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Baltimore MidAtlantic Fencing Academy

Learn to Fence * Compete * Have Fun!

May 2021: Spring and summer fencing

Our fencers are looking forward to the end of the official school year: School sports are currently claiming most available outdoor spaces that we were able to use during the pandemic summer of 2020. Soon, we can expand our daily operations from the small space we were generously provided with by the property management of the Rotunda!

Youth Foil Fencing News:

Coach Austin Young is continuing youth and youth competitive classes at 733 W. 40th Street in Baltimore (our Rotunda tempoeary encampment) on

Saturdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with an over-flow day earmarked for Monday afternoons.

He has also just started a youth beginners’ class on Saturdays. As outdoor spaces become available, we may add additional learn-to-fence opportunities at Towson High School’s athletic fields.

For questions and scheduling, please contact Coach Austin directly at 410-340-6269.

Adult and youth Epee

Our epee program continues to gather steam:

  • Open Bouting continues every Tuesday and Friday at 6PM (typically until 7:30 or 8PM, depending on the number of fencers. We are now getting lose to maximum capacity so please text Coach Chris if you plan to attend to maximize your fencing time: 410-790-8033. Walk-ons are always welcome, just bring your own gear.

(We are currently exploring adding Saturday afternoons for inveterate competitors.)

  • Beginner’s and Remedial Classes: We have Introduction to Epee for Beginners every Monday starting at 7PM, and Remedial Epee for those who like to polish up some skills on Tuesday and Friday 1t 5PM. We’re trying to keep these events small, so please check with Coach Chris for availability.

Like our foil program, we are looking to alternate our open-bouting venue with the great outdoors to accommodate more fencers.

Individual Lessons: Coach Larbi “has sword, will travel”, providing individual lessons at students’ homes, driveways, patios and, on Mondays, at our Rotunda location. Lessons are available for foil and epee, on all levels, beginner to competitive. To make your own arrangements with him, call 443-739-0077. Lessons are also available via Coach Austin.

ANY FENCERS AFFECTED BY RECENT CLUB AND LOCATION CLOSURES WILL AWAYS BE WELCOMED BY ALL OUR COACHES.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Coach Chris Amberger (adult epee program): Call or txt 410-790-8033

Coach Austin Young (youth and competitive foil): Call or txt 410-340-6269

Coach Larbi Soufiane (individual lessons foil and epee): Call or txt 443-739-0077

Limited operations continue!

Our pandemic schedule appears to be extending into its second year.

Foil:

Small youth classes continue to be taught by our friends at Homewood Fencing Club at our Baltimore City location (Rotunda) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. Contact coach Chris for details.

Epee:

Open bouting continues every Tuesday and Friday at 6:00PM. We have fenced over 400 bouts since December!

NEW:

Small remedial/beginners epee classes on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5:00PM.

For both, contact Coach Chris at 410-790-8033.

All events currently require your own gear: Mask, plastron, jacket, glove. We can help out with weapons and body cords, but shared club gear remains off-limits.

Fencing February-March 2021

No news, in some cases, may be good news. In our case, it’s merely no news: We have not received any information from our hosts at Loyola-Blakefield if or when the school’s facilities may be available for restarting classes and private lessons…

Continue reading “Fencing February-March 2021”

Season’s Fencing 2020/21

Epee Nomads, our renegade active fencer group, will ring out 2020 with a last open bouting on December 18!

Holiday travel and subsequent self-imposed quarantines will delay our first open bouting to the first full week of January 2021. We’re not sure yet if we’re restarting First Tuesday (1/5) or First Friday (1/8), but restart we will! You’ll find out right here where and when.

Despite the shutdown of our training venue at Loyola-Blakefield, our rogue Epee Nomads are looking back on a memorable fencing season: Many hundred individual bouts fenced, first in 90-degree heat outside on the pole vault track of Towson High, then underneath the protective awning of Towson High’s Auditorium, and now in our temporary indoor venue at the Rotunda (see picture above).

The Nomads have attracted fencers from a variety of local clubs that shut down during the pandemic. We fence according to “old-school” epee rules: Bouts for 15 touches, no lime limits, none of the “lack of combativity” nonsense, no coin flipping. Those are intense fights that truly grind you down and allow the fencer to adapt, counter-adapt and re-adapt to his or her opponent — the way epee is supposed to be.

In our indoor venue, fencers wear face masks and Leon Paul clip-ins under their FIE masks. The rule is that when the fencing mask goes down, the face mask must be up. The group provides face shields to be worn by anyone not actively bouting. All points of communal contact are disinfected, and our maximum attendance for each evening is 6.

Actually: This has been so much fun, I’m not sure if we actually want to stop!

So, rest your bones, cure your pulls and strains, let your bruises fade for the next couple of weeks.

To all fencers and their families, we extend a hearty “Happy Holidays!” Stay safe and prosper!

We’ll meet again in 2021!

—Coach Chris

When you show up at THS on 12/4 and wonder where yo’ dogs are…

…because yo’ dogs are bouting at the Rotunda. Contact Coach Chris for times and location!

Winter fencing 2020

As Maryland is tightening restrictions on indoor activities again, we will be balancing our fencing activities between continued open-air bouting and limited bad-weather indoor fencing at our Rotunda location.

Indoor fencing has the following requirements:

  • We will not permit more than 10 people at a time into the venue, realistically, we limit participation to 8.
  • Face masks must be worn under the fencing mask; in addition, we also offer Leon Paul’s clip-in masks at cost.
  • Clear face shields must be worn by fencers not actively engaged in bouting; we also offer those at cost.
  • No handshakes — elbow bumps are all the rage now anyway.
  • A waiver MUST be signed the first time a fencer enters the venue.
  • Make liberal use of the hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes provided.
  • Stay at home if you feel ill.

If you are interested in joining us, please contact Coach Chris at jcamberger@gmail.com. This way we can add you to our text message list and coordinate attendee numbers.

Times remain at 6:00PM every Tuesday and Friday. Additional days are available contingent on observance of the above rules: Every Baltimore area fencer is welcome, we do not care about club affiliation—just fencing. Simply drop Coach Chris a message.

Almost there: Indoor fencing during the winter months

We’re getting closer to moving to our nomadic winter camp at the Rotunda.

Continue reading “Almost there: Indoor fencing during the winter months”

Good News: There WILL be INDOOR fencing this fall

After fencing outdoors since June — in 95-degree heat, the sun in our eyes, the biting flies going to town on our ankles, even during thunderstorms and rain squalls — we are pleased to announce that we have been able to finagle an indoor fencing venue for the coming winter months.

It is located at the Rotunda in Baltimore City. We’ll get you the full address as soon as we have the floor in fencing shape. The good news for parents: There’s a Starbucks nearby, as are various shopping facilities.

Our Tuesday and Friday open bouting for epees will continue at 6:00PM. Larbi will be available for lessons and Covid-compatible classes on most days of the week.

This will not run through Loyola. Please make arrangements with Larbi directly.

Open bouting will continue free of floor fees.

Outdoor fencing continues: It’s your own fault if you’re not fencing!

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Every Tuesday and Friday, at 6:00 PM sharp—that’s 1800 hours for you military types—BMFA’s adult epee team meets at the upper athletic field of Towson High School to keep in shape and maintain a steady supply of dime-sized bruises on our arms and chest.

Continue reading “Outdoor fencing continues: It’s your own fault if you’re not fencing!”

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