Come Fence With Us!

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.


Latest News:

Equinox Epee Tournament Results

We finally got to have our (now not accurately named) Equinox Epee tournament the second weekend of October! It was a little smaller than usual, with 30 individual fencers participating in 4 events, but everyone was grateful for a chance to compete even though the circumstances were less-than-ideal. The tournament was held outdoors in the parking lot at Hillside Elementary, and everyone did a great job wearing their masks, keeping their distance from others, and not shaking hands! Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible!

Full results: https://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=44116

In Open Mixed Epee, Evan tied for 3rd, Nick was 7th, Alex was 9th, with Daniel right behind in 10th. In Women’s Epee, Sarah tied for 3rd. In Div 3 (D & Under) Mixed Epee, Evan took home the silver medal, Daniel tied for 3rd, Alex came in 7th, Nick took 10th, Weston was 11th, and Rilee was 16th. In Cadet Mixed Epee, Jack tied for 3rd and Weston was 5th. We think everyone’s hard work in lessons and practice over the last 6 months showed!

Also congratulations to RDF fencers Evan on earning his C, Daniel on earning his E, and Nick on renewing his E!

2020 Equinox Epee Tournament Pushed Back to Oct. 10-11

Based on feedback from people who signed up for the tournament, it’s important that we are able to open it to fencers from outside the Iowa Division and that people have the opportunity to earn/renew their classification (rating). Rescheduling for October is our best chance at doing this, due to USA Fencing’s policy of division-locking of sanctioned events continuing through September.

We’ve submitted a request to DMPS to rent a parking garage. We went and looked, and two levels have sufficiently high ceilings and the concrete is in satisfactory condition. We think this is the best way to get good airflow but also minimize the chance of weather-related cancellation. We have also talked to our referees and while some will not be able to participate, there is enough interest in refereeing that we think we’ll be okay there.

On the plus side, this gives everyone more time to practice!

We’re Still Working on the Equinox Epee Tournament…

We’ve understandably been getting a lot of questions about our Equinox Epee tournament, originally scheduled to take place in March, which we tentatively rescheduled for Sept. 19-20 due to the novel coronavirus. We hope to have a more useful update toward the end of the week, but here is kind of what we’re thinking so far…

We highly doubt we will be able to hold the tournament with the planned schedule and location, and we have cancelled Y10 and Y12. We do know that some groups have been fairly successfully conducting livestock shows outdoors, and WDMCSD has instituted a hard ban on any sort of tape on their new gym floors, so we will likely be in an outdoor location.

However, this would incur some unfamiliar expenses, so we are also calculating various factors’ impact on attendance and financial viability. Our ability to hire enough referees will also impact what we’re able to offer. We really want to be able to do something, but we don’t want to be a source of disease spread, so we plan to comply with many of the guidelines in USA Fencing’s Return to Local Events document – fencers should be prepared to wear a cloth or disposable/surgical under their fencing mask. If you’re one of the people who has not already been practicing this way, we recommend that you start experimenting with different types of masks so you can find something that works for you (and can acquire several because they will get sweaty) before the tournament.

Additionally, the Iowa Division Board is making sanctioning decisions on a case-by-case basis this year after reviewing organizers’ plans. Since we haven’t nailed down the venue, we’ve been unable to submit a plan. We are considering running the tournament without sanctioning if we are unable to secure approval.

For those considering attending, here is some state and local information about the COVID-19 situation to help you in your decision-making:

https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/pages/rmcc-data

https://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health-department/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

Small Group Class Resumes in July

We’ve added an hour long small group class to Thursday nights! This will be one consistent group and (non-fencing) masks are required.

We are continuing private lessons (email us for the link to the sign up), as well as online footwork on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We also welcome beginners to sign up for private lessons – contact us for more info.

Ideally, we’ll be able to continue adding back group sessions to get back to our pre-pandemic schedule and phase out online footwork. However, this will depend on interest (and the ages & experience of those interested) and local conditions surrounding Covid-19.

Thumbs up for masks

Re-Opening!

As our spring members know through email, we have opened this week for private lessons only.

Our plan for June is to continue with both private lessons and online footwork sessions – we completely understand that many people do not feel comfortable doing in-person activities at this time. If you’d like to join online sessions and weren’t a member this spring, send us an email and we’ll get you the link! You can also follow along with prior workouts on our youtube channel.

For in-club activities, we are following the same procedures as the week before we closed – cleaning of high-touch surfaces, keeping doors open as much as possible (easier now with better weather!), no shared equipment, no handshakes, 10 minutes between lessons, etc.

We are not requiring (non-fencing) masks at this time, although you are welcome and encouraged to wear them! We’re a little worried about how practical mask-wearing will be for those actively fencing and coaching – being able to breathe and communicate is important, too! However, fencers may want to consider trying to fence with a mask under their fencing mask as we aren’t sure what will be required when competitions resume. The coaches are trying to figure out a mask/mask combo that will work for us, too!

We also now have a way to pay online! We’re offering our usual monthly membership and a punch card that is good through August.

To schedule lessons, check your email for the link to the scheduler (only June is available right now). If you weren’t a spring member, send us an email to request the link.

We are also figuring out how to work in beginner lessons – stay tuned!

Depending on how things are going in the coming weeks, the next step is to start doing small group classes as well.

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. We appreciate your patience and support as we muddle through this!

Five O’Clock Footwork – Fencing at Home!

We did our first 5 O’Clock Footwork session last night! Club members were invited to join our Meet, and 8 fencers followed along and received feedback. We also recorded what was going on at RDF, so those who missed the live session can still follow along with the video on their own time.

We’re going to do it again at 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 2. Members, check your email for a link to tomorrow’s Meet and yesterday’s video!

You’ll want to wear your fencing shoes, have some water to drink handy, and find some open space (we have about 13 ft. [4 m] to work with in our video) on preferably a wood floor or deck, laminate, even short carpet or concrete (although that can be a bit hard on the joints). Take a few minutes to stretch and warm up on your own before we start.

If you can, position your camera so we can see your whole body from the side, like what the referee would see. The better we can see you, the better feedback we can give.

Once everyone joins, we ask everyone to mute so we don’t accidentally record anyone else, but you can ask questions through the text chat function or we can pause the recording if needed. (We’re looking into a better way to manage this.) We’ll go for about 20 minutes.

Our goal is to ramp up to doing this several times a week and find ways to include more people.

Temporary Closure

Red Door Fencing is closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, consistent with guidance from USA Fencing and the Governor of Iowa, from this week. We hope to re-open again as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are working on some “fencing from home” options so our fencers can stay connected and engaged while we all do our part to help keep our communities healthy.

In the mean time, here are a few resources we’ve seen already:

Northwest Fencing Center (Portland, OR)
Follow on Instagram or Facebook for daily fencing & non-fencing athletic challenges

Academy of Fencing Masters (Bay Area, CA)
Blog with ideas for making a target & other ways to practice at home

COVID-19 Schedule Changes

Due to the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, RDF is moving to private lessons only, effective immediately.

Club members, please check your emails for details and a link to the sign up platform.

In addition to doing extra cleaning and not sharing equipment, we are trying to minimize the number of people anyone comes in contact with by entering our club. We are a small club anyway, so we feel like this is a reasonable risk-management strategy. Hopefully obviously, if you or someone in your household might be sick or in a high-risk group, please stay home! If either of the coaches might be sick, we will close the club.

If you do not feel comfortable coming to the club, we completely understand and we will work directly with members to issue refunds or pause memberships, etc.

Equinox Epee tournament rescheduled

Due to spread of coronavirus/COVID-19 and related closures, RDF has tentatively rescheduled the Equinox Epee tournament (originally set for March 28-29) to September 19-20, 2020. Event times remain the same.

We hope things will be relatively back to normal by then, but we will post any changes here, on facebook, on askfred.net, and will email updates to everyone preregisterd through askfred. We have yet to confirm gym availability with WDMCS, as they are understandably very busy with other things right now, but usually the gym schedule is pretty light that time of year.

We appreciate everyone’s support and hope you will still be able to join us in the fall!