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The First Annual Joe Dabbs Open


A founding member of the MARS Fencing Club on Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal in 1963 and of the Huntsville Fencing Club in 1971, Joe Dabbs is a true "three weapon man" who originally took up foil, epee, and saber almost simultaneously because it gave him the opportunity to spend his entire weekends fencing.
Joe began fencing in the early 1950s at the local YMCA near Lowry Air Force Base while serving in the US Air Force. Within the year, both Joe Dabbs and his instructor, Capt. Joseph Velarde, were transferred to Hahn Air Force Base in Germany. Here Joe continued his instruction under Capt. Velarde at a local German fencing club open to GIs. (Joseph Velarde was later to become the fencing master at the US Military Academy at West Point, and was recently named posthumously to the USFA Hall of Fame.)
Joe developed a passion for the sport, and competed almost every weekend in Germany, including in major competitions such as the Aeger Von Soerst, the International Sabre Championship at Traben Trabach, and in foil at the famous Martini Rossi Championship. Joe advanced to the second round of the Martini Rossi, an extraordinary achievement for a fencer who had been training for fewer than four years.
Shortly before leaving Germany in 1957, Joe was selected as a member of the US Armed Forces Olympic Team and fenced in the Military Olympics in Luxembourg. Joe speaks nostalgically of traveling travelling through Europe training, competing, and socializing as a member of the US team. Upon returning to the US, Joe entered college at Florida State University and started a university fencing club. In subsequent years he also helped found the University of Florida Gators Fencing Club, and later, while employed by NASA, the MARS Club and the Huntsville Fencing Club. He taught fencing on and off for decades, including for ten years at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

On the strip, Joe was always focused, aggressive, and very much a serious competitor. Off the strip, he was until recently an avid cave diver and dive instructor, and remains a genial raconteur par excellence. (Some describe him affectionately as an “old pirate.”) Joe has been a constant, active member of the Huntsville Fencing Club since its inception, has been designated by the club as Fencer Emeritus, and remains a trusted advisor. According to Joe, the greatest satisfaction he has had from all his years of fencing has been the people he met.
At present, the Joe Dabbs Open is an epee competition, given the HFC’s status as largely an epee club. However, in accordance with Joe’s wishes, not to mention his experience as a “three weapon man,” we will one day expand the tournament to include foil and saber events, quite possibly as a three weapon team event.





The First Annual La Maupin Open

Named for Julie d'Aubigny, more commonly known as Mademoiselle de Maupin, the tournament consists of two events: a women's open and a mixed open. The 2010 tournament will be held on Saturday, July 24 at Central Church of Christ Gymnasium in Huntsville. Registration for the women's open closes at 8:30, and for the mixed event at 11:30. La Maupin was a superb late 17th century swordswoman and opera singer of often notorious reputation. She once reportedly slew three men, one after the other, in a duel after they challenged her at Versailles.





The First Annual MARS Musketeers Open

The tournament is named for Huntsville, Alabama’s first fencing club, the MARS Fencing Club, which was founded after John Jordan ran an advertisement in the Marshall Star, the newspaper of the Marshall Space Flight Center, in 1963. Other early members include Joe Dabbs, Fletcher Kurtz, and Elias Katsaros. The club usually met on the Redstone Arsenal in the NASA gym, and the majority of the club’s members were “NASA guys” and US Army employees.

 The Marshall Space Flight Center was born when Werner von Braun and his coterie of German rocket scientists were brought to Huntsville by the US government to develop missiles for the purposes of national defense and space exploration. At the time, NASA in Huntsville was central to early US manned space flight, including the Apollo program which put men on the moon.


The tournament will be held sometime in the fall, and will include a mixed open epee and probably a team epee event. We’re also considering a separate women’s or youth event.





Joe Dabbs Open 2010

Mixed Epee: (19 Competitors, a B1 Event ):   1. Brian Parker. 2. Geoffrey Babb. 6. Mike Greene. 7. Kirsten Anderson. 9.  Jonathon Thrasher. 10. Whitney Moore.  11. Andrew Davis.  14. Hugh Davis.  15. Derek Welford.  16. Richard Ballard.  17. Kim Story.  18. Nicole Story. 19. Ellis Womack.

Mixed Epee One Touch: (18 Competitors):  2. Hugh Davis.  3. Brian Parker.

Link To Full Results

Joe Dabbs Open 2011

Mixed Epee(24 Competitors, an A1 Event):   2. Brian Parker  3T. Geoffrey Babb  5. Roland Vincent  6. David Young  8. Robert Coker(Re-earns E)  9. Michael Slanovits  10. Hugh Davis  11. Andrew Davis  12. John Briggs  13. Ryan Kline  14. Emily Stewart  16. Chad Scales  17. Stephen Peters  19. Aaron Muncy  20. Emily Carpenter  21. Christie Peters  22. Richard Ballard  24. Maji Billingsley

Link to Mixed Epee Full Results



La Maupin Open 2010

Womens Epee: (6 Competitors, an E1 Event):  1. Mary Crouch (earns E)  2. Kirstin Anderson  3T. Kim Story  5. Nicole Story  6. Kirsten Davis

Link to Full Results

Mixed Epee: (17 Competitors, a B1 Event):  2. Geoffrey Babb.  3T. Andrew Davis (Earns C).  3T.  Brian Parker. 5. Chad Scales.  6. Jonathan Thrasher.  7. Joe Rogers (Earns E).  8. Robert Coker (Earns E).  9. Ryan Kline. 10. Kim Story.  11. Mary Crouch.  12. John Briggs.  13. Hugh Davis.  14. Kirstin Anderson.  15. Derek Welford.  17. Kirsten Davis.

Link to Full Results

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


La Maupin Open 2011

Womens Epee: (8 Competitors, an E1 Event):   2. Kirstin Anderson  3T. Whitney Moore 5. Mary Crouch  7. Christie Peters 8. Kim Story

Link to Women's Results

Mixed Epee(25 Competitors, a B2 Event):   1. Geoffrey Babb 3T. Brian Parker  3T. Michael Slanovits  5. Mary Crouch  6. David Young  7. Stephen Peters  8. John Briggs  9. Andrew Davis  11. Chad Scales  12. Robert Coker  14. Hugh Davis  16. Christie Peters  18. Barrie Peters  19. Aaron Cecil  20. Kirstin Anderson  22. Jacob Cecil  23. Whitney Moore 24. Kim Story  25. Maji Billingsley

Link to Open Epee Full Results



MARS Musketeers 2010

2010 Open: Mixed Epee: (25 Competitors, a B2 Event):   1.  Brian Parker.  2. Chad Scales 3. Andrew Davis  6. Geoffrey Babb  8. Whitney Moore (Earns D)  9. Hugh Davis 10. Robert Coker  11. Rick Behel (Earns E) 12. Kirsten Anderson  15. John Briggs  19. Kirsten Davis  20. Kim Story  21. Hyun Su Nam  22. Emily Carpenter  23 Aaron Muncy  24. Nicole Story

MARS Musketeers 2011

Mixed Epee:(13 Competitors, an E1 event):  2. Geoffrey Babb 3T. Chad Scales  6. David Young.  7. Mary Crouch  8. Robert Coker  10. Sam Espy  11. Robert Parks  12. John Briggs  13. Maji Billingsley


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Revised: January 16, 2019 .