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under 19 require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We'll mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler.

 Huntsville Fencing Club Waiver and Registration Rev 6 15.pdf          2017-17 Trial Membership Form.pdf

 

Affiliation

 

The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club in good standing. The HFC, its officers, and its instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers are background screened in accordance with USFA Safe Sport requirements.


Directions to Our Facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue

Heading west on Bob Wallace from the Parkway, turn left at the Tower Loan sign into the east (left) parking area. Our facility is at the end of the building at the back of the parking lot. An HFC sign is on the door. Tower Loan is roughly three tenths of a mile from the Parkway.


Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 

July 1st, 2016

Fencing, Fun Friday Tournament.

A club tournament Tonight - 7:00 - till.  Be there!!

 

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting March 26, 2016 Noon to 2 PM

 

When and Where

Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, March 26 2016, and will run for 8 Saturday sessions from 12PM until 2 PM at our facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville. We will not hold class on April 23 and May 7 due to prior commitments. The beginning course will finish on May 28, except for a ninth “electrical epee class” to be scheduled afterward for those students who intend on continuing. I apologize for the slightly shorter notice than usual, but I’ve only now been able to work out some scheduling issues.


If You're Interested...


If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email me ASAP so that we have a rough idea of class size in advance.
This helps our armorer ensure that we have uniforms in a sufficient variety of sizes available. We also like to have at least six students (average class size is 12, and some classes are much larger). If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email us and I'll let you know if we can work around them. If you previously had to withdraw from a class, you may join this one, no charge.


Beginning Fencing Class Purpose and Goal

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the beginning fencing course is over, we will conduct a ninth class, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.


Equipment and Clothing for Fencing

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the 8-week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic--pants, T-shirt, and socks--and athletic shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar long pants must cover the legs. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Shorts should not be worn for fencing for your own protection when getting hit by a blade.  Court shoes or cross training shoes are preferred over running shoes because of better joint protection, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector "cup" for the course.


Age Requirement and Special Requests

In general, we prefer students to be at least 12 years old, although we typically make exceptions for students as young as ten. If you have a child under twelve who wants to take the class, please contact the instructor at: huntsvillefencing@comcast.net
.


Course Fee

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the end of second Saturday’s class session. If paying by check, please make payable to “Huntsville Fencing Club.”


Required (Non-Competitive) Membership with our National Association, the USFA

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online or via regular mail. We'll provide instructions on how to do so during the first class, but in any case, it's fairly straightforward, just like signing-up and making a membership payment for any club or organization online or by mail. We do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like, you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise our beginner students to join at any other level.


Paperwork

Two forms have been sent separately to avoid the possibility of this primary email being incorrectly screened as SPAM. If you don't receive the forms, please let us know. One form is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is the trial membership application required by the USFA to satisfy its insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under 19 require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We'll mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler. The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club. The HFC, its officers, and its instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers are background screened in accordance with USFA Safe Sport requirements.


Directions to Our Facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue

Heading west on Bob Wallace from the Parkway, turn left at the Tower Loan sign into the east (left) parking area. Our facility is at the end of the building. An HFC sign is on the door. Tower Loan is roughly three tenths of a mile from the Parkway.


Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to seeing you in slightly less than two weeks,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

Huntsville Fencing Club Waiver and Registration Rev 6 15.pdf          USFA Trial Membership Form.pdf

 

One Touch Epee Multiple Round Robin This Friday, March 4th, 7 to 10!

We'll run the club tournament on multiple strips, and should be able to do at least two or three rounds, giving plenty of opportunity for revenge!

Double touches count as double defeats. J

The tournament is designed to get fencers to focus on a single touch. Too often, we don't focus enough on the touch at hand, unless forced to, figuring we can make it up later.

There are several strong reasons to practice single touches:

As noted already, fighting for a single touch forces you to focus.

In particular, it forces you to focus on the touch at hand. An old fencing aphorism is to focus only on the touch at hand; the score will then take care of itself.

Being able to get single touches is vital when you're behind in a bout.

Getting the first touch in a bout--a single--has psychological advantages for your fencing and often a psychological disadvantage for your opponent's.

There are several other circumstances in which getting a single touch is imperative:

When the score is tied 4-4 or 14-14 and the clock has not yet run out, it's better to get the touch now than risk the disadvantage of a lost coin toss when the clock runs out.

If the bout goes into overtime and you lose the coin toss, a single is imperative.

When the score is 2-3 or 12-13, or 3-4 or 13-14: these are critical junctures. If you're behind, you need a single touch to tie the score up. In the case of the first two scores just above, the loss of the next touch puts your opponent within one touch--even a double--of winning, and puts you now two touches behind. In the case of the second two scores, you lose if you don't get a single touch. If you're ahead in any of the situations just above, a single touch puts you in a strong position or gives you a victory.

All this said, one touch competitions are difficult and often have surprise finishers. Against your peers--fencers of similar ability--if you win more than you lose, you're doing well!

 

HFC TOURNAMENT REMINDER

& BRIEF ANNOUNCEMENTS

December 29, 2015

EQUIPMENT PURCHASE

Dave Young will have a chance to buy equipment from multiple vendors at a national tournament on the weekend of January 9th.  If you want anything, let Dave know by the evening of the 7th at zqmuser@gmail.com.

FREE ARMORY CLINIC

Free armory clinic, 12:00 noon on January 16th at the fencing club.  Dave Young will cover basic equipment repairs that everyone should know how to do.

REMINDER! CLUB 3-TOUCH EPEE TOURNAMENT THIS FRIDAY!

Friday, January 1st, 2016, 7 to 10 PM at our club facility.

The tournament is open to all active HFC members. Visiting fencers may petition to enter, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The tournament is non-sanctioned (in other words, no ratings), but will otherwise follow USFA competition, safety, weapon, and uniform rules and requirements, with exceptions noted below. USFA & HFC membership are required, although the latter will be waived in the case of any visiting fencers approved to compete.

Let us know whether you plan on competing.

Medals for the first three places will be awarded, along with an engraved bottle of whiskey for first place. Obviously, you must be over 21 to receive this prize! Rob Parks can provide details on the prize(d) bottle.

The tournament will be a 3-touch round robin, in honor of epee tournaments of a century ago. The 3-touch format was instituted in order to balance luck with skill, and also to better align epee bouts with the reality of the duel, in which more than a single touch (wound) was given. The round robin format was introduced by epee fencers as the best means of determining the best fencer on any given day. Note carefully the following:

The first touch is worth 2 points! In other words, it is vital to get the first touch. It is extremely difficult to come back and win a three touch epee bout when you're down by 2, especially when...

Double touches are counted!

Importantly, double defeats are also counted!

Time limit will be determined at the time of the tournament, and, depending on the size of the field, may range from no time limit to 5 or 6 minutes.

Details on directing (refereeing, that is) will be provided at the time of the tournament. We've no reason to believe that our fencers will fence anything less than honorably, and can probably direct themselves. Disputed or doubtful touches will be thrown out. Better to lose than to win dishonorably or via a doubtful touch...

Ties for first place will be fenced off. Ties for second and third will be fenced off if the number of fencers tied is small. If there is a large number of fencers tied, we'll go to indicators first, then fence off if indicators are tied.

Strip length will be determined at the time of the tournament, as will any other details not covered here.

Good Luck and Happy New Year!


 

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting October 24, 2015 Noon to 2 PM

 
When and Where

Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, October 24 2015, and will run for 8 Saturday sessions from 12PM until 2 PM at our facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville. We will probably not hold a class on the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday. The beginning course should finish on December 19.


If You're Interested...

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email me ASAP so that we have a rough idea of class size in advance.
We like to have at least six students (average class size is 12, and some classes are much larger). If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email us and I'll let you know if we can work around them.

If you were unable to complete the previous class, you may pick this class up, no additional charge.


Beginning Fencing Class Purpose and Goal

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the beginning fencing course is over, we will conduct a clinic, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.


Equipment and Clothing for Fencing

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the 8-week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic--pants, T-shirt, and socks--and athletic shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar long pants must cover the legs. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Shorts should not be worn for fencing for your own protection when getting hit by a blade.  Court shoes or cross training shoes are preferred over running shoes because of better joint protection, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector "cup" for the course.


Age Requirement and Special Requests

In general, we prefer students to be at least 12 years old, although we can make exceptions for students as young as ten. If you have a child under twelve who wants to take the class, please contact the instructor at: huntsvillefencing@comcast.net.


Course Fee

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the second Saturday's class session. If paying by check, please make payable to Huntsville Fencing Club.



Required (Non-Competitive) Membership with our National Association, the USFA

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online or via regular mail. We'll provide instructions on how to do so during the first class, but in any case, it's fairly straightforward, just like signing-up and making a membership payment for any club or organization online or by mail. We do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like, you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise our beginner students to join at any other level.


Paperwork

Two forms have been sent separately to avoid the possibility of this primary email being incorrectly screened as SPAM. If you don't receive the forms, please let us know. One form is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is the trial membership application required by the USFA to satisfy its insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under 19 require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We'll mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler. The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club. The HFC, its officers, and its instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers are background screened in accordance with USFA Safe Sport requirements.


Directions to Our Facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue

Heading west on Bob Wallace from the Parkway, turn left at the Tower Loan sign into the east (left) parking area. Our facility is at the end of the building. An HFC sign is on the door. Tower Loan is roughly three tenths of a mile from the Parkway.


Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to seeing you in two weeks,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC
 

 

 

 

Huntsville Fencing Club Waiver and Registration Rev 6 15.pdf          USFA Trial Membership Form.pdf

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting July 11, 2015 Noon to 2 PM
 
 

When and Where

Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, July 11, 2015, and will run for 8 consecutive Saturday sessions from 12PM until 2 PM at our facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville.


If You're Interested...

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email me ASAP so that we have a rough idea of class size in advance.
If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email us and I'll let you know if we can work around them.


Our Apologies for the Long Delay

We apologize for the long delay in starting this new class, but the instructor's schedule, the club's relocation to a new facility, and the installation of new flooring have hindered scheduling.


Beginning Fencing Class Purpose and Goal

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the beginning fencing course is over, we will conduct a clinic, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.


Equipment and Clothing for Fencing

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the 8-week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic--pants, T-shirt, and socks--and athletic shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar long pants must cover the legs. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Shorts should not be worn for fencing for your own protection when getting hit by a blade.  Court shoes or cross training shoes are preferred over running shoes because of better joint protection, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector "cup" for the course.


Age Requirement and Special Requests

In general, we prefer students to be at least 12 years old, although we can make exceptions for students as young as ten. If you have a child under twelve who wants to take the class, please contact the instructor at: huntsvillefencing@comcast.net.


Course Fee

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the second Saturday's class session. If paying by check, please make payable to Huntsville Fencing Club.


Required (Non-Competitive) Membership with our National Association, the USFA

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online or via regular mail. We'll provide instructions on how to do so during the first class, but in any case, it's fairly straightforward, just like signing-up and making a membership payment for any club or organization online or by mail. We do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like, you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise our beginner students to join at any other level.


Paperwork

Two forms are attached. One is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is the trial membership application required by the USFA to satisfy its insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under 19 require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We'll mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler. The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club.  The HFC, its officers, and its instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers are background screened in accordance with USFA Safe Sport requirements.


Directions to Our Facility at 2319 Bob Wallace Avenue

Heading west on Bob Wallace from the Parkway, turn left at the Tower Loan sign into the east (left) parking area. Our facility is at the end of the building. An HFC sign is on the door. Tower Loan is roughly three tenths of a mile from the Parkway.


Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to seeing you in (slightly less than) two weeks,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 

We've Moved!  

The Club is now fencing at 2319 Bob Wallace Ave.

Details on the Information page.

 

A new Calendar has been added for upcoming events:

 

The Link will remain on the Information Page.

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting September 27, 2014, Noon to 2 PM

 
Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, September 27, 2014, and will run for eight Saturday sessions from noon until 2 PM in the aerobics room of the Athletic Club Alabama (ACA). The course should end prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. We had hoped to start this class two to four weeks ago, but were delayed pending the resolution of some issues in the instructor's schedule, and also to verify that our USFA membership and insurance are current for the new 2014-2015 year. We apologize for the delay and for the relatively short notice: we typically try to give at least two weeks advance warning. There is a small chance that the start of the class might be delayed until the first Saturday in October, in which case we will email advance notice of the change.

Our beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and basic rules of fencing followed worldwide. If, due to class size, the class progresses slower than the instructor would like, we may add an additional session. For students who wish to continue fencing after the class is over, we conduct a clinic, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the eight week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic, and athletic shoes or similar shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar clothing must cover the legs: shorts do not adequately protect the legs from inadvertent thrusts or hits. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Court shoes or cross trainers are preferred over running shoes, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are strongly advised to wear an athletic protector ("cup") after the first class.

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the second Saturday. Students are welcome to attend the first two classes without paying in advance in order to see if they're interested in continuing.

An additional fee of $10 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required by the USFA. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online or via regular mail. We will provide instructions on how to do so during the first class. In general, we do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $10 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise beginning students to join at any other level.

Two forms are attached. One is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is a relatively recent form required by the USFA to satisfy their insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under nineteen will require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed at or by the beginning of the first day of class. Do not mail the attached USFA form to the USFA: bring it to the first class instead. We will mail the insurance forms to the USFA. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler. The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club; the club, officers, and instructors are insured through the USFA, and instructors and officers have been background screened in accordance with recent USFA requirements.

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email us so that we have a rough idea of class size in advance. If you have any conflicts that might prevent your taking the class, please email me and I'll let you know if we can work around them.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me.

Looking forward to seeing you in (slightly less than) two weeks,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 

Annual Membership Reminder
August 4, 2014

 
USFA Membership

The new fencing year has just begun (August 1). As such, USFA membership is due immediately and is required in order for us to maintain insurance. This applies to all HFC fencers. Membership at the $10 "non competitive" level is sufficient unless you intend to compete. USFA membership needs to be paid prior to your next fencing session. Active members should have received an email notice from the USFA. Please note that the USFA has increased non-competitive membership from $5 to $10. We disagree with the increase (until recently there was no fee for non-competitive fencers), but we have no choice but to require it as a minimum of all members in order to maintain our insurance. Competitive membership is $70. In spite of USFA fees, fencing remains a comparatively inexpensive sport. As always, the HFC focuses on keeping the costs associated with fencing low.

Link: https://www.railstation.org/usfencing/MembershipRegistration.aspx.


HFC Membership
 

After January 1st, 2015 - see Geoffrey for update on membership fees.
Our annual club membership fee--$30--is also due. Active fencers, please pay to treasurer Geoffrey Babb or any of the club officers by the end of the month. Note: Please make checks out to "Geoffrey Babb" until further notice, given that we are in the process of changing financial institutions.


Membership Details

With the exceptions of fencers whose primary membership is a collegiate program or HFC-associated club, we discourage dual membership in the HFC and any other local area club. Any such dual membership must be approved annually in advance by the directors. Dual membership is permitted for fencers visiting long distance.


Annual Safety Reminders

Fencing is a very safe sport, and our club has an excellent safety record. In keeping with this, here are a few annual safety reminders.

Underarm protectors are mandatory. Although they are only required by the USFA for competition, we require them of all fencers, given the stiffer, heavier blade of the epee. We strongly urge all fencers to wear fencing breeches or pants, but we stop short of requiring them, although nearly all members do wear them. Fencing breeches or pants are required by the USFA for competition. Women are required to wear breast protectors (also required by the USFA for competition), and we strongly recommend that men wear a protective cup. Men who fail to wear one do so at their own risk. We're almost entirely an epee club, remember.

Anytime you are demonstrating a technique with a partner, even in "slow motion," you must each wear your masks in order to prevent possible injury, particularly to the eyes.

All fencers are responsible for safety in the club. If you should happen to see a violation, speak up--shout "Halt!" if necessary--and bring it to the attention of the offending fencer or fencers, and to one of the officers as well.

Weapon points remain pointed down unless you are engaged in fencing or fencing exercises with appropriate safety considerations in place.

All fencers must abide by USFA rules and regulations appropriate to fencing practice. This includes no "horseplay" or roughhousing or other potentially dangerous practices on or off the strip.

Ensure that your uniform and weapons are in good repair and safe to fence with.

Please pay extra attention both to the fencers on adjacent strips, as well as to fencers, visitors, and athletic equipment on the sidelines. Fencers and visitors who are not fencing should move carefully throughout the room, paying particular attention to the movement of fencers on strip.

As always, the head instructor has the final word on safety.




 

 

July 14, 2014
To all of you who completed the last beginning class and wish to 
attend a "9th" electrical epee introduction:

With apologies that it's taken so long to schedule this session, I 
can finally announce that we'll hold it on Saturday, 19 July, from 
noon until 2. I've been travelling fairly extensively recently, and 
was unable to schedule the class sooner. At a minimum you will need a 
mask, jacket, underarm protector, glove, body cord, and electric 
epee. The class will cover a variety of topics, ranging from epee 
equipment to setting up electric strips to troubleshooting electric 
epee problems to epee concepts and drills.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Best, 
Ben

 

 
May 6, 2014
 

Joseph R. “Joe” Dabbs, 1935 - 2014

Joe Dabbs, longtime Huntsville fencer and instructor, not to mention avid diver and former NASA engineer, passed away Sunday. Visitation will be from 2 to 3 p.m., Friday, May 9, with memorial service to follow immediately, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 8020 Whitesburg Drive, Huntsville. A celebration of his life will follow at his home afterward.

Joe, sixty or more years a swordsman and for half a century a major influence on local fencing, first took up the sword in the early 1950s at a YMCA near Lowry Air Force Base while he served in the US Air Force. Here, and soon after at Hahn Air Force Base in Germany, Joe studied under Capt. Joseph Velarde, USAF, who was soon to become famous as a fencing master of the highest caliber. Capt. Velarde had not only studied under the revered Julio “Papa” Castello, but was one of the strongest early advocates of civil rights in US fencing. His influence was clearly seen not only in Joe’s excellent fencing technique, but also in Joe’s attitude toward civil and human rights.

Joe soon became a true three-weapon fencer, one who excelled simultaneously in foil, epee, and saber: such true swordsmen are rarely seen today. In fact, Joe claimed that he became a “three weapon man” so that he could spend his entire weekends fencing, so enamored was he of the thrill and romance of swordplay. He was invariably a fierce competitor on the strip and a genial companion off.

In Germany, Joe competed almost every weekend, including at famous competitions such as the Martini & Rossi International Foil, where he advanced to the second round—an achievement just shy of incredible for a fencer of not even four years’ experience. Shortly before departing Germany, Joe was selected to the US military fencing team, part of the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) program. Ecstatically, Joe traveled through much of Europe, sword-in-hand, and fenced at the international military fencing championships in Luxemburg.

That same year, Joe returned to the US and enrolled at Florida State University where he immediately founded the FSU Fencing Club. Joe also helped found the University of Florida Gators Fencing Club. Soon after graduation, he went to work for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama, as part of the US manned space programs. Here, Joe was a founding member of the M.A.R.S. (Marshall Athletic Recreation Social) Fencing Club at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Established in 1963, the NASA-funded M.A.R.S. club introduced Huntsville to both recreational and competitive fencing. In 1971, as local fencing grew in popularity primarily due to Joe and his handful of fellow fencers, he helped establish the original Huntsville Fencing Club. Through the 1970s Joe taught fencing at the HFC, and also variously at Grissom High School, Mountain Gap Middle School, and Chaffee Elementary School.

Upon the reestablishment of the HFC in 1989, Joe assisted in training a new generation of local fencers. Joe also taught fencing for a decade at the College of Continuing Education at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and remained one of the HFC’s coaches and competitors during the 1990s. During the past decade, as Joe’s illness progressed, he continued to fence nonetheless. Even after he came to use a wheelchair, he still practiced the tight, lightning-quick foil bladework he long had used so successfully and so strongly advocated.

Throughout most of his fifty-one years of Huntsville-associated fencing, Joe competed, taught, and celebrated alongside his three closest comrades-in-arms: John Jordan, Elias Katsaros, and Donny Phillips. These four students of the armes blanches were effectively Alabama’s Four Musketeers.

For Joe, fencing was more than mere competition: he often said that the greatest satisfaction he had from all his years of fencing was the people he met. In 2005 the Huntsville Fencing Club formally designated Joe as the club’s Fencer Emeritus at a ceremony attended by Joe along with family and friends. The certificate reads in part: “In Honor of His Service to Fencing as Competitor, Three-Weapon Man, Instructor, and Font of Fencing Wisdom, Not to Mention Raconteur, Old Pirate, and Swashbuckler, and Most Especially as Gentleman and Swordsman.” Joe, family, and friends were also present at the 50th anniversary celebration of Huntsville fencing in 2013—a half century of outstanding local fencing and camaraderie that would never have existed as it did without his extensive, continuous, gracious leadership and participation.

 

—May 5, 2014

 

 
 
 
 
 

April 22, 2014

 
Co-Hosted Tournament

The HFC is co-hosting the MTSU Spring Epee Open this weekend at the Middle Tennessee State University Recreation Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Sunday, April 27. The tournament will have two events: an open epee and a D-and-under epee. Registration opens at 12:30, open epee at 1:30. Details are here: http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=26151. Turnout looks pretty good so far.


Public Service Demonstration

Our thanks to Dave Young, Rob Parks, et al, for putting on a fencing demonstration on April 12 at the Madison Public Library as part of Shakespeare month.


Beginning Class

We're halfway through our current beginning class of ten students, and all are progressing ahead of the syllabus. We'll offer our next beginning class either July-August or September-October.


Summer Party

We have tentative plans to hold a summer party in June, with Chad Scales graciously offering to host. Details to follow. After a hosting absence of a decade, and at the urging of some members, Ben and Mary will [probably] host the winter fencing party.


Rules Changes

The USFA FOC (Rules Committee) recently approved some changes to the current rule book, effective immediately. However, for some reason the FOC decided not to distribute them to clubs or membership, at least not for now. However, the US Fencing Coaches Association, perhaps annoyed by this decision, has provided them. Contact Ben or any of the other officers if you need a copy.


The Musketeers on BBC America

Starting in June, BBC America will air The Musketeers, a series "inspired by" the Dumas novels. Hopefully they won't put wrong-handed fencing jackets on their characters, as NBC's Dracula recently did in a clumsily-executed fencing scene. No word on whether the Spanish capa y daga series, Alatriste, based on the novels of Arturo Perez-Reverte, will become available in the US.


Upcoming Tournaments

At the most recent iteration of our rare planning meetings (this one held at Huntsville Brewery and chaired by Geoffrey Babb with our thanks), we discussed, among beer and other issues, upcoming tournaments. A suitable venue--one that we don't lose money on--remains an issue. We are co-hosting a tournament on the 27th of this month with MTSU, as noted above, and may co-host one or two more this year, probably in the fall, possibly one in the summer. We also have tentative plans to host a team event centered on the HFC versus the New Orleans Fencers Club in the fall, assuming we can locate a suitable venue. We'd like to get back to hosting four local tournaments per year. Again, venue remains an issue. Unfortunately, the aerobics room we use is too small, both for number of strips and for safety, although this may change in the near future (see "ACA Facility" below). At any rate, if anyone can suggest a possible local venue, contact Ben, Mike, Dave, or Geoffrey. Last, some members are considering attending the Crescent City in New Orleans around Halloween: great fencing, and in New Orleans! Even if you have a bad day on the strip, New Orleans will more than compensate. The Crescent City--hosted by the NOFC, effectively our sister club--typically has men's and women's Division 1A, Division 2, and Veteran events in all three weapons.


ACA Facility

As anyone who's been to fencing recently will have noticed, the ACA is undergoing renovation. At the moment we'll continue to use the aerobics room, but will at some point shift to another room as remodelling progresses. We sincerely appreciate HAC and ACA for their continued support in providing us a facility at a reasonable cost: we've been here since 1997.


USFA Membership Reminder

A reminder to all of you who've been gone a while but are coming back: per the relatively recent changes to our USFA insurance requirements, you must be a USFA member. That said, you need only join at the $5 level unless you intend to compete. This is required in order for us to remain covered by our insurer.


Clinics

After the current beginning class ends, we intend to offer alternating fencing clinics and informal in-house competitions over the summer from noon until 2 on Saturdays. Details to follow.


Facebook

A quick reminder that we do have a Facebook page. At the moment the page is secret, given the number of attempts to join that turned out to be spam. Contact Ben for access.
 

 

Beginning Fencing Class, Huntsville Fencing Club
Starting March 22, 2014, Noon to 2 PM


Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, March 22, 2014, and will run for eight Saturday sessions from noon until 2 PM in the aerobics room of the Athletic Club Alabama (ACA). We had hoped to start this class in two to four weeks ago, but have been waiting on storage space to become available after renovations at ACA. We therefore apologize for the relatively short notice: we typically try to give at least two weeks advance notice.

The beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the class, we add a ninth session, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.

We provide all necessary equipment (jacket, mask, glove, foil, and if necessary, underarm protector) for the eight week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic, and athletic shoes or similar shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar clothing must cover the legs: shorts do not adequately protect the legs from inadvertent thrusts or hits. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Court shoes or cross trainers are preferred over running shoes, but are not mandatory. We recommend long-bodied cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets. Gentlemen are advised to wear an athletic protector ("cup") after the first class, although this is not required.

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the second Saturday. Students are welcome to attend the first two classes in order to see if they're interested in continuing.

An additional fee of $5 for membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) for insurance coverage is now required. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online or via regular mail. We will provide instructions on how to do so during the first class. In general, we do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $5 "non-competitive" level. We do not advise joining at the competitive level.

Two waiver forms are attached. One is a simple registration and waiver form required by the Huntsville Fencing Club, the other is a relatively recent form required by the USFA to satisfy their insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under nineteen will require parent or guardian signatures. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed prior to the first class. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler. The Huntsville Fencing Club is a USFA member club, and both the club and instructor are insured through the USFA. The instructor, assistant instructors, and club officers have all been background screened in accordance with recent USFA requirements.

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email us so that we have a rough idea of class size in advance.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Looking forward to seeing you in (slightly less than) two weeks,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC
 

 

November 4, 2013

NO'ALA Huntsville Magazine Article

The November-December issue of NO'ALA Huntsville magazine includes an article on the Huntsville Fencing Club. See pages 36-40 in the associated link. Ben should be receiving some hard copies for distribution as well. The editor even sought out one of our fencers, Amy Hitchcock, to help provide photographs in addition to those taken by the staff photographer. In particular we appreciate that the editor was willing to tell the history of club and interview two founding members, John Jordan and Elias Katsaros. During our 50th anniversary celebration earlier this year, we were unable to generate local media interest in the club's fascinating early history. See
http://www.noalapress.com/huntsville/read-online/?i=noala-huntsville-novemberdecember-2013 or http://issuu.com/noala/docs/noalahville_novdec2013.

North Alabama Huntsville Magazine Article



Winter Holiday Party

Our annual winter holiday party will be held this year on Saturday, December 7th starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Young's house at 9002 Craigmont Road, Huntsville. From fencing, head south on Memorial Parkway. Turn right at Logan/Lilly Flagg, then left at Whittier. At the first stop sign, turn left on Craigmont. 9002 is the second house on the right. The club will provide a main course and some beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Please bring a side dish or desert, and if desired your favorite beverage.


Equipment Order

Our armorer Dave Young will be buying fencing equipment from multiple vendors on December 14. He'll probably work out a price a bit below retail from Absolute Fencing, and won't have to pay shipping from any of the vendors at the NAC. If you want anything let Dave know by the end of fencing on December 10th or email him at zqmuser@gmail.com by the 12th.


New Glove Rule at National Tournaments

Quoted from the USFA: "Every athlete competing in North American Cups and National Championship events this season must present his or her glove to the armory during weapons check. Gloves with holes, rips, tape or loose seams will not be approved." Perhaps the nitpickers have nothing better to do. The inspection will be a nuisance to those fencers who use tape to reinforce areas subject to wear, but whose gloves otherwise entirely conform to the rule. Quite likely, 80% or more of fencers' gloves would not pass this standard right now. If nothing else, the rule will be a mini-boon to equipment vendors. Ratty stinky comfortable old fencing gloves are a venerable tradition in fencing. The rule is not likely to be enforced at local tournaments, but be prepared just in case.


Fencing Clinics

We'll do our best to run at least one historical fencing clinic, smallsword probably, over the holidays, and also an epee clinic. Ben and Mary will visit Ben's old fencing master and mentor Dr. Eugene Hamori this fall, and Ben will assist him in an epee clinic in New Orleans. Anything new he learns will be featured in our epee clinic over the holidays.


Bravo Zulu

Our high regards to Franco Scaramuzza, coach of the Vanderbilt Fencing Club, for using his epee to chase away a pair of thieves. See the details here: http://www.wsmv.com/story/23553180/fencing-coach-uses-sword-to-foil-robbery-at-bellevue-shopping-center . Franco visited us recently. He is both a gentleman and a swordsman.


Policy on Visitors and Dual Memberships

To reiterate the HFC policy on visitors and dual memberships, visitors from other clubs are welcome, and HFC members may hold membership in other clubs, with the following exceptions: First, visitors from any other local area club (Madison and adjacent counties in Alabama) must be approved in advance by the directors without exception. Violators of this rule risk their HFC membership, and such visitors will be turned away. Second, simultaneous membership in the HFC and other fencing clubs is entirely acceptable, with the exception of membership in any local area club not affiliated with the HFC. Again, any such membership must be approved in advance by the directors without exception. This policy has been in force and posted on our website for some time, and we similarly advised the other area club in writing two years ago, thus it should surprise no one. Although the directors regret the circumstances that forced the implementation of this policy, it is founded on extensive experience, has the full backing of the directors and the majority of the active membership, is similar to policies in force in many fencing clubs, and has unfortunately proved necessary to preserve the traditions, good order, discipline, and amiable atmosphere of the HFC. We also remind parents of youth fencers that, although we have always encouraged youth fencing, the HFC is not a youth-centered club, nor is it a business. Parents should therefore not be surprised that the HFC might not cater to some of their expectations. In particular, the HFC is not here to provide instruction and practice to fencers from other local clubs. All of this should be quite clear from the policies posted on our website, not to mention from common sense and common practice. Anyone who has questions regarding membership or visitors should contact either Benerson Little or Mike Greene.
 

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class
October 5, 2013, Noon to 2 PM


Our next beginning class will start on Saturday, October 5, 2013, and will run for eight Saturday sessions from noon until 2 PM in the aerobics room of the Athletic Club Alabama. We had hoped to start this class in September, but the processing of new USFA membership, insurance, and background screening requirements for all member clubs has caused a delay.

The beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the class, we add a ninth session, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.

We provide all necessary equipment for the eight week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic, and athletic shoes or similar shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar clothing must cover the legs: shorts do not adequately protect the legs from inadvertent thrusts or hits. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Court shoes or cross trainers are preferred over running shoes, but are not mandatory. We recommend long cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. They should overlap the clothing worn on the legs. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets.

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the second Saturday.

An additional fee of $5 for membership in the United States Fencing Association for insurance coverage is now required. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per recent USFA rule changes, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online or via regular mail. We will provide instructions on how to do so during the first class. In general, we do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals. It is only necessary to join at the $5 "non-competitive" level.

Two waiver forms are attached. One is a simple registration form required by the HFC, the other is a new form required by the USFA to satisfy their insurance requirements for the first day of class. Students under nineteen will require parent or guardian signature. We'll also have these forms available on the first day of class. Both forms must be filled out and signed prior to the first class. We do apologize for the amount of required paperwork: it used to be simpler.

If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email us so that we have a rough idea of class size in advance.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Looking forward to seeing you in two weeks,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 

August 6, 2013

Car Stickers, T-Shirt Designs, & Old Division Patches

Club logo/arms car stickers, $3 each, are available again in red/black, blue/white, and black/white, see attached image. See Chad Scales or any of the club officers. Chad also has a variety of fencing- and HFC-related T-shirt designs available, see him for details. Last, any fencer who attended the MARS 50th dinner and did not receive one of the old 1970s era Alabama Division Patches (see attached image) should contact Ben. After all MARS attendees have theirs, the remainder will be given away to other HFC fencers on a first-come, first-served basis.



Club & USFA Dues

The new fencing year began on August 1. Annual club dues--$30--are due, please see treasurer Geoffrey Babb or any of the club officers. USFA dues are also due. Remember, all HFC fencers and beginning class students must be members of the USFA for our insurance to be valid.
 Membership at the $5 "non competitive" level is sufficient unless you intend to compete or you fall under the new USFA requirement for a background screen (see below). Please email Ben via the club address above when you have renewed your USFA membership, and please include your USFA number. http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individuals


New USFA "Safe Sport" Policy

The USFA, apparently in keeping with USOC policy and new insurance requirements, has suddenly via an emergency board meeting instituted a "Safe Sport" policy, including a strict background screening requirement for persons in certain positions. Although the effort to protect minors and adults from abusive behavior is highly laudable, several of the policy requirements appear to be overkill, and some even onerous. Further, to date the policy appears to conflict with itself and with its FAQ in some areas: clearly the policy was hastily-fashioned to meet new insurance requirements. As has been the case with some other recent USFA policies and requirements, notably universal USFA membership as a requirement for USFA insurance coverage, the policy was dropped on the membership without adequate warning. Parts of it appear to have angered much of the USFA membership, most of the ire due to some of the screening requirements as well as to prohibitions on some behaviors between consenting adults. In particular, the policy requires ALL referees be background-screened. This referee requirement is particularly onerous, given that many pools are self-directed, that is, without formal referees. 


For now, we do not recommend anyone join as a "professional member"--in other words, have a background check via the USFA--unless the club directors specifically inform you it is necessary. The HFC intends to refund $30 (the difference between competitive and professional membership fees) to those members who must have the background check. (The background check is a criminal records check looking primarily for felony convictions, as well as misdemeanor convictions for violence or threat of violence, animal cruelty, and those of a sexual nature. A credit check is not performed.) So far, it appears that in addition to our instructor (who has had background screening since it was first introduced), screening is required for our club directors, our members who are Alabama division officers, and our members who assist our instructor. We're going to wait to see how the USFA interprets or chooses to enforce the policy on referees before we require our members who referee to get professional membership. Professional membership can be added at any time, although the background check may take a couple of weeks. The policy, FAQ, and related info are available here: http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/892379-safe-sport 


Tournament Venue

And speaking of tournaments, we're still looking for a reasonable venue to hold them--that is, one whose rent won't cost us the entire proceeds of the competition. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact Geoffrey or Ben ASAP. We'd like to get back to holding tournaments quarterly.



Division Officers

Our new confirmed Alabama Division Officers include HFC members Geoffrey Babb as Chair and Derek Welford as Officer-at-Large. Congratulations!



Facebook Page

A reminder again that the club does have a Facebook page, Huntsville fencing club. At the moment it remains a "secret" page due to the large number of membership solicitations we had, nearly all of which were SPAM in disguise. Contact Ben or Mary to be added.



New Epee Tip Screws

Dave has tested new epee tip screws and highly recommends them, as does Ben who tried them at his behest. The screws are slotted in each end with an X to receive a special screwdriver, and so far appear to be of superior quality. Because the screws are held firmly by the screwdriver, there is no wobble and they are very easily installed, even by those whose eyesight has been diminished by time. (The plus-40 set, in other words.) Further, surely due to their quality, screws so far tested have threaded easily and tightly into tips whose threads were stripped and would no longer accept standard screws. See Dave for details. Again, highly recommended.



Armorer Email Address Change

Dave Young's email address is now
zqmuser@gmail.com.


Clinics & Next Beginning Class

We probably won't start our next beginning class until sometime in September. Between now and then we may offer a couple of clinics, notice forthcoming. Likely subjects will be (1) epee training methods and (2) historical smallsword technique. If you have any requests, please forward them to Ben. For now, we're holding off on historical backsword clinics until we decide how best to manage issues of heavier weapons and adequate protection.



Fencing Quote

"The answer is easy.  The great art of swordsmanship consists in laying successful snares, such as making your opponent expect the attack exactly where it is not intended.  To deceive his expectations, to break up what he combines, to disappoint his plans, and to narrow his action; to dominate his movements, to paralyse his thoughts, represent the art, the science, the skill, and the power of your perfect swordsman..."   --Sir Richard Burton, The Sentiment of the Sword, 1911. 



 

 

May 30, 2013

M.A.R.S. and HFC 50th Anniversary

Our many thanks to everyone who participated in the 50th anniversary celebration of Huntsville Fencing! In particular we’d like to thank Geoffrey Babb and Rob Parks for doing all the legwork, especially for engaging The Summit at Redstone as the venue; and Chad Scales for handling the artwork, certificates of appreciation, and so forth. We’d also like to thank those we honored that evening: Joe Dabbs, John Jordan, Elias Katsaros, Emil Luft, and Donnie Phillips. For those of you who attended and do not yet have one of the old Alabama Division patches from the original M.A.R.S. and Huntsville clubs, contact Ben. By the way, M.A.R.S. stands for Marshall Athletic Recreation Society.

Congratulations to Emily Stewart

Congratulations again to Emily Stewart, member of the Huntsville Fencing Club and Indiana Fencing Club and Team, this year for taking second in women's epee at the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs national championships. In 2012 she was USACFC women's epee champion.

New Beginning Fencing Class

We’re starting a new class this Saturday, June 1, from noon until 2 for eight sessions. Details are posted on the “News” page of our website.

Equipment Orders

Our armorer Dave Young will be able to get fencing equipment from multiple vendors at the end of June without paying shipping.  If you want anything, let him know by June 27.  

New Division Officers

At the moment it looks like Geoffrey Babb will serve as the Alabama Division Chair and Derek Welford as Officer at Large.

Facebook Page

A reminder that the HFC has an active Facebook page. The page is “secret” due to a large number of recent friend requests that were nothing more than spam in disguise, so you’ll have to contact one of the administrators—Ben, Mary—to be added.

Updates to Website & Membership

We’ve made a few updates to the our webpages: the “Books” page has been significantly expanded, and the home page and “Information” pages have been updated in minor ways to reflect policy on membership, including membership in other clubs. (Not to worry, no new fees have been added, and membership and floor fees remain the same.) Soon, we’ll update the “Salle de Bernis,” “Ironmongery,” and “Scrapbook” pages. Suggestions should be forwarded to Mike Greene or Ben Little.

New Quote

We’ve added the following to our home page: “[Early epeeists] were realists who preferred the romantic to the classic.” R. A. Lidstone in Fencing: A Practical Treatise on Foil, Épée, Sabre, 1952.

Summer Party

We have tentative plans to hold a party this summer, probably in August. Seeking host and venue…

Member Events

The next edition of Cs Vintage Co.’s online magazine—a project of Chad Scales, Geoffrey Babb, et al—should be out on June 1st. Elias Katsaros is busy in York, Pennsylvania installing icons at St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Church. Ben will host a reddit AMA on “Piracy from Antiquity to the Present” on June 5th, probably starting at 9:00 a.m. Links to these events: Cs Vintage Co., http://csvintageco.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cs-Vintage-Co/433666243389350?fref=ts. Byzantine Icons, http://www.byzantine-iconography.com/Byzantine_Art_Studio/Welcome.html or https://www.facebook.com/elias.n.katsaros. Piracy AMA, http://www.reddit.com/user/Benerson.

A Note Regarding Lessons

If you desire fencing lessons, contact Ben. He is available on occasion on Friday evenings, and often on Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Given his schedule at the moment, advance notice is recommended. Lessons are $7, unless you happen to feel that “you get what you pay for,” in which case Ben will gladly raise the price for you to $20 or even $30.

Upcoming Tournaments

To date, due to venue scheduling issues, we haven’t set dates for any tournaments, but will do so as soon as we can, and will send out a notice as well as posting the dates online.

USFA Membership

A reminder to all active fencers that you must belong to the USFA, if only at the $5 non-competitive level, for our insurance policy to remain active. No exceptions!

Safety Reminder

Although we haven’t had any safety issues, we want to remind everyone to avoid horseplay, fence according to the rules, and keep your equipment in good repair. Underarm protectors are mandatory! Also, although not mandatory, we highly recommend fencing breeches.

 


 

April 2013

To all concerned,

For those of you who have completed the recent beginning class and
intend to continue, the 9th session, covering electrical epee, will
be held this Saturday, 27 April, from noon until 2 p.m. You will need
at least one electrical epee, body cord, underarm protector, mask,
jacket, and glove. You may use your jacket, mask, and glove from the
beginning class, and we should have enough underarm protectors
available in case you haven't purchased one yet.

If you can't attend this session, please let me know. I may be able
to offer another session before the next beginning class.

If you missed two or more beginning class sessions and intend to
continue, let me know, I will try, as my schedule permits, to bring
you up to speed individually.

If you have any questions, please email me.

Best Regards,

Ben

 

Congratulations again to Emily Stewart, member of the Huntsville Fencing Club and Indiana Fencing Club and Team, this year for taking second in women's epee at the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs national championships.

 
 
 
Check out Chad and Geoffrey's new E-magazine
 
 
 

 

March  2013
 
 
Huntsville Fencing Club 50th Anniversary
 
 
 
 
The founders and members of the Huntsville Fencing Club celebrated their 50th anniversary Thursday, March 21st, at the Summit at Redstone Arsenal.  The event started with a catered meal and followed with speakers from the list of honorary guests and members of the present club. 
 
All agreed, it was wonderful evening and helped to ignite a deeper interest in the historical records and elements of the club.  Look for more to come in our scrapbook section devoted to this event.
 
 
 
 
 
Back from the Ice
 
Huntsville Fencing Club member, Robert Coker is back from his recent expedition to Antarctica.  Here, Robert shows us his lunging expertise as he gets in a little practice on the ice.
 
 
 
 
January 19th, 2013

Beginning Fencing Class

The Huntsville Fencing Club will start its next beginning fencing class on Saturday, February 2, 2013, to run for eight consecutive Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m. 


The beginning class is designed to provide the beginner with practical ability in the basic skills necessary for free fencing. Course material is based largely on classical foil technique suited to epee fencing and on epee technique itself. Safety is emphasized. The course also provides the novice fencer with a working knowledge of the traditions, courtesies, and rules of fencing followed worldwide. For students who wish to continue fencing after the class, we add a ninth session, free of charge, introducing the student to electrical epee fencing after they have acquired an electrical epee and body cord.

We provide all necessary equipment for the eight week beginning class. Students must wear comfortable clothing, preferably athletic, and athletic shoes or similar shoes with good traction. Sweat pants or similar clothing must cover the legs: shorts do not adequately protect the legs from inadvertent thrusts or hits. Jeans are acceptable as long as they provide the necessary range of movement. Court shoes or cross trainers are preferred over running shoes, but are not mandatory. We recommend long cotton or cotton-poly short sleeve T-shirts to cover the upper body. Long sleeves and heavier materials are typically too warm to be worn under our fencing jackets.

The course fee is $100, payable not later than the second Saturday.

An additional fee of $5 for membership in the United States Fencing Association for insurance coverage is also required. This fee is not required for the first class, but must, per USFA rules, be paid prior to the second class. Students or their parents must register and make payment online. We will provide instructions at the first class. In general, we do not recommend you become a member of the USFA until after the first class. However, if you like you may do so in advance at http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/698115-individualsIt is only necessary to join at the $5 level.

We will also provide a simple registration form at the first class. Students under nineteen will require parent or guardian signature. With a bit of luck, we'll have the form posted online soon. If so, we'll send an email out advising you of this.


If you intend to take the class, or think it likely that you might, please email us so that we have a rough idea of class size.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Looking forward to seeing you in two weeks,

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC

 

 
 
The Huntsville Fencing Club
August 17, 2012

 
IMPORTANT! New USFA Membership & Insurance Requirement.

Beginning August 1, 2012, the USFA is requiring all fencers belonging to a USFA-insured club be USFA members. The Huntsville Fencing Club falls under this rule. This requirement came out of the blue. Our first inkling was when our secretary began filling out our club membership paperwork. For decades until now, all fencers in a USFA club, whether USFA members or not, were covered by the USFA's club and coach insurance. In our opinion, the USFA has not given a satisfactory reason for the change. Basically, the USFA states that they're doing this because other sports do it, and that it will help keep insurance costs down. A call to Bollinger Insurance, the USFA's insurer, produced only vague answers, to wit, "Don't you think all fencers should belong to the USFA?" followed by the USFA's line, "Well, other sports do it." Although we strongly disagree with the requirement, and just as strongly suspect that revenue generation, not insurance cost, was the primary motivation behind the requirement, we have to live with it for now. The requirement does not state that fencers who are not members will not be covered, but that the club will not be covered unless all club members are also USFA members. Thus everyone must join.

What this means is that ALL ACTIVE HFC MEMBERS MUST REGISTER NOW with the USFA and pay a membership fee if they have not already done so. For those of you who do not intend to compete, there is a $5 Non-Competitive membership category that will suffice. You need not and should not join the USFA in any other category unless you intend to compete. If you do not join the USFA, you will not be able to fence at the HFC.

The easiest way to join the USFA is online. Go to http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Fencing/Membership/Individuals.aspx and follow the directions. Again, unless you intend to compete in tournaments, you need only join at the $5 Non-Competitive membership level. If you wish to mail in your membership application and fee, there is a link near the bottom of the page to a pdf application. If you later intend to compete, the $5 fee is applied toward your competitive membership ($65).

Unfortunately, we must also keep a record of all club USFA membership. This is an administrative nuisance, of course: all of you are well aware how much we try to keep admin and logistics to a minimum so that we can all enjoy our fencing and not waste time with sideshows and other non-fencing nonsense. (We're not even sure how the USFA will keep track of all of this, given their administrative track record to date.) What this means to you is that we need you to forward confirmation of your USFA membership, including your membership number, to us as soon as possible after you've joined the USFA. You can drop this information off to us at practice or email it via the originating address of this email. Those of you who are already USFA members can just forward your membership level and USFA number. (And while you're at it, please include contact info so that we can update our records.)

Note: all members of our beginning fencing classes will also have to join the USFA by the second class.

Many thanks in advance!


And While We're On the Subject...

Annual club dues ($30) are also due now. Please note that even if you haven't yet paid your annual dues, you must still join the USFA immediately in order to keep fencing with the HFC.

 

 
 
May 23, 2012
The Huntsville Fencing Club is starting a new beginning fencing class on June 2, to run from noon until 2 p.m. for eight sessions on 
consecutive Saturdays at the Athletic Club Alabama (formerly the Huntsville Athletic Club) on Leeman Ferry Rd., Huntsville, Alabama. 
Class fee is $100. Other details, including appropriate clothing, are available on our website, and class dates will be posted there soon. 
Pre-registration is not required, but please email us to let us know if you think you or one of your children are likely to be attending, 
so that we'll have a better idea of class size. We are unable to accept new students for the beginning class after the second session 
on June 9, given the pace of the class. Please contact me with any questions you might have. We apologize for the slightly shorter 
notice than usual, but we had to work out some schedule conflicts.
 

 

Congratulations to Emily Stewart, HFC member and representing Indiana University, on winning the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs National Championship in women's epee!

United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs    

http://usacfc.org/ 

Just In

The Huntsville Fencing Club is starting a new beginning fencing class on February 11, to run from noon until 2 p.m. for eight sessions on 
consecutive Saturdays. Details are available on our website, and lass dates will be posted there soon. Pre-registration is not 
required, but please email us to let us know if you think you or one of your children might be attending, so that we'll have a better idea 
of likely class size.
 

January 2012 Newsletter

 

Our apologies if you receive this email more than once. Knology blocked Ben's IP (and the newsletter) five times today, and was unable to say why previous newsletters had no problem but this one did, nor why Knology continued to block the newsletter after the account was unblocked four times and changes were made to the number of email recipients. After six calls to the Knology service department, here's hoping it finally goes out...


HFC

Touch Someone's Heart [with Your Epee] Party
 
To make up for our lack of a party this past holiday season, the club will hold a party on the evening of  Saturday, February 11 at the Young's house from 6:00 p.m. to whenever. A barbecue main course will be provided. Please bring a side dish or desert. A variety of beverages will also be provided, but feel welcome to bring something to your own taste.
 
Directions: If coming from the area of the Huntsville Athletic Center, go south on Memorial Parkway. You will come to a light that is Lily Flagg to the left and Logan to the right, turn right on Logan. The first residential street on the left is Whittier, turn left on Whittier. A couple blocks up is a stop sign at Craigmont, turn left on Craigmont. The Young's house is the second house on the right, number 9002 Craigmont Rd. SW.
 
 
Congratulations to Andrew Davis
 
Congratulations to Andrew for making the final round of eight fencers at the Division II NAC in Kansas City in December!
 
 
Club Motto
 
We've slightly altered the club motto (for those of you who even knew we had a motto!) from Patientia Vincit (Patience Conquers or Conquer by Patience, quite suitable to epee fencing) to Patientia Ferox Vincit. The original motto derives both from the classical Latin as well as from the family motto, Prevail by Patience, of the protagonist of Rafael Sabatini's swashbuckling novel The Black Swan which ends with a duel on sandy Caribbean shores. Literally translated, the new motto means to prevail via a ferocious or warlike patience. Ferox also conjures up fer, French for iron and also for blade. Remember the admonition: Patience need not be passive!
 
 
Next Tournament
 
We're planning to hold our next tournament in February or March, details forthcoming.
 
 
Next Beginner Class
 
Our next beginner class will probably begin in early February. Details forthcoming. Please note that we have abandoned all pretense of teaching foil as a weapon: the emphasis now is overwhelmingly on classical foil technique suited to epee, and on epee technique itself.
 
 
New 2011 Rule Book
 
The USFA Rule Book has finally been updated in a single document and is now available online.
 
 
Unwillingness to Fence AKA the Non-Combativity Rule
 
Fencers and referees need to be aware of the recent change to the already ridiculous non-combativity rule:
 
4. When both fencers make clear their unwillingness to fence, the Referee will immediately call Halt!'
If one of the two criteria below is present, there is unwillingness to fight.
a) Criterion of time: approximately one minute of fencing without a touch.
b) Absence of blade contact or excessive distance (greater than the distance of an advance-lunge) for at least 15 seconds.
Individual Events
5. a) If during the first two periods of a direct elimination bout both fencers make clear their unwillingness to fence, the Referee will proceed to the next period, without the minute rest.
b) When both fencers make clear their unwillingness to fence during the third period of a direct elimination bout, the Referee will proceed to a last minute of fencing. This last minute, which will be fenced in its entirety, will be decisive and will be preceded by a drawing of lots to decide the winner should the scores be equal at the end of the minute.
 
[Commentary from Ben] Although ostensibly designed to prevent fencers from mutually running the clock down, it's principle purpose is to make fencing exciting for the audience. Some years ago the FIE determined that the best way to keep fencing an Olympic sport is to conform to IOC desires and provide long 15 touch bouts in a direct elimination format that leads to a long 15 touch final between two fencers. ("Back in the day," fencing finals were conducted in a round robin format, typically of six fencers, and each fencer in the final had to fence everyone else in the final.) The non-combativity rule is an addition to this mentality and is designed to force fencers to be active, and thus provide excitement during these bouts. However, the rule flies in the face of modern fencing's dueling origins as well as in the face of swordplay itself. One may fence aggressively for several minutes or more without a touch, and also for much longer than fifteen seconds without ever engaging the adversary's blade. This is particularly true in epee, which remains the weapon closest in nature to actual dueling combat. The rule is not likely to be an issue in typical bouts in which nervous fencers often rush to get touches when they should be more careful, but will be a major issue in hard-fought bouts in which fencers are doing their best to do what fencing is all about: to hit and not be hit, the latter being more important than the former. The rule turns the spirit of fencing on its head.
 
How to avoid being penalized by this rule? First, fence at proper distance, never out of distance for long, and ensure that you make periodic blade contact, even foible to foible. Second, fence actively even while being patient, and use second intention actions (or feint-in-time) as necessary to draw out your adversary if it is obvious that a minute may pass without a touch. This is implicit in the club motto, by the way. In other words, be patient but not passive, and hope that the director (referee) is too busy watching what is obviously an active bout to notice that there's been no touch for a minute or no blade contact for 15 seconds. Frankly, most referees at local tournaments will be too busy to keep effective track of these times­I know I will. Or better, hope the director understands the spirit of fencing and thus will not act on the rule unless it is patently obvious that the fencers are refusing to actively engage each other. There's not likely to be much complaint from epee fencers against referees who refuse to enforce the rule except in the case of fencers clearly refusing to fence. Reports from fencers who attended recent NACs indicate that the rule is extremely unpopular.
 
 
A Note on the Terms Referee and Director
 
The use of referee in modern fencing is relatively recent. The term for a century or more was director, because the directeur de combat was the party who ensured that fair play reigned during a duel. The term director (directeur) was abandoned by the FIE in the misbegotten belief that the fencing audience would better relate to fencing if a more common term were used. Many older fencers quite understandably refuse to use the newer term.
(Note: in French, the newer term is arbitre.)
 

 

October 3, 2011

 
New Beginning Class

We're starting a new beginning fencing class on October 15, to run from noon until 2 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays (Thanksgiving weekend possibly excepted) until December 3 or 10. Details are available on our website, and class dates will be posted there soon. Pre-registration is not required, but we'd appreciate it if likely attendees will email us so that we'll have a better idea of likely class size.


MARS Musketeers Tournament

A reminder of the MARS tournament held at its usual venue (Central Church of Christ, downtown) on October 22. The tournament will consist of a D and Under Mixed Epee, a Mixed Open Epee, and possibly some challenge bouts for fun. Details can be found on askFred.net.


Crescent City in New Orleans

Anyone interested in attending the Crescent City (the last weekend in October) in New Orleans should contact Geoffrey Babb.


Club Dues

A reminder that club dues for the August 2011 to July 2012 fencing year are now due.
 

 


July 29, 2011
 

Club Dues
 
Annual club dues come due on August 1. See Geoffrey Babb, the club secretary-treasurer, for details.


USFA Dues

The club calendar year from August 1 to July 31 is based on the USFA fencing year. For competitors, USFA dues may be paid now by mail or online, or at the first tournament a fencer attends. Fencers who intend to compete in fewer than six tournaments per year can register online for single day memberships at $10 per day. If you do this, make certain you register for the correct tournament dates. Single day memberships should be made online prior to showing up at the tournament, given that we may or may not have online access during tournaments.
 
 
Beginning Epee Clinic
 
Ben is teaching a beginning epee clinic on Saturday, August 6, noon to 2 p.m., for fencers who completed the recent beginning foil class. If you wish to attend the clinic but did not attend the most recent foil class, contact Ben via the club email to see if there is space available. Class size is limited, but all fencers from the last beginning class who wish to attend may do so.
 
 
Next Beginning Class
 
The next class is tentatively scheduled to begin in late September. Details to follow.
 
 
2nd Annual La Maupin Open
 
The second annual La Maupin Open will be held at our usual venue, the Central Church of Christ in downtown Huntsville, on August 20th. A women's open epee event will be followed by a mixed open epee event. Details are available here: http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=15446
 
 
Annual Summer Party
 
The party is tentatively scheduled for August 27 at Chad's. Details to follow.
 
 
2nd annual MARS Musketeers Open
 
The tournament will be held on October 22 at the Central Church of Christ, and will feature a veteran's 50 and over mixed epee event followed by a mixed open epee event. Details are available here: http://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=15447
 
 
Recent HFC Tournaments
 
The 2nd Annual Joe Dabbs Open & HFC 40th Anniversary Tournament, held this past June, went off well, as did the party in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the various iterations of the Huntsville Fencing Club. Several members of the HFC founded in 1971 were present, and were pleased with the club as it exists today. The tournament consisted of an open epee event followed by a team epee event for fun. Our thanks to the Story family, Mike Greene, Geoffrey Babb, Dave Young, Emily Carpenter, Amy Hitchcock, and Michael Slanovits for helping with the tournament.
 
The Rocket City Open, held on March 19, likewise went off well. Our thanks to the Story family, Mike Greene, Geoffrey Babb, Dave Young, and Emily Carpenter.

We hope to continue to run four epee tournaments per year, and in 2013 during and after the MARS tournament will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Huntsville fencing. (The MARS club was founded in 1963 by "some NASA guys.")


Crescent City Tournament in New Orleans

Some members are seriously considering attending the Crescent City tournament in New Orleans, October 29-30 at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside. See Geoffrey Babb for details if you're interested. The tournament is well-run and well-attended, and has a very positive fencing atmosphere--not to mention that it's in New Orleans around the time of Halloween, the holiday second only to Mardi Gras for New Orleans celebration. Epee events include a Div1A Men's Epee, Div1A Women's Epee, Combined Veteran's Men's Epee, Combined Veteran's Women's Epee, C and Under Men's Epee, C and Under Women's Epee, and Youth 14 Mixed Epee. Details are available here: http://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=13706
 
 
Tournament Photos
 
Amy Hitchcock, a club member and professional photographer, has taken photographs of our past several tournaments. To view photos from the recent Joe Dabbs Open, go to http://www.imagequix.com/, enter photographer ID P9RLJ98 and the keyword Dabbs. Contact Amy for keywords for other tournaments.
 
 
News About Our Fencers
 
The Story family is rebuilding their home after it received significant damage during the recent tornado outbreak. None of the family was hurt, thankfully. Jonathan Thrasher and Kalie Cecil were recently wed, as were Aaron Muncy and Maranda Kent. Mary Crouch returned from teaching English for nearly a year at the University of Ibagué in Colombia under a Fulbright grant. Emily Stewart is home for the summer from Indiana University. Sara Leibold has nearly completed her hike along the entire Appalachian Trail.
 
 
CombatCon 2011
 
Ben Little and Mary Crouch attended CombatCon 2011 in Las Vegas in June. Ben was there as a member of several discussion panels. The convention brought together experts in historical Western martial arts with Hollywood fight choreographers, and served to remind the few modern fencers who were there that modern fencing is, unfortunately, losing its place as the primary source of fencing choreographers as well as the source of fundamental fencing technique, which in the past permitted fencers to move fluidly into the study of other forms of swordplay. This need not be so. Modern fencers should not forget their historical roots, nor should they permit a sport mentality to entirely permeate modern competitive swordplay.
 
 
Smallsword Clinics
 
On a similar subject, Ben will at some point run another smallsword clinic or two for fun between now and the winter holidays. We're also looking into appropriate practice broadswords/backswords for a similar clinic.

 

 
 

Beginning Fencing Class
 
Our next beginning class will start on March 26, 2011. The class will run for eight two-hour sessions on Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m. Details are posted on the information page ( http://www.huntsvillefencingclub.org/information1.htm). Class fee is $100, due by the end of the second class. Please let us know if you plan on attending. This will not obligate you, but will give us an idea of class size. Please contact us if you have any questions. At present, we are planning on running only two beginning classes this year. The next will be in the fall.
 
 
2011 HFC Tournaments
 
Rocket City Open: March 19, 2010. Only two weeks away! A D and Under Mixed Epee will be followed by a Mixed Open Epee. Tournament details and pre-registration are available on askFred.net ( http://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=14403).
 
Second Annual Joe Dabbs Open­40th Anniversary of the Huntsville Fencing Club: June 18, 2011. A Mixed Open Epee will be followed by a Team Epee event. We're also planning a social event of some sort in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Huntsville Fencing Club, details forthcoming. Tournament details and pre-registration are available on askFred.net ( http://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=14404). In addition to a medal, the winner of the open event will receive an annually rotating trophy, in this case a rapier mounted on a plaque.
 
La Maupin Open: TBD, probably early August. A Women's Epee Open followed by a Mixed Open Epee.
 
MARS Musketeers: TBD, Fall. A Mixed Open Epee followed by either a Team Epee or a One Touch Epee.
 
 
USFA Registration
 
A reminder that, if you are not a member of the USFA but want to compete occasionally, you can join online for a single day for $10. This is a good way to save money if you only plan on competing two or three times per year. You can join for a single day or for the fencing year (August to July) at http://usfencing.org/us-fencing-membership. You must be a USFA member, even if only for the day of the tournament, in order to compete. Regular annual competitive USFA membership is $60.


Attendance Sheet

The attendance clipboard is now posted on the wall in the aerobics rooms. Please help the secretary/treasurer (Geoffrey Babb) out by marking your attendance. See Geoffrey if you have any questions regarding your floor fees, lesson fees, or membership dues.
 
 
Last Year's Tournaments
 
Our thanks to everyone who helped plan and run last year's tournaments, or competed in them, with special thanks to the Story Family, Geoffrey Babb, Mike Greene, Dave Young, and the Central Church of Christ  . Although we had to cancel the team epee event at the last minute during the MARS Musketeers, the tournament still went well. In particularly, four original MARS/HFC guest fencers who were there--Joe Dabbs, John Jordan, Elias Katsaros, and Donnie Phillips--expressed how impressed they were with the club and that the Huntsville fencing is going strong. Anyone who watched these founding members fence quickly realized that their prowess hasn't diminished at all.
 
 
Crescent City Open
 
At present, several club members have tentative plans to compete this October in the Crescent City Open in New Orleans. If you might be interested in the competition and associated celebrations, see Geoffrey Babb.
 
 
Posted Tournament Results
 
A reminder for competitors to let Mike Greene know about any tournament results not posted on the website. We do our best to keep them updated, but some slip by.
 
 
Clinics
 
We recently ran a smallsword clinic for fun, and also a 'footwork tactics' clinic. Given the response, we'll run each again after the next beginner class is finished, probably in June or July. We've also run clinics on beginning epee, epee tactics, basic footwork, and prise de fer/attacks on the blade. Let us know if there's a clinic you would like to see. Clinics are free to HFC members. Members of other clubs must contact us in advance.
 
 
Equipment Donation
 
Many thanks to Monique Kitts and her family for their donation of fencing equipment, including uniforms, fencing bags, and foil lamés, to the club.
 
 
Equipment For Sale
 
The club is selling some obsolete or unused equipment . See Dave Young, or email him at dave.young@springmail.com if you are interested in any of the following:
 
Fencing bags in need of repair - free.
Used foil lames, boys size 36 - $15.
Used synthetic fencing pants, unisex, size 32 - $5.
Used test box - $5.
Used  Epee Combat book - $5.
Posters of Epee fencing positions (from Epee Combat) - $5.
 
Old Prieur scoring box with creative repairs - $50. Usable for an epee practice strip, but does not meet current tournament specifications.
 
Obsolete full jacket, without gusset. $10
Vintage half jackets - $10. Collector's items. Unlike a modern plastron, the original half jacket covered the entire torso and one arm down to the wrist. Originally used for class instruction.
 
Obsolete masks - $5. These CANNOT be used for fencing, as they don't meet the current safety standards.  Good for display or as a collector's item.
 
 
Fencing Parties
 
Thanks again to Chad Scales for hosting the 2010 summer party and our 2010/2011 New Year's Eve party. As usual, we'll hold a party this summer. Intended main course: a roast pig.
 
 
Fencing Fiction and Film
 
For those interested in swashbuckling literature and cinema, the sixth installment of Arturo Perez-Revere's Alatriste series, Pirates of the Levant, was published in English late last year. The film version of the novels, starring Viggo Mortensen, is excellent; several club members own copies. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.
 
1612, a Russian film combining history, brief elements of fantasy, and swordplay, is available on DVD. Be advised, much of the violence is very graphic. In Russian, with English subtitles.
 
A new film version of The Three Musketeers will be in theaters soon, and in May the fourth installment of the Pirates of Caribbean franchise arrives in theaters.
 
Errol Flynn's The Adventures of Robin Hood was recently released on Blu-ray. The resolution is spectacular, as close as possible to seeing the film as it was when first presented on the silver screen. Several other swashbuckling adventure films are also recently available on Blu-ray, including Rob Roy, Master and Commander, and The Princess Bride.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Beginning Class Note
 
Our next beginning class will start on October 16 and will run for eight two-hour sessions from noon until 2 p.m. The course fee is $100, and is not due until the end of the second class. 
 
We provide all equipment. Students should dress in comfortable, preferably athletic clothing. T-shirts, sweat pants or track pants, and court shoes or cross trainers are preferred. Jeans will work if they're not to tight, and running shoes are acceptable. Running shorts or other shorts are acceptable only during the first class. The legs must be covered for the remainder of the classes. We recommend short sleeved shirts; the fencing jackets are heavy, and most students consider long sleeves to be too hot. 
 
Students under the age of 19 will require a parent or guardian signature. This can be done before or after the first class, but must be done by the second class. We can email a copy of the consent form if necessary. 
 Pre-registration is not required. However, please drop us an email if you plan on attending the class, so that we'll have a rough idea of class size. 
 
 If you have any questions, please contact us.

Thanks,

Ben
 
 
La Maupin Open
 
Professional Photographs of The La Maupin Tournament available through this Link:
 

 
 
Ben's Letter to the Editor

Ben is one of several fencers to have a strongly worded letter to the editor published in the summer edition of Amercan Fencing magazine, in regard to Jeff Bukantz's article in the previous edition which appeared to promote what many of us would consider to be cheating or dishonorable behavior during fencing bouts. (Mr. Bukantz writes the Rules and Referees column, and was a member of the FIE Rules Commission.) All of the responses to the article were in a similar vein, damning Mr. Bukantz's apparent position. Ben wants to point out that the last paragraph in his letter is not his own, but belongs with one of the other letters, and is an editorial error. Regarding Mr. Bukantz's response to his letter (Bukantz used the dictionary to define combat, apparently not understanding the distinction between warfare and dueling, much less how honor has been variously applied to them), Ben would like to thank him for it--as both a published author and former Navy SEAL, Ben was obviously unaware how combat might be defined (sarcasm intended).

On a historical note in regard to Mr. Bukantz's assertion in a reply to another letter that the remise was rarely used in a duel, the remise was in fact often used in duels, if at times only out of instinct, and in the 17th and 18th centuries was quite common. Indeed, fencers were taught to use unarmed hand to close the line in order to prevent remises.
 
Decals

 
Chad has club logo/arms decals available for sale. The decals are roughly 3 x 3.5 inches. All have a durable UV laminate over the entire decal to protect the colors from fading and weather. They are designed to be placed on glass (preferably on the back window of a vehicle).
 
 
 3 Colors Available:
 
 
 
Original
Red and Black: $4.00

Limited Edition
Cool Blue and Gray: $4.50
Relic Black and Stone: $4.50

 

 
July 2, 2010
 
 
 
La Maupin Epee Tournament
 
We’re holding the La Maupin on July 24 at the Central Church of Christ Gymnasium in Huntsville, the same excellent venue we used for the Joe Dabbs Open. Registration for the Women’s Open event ends at 8:30, and for the Mixed Open at 11:30. This will be a good time to become a USFA member if you are not one already. The new membership will be valid both for the tournament and the 2010-2011 year. Forms will be available at the tournament. (USFA membership is required to participate in the tournament.) USFA 2009-2010 membership remains valid for the tournament.
 
The tournament is named for opera singer Julie d'Aubigny, commonly known today as Mademoiselle de Maupin. She was a superb late 17th century swordswoman who reportedly defeated three men, one after the other, after they challenged her at Versailles.
 
 
Summer Party
 
We’re holding a summer fencing party at Chad’s on July 17, the week before the La Maupin tournament. Details to follow.
 
 
News About Members
 
Jon Mitchell, a former member, passed away recently. Jon was a kind man with an aptitude for fencing, and will be missed.
 
After hundreds of weekly trips­and sometimes twice weekly trips­from Memphis to Huntsville to fence, the Wylies will be leaving us at in early August for Boulder, Colorado. Dorshka, Shola, Anniebee, we’ll miss you all!
 
Craig Kaempfer has joined the US Army and began boot camp in June.
 
Maricarmen Castro has returned to fencing after a month visiting family in Brazil.
 
Mary Crouch departs in late July or early August for Colombia on a Fulbright grant to teach English at the University of Ibagué for ten months.
 
Emily Stewart and Sara Leibold departed in May on their Alaska adventure, and are at present semi-permanently camped in Homer. They’ve visited fencing clubs in Fairbanks and Homer, and Emily has been blogging about their escapades (a link is available via Facebook).
 
 
First Annual Joe Dabbs Open
 
Our first tournament in a while, the Joe Dabbs Open, went off well. Brian Parker won the open event after an excellent la belle bout against Geoffrey Babb. Hugh Davis took third in the one touch, and placed highest among HFC fencers in this event. Our thanks to everyone who turned out to fence or to help. In particular, our special thanks to Kim Story and the Central Church of Christ for providing the excellent venue, and to tournament namesake Joe Dabbs for providing a replica rapier as a rotating trophy.
 
 
MARS Musketeers Open
 
A reminder that we’ll hold the MARS Musketeers tournament, named for the MARS Fencing Club, Huntsville’s first, in September or October. Tentatively, events will include a mixed open epee and a team epee event. Details to follow.
 
 
Nationals
 
Nationals are being held in Atlanta this year, July 4-13 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Several of our fencers are participating, and we wish them well.
 
This is also a great opportunity to purchase new equipment, given that most if not all equipment vendors will be there.
 
 
Demonstrations
 
Our thanks to Jonathan Thrasher, Geoffrey Babb, John Briggs, and Derek Welford for running a fencing demonstration during the Fine Arts Festival at the Academy of Academics and Arts (a K-8 magnet school) in February, and to Dave Young, Hugh Davis, and Andrew Davis for running one at Hearthstone Assisted Living in May.
 
 
Club Uniform Repairs
 
Our many thanks to Kim Story for repairing several of the fencing jackets we use in the beginner classes.
 
 
HFC Email Address Change
 
We’ve changed the club email to huntsvillefencing@knology.net.
 
 
Foil Donation
 
Our thanks to Marjorie Mendenhall for donating a foil used by her son, Robert Mendenhall, at Stanford 1968-1969.  We hope one day to have a case to display Huntsville-associated fencing artifacts, so to speak­an old box and reel, old uniforms, old weapons, and so forth.
 
 
“Back in the Day”­Points d’Arrêt
 
Our thanks to John Jordan, a founding member of both the MARS Fencing Club in 1963 and the Huntsville Fencing Club in 1971 for supplying this bit of epee history regarding the point d’arrêt (a three-pronged epee tip), including how to attach one and how it was used. Points d’arrêt were common well into the 1950s and were still seen in the 1960s, even though electrical epee scoring was first introduced in the 1930s.
 
“If you have a real practice epee it should have a flat point that should be about the diameter and or shape of an 8-10 penny nail. If it has a flat tip then the flat part of the point d'arrêt should fit nicely on the flat part of the tip of the blade.  Then using dental floss tie a slip knot around the blade and with the point d'arrêt in place start snugly-wrapping the dental floss back and forth through the points and down under the flat part of the "tip" evenly distributed until the sharp points just protrude enough to catch on a surface like a fencing jacket made of tough fabric. Using a razor blade shave off any tip of the dental floss. I still have my old vintage jacket with rips and tears and one or two where I took some shots on the back when I didn't duck quite enough to evade the attack.
 
“You know that we used tooth paste and red dye to dab the point d'arrêt in before each of three touches per bout?  The director had to make a judgment after a touch call from one of the two judges, each side, used before electric took over.  The director made the final judgment from looking at the impact point to see if the red spot was just a flick or had an indenture in the material of the jacket, pants, shoe, etc, along with the die mark.”
 
Fencers should note from John’s foregoing explanation that the flick was not allowed­the flick is an artificial touch, not a true “combat” thrust. It would cause little if any damage in real combat, not to mention that real dueling blades were necessarily stiff and could not be made to flick.
 
A loss of technique due to the nature of the flat modern tip is the small “parry” made by using the epee guard as a shield. The point d’arrêt and pineapple tips had the virtue of requiring less angulation to make a wrist or forearm touch, as was the case with a real blade with a sharp point. As such, epeeists often used the guard to defect these flat, direct thrusts to the wrist and forearm, a practice seen much less often today. Modern flat tips require greater angulation, rendering these “shield-parries” useless except occasionally.
 
Three-touch bouts were common in the first six decades of the 20th century because they were considered more realistic. One-touch bouts, the most realistic of all, had been done away with fairly early in the century (except in the modern pentathlon) as being too boring and often not an indicator of the fencer with the best technique. (But then, the victor in a duel was often not the fencer with the best technique overall, but the one who best combine technique, however limited, with courage, calculation, patience, and sangfroid.) Our modern fifteen touch bouts have entirely departed from any semblance of the reality of the duel, in general leaving victory to the fencer with the best technique, as opposed to the best swordsman or swordswoman in a more realistic one or three touch bout. On the other hand, fifteen touch bouts provide greater opportunity to recover from mistakes.
 
Points d’arrêt are available through American Fencers Supply. See Ben if you want to know what one looks like after it has been attached to a “dry” epee.

 

 
June 14, 2010
 
Beginning Class

Our next beginning class starts on June 26, and will run for eight two-hour on Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m. in the aerobics room at the Huntsville Athletic Club. Please contact us for details.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in setting the course dates, as well as for delays in communication. After sorting out a very busy schedule, I have finally been able to set a date. The class will begin on June 26 and will run for eight two-hour sessions on Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m. The class fee is $100, but payment is not required until the second class--we want to ensure that students are enjoying the class before they commit to it. Details regarding appropriate clothing are listed on our website, but feel free to contact me with any questions. Please reply if you plan on taking the class. Pre-registration is not required, but we do like to have an idea of approximate class size beforehand. 
 
Best Regards, 
 
Benerson Little 
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC 
 
 
 
 
January 2010

 
Beginning Class

Our next beginning class starts this weekend, January 23, and will run for eight sessions, noon until 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Details are available on the HFC website.


Need Updated Information

We're in the process of updating our email lists and member information, and in particular need to confirm the association of names with email addresses. Please send an email to hfc@hiwaay.net with your name, along with any other information you would like us to have on file, such as your home address, phone number, or additional email address. (We do not disclose email addresses or personal information to any other organization, business, or party.)


Vanderbilt Tournament

A number of our fencers will be attending the Vanderbilt tournament this weekend. If you're interested in possibly carpooling, contact Dave Young or Geoffrey Babb.

see 'Results Page'


Holiday and Summer Parties

Our many thanks to Chad Scales for hosting an excellent annual HFC holiday party. We'll also have a summer party this year, probably in July or early August. Anyone interested in hosting it, or who has suggestions on when to hold it, should contact Mike, Brian, or Ben.


Armorer and Secretary/Treasurer

Our many thanks to Dave Young for the abundant time and effort he puts in as armorer, and to Geoffrey Babb for volunteering to act as treasurer (well, in his words, as treasurer pro tem), with the addition of some associated secretarial duties. Our intention is to continue to keep the logistics and expenses of the club to a minimum in order to make fencing available to as many interested parties as possible, and to maintain the club's focus foremost as a venue for fencing in and around Huntsville.

For anyone interested, the club's stated purpose is to provide a local venue for recreational and competitive fencers of all levels at the lowest reasonable cost and free of unnecessary encumbrances; to promote the sport of Olympic fencing at the recreational and competitive levels; to maintain the traditions of honorable combat with swords; to encourage the study of swordplay, past and present; to provide affordable quality beginning instruction and beginning to advanced individual lessons; to minimize the administrative, logistical, and financial requirements associated with the club; and, especially, to encourage an atmosphere of competitive camaraderie.


Visiting Members

We were glad to see several of our collegiate fencers return to fence with us over the holidays: Kirstin Anderson from Furman University, Daniele Greene from the University of Colorado, Sara Leibold from the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, and Emily Stewart from Indiana University. Brentwood Reid visited for a while from Alaska, and Roland Vincent was briefly in town from France. Richard Ballard finally returned after an extended business trip to LA.


Facebook

For those interested, the club does have a Facebook page. Administrators are Mary Crouch and Emily Stewart.


Safety Reminders

Fencing is a very safe sport, and our club has an excellent safety record. In keeping with this, here is our annual safety reminders. Underarm protectors are mandatory. Although they are only required by the USFA for competition, we require them of all fencers, given the stiffer, heavier blade of the epee. We strongly urge all fencers to wear fencing breeches or pants, but we stop short of requiring them, although nearly all members do. Breeches are required by the USFA for competition, and nearly all of our fencers wear them. Women are required to wear breast protectors (also required by the USFA for competition), and we strongly recommend that men wear a protective cup. Men who fail to wear one do so at their own risk. We're almost entirely an epee club, remember.

Anytime you are demonstrating a technique with a partner, even in "slow motion," you must each wear your masks in order to prevent possible injury, particularly to the eyes.

Given how busy, and thus how crowded, we have been lately, please pay extra attention both to the fencers on adjacent strips, as well as to fencers and visitors on the sidelines. Also, fencers and visitors who are not fencing should move carefully throughout the room, paying particular attention to the movement of fencers on strip. As ever, the instructor has the final word on safety.


For Sale

Anyone interested in selling some of their equipment should contact Dave, Ben, or Mike, and we'll include the information in the newsletter and on the website.

The club has some posters for sale. They show epee basic positions, and were
designed based on the book Epee Combat Manual by Terrence Kingston.  The price is $5, see Dave Young if you are interested. Kingston's book is the best beginning to intermediate epee book in print, and is available via the Leon Paul website.

The club has a number of old (probably 1960s to early 1980s) masks unsafe for use. We're selling them for $5 apiece as wall hangers, and are considering offering them on eBay. If you're interested in any of them, contact Dave Young.


HFC Tournaments

With a bit of effort and luck, we should be able to run two epee tournaments this year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Tentative plans are to run both as mixed open events, with the addition of a single touch round robin or team event after the open. The spring tournament will the Joe Dabbs Open, in honor of Joe Dabbs, a founding member of both the MARS Fencing Club and the Huntsville Fencing Club. The fall tournament will be the MARS Musketeers Open, in honor of the MARS Fencing Club founded in 1963 by a few "NASA guys," as John Jordan, one of the founding members, put it. At the moment we're looking at two or three possible venues. If you know of any potential venues, please contact Dave or Mike, or send an email to hfc@hiwaay.net.

In 2011 we'll also host the Huntsville Fencing Club 40th Anniversary Open, and we plan to host an associated social event as well. Founding members will be invited as special guests. The HFC was officially chartered by the AFLA (the previous name of the USFA) on September 14, 1971. In 2013 we'll host the Half Century of Huntsville Fencing tournament (or the 50 Years of Huntsville Fencing), and again, founding members will be invited as special guests.


Equipment Update

A few months ago we ordered a wireless scoring system in good faith, but it has unfortunately not entirely lived up to its manufacturer's advertising. Hard hits often do not register, nor do those on bare flesh (the hand, for example), and often those on very sweaty uniforms do not register either. However, the system is still a good backup system when we're busy, and is also good for drills.


Lessons

A reminder that if you want lessons, let Ben know as soon as you walk in, or email him prior to practice. Lessons are rotated among all who want them, in order to ensure that lessons are available to everyone. Advice, by the way, is always free, so don't be afraid to ask questions about your fencing.


Training Program

The serious fencing competitor's training regimen should include not only free fencing, practice competitive bouts to five and fifteen touches, and formal lessons, but also physical training (strength training of the entire body, with preference given to high rep low weight [or body weight] exercises, plus cardio training, emphasizing both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, plus exercises for speed and agility, plus stretching); footwork drills, including speed exercises; reciprocal attack and defense drills with a partner; tempo drills with a partner; free fencing "restricted to certain actions or themes" as Vass puts it; "wall" exercises, alone and with a partner; psychological preparation; and regular competition.


Fencing History

From 17th and 18th century France, said of a gentleman who has neither money nor goods: Il n'a que la cape et l'epée / He has nothing but a cape and a sword. Of a man who carried a sword but had never used it: Son epée est pucelle / His epee is virgin. Of a combative man constantly drawing his sword: Son epée ne tient pas au fourreau / His sword won't stay in its scabbard. (Spelling has been modernized: epée, for example, was often spelled espée.)


Gilbert Rosière

Gilbert Rosière, probably the most noted 19th century New Orleans fencing master, has been voted into the USFA Hall of Fame. A street is named after him in New Orleans, and the New Orleans Fencing Club used to hold an annual team fencing competition in his name. Speaking of New Orleans, the latest American Fencing magazine has a brief article on how Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast fencing clubs have recovered after Katrina.


Fencing Advice

"In battle let valour and prudence go together, the lyon's courage with the fox's craft."
-le sieur Labat, The Art of Fencing, 1696 (Mahon's translation, 1734).

 

 
 
January 11, 2010
 
Beginning Class
 
The Huntsville Fencing Club's next beginning class will start on January 23, 2010 . The course will consist of eight two-hour sessions on Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m. at the Huntsville Athletic Club on Leeman Ferry. The course fee is $100, and need not be paid until the second class. We provide all equipment. Clothing recommendations are posted on our website. Pre-registration is not required, but we would appreciate an email letting us know if you intend to take the class, so that we can get an idea in advance of probably class size. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Benerson Little 
Instructor and Co-Director, HFC 
 
 
 
November 30, 2009
 
Christmas Party
The Christmas party will be held Saturday December 19th.
Contact Chad or Ben for more information.
 
 
October 12, 2009
 
Beginning Class
 
The Huntsville Fencing Club's next beginning class will start on
October 24, 2009. The course will consist of eight two-hour sessions
on Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m. at the Huntsville Athletic Club
on Leeman Ferry. The course fee is $100, and need not be paid until
the second class. We provide all equipment. Clothing recommendations
are posted on our website.(Information page) Pre-registration is not
required, but we would appreciate an email letting us know if you
intend to take the class, so that we can get an idea in advance of
probably class size. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Benerson Little
Instructor and Co-Director

 
 
 
August 7, 2009
 
Nationals
 
Our congratulations to everyone who fenced at Nationals this year. Fencing at national tournaments, both NACs and Summer Nationals, is a critical part of preparing for success at these tournaments.
 
 
USFA Registration
 
The new fencing year began on August 1st. You can register now or at your first tournament, if you plan on competing this year. As of August 7th the new online registration system was not up. You must register by mail if you intend to register now. The form is available on line at the USFA site.
 
 
Dues Reminder
 
Annual club dues ($30) are due are due this month.


Instruction
 
Our instructor, Ben Little, will be back regularly by mid-August. He's been meeting a deadline (and taking a break).


Beginning Class

The dates of the next beginning class have not yet been determined. Ben is waiting to review the fall high school volleyball schedule, as well as his travel schedule.
 
 
Exchange Student
 
CIEE USA High School Programs is looking to place a fifteen year old student from Spain, Jose Luis, with a local fencing family. Jose Luis is an avid fencer. If you might be interested, please contact Ben ASAP.
 
 
USFA “Stay and Play”
 
If you are a recent member of the USFA, you have probably received an anonymous email regarding the USFA’s decision to require the use of the THS system for all National tournaments. In other words, fencers who live farther away than one hundred miles from NAC and Nationals tournament sites, must use the system, and may not locate their own accommodations outside of the system. This will almost certainly increase the cost of the stay, and prevent fencers from staying with friends or family. The writer, who must remain anonymous because he or she does business with the USFA, opposes the system’s use. Our instructor, Ben Little, has had experience with the THS system via volleyball and opposes it on both practical grounds (he had great difficulty canceling part of a reservation--the system reservation change deadline was several days prior to play, unlike the typical hotel deadline which permits cancellation up to the evening of the reservation) and on the requirement that it will be mandatory. Fencing travel is expensive enough without being required to use a specific hotel booking system which benefits no one but the USFA. In Ben’s opinion, the USFA is already picking our pockets enough (as are most national sports organizations). If you oppose the requirement, please let the USFA know by contacting Kurt Aichele ( mailto:kurt.aichele@usfencing.org) and Kalle Weeks (mailto:kgweeks@gmail.com). If you did not receive the emails and would like to read them, contact Ben.
 

Two days ago, the USFA sent out a link noting that the "Stay and
Play" hotel program was on hold, so no need to email the USFA
regarding it unless they re-institute it. Our thanks to Dave Young
for pointing this out.


Party

Our usual summer party has been delayed due to schedule conflicts which have led to a lack of venue. We'll keep you posted.


Fall Tournament

The HFC will be hosting an epee tournament this fall, the Joe Dabbs Open. Details to follow.
 
 
Old Masks For Sale

The club has several old masks for sale for $5 as wall hangers or decoration. These masks were used for years in beginning classes, most have small bibs, and none are safe for fencing anymore. See Dave Young if you're interested.
 
 
Un-subscribe: If you do not wish to receive this newsletter or other emails from the Huntsville Fencing Club, please contact us at hfc@hiwaay.net and we'll remove you from our mailing list.

Copyright Huntsville Fencing Club 2009
 

 

 
April 17, 2009
 
 
 
Division Election
 
If you are a current USFA member and your membership is dated on or before February 1, 2009, and you are at least 18 years old as of this date, you are eligible to vote for the 2009-2010 proposed slate of officers. The HFC directors recommend a yes vote. We had proposed Mike Greene as division chair; given his fencing and administrative experience, he was in our opinion the most qualified choice. The division has instead proposed a slate with a Birmingham fencing parent as chair. However, Jonathan Thrasher has been nominated as vice-chair, and Mike as 2nd congress representative, so the HFC will have good representation. If you did not receive a ballot and are eligible to vote, contact Ben, Mike, or Dave to forward a ballot and mailing address to you. Ballots must be received by May 31, 2009. You will need your USFA number in order to vote.
NominationofOfficers2009.doc

 
Fencing Lessons
 
Due to other engagements, Ben will not be available for lessons 17-18 and 24-25 April. Lessons will resume 1 May. Priority will be given to those fencers who have not had the most recent lessons. (And yes, for those of you who have asked, club volleyball season should be over this weekend!)
 
 
Next Beginning Class
 
The next beginning class will start on May 16. Details are available on our website on the information page.
 
 
Epee Clinics
 
Ben will run the following clinics in May: Saturday, May 2, noon to 2, Epee Defense and Offense and Infighting and Fencing at Close Distance. Saturday, May 9, noon to 2, Epee Strategy and Tactics, followed by a one touch round robin. The clinics are free to HFC members. Interested non-HFC members must first contact the instructor in order to ensure space availability.

 
 
MTSU Tournament Reminder
 
Don’t forget the MTSU Blue Raider Open on April 25 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. We’re trying to get as many fencers to attend as are available. Right now the tournament is shaping up to be a fairly strong event.
 
 
Pen and Sword
 
“They say the pen is mightier than the sword.” --Lope de Vega, The Knight from Olmeda (El caballero de Olmeda), 1622
 
Or...
 
“Benbu Itchi” (Pen and sword in accord). --Japanese, 17th century or earlier
 
 
Epee Advice
 
“Patience is the first virtue of an épée fencer.” --Luigi Barbasetti, 1936
 
Yet...
 
“Never hesitate!” --Dr. Francis Zold, 1977
 
 
Dave Young’s New Book
 
Dave’s latest book, Computational Drug Design: Things that All Drug Designers Should Know (Wiley, 2009) is now in print.
 
 
Equipment for Sale
 
A former member has a pair of used fencing britches and a used fencing bag for sale, contact Ben for details. Karl Kiesler may have a variety of fencing equipment for sale, contact Karl or Charlene for details.
 
 
Tragedy with Real Swords
 
The Associated Press reported that a seventy-seven year old Indianapolis woman suffered fatal wounds when she tried to break up a sword fight between her grandson and her brother-in-law. One of the swords was described as a WWII era Japanese officer’s sword, while the other was only described as having a “thicker blade.” The woman’s grandson, thirty-nine years old, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder. Her brother-in-law was reported as being in critical condition, with multiple serious “stab wounds.” The grandson, also hospitalized, suffered similar wounds.
 

 

March 30, 2009

Charlene Kiesler

Charlene, our club treasurer, recently had one of her legs amputated below the knee. She wants everyone to know that she is doing well and is in good spirits. We send our best wishes for her recovery.


Emily Stewart

Emily was recently featured, along with two other area students, in a Huntsville Times feature article describing their superior individual choral performances and abilities. Emily was named female Alabama Outstanding Choral Student at the Alabama All-State Festival. If you missed it, the article is available here: http://www.al.com/huntsvilletimes/stories/index.ssf?/base/news/1237194922298360.xml&coll=1


Club Photo

We're looking at dates for both the summer party and a club photo, July or August being the most likely months for both. Please send an email to let us know the best days of the week as well as the best dates over the summer that you're available. We want turnout for the photo to be as complete as possible. Digital copies will be available for free. The photo will be taken on a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon at the club.


Alabama Divisionals

A reminder that Alabama divisionals will be held this Saturday, April 4, at the YMCA in south Huntsville. Those of you who might be interested in volunteering should contact Dave Young ASAP.


Division Election

The proposed slate of division officers for the next term is currently being put together, and must be complete by April 15. Division officers are hoping to have it complete by April 4. We've passed the names of two volunteers (Mike, Jonathan) to the division treasurer (Dave Young). If anyone else is interested, contact Dave ASAP. According to Dave, the election will be held by May 31, probably via email.


MTSU Tournament

Middle Tennessee State University plans on holding an epee tournament on Saturday, April 25. The organizers are hoping for a strong turnout from our club, and we're encouraging our competitors to attend.


Huntsville Epee Tournaments

We have plans to host two epee tournaments per year, starting this year. Ideally, we'll hold one tournament in the spring and the other in the fall. Given our late start this year, we hope to hold the spring tournament this summer. The main event will be an open mixed epee competition, and we'll probably hold a team event or one touch epee round robin as an additional "fun" event. We're also considering "D and under" and youth events, time and venue permitting. The tournaments will be the Joe Dabbs Open and the M.A.R.S. Musketeers Open, the former in honor of M.A.R.S. and HFC founding member Joe Dabbs, and the latter in honor of the original NASA-based M.A.R.S. club and its members from which the HFC developed.


Epee Refereeing Issues

Later this week we'll be posting a pdf file of epee refereeing issues and notes on our website. The document, written from the fencer's point of view, will review significant epee rules and refereeing issues, and hopefully clear up some misconceptions. It will not be a substitute for reading the rule book and learning the rules.




Clinics

Right now Ben has tentative plans for running two to four one-hour epee clinics over the next month on designated Saturdays between noon and 2 p.m. The clinics will be free. Tentative topics include Infighting and Fencing at Close Distance, Epee Defense, Epee Footwork, and Basic Epee Tactics. He might also hold a clinic on late 17th and early 18th century smallsword technique. Dates will be posted on the website during the coming week.


Beginning Class

The next beginning class will start in early May. We'll post the date and send out notices during the coming week.


Mask Designs

For those of you who have asked about designs or graphics on the face of the mask, the following is quoted from the rules book, Appendix A to the Material Rules, at the end of section 2.1 (page 68): "USFA Note: Masks may feature colored designs on condition that they are approved on the sole and absolute discression [sic] of the Head Referee, and is unappealable at that event." In other words, in general avoid them, or risk not being able to wear the mask in competition. If you do paint a design on your mask, have a second mask available in case the design is not approved.


Strength, Technique, and Fortune versus Spirit

From Montaigne's essay Of Cannibals: "We have sufficient advantages over our enemies that are borrowed and not truly our own; it is the quality of a porter, and no effect of virtue, to have stronger arms and legs; it is a dead and corporeal quality to set in array: 'tis a turn of fortune to make our enemy stumble, or to dazzle him with the light of the sun; 'tis a trick of science and art, and that may happen in a mean base fellow, to be a good fencer. The estimate and value of a man consist in the heart and in the will: there his true honour lies. Valour is stability, not of legs and arms, but of the courage and the soul; it does not lie in the goodness of our horse or our arms: but in our own." Similar sentiments are expressed in 17th and 18th century Japanese works on swordplay.

In the same essay, Montaigne also briefly addresses the subject of spirit and surrender, quoting Seneca's famous line: Si succiderit, de genu pugnat--"If his legs fail him, he fights on his knees." (Monty Python and the Holy Grail wasn't very far off, after all.) Dr. Francis Zold, a student of Italo Santelli and a revered fencing master, put it much more simply: "Never give up!" Our thanks to Mary Crouch for pointing out Montaigne's essay.


Swordswomen in History

"There have lived many famous swordswomen in France, conspicuous among whom, at different times, were Madame de Chateau-Gay, who was perfect mistress of the rapier; there was also La Donze, who killed two professionals at Auvergne. La Baupré and La des Nilis were both experts with the sword; while La Maupin, disguised in male attire, at a bal masqué killed three clever Parisian swordsmen in one night. What training may accomplish with women is, perhaps, best shown in Vigéant's account of Jean Louis' daughter--who is, by far, the most excellent and extraordinary swordswoman that ever lived." From Ben C. Truman, The Field of Honor (New York: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert, 1884), 459. Jean Louis, a Frenchman of mixed African and European parentage, was possibly the greatest swordsman and master of the 19th century.


March 9, 2008

 

Atlanta NAC

Several of our fencers competed in various events at the recent Atlanta NAC, with an excellent showing. See the results page for details. (Results will be posted soon after the USFA posts the official results.) Congratulations to all.


Alabama Divisionals

The Alabama Divisional Summer National Qualifying tournament will be held April 4 at the YMCA at 1000 Weatherly Rd. in Huntsville. The entry form is available at HERE or http://askfred.net. To enter, print the form, fill it out and get the form and payment to David Young by March 30. The events are Div II, Div III, Y14, Junior and Cadet in all three weapons. Competitors placing in the top 3, or top 25% (which ever is greater) qualify to compete in that event at the Summer National tournament, the beginning of July in Dallas.  Fencers are welcome to enter even if they are unsure whether they will be able to compete in Dallas. If you are not already a USFA member, you can join the USFA at the door (required to compete).

The Huntsville Fencing Club is the host club for the Divisional tournament on April 4. We would like to get a few more volunteers to help work at the tournament. Things we will need help with include setup (8:00 a.m.), taking shifts on the registration desk and mask checks (starting 8:30 a.m.) and take down when it is done (this won't be later than 8:00 p.m. and could be significantly earlier).  Rated fencers may be asked to referee some bouts on the weapon they hold a rating in. The division has a tournament manager, Tommy Knox, who will keep everything running, and arrange to get a head referee from out of town. If you are interested in helping, contact Dave Young or Mike Greene.


Other Upcoming Tournaments

March 14, 2009:  Vanderbilt's Dean Richard Memorial Open. Nashville. Events include open mixed epee, and division III mixed epee.

March 14, 2009: Twelfth Annual Wright Memorial Fencing Tournament. Birmingham. Events include open mixed epee, D and under mixed epee, and youth epee.

March 28, 2009: Dunwoody Fencing Club March Epee. Dunwoody, Georgia. Open mixed epee and D and under mixed epee.

Salle Bosco is hosting a D and under epee tournament (When Irish Epees are Smiling) on March 21, 2009. However, askFred.net reports that this is a non-sanctioned event, and as such, ratings will not be awarded. Also that weekend is the Augusta Fencing Club's March Melee, but no events are listed yet. For our Tennessee division members, the Tennessee Division Qualifiers will be held March 28-29.
 

Sectionals

Fencers interested in participating in the Southeast Sectionals (May 16-17, Lakeland, FL) should contact Ben or Dave for a copy of the entry form. Registration deadline is May 9.

See www.askFred.net for details and registration for these and other tournaments.


US Fencing URL

The old USFA address ( www.usfencing.org) now points to the new address ( http://fencing.teamusa.org/).


Reclaiming the Blade

The feature length documentary of the sword, Reclaiming the Blade, was unfortunately never released in Huntsville theaters, but will be available on DVD in a two-disk special edition on March 30. See http://galatiafilms.com/store/reclaiming-the-blade-deluxe-edition.html .. The DVD will probably be available through other vendors as well.

 

February 3, 2009

New USFA Link

The USFA website is changing its address from http://www.usfencing.org to http://fencing.teamusa.org/. At present, both sites are up, but the at some point the old address will be closed. The new URL is already posted on our links page.


Divisionals

Another reminder that Alabama divisionals will be held locally on April 4, in all likelihood at the YMCA in south Huntsville. We encourage all of our competitively-inclined members to participate. For those of you who have never competed before, the tournament would be a good time to start. Given that the competition will be held here, we'd like to make a good showing, particularly in the epee events. If all goes well, we'd like to use the YMCA facility for two HFC-sponsored tournaments per year.


Upcoming Tournaments

The following are upcoming tournaments which may be of interest to our competitor members. In general, check http://askfred.net/ for the most up-to-date information on area tournaments and results.

January 31, Birmingham: BFC Open Mixed Epee, D and Under Mixed Epee, Mixed Saber

January 31, Rome, GA: Gladiator Gala, Open Epee, E and Under Epee, Youth Epee

January 31, Knoxville, TN: Szathmary Cup, Open Epee

February 7, Atlanta: Atlanta Fencers Club Grand Prix, Mixed Epee, Mixed Saber

February 14, Atlanta: Atlanta Fencers Club, Youth Epee Events only

March 14, Nashville: Vanderbilt's Dean Richard Memorial Open, Mixed Epee, Mixed Saber


Danielle Green

Danielle is now attending college in Boulder, Colorado, but will still fence with us when she's in town.


Website

Mike Greene has been updating our site ( www.huntsvillefencingclub.org). In particular, he's posted quite a few old photos and articles from the club's earlier years on the "Scrapbook" page, including a short fencing memoir by founding member John Jordan. Some of Chad's artwork and Dave's armory manual are posted on the "Member Stuff" page.


Three Musketeers

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery is presenting a stage version of The Three Musketeers in May and June. Some fencers have expressed interest in attending. Right now there are tentative plans for a few fencers to go down in June. Good tickets are going quickly. If anyone is interested in going as a group, and possibly in arranging a tournament in Montgomery at the same time, contact Ben ASAP.


Spamalot

Spamalot
, the Broadway show based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, will be playing in Huntsville at the VBCC February 17-22. Although there won't be much swordplay, there will scenes that illustrate the virtues of (1) never giving up in a sword fight ("'Tis just a scratch...I've had worse... It's just a flesh wound"), and (2) basic defense ("Run away! Run away!"). The show stars Richard Chamberlain, who played Aramis in The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974), and Louis XIV and his twin brother in a television version of The Man in the Iron Mask (1977).


Fencing Non-Rule

A recent conversation with one of our fencers indicated that some directors (excuse me, some referees) are still requiring epee fencers to hold their masks in front of their faces when testing guards. There is no such rule, and you may not be carded for non-compliance. (See sections t.17 and t.43, for example, and also the Schedule of Offences and Penalties.) In fact, the rule book does not even specify that foil or saber lames (or saber masks) and epee guards must be tested before a bout, although only a fool would fail to make the appropriate test. Neither are there rules requiring that foilists or sabreurs hold their masks in similar fashion when testing lames or (in saber) masks. The act of holding the mask in front of one's face is arguably of dubious value anyway in protecting the throat or face against an inadvertent thrust in such circumstances, which would most likely come from below. If there were truly a safety issue, the rules would require that masks be worn when testing. The best suggestion is simply to be careful when testing guards or lames, although there is nothing to prevent you from holding your mask in front of your face if you want to. Fencing is full of similar "urban myths," many of the them perpetrated by naive referees, of whom there are many. If in doubt, read the rule book. Better yet, read it anyway, and don't be afraid to challenge the misapplication of a rule--or the application of a non-existent rule--in competition.


Equipment Inventory

Dave Young recently completed an inventory of club equipment. We have sufficient equipment to support beginning classes, although we will continue to phase out the older masks. As we do, we'll sell them for $5 apiece in case anyone wants one for wall decoration, with the proceeds going to the club treasury. The masks all have small bibs and not much padding, and this type, common for almost a century, is no longer manufactured. Also, right now we have equipment for five electric strips, but two of the boxes are getting old, and we may replace at least one soon, and place one of the older boxes in reserve as a backup or for the day when we have room to lay out more strips.


Next Beginning Class

Depending on scheduling issues and barring significant conflicts, the next beginning fencing class will start in April or May.
 

January 22, 2009

Paul Pesthy

The HFC mourns the recent passing away of epee fencer, pentathlete, and coach Paul Pesthy. Mr. Pesthy was born in Budapest, Hungary, and competed at the international level for the US in both epee and modern pentathlon, winning team silver in the latter at the 1964 Olympics and team bronze at the 1962 and 1963 world championships. He competed in epee in the 1968 and 1976 Olympics, and was a member of the 1980 team that did not compete due to the US boycott. He won the US national epee championship five times, a record. As a coach, he trained elite US pentathlon and epee athletes, including Olympians. His pentathletes won several world championships, and one of them, Emily Deriel won silver at the 2000 Olympics. Mr. Pesthy was 70 years old. For more information, see the Winter 2008 edition of American Fencing magazine.

 


January 15, 2009

December Fencing Party

Our thanks to Charlene for hosting what was by all accounts an excellent party, well in keeping with the club's tradition.


Uniform Donation

Our thanks to Joe Rogers for his donation of uniforms to the club.


Louisville NAC

Best of luck to all of our fencers who will be attending the Louisville NAC this weekend! For those of you who aren't fencing at the NAC, those who are could use your support, and attending is also a great way to shop for fencing equipment, as many of the major vendors will be there.


Divisionals Reminder

The HFC is hosting Alabama divisionals this year, probably in April. We encourage all of you to enter the epee events. The division will manage the tournament, and will need volunteers to assist with scorekeeping and other tasks. If you might be interested in volunteering, please contact Dave or Mike.


Beginning Fencing Class

The next beginning foil class begins this weekend, January 17, and will run for eight weeks on Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m.


Zorro and John Carter of Mars

For those interested in very high quality reproduction swords of cinema and literature, see http://filmswords.com/.

 

 

January 1, 2009

The next beginning class will start on January 17, 2009. Please email us if you plan on attending, so that we'll have a rough idea of class size in advance.


 

November 29, 2008

Fencing Party

Look for a separate email from Charlene regarding holiday party details. The date is set for Saturday the 20th of December.


Upcoming Tournaments

December 6. Reminder: Alabama Division JO Qualifiers, Montgomery, Alabama.

December 6. Winter Whuppin' at the Augusta Fencers Club, Augusta, Georgia. Mixed open epee, D and under epee.

December 13. Montgomery Fencing Club's first tournament. Open epee registration closes at 10:00 a.m.  Preregistration is available at http://askfred.net. See Dave Young if you want a ride.

December 20 (club party date): Dunwoody Fencing Club Southern Star, Dunwoody, Georgia. Youth 10 and 12 epee, E and under epee, mixed open epee, combined veteran's epee.


Modern Swashbucklers on DVD

For those interested in swashbuckling or historical swordplay fare, the following are some of the best films in the genre, all available on DVD, of the past three decades:

The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers. 1973, 1974. Probably the best version of the Dumas classic, ever. Puts later versions to shame. Remains loyal to Dumas' plot and spirit. Outstanding cast, including Michael York, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Frank Finlay, Christopher Lee, Charleton Heston, Faye Dunaway, and Raquel Welch. Originally shot as a single film, but was released as two separate films due to length. Directed by Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night, Help!). Rated PG.

The Duelists. 1977. Based on a Joseph Conrad short story, itself based on actual events. The swordplay in the film is probably the most historically accurate ever filmed. Stars Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel, who plays his role to the hilt, pun intended. Rated PG.

The Princess Bride. 1987. Outstanding version of the modern fairy tale. Great lines, well-choreographed theatrical swordplay. Stars Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant, and Wallace Shawn. Rated PG.

Cyrano. 1990. Outstanding film adaptation of the play. Includes a well-choreographed duel in which Cyrano composes a ballade as he fights. Stars Gerard Depardieu, Anne Brochet, and Vincent Perez. Rated PG.

Revenge of the Musketeers (La Fille de d'Artagnan / D'Artagnan's Daughter). 1994. Well-made, lighthearted swashbuckler about Eloise D'Artagnan, her father, and the Three Musketeers. Plenty of swordplay, much of it tongue-in-cheek, including satire of various secret thrusts. Stars Sophie Marceau and Philippe Noiret. In French with English subtitles. The title was changed for US release. Rated R in the US for mild nudity.

Rob Roy. 1995. Well-made film about the legendary Scottish reiver and swordsman, although the script takes significant liberties with the facts. The swordplay is intense and well-choreographed, although a duel between a broadsword and smallsword or shearing sword would probably have transpired differently. Stars Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange. Rated R for violence and some sexual situations.

The Mask of Zorro. 1998. Well-made, fun version of Zorro, set a generation after the original story. Ignore the gaping holes in the plot and just enjoy the movie. Energetic theatrical swordplay. Stars Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Rated PG-13 for some indecipherable reason. Don't bother with the sequel, The Legend of Zorro.

On Guard (Le Bossu / The Hunchback). 1998. Based on the 19th century classic by Paul Feval. Much swordplay, even describes an exaggerated version of the actual botte de Nevers, a purported botte secrète or secret thrust, actually nothing more than a thrust between the eyes. (And no, for those who watch the film, the skull does not have a weakness there which would permit a smallsword thrust to penetrate.) Stars Daniel Auteuil, Vincent Perez, and Marie Gillain. In French, with English subtitles. Not rated. Violence, brief mild nudity.

Alatriste. 2006. Based on the five short Alatriste novels by bestselling Spanish author Arturo Perez-Reverte, about Captain Alatriste, a Spanish soldier and sword-for-hire in the early 17th century. Stars Viggo Mortensen, who did his graduate work in Spanish studies. Also stars Ariadna Gil (Belle Epoque, Pan's Labyrinth). The film is a feast for the eyes, although the plot may be difficult to follow if you have not read the books. Plenty of swordplay with the Spanish cuphilt rapier and dagger. In Spanish, with English subtitles. Would probably be rated R in the US for violence and some sexual situations. In Mexico it is recommended for ages 16 and older. Not yet released in the US. Available on ebay in a combination region 1 and 4 DVD.


The UIPM, Under Pressure from the IOC, Alters the Modern Pentathlon

In yet another bid at making sports more appealing to a television audience, pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has once again diminished the original nature and spirit of a sport. In the case of the Modern Pentathlon (riding, one touch epee fencing, shooting, swimming, and cross country running), the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne  has combined the shooting and running events, primarily in order to sustain the sport at the Olympic level. Recently the IOC has been considering eliminating the event, which has been in every modern Olympics since their inception, and the UIPM's action is doubtless in response. Read the sordid details at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/27/sports/olympics/27pentathlon.html .

Modern Pentathlon Trivia: George S. Patton, later to become a famous, successful, yet often tactless WWII US Army general and combat commander, competed in the sport as a member of the US Olympic team. (Patton also redesigned the US cavalry saber and wrote a manual on its use. He, like the French cavalry, was an advocate of the thrust over the cut from horseback.)


More Fencing Gripes, Many Also Ultimately Courtesy of the IOC

Over the last three decades we have seen quite a few rule changes, many of them purportedly designed to make the sport of fencing easier to comprehend to audiences--in the Queen's English, to make them "televisual." Most of the following rules changes are directly or in part due to attempts to make the sport more appealing to an ignorant or naive audience. To date, all have failed to make the sport more appealing to the spectator. For example, epee and saber strips have been shortened from eighteen to fourteen meters, making them equal with the foil strip--epee and saber, being dueling weapons, were originally granted more ground to maneuver on. Five touch bouts have been shortened from six minutes to three minutes in an effort to reduce competition time and to force fencers to be more active and aggressive. The double defeat in epee has been eliminated, taking the weapon further away from the duel it was designed to emulate. Non-violent contact in epee now draws a halt (another step away from the emulation of the duel), although thankfully not (yet at least) a yellow card. Pool competitions have been eliminated, primarily due to cheating at the elite level, and have been replaced by a fifteen touch DE table, which can give skewed results. At the Olympic level, the size of the competitor field has been reduced to such a degree that it is no longer a truly broad international field (the US qualified only one epee fencer this past Olympics, for example). The world championships are now the best indicator of a nation's fencing prowess, as they permit a much larger, broader field. The rules changes and rightof-way interpretations in foil and saber deserve their own separate rant, saved for another day.

HFC,  November 12, 2008

 

Holiday Fencing Party

The holiday party date is not yet set in stone, but will be by this weekend. If you have any input, please forward it to Charlene immediately! We can hold the party at Charlene's only on Saturday 6 December, Friday 12 December, or Friday 19 December. If we want to hold the party on Saturday December 13 or 20, someone else will need to provide the venue. Again, let Charlene know ASAP regarding your preference. Several members have suggested moving the party to the weekend of 12/13 or 19/20 to accommodate


Fencing 14 and 15 November

Due to prior engagements, Ben will probably not be at fencing this Friday, and only briefly on Saturday, early or late, or both. Lessons may have to wait until the following weekend.


Next Beginning Class

Because of likely holiday interruptions, we'll start our next beginning class in early January. We'll post the date soon.


Clinics

If there's interest, we'll run a clinic or two between now and the next beginning class. Possible subjects: footwork, epee tactics, historical swordplay (late 17th-early 18th centuries).


Divisionals

The Huntsville Fencing Club will host the Alabama divisionals this year, most likely in April according to armorer and division officer Dave Young. Details to follow as they become available. We will need some volunteer support, and we encourage all of our eligible fencers to participate in the epee events.


Documentary

Reclaiming the Blade, a documentary on the sword, swordplay, and staged swordplay in film, is scheduled to open in theaters on December 15. No word on whether it will open in Huntsville, which is not known for its promotion of documentary or art film. Check the website at http://www.reclaimingtheblade.com/main/. Thanks to Chad for pointing this film out.


Links to Swashbuckling Women

http://www.weirdwildrealm.com/f-swashbucklingsirens.html
http://www.eldacur.com/~brons/Maupin/MaupinIndex.html
http://www.eldacur.com/~brons/Maupin/Maupin-Like.html


Traditional Saber Grips

The old checkered wood saber grips (last seen for sale in the late 70s or so) are available again through Leon Paul. The grips are a bit pricey, though, at $26.85, although if you like them, they're worth it. Made of maple.


New Fencing Supplier

An ad in the latest American Fencing magazine previews a new fencing supplier, Balestra, which should be online soon.
 

 

 

Epee Repair Clinic
 
The Huntsville Fencing Club will host an armory clinic on Saturday, November 8 at the Huntsville Athletic Club from 12:00 to 2:00.  Dave Young will demonstrate the troubleshooting and repair of epee body cords and electric epees, and the wiring and assembly of an electric epee. The cost is $10, and will help cover the cost of an epee blade and parts, which in turn will, when assembled, be added to the stock of club weapons. Please contact Dave if you plan on attending, or even if you think you might. An accompanying repair document in pdf format, written by Dave, is available online. All fencers should know how to troubleshoot their weapons, make minor repairs, and re-wire a blade.
Here's a link to the document that accompanies the clinic - epee_troubleshooting.pdf

Halloween
 
Fencing lessons will be unavailable on Halloween. Otherwise, have a Happy All Hallows Eve!
 
 
Upcoming Tournaments
 
The North Georgia Fencing Center in Suwanee, Georgia is holding D and under men’s and women’s epee events on Saturday, November 1, and also a mixed veteran’s epee event.
 
The Vanderbilt Fencing Club is hosting the Cumberland Open 2008 on Sunday, November 2. The tournament will include an open epee event.
 
The Alabama Junior Olympic 2008 Qualifiers will be held on December 6 in Montgomery. Entry deadline is November 29. U17 and U20 (ages under 17 and under 20 events) will be held.
 
See http://www.askfred.net/ for details.
 
 
Next Beginning Fencing Class
 
We should have a date for the next class posted by November 8. We haven’t yet determined whether to hold a class before year’s end, given that the fall holidays often make it difficult to run an uninterrupted class.
 
 
Movie Catalog
 
For fans of swashbuckling movies, the Belle and Blade print video and DVD catalog has an extensive section of “swashbuckling adventure films,” including rare and hard-to-find. The company is owned and managed by Steve Mormando, a fourteen-time US national saber champion and three-time Olympian. The catalog is also available online at http://www.warshows.com/.
 
 
Fencing History: Women’s Competitive Events
 
Although organized women’s fencing had been around for decades, women’s fencing was not added to the Olympics until 1924, and then only as individual foil. Decades passed before women were permitted to compete in epee and saber. Women’s epee events in the US were introduced only in 1984, for example. Women’s epee was not added to the world championships until 1989, and to the Olympics in 1996. The first US women’s saber national championship was not held until 1988, and only 39 women participated. Women’s saber was not added to the world championships until 1999 and to the Olympics until 2004, and even then some male dinosaurs in the US were still complaining about women being permitted to compete in saber. The complainers have had their comeuppance: US women’s saber has produced the best US fencing results, ever.
 
The reason for the long exclusion of women from these weapons was due in large part to sexism: the epee and saber used in modern competitive fencing were originally dueling weapons, but the foil was considered a training or sport weapon. Dueling was considered a male domain and thus inappropriate for women. Epee and saber were even often each referred to by some male fencers and masters as “a man’s weapon” well into the 1980s. Further, some men (and some women as well) wrongly believed that women lacked the physical ability to wield an epee or saber, or were likely to be injured by them. Even many fencing masters, who otherwise might have been willing to teach women the epee or saber, refused to do so, believing that it was a waste of a woman fencer's talent and time to train her to fence a weapon she could not compete in.


Referee Clinic

The Alabama Division of the US Fencing Association is considering sponsoring a referee clinic later this year. It will probably last one and half days and end with certification exams for all three weapons. Having a better understanding of the current fencing rules can be a benefit fencers competing in tournaments. Also, the USFA helps cover some travel expenses to North American Cup tournaments for individuals agreeing to spend at least one full day refereeing, and some local tournaments pay rated referees.  Having a few individuals with referee training would also benefit the Huntsville Fencing Club if we decide to hold any tournaments in Huntsville. There would be a modest fee for the referee clinic. Please let Dave Young know if you are interested in attending a referee clinic. If you think you might be interested in attending the clinic, you should download and begin reviewing the USFA Rule Book, the "2008 USFA Rule Changes" document, and the National Referee Examination Study Guide from the USFA website at www.usfencing.org . Follow the "Forms and Documents" and "Refereeing for the USFA" links.

 

 

Club Equipment

We would like to thank Jonathan Thrasher for donating parts to make a club epee. If anyone else would like donate parts (or an entire old epee), please contact Dave Young. Ideally, we try to keep several “club epees” at hand for the purpose of introducing new fencers to epee, and to assist fencers whose epees quit working on a given night.
 

 Website Update

Links and Fencing Books pages are up, and the Results page will be up soon. The Our People page has been changed to Photos. Some photos have been added to the information and news pages. Photos for some of the other pages will be added soon. A club history page should be up within a month. At the moment Mike and Ben are reading through old club documents and memorials, and interviewing fencers who belonged to the MARS and HFC clubs in decades past.

 If you notice any results are missing from the Results page, let Mike or Ben know, and we’ll get them added.

  

Club Logo

Chad has expanded on the club arms, creating a more formal--and quite impressive--version. Not to worry, the shield and thus the club patch remain the same. The arms are posted on our website, and a larger image is posted on the scrapbook page. The motto Patientia Vincit is derived from “Prevail by Patience” and translates literally as “Patience Conquers,” perfectly suitable to epee fencing and beyond. Its origin as our club motto derives from Luigi Barbasetti’s quote, “Patience is the first virtue of the epee fencer,” and from the motto of writer Rafael Sabatini’s hero Charles de Bernis in The Black Swan. The swashbuckling novel is a tale of deceptive tactics patiently applied, culminating in a duel on a tropical island shore. A word of warning: to be patient does not mean to be passive. A patient fencer can still be, and should be, very aggressive.

Equipment for Sale, Equipment Wanted

If anyone has fencing equipment for sale or is looking for a particular piece of used equipment or uniform, contact Mike or Ben and we’ll post the appropriate “Equipment for Sale” or “Equipment Wanted” notice in the newsletter and on the info page. We won’t post your contact info on the web, only in the newsletter. We’ll forward any web inquiries to you. Also, you might want to contact Dave, our armorer, as he is usually current on equipment needs among many of our members.

 New Foil Mask

For those of you interested in foil or who still occasionally fence it, beginning January 2009 the lower part of the mask bib will become part of the foil target in World Cup, World Championship, Grand Prix, and Olympic foil events. The new masks will have a lamé (metallic) lower portion matching that of the metallic jacket, and will be connected to it via a wire with a crocodile clip on each end, in a fashion similar to that of electric saber. To date, the lower part of the bib has been excluded from the target, although per the rules the lower area it covers should be part of the target. The mask specifications are located on the FIE website.

Books and posters for sale:

The club has imported copies of "Epee Combat Manual" by Terence Kingston, and
the accompanying "Epee Fencing Basic Positions" poster.  This is an
excellent beginners book and poster which are not sold in this country.  The
club is selling them to club members at cost.

Book $15 (only 2 left)  Sold Out
Poster $10

Leon Paul FIE underarm protector, large, right handed, slightly used, $40

To purchase these items, see Dave Young.

 

Upcoming Tournaments

The Cumberland D'Escrime Open is being held in Nashville on September 13. Several of our fencers are competing.

The Atlanta Fencing Club’s AFC Grand Prix has both an open epee competition on Saturday September 20, and a D and under epee competition on September 21 in East Point, Georgia.

The Third Annual Bruce Fusner Memorial will be held in Dunwoody (a Northeast suburb of Atlanta) on September 27. There will be a D and under mixed epee competition, and an open mixed epee competition.

See askFred.net or Dave Young (who’s usually current on regional tournaments) for details.

 

Fencing Instruction

Fencing lessons from the common housefly: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7586868.stm

 

Results

Kirstin Anderson earned her D rating at a Knights of Siena tournament in North Carolina the last weekend in August.

 

Fencing On Stage

A stage version of The Three Musketeers will be performed at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival from April 24 to June 14, 2009. Othello and The Comedy of Errors will also run at approximately the same time, overlapping with many of the dates of The Three Musketeers. See http://www.asf.net/

Fencing Demonstration on Local TV

Kirstin Anderson and Emily Stewart demonstrated epee fencing with anchor Lisa Washington on Tuesday morning, August 19, on local news Channel 19 (WHNT). The footage will probably be posted on Ms. Washington’s blog on the WHNT website.

 

New Club

The addition of the Montgomery Fencing Club brings the number of active fencing clubs in Alabama to five. Of the major cities in Alabama, only Mobile lacks a club.

 

Division Schedule

10/25-26            Bestimmtag—Birmingham Fencing Club

12/6                 Junior Olympic Qualifiers—Montgomery Fencing Club

1/31-2/1                BFC tournament, approval pending. Weapon and format TBA

3/14-15            Wright Memorial—B'ham

TBD                 Alabama Divisionals (probably in April, venue TBD)

4/11                 Regional Youth Circuit

5/16-17            Vulcan Open—B'ham

6/13-14            Herb Spector Veteran's—B'ham

 

The Montgomery Fencing Club has also indicated a desire to run a tournament once a month. More details to follow.

The HFC hopes to run two mixed open epee tournaments this year, one in the fall, one in the spring, possibly joined with a one touch epee round robin, an epee team event, or a D and under event. Again, details to follow.

 

Website News

We'll have the website’s links page up fairly soon, to be followed by a club history page and a fencing books page. We may also add a results page for archiving club member results, but will probably continue to announce them on the news page as well. An edited version of the announcements in the club email newsletter will also be posted on the website in the News section.

 

Division Notes

For those who may not be aware of it, our armorer and fencer Dave Young is also the secretary/treasurer of the Alabama Division of the USFA. Other division officers are listed on the division site at http://alabamafencingdivision.org/index2.htm.

The division is running well, and there seems to be no fallout from the attempt at dissolving it in 2007. At that time, the former division chair, with the support of some former officers and board members, including the directors of two division clubs, attempted to dissolve the Alabama division and send its clubs to neighboring divisions, claiming this was the only solution to allegations against one member club (not the Huntsville Fencing Club). We, however, vigorously opposed the measure, which had not been brought before the membership and which we viewed not merely as inappropriate, but as entirely out of place, no matter the allegations against any club. Throwing out the baby with the bath water is never a good idea. Because we wanted to keep the division intact, we appealed in writing directly to the USFA national office, asking for its intervention, as did another club. The USFA quashed the attempted dissolution and appointed an interim chairperson to oversee new elections and the revision of division by-laws. Our thanks go out in particular to Michael Massik, former and longtime executive director of the USFA; to Rudy Volkmann, current Georgia division chair and interim Alabama division chair during the transition in 2007; and to Gina Knox, current Alabama division chair.

 

Tournament News:

Hello All, Gary Di Maggio here from the North Georgia Fencing Center. the NGFC September 13 / 14 tournament has been posted on ask fred.
go to http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=6400 to preregister. Epee events on Saturday and Foil events on Sunday. Out of state fencers get $5 off first entry fee!
 
 
Hope to see you there!
Best, Gary Di Maggio / NGFC

 

horizontal rule

_______________________________________________
United States Fencing Association
Official Georgia Division mailing list
Gafencing@gafencing.org
http://gafencing.org/mailman/listinfo/gafencing_gafencing.org

 

Fencing Class:

The Huntsville Fencing Club will begin its next Beginning Fencing class on September 6. The class will run for eight two-hour sessions on Saturdays from noon until 2 p.m. in the aerobics room of the Huntsville Athletic Club on Leeman Ferry. The cost is $100. We provide all equipment. Students should wear comfortable clothing and some sort of athletic shoe. Court shoes work best, but running or cross trainers will also work. T-shirts and track pants or sweat pants are ideal clothing, but jeans will also work, provided they do not restrict movement. Shorts and short pants are acceptable only during the first class. Pre-registration is not required, but we would appreciate it if those considering the class would let us know in advance so that we have a rough idea of the class size.


Results from the Atlanta Fencers Club August Kick Off on August 23, 2008

The tournament was an A2 event with 57 competitors:

13. Dave Young, 26. Dorshka Wylie, 27. Shola Wylie, 48. Geoffrey Babb (1st tournament), 50. Derek Welford (first tournament).

Vanderbilt's Dean Richard Memorial Open 2008, April 5, 2008

A2 Mixed Epee Event, 43 competitors:
2. Brentwood Reid (FFC), 5. Brian Parker, 7. Barrett Stutts, 8. Jonathan Thrasher, 21. Chad Scales, 24. Dorshka Wylie, 25. Mary Manastyrski (unattached), 29. Danielle Green, 30. Dave Young, 31. Emily Stewart, 32. Shola Wylie.

D1 Mixed Epee Event, 26 competitors: 1. Jonathan Thrasher, 3. Danielle Green, 11. Emily Stewart.

 

 Website

We’re changing hosts and updating the layout of our website, and Mike Greene is busy working on it. We hope to have the new site up soon. We intend to post club news, announcements, upcoming tournaments, tournament results, and related information, although some announcements will be restricted to email newsletters in order to limit public access. If you have any suggestions regarding the site, email Mike or Ben.

Club Database

 If you haven’t updated your personal information (email, mailing address, and so on) yet, please do so soon. High school and college fencers, please also include your school name. All fencers, please list any other clubs you are a member of or are otherwise affiliated with. Send your info to Charlene at :

 Fencing Strips

 Mike and Dave will be repairing several reels and floor cords for us, so we hope to have another strip or two up and running soon. While club membership hasn’t increased significantly over the past year, the number of fencers fencing two or more times per week has.

 Fencing Party

 Thanks again to Charlene for hosting a great party!

 

 

Kirstin Anderson Leaving for FU

 Kirstin leaves this week for her freshman year at Furman University, but will be back to fence with us during summers and holidays. Furman has a fencing club, so we hope her fencing won’t get rusty.

 

Kristi Chenault--our only foilist--returns to Agnes Scott for the academic year, and Sara Leibold to the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). We also have members or former members attending the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Calhoun College, the University of Montevallo, and the University of South Alabama. Jeremy Conner and Bree Little have entered their freshman year at Grissom High School, and Karl Kiesler enters his at Sparkman High School.

 

 

Beginning Fencing Class

 We’ll be announcing the date of the next beginning fencing class within the next ten days, and expect the class to begin at the end of August or in early September. If you know anyone who might be interested, please forward their contact info to Ben or Charlene, or have them contact Ben directly at :

 

USFA Registration

If you intend to compete this season, don’t forget your USFA registration. (The fencing season runs August to July.) Although you can register online, we suggest you do so only if absolutely necessary: the USFA adds a $5 charge online. A stamp is much cheaper, as is registering at your first tournament of the season.

Remember also that when you designate a primary club, that designation will in most cases remain with you throughout the season. Division membership is normally determined by your primary address, and you may qualify for JOs and summer nationals only through the designated division. Collegiate  and high school fencers are permitted to represent their school in intercollegiate or other school fencing events, and may still represent their primary club in USFA events. Otherwise, you may only represent one club in competition. In general, see page 5-3 in the USFA Operations Manual (available online at usfencing.org).

  

New Club Armorer

 Dave Young is our new club armorer, and is usually stocked with blades and other epee parts.  Brian Parker, our previous armorer, has offered to help out when he can, and may have various parts, including blades, available as well.

  

Olympic Fencing Results

The IOC limited fencing in the 2008 Olympics to ten events: women’s epee team and men’s foil team were dropped. Additional qualifying limitations also restricted the field significantly in both team and individual events, leaving many viable contenders out of the games. The results below read from 1st to 3rd.

·        Men’s epee individual:  Italy, France, Spain (US fencer Seth Kelsey placed 17th)

·        Men’s epee team: France, Poland, Italy (The US did not qualify a team)

·        Women’s Epee Individual: Germany, Romania, Hungary (US fencer Kelly Hurley placed 20th)

·        Men’s saber individual: China, France, Romania (US fencer Keith Smart placed 6th)

·        Men’s saber team: France, USA, Italy

·        Women’s saber individual: USA sweep

·        Women’s saber team: Ukraine, China, USA

·        Men’s foil individual: Germany, Japan, Italy (US fencer Gerek Meinhardt placed 10th)

·        Women’s foil individual: Italy, Korea, Italy

·        Women’s foil team: Russian, USA, Italy

 

The US earned six medals overall (one gold, three silver, two bronze), more than the previous US total from all Olympics of the past sixty years. The US is ranked second in the overall 2008 fencing medal count, behind Italy (seven medals) and ahead of France (four), Germany and China (two apiece), and the Ukraine, Poland, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Japan, and Korea (one apiece). Italy, France, and Germany each earned two gold medals. The In 2004 the US earned its first fencing gold in a century (women’s saber individual).

 Team events were limited to eight teams: the top four teams in the world, and the top team from each of the four geographical regions, leading to an imbalance. Germany and Russia, ranked 6th and 7th in men’s epee, were left out, for example, while South Africa, ranked 19th, qualified.

The New York Times has a graphical application showing medal results in each Olympic sport and event geographically: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/08/17/sports/olympics/20080817-goldmedals-graphic.html

The French women’s epee coach was black-carded during the gold medal bout:

http://www.fencing.net/olympics/beijing-2008-fencing/french-coach-black-carded-in-epee-event.html

 

Modern Pentathlon

Men’s modern pentathlon will be held August 20-21 EST, and women’s August 21-22 EST in Beijing. The sport consists of a 200 meter swim, air pistol shooting, one touch epee fencing, horseback riding over a show jumper course, and a three kilometer cross country run. The epee event retains the double defeat, which has unfortunately been otherwise stricken from epee fencing. Originally held over four days, the modern pentathlon has been pared down to a single day event, ostensibly, and under pressure from the IOC, to help hold the audience’s attention. The modern pentathlon is among a number of sports threatened with removal from the Olympics. By a vote of the IOC, it is safe only through 2012, notwithstanding that the sport has been in every modern Olympic games since their inception.

 The US has four athletes competing this year, two in the men’s and two in the women’s. One of the US women, Sheila Taormina, has competed previously in the Olympics in swimming and triathlon, and is will be the first woman to compete in the Olympics in three different sports. The US has won two silver and two bronze Olympic medals in modern pentathlon, but never a gold, although US athletes have won two world championships: one men’s and one women’s. Perhaps the most famous US modern pentathlon Olympic athlete was George S. Patton, later the noted WWII general.

 

 

January 2, 2006:  SE Sectionals and Summer Nationals:  SE Sectionals will be held in Birmingham, AL this spring.  Summer Nationals will be held in Atlanta, GA the first week in July 2006.  More information to follow.

February 4, 2006:  The Winter 2006 Beginning Fencing Class starts.   Anyone interested in taking the class, please contact Brian Parker or Ben Little.  You may use the Contact Us form here on the webpage.  Second button from the bottom on the left.  Or call/stop by the Huntsville Athletic Club.  Classes are 8 weeks long.  They begin promptly at 12:00 noon and run until 2;00PM.  All Basic equipment provided for duration of class.  Wear comfortable clothes and preferably flat soled tennis shoes.  Cost is $90.00, payable after the second class.  We hope to see you there.  Contact soon, class size is limited.

March 4-5, 2006:  New Orleans, LA.  The Crescent City Open Tournament (see Fencing Mag for details)  We will post more here as we know who is going and the trip details.  Thanks.

 

 

Copyright © 2004 Huntsville Fencing Club. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 22, 2017