The Pandemic of 2020/21 has taken a toll on local fencing. Two clubs in the region have closed their doors permanently. Those clubs who depend on schools and colleges for their venue found themselves in front of locked doors. Doors that will remain closed until September of 2021…
On the other hand, our adult epee group has been growing by leaps and bounds.
After a 3-month hiatus following the lockdown in March 2020, Vince and Chris started fencing again outdoors, on the athletic fields of Towson High School, soon to be joined by Aidan and Ethan. Using wireless and our prudently sequestered mobile scoring units, we instantly were independent of the regular club set-up. All we needed was a flat surface to fence on!
When the biting flies got too much, we moved from the defunct pole vault track to the pavement under the high school auditorium’s overhang roof. We found another regular in Daniel in the fall, and an A-rated challenge in Sarah. Our friends from the old BFC days, Latif and Hannah, also joined back up.
As the days grew shorter and colder, it became apparent that we’d need an indoor space to continue our bi-weekly Duels at Dusk. Thanks to Vince, we found an unused commercial space at the Rotunda shopping mall in Baltimore City. It was sufficient for a single Leon Paul “Gryptonite” strip. And because we capped occupancy at 6 persons at any given time for the first couple of months, that was more than enough for us. We also invited Homewood Fencing Club — who was in the same predicament as we were — to use the space for foil classes during those days we weren’t fencing.
We fenced close to 1,000 epee bouts in this place. Our group now has around 20 members, including novices and experienced fencers, so each bouting night, you can expect to find between 6 and 12 fencers ready for action.
In October of 2021, the Nomads joined Homewood Fencing Club, located at the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus off University Parkway. We now have six metal strips at our disposal, enough for our continued weekly Tuesday and Friday night bouting.
Experienced fencers, just grab your gear and simply show up at or around 6:00PM every Tuesday and Friday. If you have never fenced before but always wanted to, give Coach Chris a call at 410-790-8033.
We’re now establishing friendly alliances with other local and regional clubs, aimed at keeping Baltimore-area epee fencing alive through what remains of the pandemic.
We’re meeting at 733 W. 40th Street, Baltimore MD 21211, Tue/Fr 6:00PM.
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…