Red Door Fencing, located in Des Moines’ historic East Village, is an epee club that promotes competitive and recreational fencing by providing quality instruction, a safe and supportive training environment, and fostering personal growth and community engagement.
We offer beginner classes, lessons, and training for children, teens, and adults. Our fencers compete in local, regional, and national tournaments, and we host additional educational opportunities (referee seminars, coaching workshops, fencing/training camps, etc.) and tournaments.
We are an affiliate member of USA Fencing, the national governing body for the sport in the U.S., and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
RDF hosted an Iowa Division-sponsored referee seminar lead by Certified Referee Instructor and 2004 Olympic saber fencer Ivan Lee this weekend. We really appreciate Ivan traveling from New York to Iowa while we were getting 12 inches of snow and running an excellent seminar. Ivan is a dynamic speaker, full of wisdom, and passionate about developing new referees and coaching them to success.
Not only do referee seminars give aspiring referees the chance to become certified referees with USA Fencing, they are part of continuing education requirements for those already certified. Attendees came from the Des Moines Fencing Club, Iowa City Fencing Center, Iowa State University Fencing Club, Omaha Fencing Club, and RDF. There is a lot of material to cover, but all of the participants were prepared, asked good questions, and almost everyone tested for certification. We all are thankful for Ivan’s feedback and encouragement!
Fencers Daniel, Chantal, and Jack had an exhausting but educational time at the Twin Cities Fencing Club’s annual Winter Camp, Dec. 28-30. We spent a lot of time on false actions – basically actions that are not “real” or committed, which help set up your real, committed action for success by conditioning your opponent to anticipate something other than your real action. We stayed at a nearby rental house with some fencers from the Lincoln Fencing Club, which allowed us to cook some meals and socialize. Our legs were sore, but we had a lot of fun!
We held second of three Heartland Youth Circuit events at RDF this weekend! It was mostly fencers from our club, but it was especially good for those whose fencing has been heavily impacted by the pandemic to get some more experience fencing people in their own age group.
On Saturday, in Y10 Mixed Epee, Kalina took home the gold medal, Javy earned the silver, and Harry got the bronze.
In Y14 Mixed Epee, Ian from the Omaha Fencing Club won the gold, Ben R. took silver, Sophia and Conner each got bronze (fencing almost always ties for 3rd), Ben H. finished 5th, and Finn came in 6th.
In Y12 Mixed Epee, Kalina won another gold, Conner won silver, and Finn took home bronze. This was Finn, Conner, and Javy’s first tournament.
In Cadet Mixed Epee on Sunday, Ian and Marcus from Omaha were 1st and 2nd, respectively, and Ben R. and Campbell tied for 3rd.
Then in Junior Mixed Epee, Daniel won gold, Nick took home the silver, Ian and Marcus each got bronze, Ava was 5th, RDF alum Alex (now at ISU) was 6th, Campbell came in 7th, and Ben R. finished 8th.
RDF is hosting a referee seminar with Certified Referee Instructor Ivan Lee, sponsored in part by the Iowa Division of USA Fencing, on January 14-15, 2022. This is an opportunity for aspiring referees to earn credentials and current referees to refresh their knowledge and possibly increase their rating. All experience levels are welcome, as well as fencers who want to learn how to most effectively interact with referees and understand the calls being made, family members who want to know how they can best support their athlete, and coaches who need to stay current on the rules and their understanding of our ever-evolving sport. Only those who wish to earn credentials need to take the online/written and practical exam, but everyone should familiarize themselves with the rule book and study guide for this seminar.
The seminar will be held in person at the club, and masks are required for everyone, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status (but we appreciate that the vast majority of fencing folks are vaccinated!).
Ivan Lee is a 2004 US Olympian and 2014 Hall of Fame member with 23 years of refereeing experience. He is a Certified Referee Instructor and Observer, with ratings of 2 in saber, 3 in foil, and 5 in epee. He has served as a referee assigner for USA Fencing and the Public Schools Athletic League in New York City.
His fencing career also includes 15 US National Championships, 10 NCAA Championships, and team gold at the 2001 Junior World Championships, as well as two golds at the 2003 Pan Am Games. Ivan is the Head Coach for Women’s Fencing at Long Island University and the Head Saber Coach at Long Island Fencing Center.
Fencer Daniel and coach Kevin traveled to St. Paul last weekend for a fencing clinic with Olympic fencers-turned-coaches Michael Marx and Cody Mattern. It’s fun to work with fencers and coaches from other clubs and learn from their different perspectives, styles, and skills. Kevin and Daniel brought back some great drills and ideas that we plan on implementing in the club soon!
Five RDF fencers traveled to Ames last weekend to fence in the Cantaloupe Open. Nobody won the coveted cantaloupe, but in Senior Mixed Epee, Daniel placed 6th, Mat ended 14th, Jack was 29th, and Chantal finished 37th. Also shout out to RDF alumni Evan (now at ICFC) in 5th and Alex (now attending ISU) in 15th! In Senior Women’s Epee, Chantal placed 5th and Cheryl was 7th. Full results: https://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=48834
Coaches Kevin and Sarah were disappointed that they were unable to attend due to food poisoning (bleh!), but everyone did a good job taking care of each other. While having your coach there when you expect them to be there is important, we hope that all of our fencers are also able to think for themselves and still be successful without us.
Three of our fencers traveled to St. Louis for the North American Cup over the Halloween weekend: Jack started us off in Y14 Men’s Epee, finishing 104th in his first national-level competition. Sarah fenced in Division 1 Women’s Epee, ending 138th. Jack fenced again in Cadet Men’s Epee and placed 213th. Finally, Ava competed in Cadet Women’s Epee and was 150th. It was fun to return to this level of competition after most of last year’s were canceled due to the pandemic, and all of our fencers learned a lot from the experience.
Several RDF fencers competed in the Des Moines Fencing Club’s Jack-O-Lantern tournament last weekend. In Open Mixed Epee, Evan (who fences at the Iowa City Fencing Center when he’s at school) took gold, Mat and Sarah tied for bronze, Chantal had to fence Sarah in her first direct elimination bout and finished 11th, and Natasha was 12th.