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…
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!
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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
The BMFA epee group will start meeting at the Towson High multi-purpose athletic fields every Tuesday and Friday (weather permitting.)
Vince and I have found an abandoned tartan pole-vault track at Towson High School that has the perfect dimensions for fencing. After 6 o’clock, there is nice shade over the strip, so fencing is really not that bad even with a mask underneath the mask.
Towson High is located at 69 Cedar Ave, Towson, MD 21286. Coming from Aigburth, there is plenty of free parking on the main lot. (Don’t go to the main entrance on Cedar, use the rear lot!)