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.
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.
Last weekend, fencers from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska competed for tiny succulents instead of the usual medals at our “Don’t Succulent” Epee Tournament here at the club. Eleven fencers from RDF competed in the two events.
In Women’s Epee, Ava tied for 3rd, Natasha was 6th, Chantal finished 8th, and Erin was 11th in her first tournament. In the mixed-gender D & Under Epee event, Mat was 2nd, Daniel finished 6th, Nick ended 7th, Jack came in 8th, Charlie was 9th, Natasha was 10th, Steve finished 18th in his first tournament, and Campbell ended 19th after a close, well-fenced bout.
RDF fencer Ava competed in 3 events her first time at the Remenyik ROC & RJCC at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL last weekend. Remenyik – one of the larger, more challenging tournaments in the area – awards regional points on the path to qualification for national championships.
Last weekend, six of our teenage fencers traveled to Lincoln, NE to train at the Lincoln Fencing Club with their fencers, as well as a group of teenagers from Northern Colorado Fencers. Everyone was tired after a full day of conditioning and situational bouting, but came back for more on Sunday morning! The kids got to know each other better and seem inspired to train harder. We enjoyed meeting new people and had a lot of fun fencing them!
Last weekend was our inaugural Heartland Youth Circuit Tournament, featuring events for kids in Y10, Y12, Y14, Cadet, and Junior age groups! Fencers top 3 finishes (from 4 planned tournaments) will count for points, and awards will be given at the end of the 21-22 season. For our first event, it was mostly fencers from our club, but we hope to expand the geographical area from which we attract fencers and expand the Circuit to include events hosted by other clubs. Here is the link to the full results: https://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=48445
We’re glad everyone was able to get another tournament in before school starts, and this was the first tournament for several of our fencers who have not gotten much bouting practice due to our pandemic-induced schedule.
Here are the links to the points standings for the HYC:
Last weekend, six RDF fencers competed in the Cornhusker Games at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, NE. Since there was no fencing at Iowa Games this year, we could go compete in a different State Games.
Ben started us off strong on Friday, winning the Y12 epee event. In E & Under Epee on Saturday, Mat took the silver medal and Tasha won bronze. In Open Epee, Mat was 6th, Sarah was 9th, Jack finished 11th, and Tasha came in 12th on Sunday. Also on Sunday was Women’s Epee, where Sarah won the gold medal, Ava took silver, and Tasha finished 5th and won the Sportsmanship Award!
On Saturday, we held the Happy Squid Unrated Tournament at our club. “Unrated” means it was only open to fencers who have not yet earned a rating (also sometimes called classification) from competing in USA Fencing tournaments. (Full chart here.) Nine fencers competed and the winner (Ben from Center for Blade Arts in Minneapolis) earned his “E” classification. From RDF, Alex ended 2nd in a close 15-14 match, Ava and Jack tied for 3rd, Darren was 6th, and Campbell finished 7th.
Last Saturday was our fun little in-club youth tournament! In Y12 Mixed Epee, Ben won and Kalina was 2nd. In Y14 Mixed Epee, Ben was our champion, Chantal was 2nd, Sophia came in 3rd, and Alexis finished 4th. With such limited opportunities for competition this past year, it was good to practice being in a competitive situation and mindset again or, for some, the first time!
Last weekend, fencers from around the state and a few from neighboring states joined us for the Duel in Des Moines, which we jointly hosted with the Des Moines Fencing Club. They ran the foil and saber events in the gym at Fairmeadows Elementary and we ran the epee events outdoors in the parking lot. Full results are available here on askfred: https://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=47752.
In Open Mixed Epee, Daniel was 2nd, Sarah tied for 3rd, Evan placed 5th, Nick finished 8th, and Ava was 10th.
In Cadet Mixed Epee, Ava earned the gold after a close 15-13 match with Jack, who took home silver. In his first ever tournament, Ben placed 6th, and Campbell – in his first tournament outside the club – finished 7th.
In Unrated Mixed Epee, Jack earned his 2nd silver medal of the weekend, Steve tied for 3rd, Campbell was 5th, Ava finished 6th, and Cindy was 7th.
Everyone fenced hard, learned some good things, and has a lot to be proud of. We especially liked seeing the growth of several of our fencers who used to get very discouraged by a tough loss in pools. This time, they were able to shake off those bouts and get back on track mentally – a really important skill in fencing!
Although traditionally summer tends to be sparse for tournaments (most people are training for summer nationals in July, and after that they take a break or scale back), we are planning on hosting some more small tournaments at the club this summer, and the new fencing season starts in August.
Coaches Kevin & Sarah are now fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19! We are not changing our mask requirements at this time, but we hope that sharing this piece of information will give people some peace of mind and encourage everyone to also get their vaccine as soon as they can.
We would like to be able to start phasing out Covid mask requirements over the summer (as we learned last summer, wearing those masks in our heat and humidity is not exactly super fun) and fall, assuming cases remain low, people are vaccinated, and the vaccines are effective against virus variants that occur. We will continue to practice with face masks in some situations as long as it is still a requirement for USA Fencing tournaments – no one wants to be distracted by their clothing during competition.
We’re also looking forward to fencing with the folks who have been waiting for vaccines in order to return! Thank you to everyone who is getting their vaccines for helping us practice more comfortably and protecting our community!