Example Fencing Moved

Bulletin for the Week of October 1, 2018

New!!  A table of contents for the weekly bulletin, so you can decide what to read and what to just skim.






This week after Level 1/2 class, we will play the Drawbridge Game.  This is a fun game that gets the Level 1 students beginning to improvise and to fence with the Level 2 students.  I encourage everyone to stay after class and play, whether for 10 minutes or until closing time.

If you did not pay your fall fees last week, please remember to bring them in this week.  Also, always bring a water bottle and wear long pants.   Level 2 students - if you have not yet renewed your own USFA membership, please do it right away as it is a requirement for our club insurance!  Let me know if you have questions, are having trouble doing the renewal on the US fencing website or are not sure whether this is something you need to do.


The skill of repairing fencing equipment (and especially electric fencing equipment, which inevitably malfunctions) is quaintly called "armory work".   There are no repair shops for fencing equipment, so learning to do it yourself is part of learning to fence.  As I recently saw on a maker space/repair cafe poster: "If you can't repair it, you don't really own it".   While there are books, videos and the free VFA fix-it manuals (just ask me to send them to you), it is easiest to learn by watching/helping someone.  Therefore, I have scheduled my annual free armory clinic at my house in Addison for Sunday, Oct. 14, 2-5 p.m.  We will learn to troubleshoot and repair electric foils and epees, including doing a complete rewire on one of each.  I only do this once a season, so don't miss it!

Who should come?

-Anyone who newly acquired electric equipment or is considering buying some this season

-Anyone who can not confidently diagnose and repair their own equipment yet

-Anyone with a puzzling armory problem that has them stumped (no guarantees, but I'll try!)

-Parents of youth fencers who own (or plan to soon own) electric equipment

-Fencing newbies who are curious about how electric equipment works and who enjoy tinkering

Please sign up here so that I know how many to expect (and to get my address):


New to using AskFRED?  You will need to create an account (which you will use a lot in years to come!).  Instructions are here (oriented to tournament sign up, but we use AskFRED for clinic sign ups too):


Have I mentioned that this workshop is free?

Speaking of free:  the club has too many body cords (thanks to lost and found over the years!).  I have 4 epee and 3 foil body cords to give away to a good home (preferably to newer competitors who are just starting to collect their own electric equipment).  I can't promise they work, but hey, there's an armory workshop coming up....  First people who ask for them get them.


Did you have fun at the Fall Foliage Classic this past weekend?  Or maybe you were feeling shy about trying your first tournament so early in the season?  Are you a veteran fencer (born 1978 or earlier) who enjoys playing with kids your own age?  Or maybe you are a Competitive Squaddie who lives for the next tournament?  Mark your calendar for October 20-21, for the newly renamed Burlington Brawl (better name than Fall Foliage 2)!

Foil and saber events are on Saturday 10/20 and epee events are on Sunday 10/21.  There are three types of events:

Open (senior mixed): foil, epee and saber, for all fencers born 2005 or earlier

E-under: foil and epee, for beginning to intermediate level competitors, restricted to E and unrated fencers (all first time competitors are unrated), born 2005 or earlier

Veterans: foil and epee, for "mature" athletes of all skill level (newbies are welcome!) born 1978 or earlier (roughly age 40+, but fencing age groups are by birth year so that you remain in the same age group for the entire season)

All events require competitive USFA membership (if you are currently a noncompetitive member, you may upgrade at any time before the tournament, by paying the $65 difference).   Loaner equipment is available for those who need it, if signed up in advance.  Register by 10/15 to get discounted entry fees (and to really help the tournament organizers, please).

To sign up, get directions, and see who else is coming:


New to using AskFRED?  Directions are here:



Thank you to Salle Catamount (the UVM fencing club) for hosting the annual Fall Foliage Classic to kick off the 2018-19 Champlain Cup season.  Congratulations to all the finalists.

Open Foil (21 competitors, C1 event)

1 Simon, Andrew UNAT

2 Mauer, Michael MOE FC

3 Brideau, Justin SC

3 Brookes, Scott MOE FC

5 Wohlers, Casey SFC 

6 Snow, Malachy SC 

7 Bagley, Ryan VFA

8 Gagnon, Thomas SRN (earned E rating)

Open Saber (17 competitors, D1 event)

1 Titiz, Murat SC

2 Gordon, David  SC

3 Wyatt, Seth PVFA (earned E rating)

3 D'Souza, Charlie UNAT/VFA

Open Epee (49 competitors, B2 event)

1 Horak, Peter BAY STATE

2 Brisson, Jack VFA 

3 Bagley, Ryan VFA

3 Stevens, James  FFA (earned C rating)

5 Wessel, Addison MFA

6 DuFresne, Alexander PVFA

7 Rivait, Birk T SC

8 Rouse, Joseph CANDLEWOOD

Unrated Womens Epee (7 competitors, E1 event)

1 Olivier-Mousseau, Mathilde SRN (earned E rating)

2 Hahn, Marina DREW UNIV 

3 Riveti, Mathilde SRN

3 Wu, Jennifer DARTMOUTH

Unrated Mens Epee (9 competitors, E1 event)

1 Dyer, Ian RIFAC (earned E rating)

2 Lind, Noah SC

3 Greenwood, Seamus VFA

3 Herzog, Nate VFA

Unrated Mixed Foil (12 competitors, E1 event)

1 Gagnon, Thomas SRN (earned E rating)

2 Ahn, Andrew DARTMOUTH

3 Andruzzi, Luke SFC 

3 Kaplan, Isa VFA

Performance of the Week:  The new VFA Competitive Squad program was well represented at the Fall Foliage, with one senior and one junior fencer carving a wide swath through a large and very challenging open epee field.  Jack was full of fire, with active footwork, strong explosive blade actions and quite a few "I can't believe he landed that" touches. He dropped one pool bout 5-4 and entered DEs seeded 6.  He made the round of 16 with a double touch counterattack while ahead 14-13 (definitely one of his "I can't believe he landed that" moments).  He faced a B-rated lefty in the round of 8, using a variety of actions to surprise his opponent for a 15-12 win.  That brought him up against Ryan, who went undefeated in his pool and seeded 2 into DEs.  To make the round of 8, Ryan pulled off a 15-14 comeback win over a strong collegiate fencer (the Fall Foliage 2017 silver medalist).  He did it by taking charge of the bout and forcing his opponent to react to his footwork and his initiative.   He then defeated a crafty veteran by keeping long distance and landing a variety of beautiful shots to the arm.   Jack and Ryan met each other in the semi finals for a bout that was both energentic and wily, with the more experienced Jack scoring a 15-9 win.  Jack finished the day with a strong challenge to one of the Champlain Cup's best epeeists, and although he lost 15-11, he was clearly having fun, fencing creatively, and fighting for every touch no matter the score.   This was Jack's first medal in a senior B event since 2016, and while Ryan had a couple of medals in smaller B1 events last season, this was his first at a larger B2.  I might also mention that Ryan was the one who knocked me out of Open Foil earlier in the day, tactically using his youthful energy and greater reach  (as I always say, the best compliment a student can give me is to beat me!).

Honorable Mentions:  3 other medals went to Squaddies this weekend, with Isa, Seamus and Nate all picking up bronze medals in U events.   This was Seamus's first ever medal in senior competition, and not only did he go 7-1 in the unrated pool, but in his very tough open epee pool, he had 2 5-4 losses to older, more experienced C-rated fencers.   In his open epee pool, Nate defeated a D rated fencer, and had a 5-4 loss to a B. Isa went 4-1 in his unrated pool, and upset an E-rated fencer in his first open foil DE.   Tom Parris did some of the best foil fencing I have seen from him, defeating two rated fencers in open foil pool bouts.  His U pool record was not as good, so he came up early against one of the eventual medalists, but he put in a solid 15-13 effort (which is especially good considering that Tom is old enough to be his young opponent's father).  Ethan and Henry made their debut in the "big leagues" (having graduated from the youth series last spring), and the GMD welcomed the newest in a long line of Nop fencers, mom Susan.

Viveka Fox