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Baltimore MidAtlantic Fencing Academy

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Baltimore kids fencing classes

Fencing for June 2021

We are keeping a close eye on our 2020 Pandemic dueling grounds at Towson High School.

Currently, it looks like there’s a baseball game on almost every afternoon on the upper field, a small Wimbledon on the tennis courts, and either a lacrosse game or some track-and-field event on the football field every afternoon.

But as soon as the parking lot clears out and the weather forecast looks promising, we will move some of our fencing activities outside again, enjoying epee as it was initially meant be, as an outdoor sport!

Meanwhile, attendance at our Tuesday and Thursday epee “Duels at Dawn” has grown by leaps and bounds. Together with Coach Austin Young of Homewood Fencing Club, we’re about to put down a second strip at 733 W. 40th Street.

It’s gonna be tight, but we’re going to give it a try! (We’ve also started to scout for alternate locations for the fall, but don’t tell anyone.)

Like our Epee Nomads, Coach Austin’s youth and competitive foil groups have also grown. We have a steady stream of newbies signing up, some tearful reunions of old BFC/BMFA fencing buddies — and there are plans to move the introductory classes outside very soon.

Any questions about that, please call or text me at 410-790-8033.

Any BFC fencers looking for a new home?

We heard that Baltimore Fencing Center‘s Cockeysville location’s doors have closed for good this month.

We take no joy in that — Larbi and I (and a large contingent of our own fencers) started out at BFC and have great memories of the place.

So we extend a cordial invitation to BFC fencers in search for a new competitive home in the northern Baltimore City/Baltimore County area. (BFC Columbia is slated to re-open in June, so there’s always that!)

Youth foil fencers are welcome to join Coach Austin’s foil program, and our Epee Nomads are always open to anyone interested to learn, continue, and compete!

Our venue at this point is still small, so please contact me at 410-790-8033 to co-ordinate!

(If you need weapons and body cords repaired, also give me a call. Coach Larbi regularly picks up non-functioning gear and returns it repaired to our site in a timely fashion!)

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

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.

When is it okay to let your kid quit music lessons?

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At Coach Chris’ house: When you leave for college! After all, it builds character!

If you’re ready to kick the kids out of the house and lock up the violins or oboes that have been making life an acoustic hell for the past 2 weeks of CORVID19 “social isolation,” I have bad news for you:

Looks like schools won’t reopen for another month, making another 4 weeks of “Bah-Bah Black Sheep” scratched out on a tiny violin inevitable.

That also means BMFA will be closed until further notice from our gracious hosts at Loyola Blakefield. Please check in at this page and at our FB pages for notices!

Your kids’ favorite sport (and they don’t even know about it yet!)

Looking for an all-year sport for your kids? Fencing builds fitness, endurance, patience, and resilience!

Continue reading “Your kids’ favorite sport (and they don’t even know about it yet!)”

3/13/20: Last Fencing before the Rona Vacation: See you at Knott Hall!

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Our gracious host, Loyola-Blakefiled, will go into corona-shutdown mode on 3/15. That means until April 3, 2020, none of our carefully developed safety policies will be necessary, as the venue will be closed:

No fencing classes or lessons until April!

We will alert our members if we decide to organize properly social-isolation open-air work-out meets at a different location. After all, Coach Chris has been ordered to stay out of the office until April 6, and as of next Monday probably won’t know what to do with all the free time.

So stay tuned to this website and our Facebook groups!

Meanwhile, see you at Knott Hall’s performance gym tonight!

 

Temporary Corona Policy

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The catholic schools in the region are closing for 2 weeks starting Monday and we are awaiting instruction from our hosts at Loyola-Blakefield as to the availability of our venue.
Since fencing is not a contact sport and the amicable handshake at the end of the bout has been officially suspended by US Fencing, Coaches Larbi and Chris will be implementing reasonable precautions for as long as we are able to use the room.
  • Youth fencers will be placing their bags in the hallway, wash their hands before, during and after class, and use their own gear at all times.
  • Parents are encouraged to “socially isolate” (i.e., spend class hunting for toilet paper and hand sanitizer at local retail establishments.)
  • Veteran fencers, if you’re old and feeble, stay home! (No, Coach Chris, you still have to show up!) If you’re spry and healthy, please come!
  • Open bouting follows all of the above. Please pay your floor fees in crisp, uncirculated bills!
  • No iPhones or other devices that entice sticking heads together to view inspirational Coach Chris memes or Internet videos are permitted. (See above for an example of those viral, inspirational Coach Chris memes that are all the rage among young people these days!)
  • We will be thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing all club equipment.
  • Learn-to-fence and beginners using club equipment will be permitted to take their entire gear home to limit use to only one fencer and, yes, you wear it, you wash it!
  • There will be Clorox wipes to wipe down masks, gear, and remotes.
  • If you’re sick, stay home.
We’ll be making sure that there never are more than 24 persons in the room. (That shouldn’t be all that difficult…)
Until further notice… the fence must go on!

Fencing in the Time of the Plague

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Until we are told to “shelter in place”… under the dining room table… wearing aluminum foil headwear…

OR, alternatively,

Loyola Blakefield decides to extend spring break until summer…

…BMFA fencing classes and open bouting are happening as scheduled.

Please pay attention to the notifications send out by Ms. Cross: We may me relocated from Wheeler Hall to the Performance Gym on the shortest of notices.

Extra credit: Whoever provides an adequate translation of the above image’s text gets a free electric foil.

Whoever provides a less-than-adequate translation also gets a free electric foil!

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