We’ve Expanded!

By “relaxing and recharging” in August, we actually meant “moving heavy items, tearing down walls, cleaning, and painting”. We’ve expanded the club to take up the entire basement of the building, which means we have a new entrance off E. 3rd St. (don’t worry – the ramp door will still be open) and room for 4 regulation-size strips so we can host small tournaments at the club!

Speaking of tournaments, Valley High School Fencing Club is using our space for their “Rajah Invitational” Oct. 5-7, and we’re having a youth tournament on Saturday, Dec. 8.

We especially appreciate all the help from the volunteers who helped us move junk, equipment, furniture and floor mats, painted, cleaned, and managed rainwater! We still have a few minor tasks that we’ll be completing in the next month or so (and the owner of the building is taking care of the sloped-toward-the-foundation sidewalk situation so there won’t be a small lake when it rains), but we’ve been able to start practicing in the space this first week of September.

Daniel and Carl fence at Iowa Games

2018 Iowa Games Results

Carl and Daniel competed today at Iowa Games! They both fenced well in pools, Daniel won his first 15-point bout, but unfortunately his next opponent was Carl. Their bout was close and well-fenced, and Carl won 15-13. Carl tied for 3rd, and Daniel finished 7th out of 13 epee fencers.

Iowa Games epee medalists – Carl tied for 3rd!

2018 Youth Camp & Coaching Workshop

Last week was our 3-day youth camp and coaching workshop with guest Coach Gary Copeland from Norther Colorado Fencers. In the mornings, kids ages 8-14 (who have fenced before – this was not a beginner camp) worked on a variety of techniques, as well as staying balanced and being focused, so they could apply those skills when it was time to bout. In the afternoons, two intrepid older kids stuck around to be students while Gary helped Kevin and Sarah with their coaching. We think everyone came away with some good things to focus on for next season!

September Beginner Class Registration Now Available

Registration for fall beginner classes is now available! We’re running two classes: Youth Beginner Fencing on Tuesdays 5:30-6:30 pm starting Sept. 4, and Teen/Adult Beginner Fencing on Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 pm starting Sept. 5. Each session is 6 weeks long. Cost is $60, equipment is provided. More details and registration: https://reddoorfencing.com/join/beginner-classes/


2018 Summer Nationals Results

RDF sent 3 athletes to Summer Nationals in St. Louis this year; Jim, Jared, and Sarah each fenced two epee events, and Jared earned a medal! Here’s the recap:

Jim started us off on Sunday, July 1, fencing Div 1A Men’s Epee. He struggled a bit in pools, coming out 157th with 1 victory and 5 losses, but he made the cut and won his first 15-point direct elimination bout 15-8. His next bout was 29th seed and he went down 11-15, ending up 128th out of 197 competitors.

The next day, Jim was back for Vet-40 Men’s Epee. He did better in pools this time, going 3-3. He won his first direct elimination match (they only fence to 10 points in veterans events) decisively, 10-4. After that, he had a close match that was tied 8-8 when time ran out. In the priority minute, Jim’s opponent – the eventual winner of the event – scored a 9th touch and Jim finished 25th of 55.

On Tuesday, Jared fenced Div 2 Men’s Epee, his first time competing in epee at the national level (his primary weapon is foil, but he’s been fencing epee with us when he comes home from college). He fenced well in pools, coming out tied for 51st with 4 wins and 2 losses. He got a bye into the round of 128, where he won his first bout 15-10. Then he fenced 14th seed and lost 11-15, which put him 45th of 226 overall.

Sarah’s first event was Div 3 Women’s Epee on the 4th of July. One fencer in her pool dropped out due to injury, but Sarah won her other 5 pool bouts and was tied for 3rd thanks to a +20 indicator (“indicator” = touches scored – touches received). She won a string of direct elimination matches 15-6, 15-11, and 15-12 before losing 8-15 to 13th seed in the round of 16. She missed the medals by one place, ending 9th of 174.

Jared also fenced Div 2 Men’s Foil on Wednesday morning, representing the Des Moines Fencing Club, and finished 146th of 223.

Both Jared and Sarah fenced on Thursday, starting bright and early with Div 3 Men’s Epee at 8 am. Jared came out of pools 3-3, tied for 87th, but he stayed focused and battled back to upset 40th seed 15-12. He won his next direct elimination matches 15-11, 15-9, and 15-2 before going down 10-15 in the quarterfinals. He placed 8th of 183 and earned his first national medal!

In Div 2 Women’s Epee, Sarah swept her pool again and came out tied for 2nd seed. She won two bouts 15-11 and then lost 12-15 in the round of 32, finishing 17th of 159.

Full results: https://www.fencingtimelive.com/tournaments/eventSchedule/02669F3AE6FF4EDBA43449105CC3A0E1#today

Des Moines Fencing

Summer Schedule Updates

We have a few tweaks to our schedule for July and August:

JULY 3-5 – CLOSED (we’ll be in St. Louis for Summer Nationals!)

July 18-20th – Youth Day Camp with guest coach Gary Copeland

Wednesday, AUGUST 1 – CLOSED

Wednesday, AUGUST 8 – CLOSED


We’re taking some time in August to relax and recharge, but we’ll be back to our full, regular schedule in September!

Titanium Man Epee Tournament Results

On Sunday, Jim placed 6th and Sarah finished 14th at a tournament at the Iowa City Fencing Center with a bit of an unusual format… (Full results: https://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=40084)

Normally, a tournament has two rounds: pools and direct elimination or “DE’s”. For the first round, they split everyone up into groups of 5-8, and each fencer fences everyone in their group (or pool) to 5 points. Based on how a fencer does in pools, they are then seeded into a direct elimination bracket (like March Madness) for the second round. All of the direct elimination bouts go to 15 points, and if you lose, you’re done – you’ve been knocked out.

At the Titanium Man, it’s one giant pool, and all of the bouts go to 15 points. There were 22 fencers this year, which meant that there had to be over 200 bouts fenced on 5 strips. We started fencing at 10:30 am and the last bout ended around 7:30 pm. It made for a long day, but it was good preparation for Summer Nationals!

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Jim lunges and hits an opponent at the Titanium Man tournament in Iowa City.

Bengal Invitational Results

Today, 6 fencers from RDF competed at Valley High School Fencing Club’s Bengal Invitational in Div 3 (D & Under) Mixed Epee. Jared won the event, Daniel A. was 2nd, Nick tied for 3rd, Carl was 5th, Alex came in 6th, and Daniel M. was 7th. There was a lot of fencing teammates, but it’s so nice to have another local event that’s easy for many of us to attend! VHSFC did great job organizing their first tournament. Full results available here: https://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=40200.