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.

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!

RDF to Host Annual Equinox Epee Tournament

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

2017 Summer Camp & Coaching Workshop

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!

Spring 2017 Beginner Youth Fencing Registration Now Available

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.



RDF to Host Equinox Epee Tournament

We’re hosting our annual Equinox Epee Tournament on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at Hillside Elementary in West Des Moines, so if you’ve been wanting to see what a tournament is all about or come cheer on your friends, it’s free to watch! Registration for fencers is open, too: https://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=35861.

Times listed on the schedule are close of registration – fencing will begin about 15 minutes afterwards:

9:00 AM – Mixed Epee
12:00 PM – D & Under Mixed Epee
12:00 PM – Y10 Mixed Epee
1:00 PM – Y12 Mixed Epee
2:00 PM – Y14 Mixed Epee

This venue doesn’t have a lot of seating, so bringing a camping chair is a good idea if you have one!

2015 Equinox Epee D & Under medalists

Thank you, Coach Dorothea!

As many of our fencers know, Coach Dorothea’s last day at practice – before moving to Virginia to start her new job – was Thursday. Dorothea has put in a lot of hard work and waited very patiently for this (non-fencing) career opportunity, and we’re so glad she’s been a part of RDF in the mean time. We especially appreciate her help in growing our youth program! We’ve certainly learned a lot from her, and we will miss her cheerful, enthusiastic presence both on and off the strip. Thank you, Dorothea!


Richmond NAC

December NAC in Richmond

RDF fencer Sarah traveled to Richmond, VA to compete at the December North American Cup. This time, US Fencing was experimenting with a new 2-day format for Division 1, designed to mimic the format used for international (FIE) tournaments. The top 62-seeded athletes received an automatic bye into Day 2 of the event, and everyone else (including Sarah), had to fence to determine the rest of the competitors. Sarah made the 75% cut to Day 2 (anyone who didn’t make the cut was automatically entered in Division 1A, also on Monday) and ended 94 of 130. Of course, when you start out as last seed, the only place to go is up!

Final results available here.