Remembering fencing in 90 degrees heat outdoors last year, with thunder clouds moving in, the setting sun in our face, and biting flies going to town on our ankles, we are still appreciating the relative cool of Salle Nomad at the Rotunda.
Due to the return to normalcy (including having to physically be at the office again for our professionals), we have compacted the schedule and moved up our open bouting to an hour later:
Monday: Novice class at 7:00PM
Tuesday: Improvement Society at 6:00PM
Tuesday: Open Bouting at 7:00PM
Friday: Open Bouting at 7:00PM
Walk-ons welcome! BYOE. (Epee, although we have plenty of those…)
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.
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.
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