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 strip. And because we capped occupancy at 6 persons at any given time, 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 have fenced close to 1,000 epee bouts in this place. Our group now has around 15 members, including both novices and experienced fencers, so each bouting night, you can expect to find between 6 and 8 fencers ready for action.
As we start looking for a larger, more permanent space, we are still welcoming anyone who is looking for a place to fence epee. 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: He conducts a small beginner’s class at 7:00 PM every Monday night. (We salvaged some basic gear, such as masks and jackets that we can provide, but ask that you consider buying your own gear once you decide you want to continue, simply for hygienic reasons. We do have plenty of epees.)
Although this may change in the future, right now fencing with us is still free — no floor fees, membership fees at all.
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…