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!
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.
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!
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
NO SATURDAY PRACTICE IN AUGUST
We’re taking some time in August to relax and recharge, but we’ll be back to our full, regular schedule in September!
On Monday night, Kevin, Sarah, and Jim taught a crash course in fencing to middle school campers in Simpson College’s Magic, Mythology and More! camp. Not pictured: people actually fencing each other, but it did happen (albeit with a “saber target only” rule)!
We’re gearing up for our big annual tournament – Equinox Epee – on Saturday, March 24 at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines. If you’re an epee fencer, sign up today: https://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=38662! We have events for Y10, Y12, Y14, D & Under classifications, and an open (ages 13+, any classification) category.
If you’re not a fencer or you know a fencer, this is a good chance to see what we spend all this time training for! As usual, it’s free to come watch.
Thanks to the great support we had last year, we’ve been able to make some upgrades to this year’s event: bigger gym with hardwood floors and bleachers so we can have more strips than last year, a grounded strip, another new scoring box, and more professional referees!
Events Scheduled for Saturday, March 24:
9:00 AM – Mixed Epee
12:00 PM – D & Under Mixed Epee
12:00 PM – Y10 Mixed Epee (Unsanctioned)
1:00 PM – Y12 Mixed Epee (Unsanctioned)
2:00 PM – Y14 Mixed Epee
Over winter break, two RDF athletes traveled to Minnesota to train at the annual 4-day winter camp at the Twin Cities Fencing Club. Sarah and Lily enjoyed working with fencers from around the region and improving their fencing.
Normal practice as scheduled Tuesday, Dec. 26. We’re closed Wednesday, Dec. 27, Saturday, Dec. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 2, and there is no Youth Practice on Thursday, Dec. 28. Regular schedule resumes Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Happy Holidays, everyone!
We had a great time hosting our first summer day camp for fencers ages 8-14 (who have some fencing experience), led by Guest Coach Gary Copeland from Northern Colorado Fencers. It was great to see everyone working so hard and improving their skills!
Following the kids’ camp, Gary led a small 2-day coaching workshop focused on individual lessons. In addition to RDF coaches Kevin and Sarah, we had two coaches join us from the Lincoln Fencing Club. We really appreciate Gary’s instruction and feedback and we’re looking forward to helping our students be more successful!
Registration is open for our next Beginner Youth Fencing class, which will meet Tuesday evenings 5:30-6:30, April 4-May 9. Have fun, make friends, learn a new sport!
Our 6-week kids’ beginner class is designed so that children ages 8-12 can build up some basic skills before practicing with the more experienced kids. Beginner kids learn safety, terminology, rules, and basic actions through games, drills, and practice matches (“bouting” in fencerspeak). We follow a similar structure to the regular Youth Epee practice: we start with footwork, focusing on balance and coordination, then we put on our gear and work on basic actions, with a focus on mechanics and technique, and we usually finish with practice matches where we try to apply the skills we just worked on.
Cost is $60. All equipment is provided. Students should wear comfortable athletic clothes, specifically pants that allow full range of motion (no shorts!) and close-toed shoes.