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Daniel Jensen Moore
Oct 16, 2022
In Open Community
This post has been edited to reflect the changes to the rule taking effect Jan 1, 2023. A rule that club fencers are sometimes not aware of but is important for tournament fencers is the convention for “unwillingness to fight” or passivity. There is quite a history and backstory around this, but the short version is that some years ago in a team event, an epee fencer spent several three minute periods not attacking. He was a very good defensive fencer, so his opponents didn’t attack either. It didn’t help that this was also a featured Olympic event and it didn’t do a great job to grow the reputation of the sport being exciting as no one did anything but stand there. To ensure that fencers actually fence, a series of new rules under the notation “unwillingness to fight” were created. The wording of the rule reads, ”There is unwillingness to fight when there is one minute of fencing without a hit or without a hit off target…if the fencers are equal, the referee sanctions both [fencers] with a P-yellow card.” After the P-yellow at the next infraction, both fencers will receive a P-reds and then at the 3rd infraction, a P-black is issued. If there is a P-black, the fencer in the lead wins or, if the score is tied, the fencer with the higher _initial_ seed wins if. The passivity or unwillingness to fight rule does not apply to pool bouts and only effects the direct elimination matches. P-cards are not given when the bout is tied at 14-14 (but they can be given when there is a 9-9 tie in Y10 or vet events). The clock will reset for an off target hit even in epee (such as a floor touch), but is not reset for an invalid touch such as a touch registered after passing on a fleche. There is also a standard penalty card for intentionally hitting the floor, so don’t do that to reset the clock unless it happens by accident on a legitimate attempt. It is important to note that the initial seed refers to the seeding before the start of pools. Fencers are seeded first by their national ranking, then by their letter rating, and then unrated fencers are randomly assigned a position so that everyone has an initial seeding. It is helpful to check your and your opponent’s initial seeding prior to elimination bouts. Experienced fencers have been known to goad people into P-blacks when the opponent does not know the rules. Lex is a generally defensive fencer so we have seen our share of P-cards, but have not yet had a P-black situation. The P-cards are separate from the general penalty cards so you can still get routine yellow and red cards for those infractions (such as failing weapon’s test or turning your back on your opponent during the match, etc). Since we don't often have a clock running on matches at the club, it can be helpful to beginner fencers to have someone note when the time is running low and to think about practicing a timed match or two before their first tournament.
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Oct 02, 2022
In Open Community
It’s probably no secret that I am a lab scientist and that I love data. Well, that applies to fencing too, and I’m definitely a fencing nerd when it comes to scoping out opponents, collecting video, and generally trying to stay a step or two ahead. If you have been a competitive fencer with us for a while, I have probably recommended that you become familiar with the website Fencingtracker.com. In the past, this has been a great place to see who is registered for upcoming tournaments; that way if you are looking at competitions, you can see who is going, which may give you someone to talk with about the planning or just ask questions, especially if you are new. Our registrations can be found here: http://fencingtracker.com/club/100322683/NEFC/registrations Fencing tracker has also made several recent upgrades, which may appeal to you if you are interested in the details of fencing clubs and fencer performance. You can see those here including the 1) national circuit tab and 2) the fencer’s name search box: First, they have added the national circuit data. This listing is their way of assessing how clubs perform at the national level. They have created a scoring/ranking system that takes into account clubs’ performances only at national events including NAC’s, JO’s, and Summer Nationals. They also give credit just for sending fencers to those events. If you compare the list of all clubs on the site (683 clubs are listed) to those on their national circuit listing, you can see that most clubs never send anyone to national level events. That means when you go to these events, your opponents are already pretty highly selected from top national clubs. Our club is doing quite well including being in the Top 30 for several Epee categories across ages and gender. Next, they have added a search function for individual fencers (the fencer’s name box). This feature amazingly produces a record back to about 2018 for any fencer whose bout record can be found on the web (I think the site compiles data from askfred and fencingtimelive). Granular data such as pool wins, DE wins, close bouts, etc can be seen for just about any fencer who has fenced competitively. You can see part of the data under the "bout history" tab for Lex here as an example: If you dig into the data, you can impressively see that our fencers have fenced in more than 2000 competitive matches (2192 currently recorded)!! 7 of our fencers have completed more than 100 competitive bouts since 2018 (Mariasole leads at 639, also including Sam, Lex, Sheerea, Semaj, Thomas, and Elway). 4 fencers have more than 100 wins over this time in their combined pool and DE records (Mariasole, Sam, Lex, and Sheerea). Overall, it is really mind-boggling to look at and think about all the energy that has gone into the development of those skills you see at practice. The highly competitive fencers seem to be fencing around 100-150 tournament bouts per year (about 10 tournaments), but nearly all of them have worked their way up to that number. I imagine many of the older fencers also have more bouts that are just not picked up by the web program that looks for them, but maybe it will update in the future. I hope this might be a cool tool for tracking your opponents. I have definitely enjoyed seeing in great detail just how amazingly experienced our team is. I know the list will only grow with future seasons.
Fencing Data: Check out FencingTracker.com’s Updates content media
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Sep 29, 2022
In Open Community
Sooner or later it’s going to happen. Your weapon is going to fail. While a common cause of weapon problems in epee is the body cord, problems with the epee tip are a very close second. In addition, keeping your epee tip well maintained will get you some extra touches as your point won’t be “sticky”. I can relate from personal experience that it is very helpful to get good at changing out the tips. When you get into competition, you (or your fencer) will be hitting harder and going faster than they ever have before. This leads to a lot of tip failures and not infrequent failures of the thin shim test or weight test for epee. We’ve definitely had our fair share of weapon problems and I’ve learned to mostly fix epees on the sidelines between matches. One good step in learning to manage the weapon is to learn what happens inside. Here’s a cool video of the inner workings of an epee tip: Another thing that has really helped me to succeed in doing this is replacing the point screws in all of Lex’s epee with NEPS (new epee point screws). They come with a special screwdriver that sticks inside the screw so the screws don’t fall off. I am old and blind and I cannot for the life of me generally see the small screws, but once you get one of these attached to the end of the special screwdriver, it’s pretty smooth sailing for there. Definitely consider buying a pack of them. Here’s a picture of the screwdriver where you can see the layered tip that fits inside the screw and there’s a link below where Absolute Fencing sells them. As you can see from the video above, the things that go into your epee tip are the tip itself, a contact spring (the small spring that winds onto the tip and registers the touch), a pressure spring (the large spring that provides resistance), and two screws. Links for purchasing epee tips and screws are below. Most of the weapons in the club use German or standard parts. French parts are used for some weapons so you may want to review what weapon you own before you buy parts to make sure you get the right ones. Tips: Contact Springs: Pressure Springs: For routine maintenance of your epee, unscrew the current tip. I often place the screws onto a magnet (like a kitchen refrigerator magnet) so they don’t get lost. Remove the tip and pressure spring. You can use a Q-tip with isopropryl alcohol to clean the barrel. The wet Q-tip fits perfectly inside the barrel and you can gently scrub up and down. You’ll be amazed at the grime you can remove. It turns out that as the tip goes in and out it creates a small vacuum that sucks in dust particles. After cleaning, return the pressure spring to the barrel and place the tip on top. Make sure it slides smoothly up and down. If it is really rough/stuck, consider using a new epee tip. Once that has gone well, replace the screws. When your weapon is reassembled, you should test it to make sure it will pass inspection. The tests for epee include the thick shim—showing that the thick shim fits in the space between the tip and the barrel; the thin shim—showing that when the thin shim is placed between the tip and barrel that it prevents the small spring from contacting and producing a light; and the weight test which shows that the tip and pressure spring can hold up the 750g weight without setting off the light. If you fail the thick shim, this is often due to problems with the point screws not being equally screwed in. Failing the thin shim is generally due to the contact spring being too long; you can shorten it by further twisting it onto the tip but you may need to replace it. Failing the weight test is generally due to a failed pressure spring which you should replace. Sometimes stretching the pressure spring can let you get another bout or two. You should have a weapon test kit to check all these things, such as this one again from Absolute: The club does not presently have an armorer. I will sometimes do some minor repairs, but it is awfully nice if the fencer has their own replacement parts (as mentioned, I am also very partial to NEPS screws for epee if I am fixing things because I am terrible with the other types of screws). Coach will also do some repairs. The cost for materials for a complete tip replacement is around $10 between parts and labor if you don't have the parts so it is a great thing to learn to do yourself and can be life-saving on the strip on competition day. I don’t know much about foil, but if you need to learn more about epee weapon maintenance, I am happy to help you/your fencer learn.
Weapon Repair and Maintenance: Epee content media
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 30, 2022
In Open Community
A fencing kit (for clothing) consists of a weapon-specific mask, a glove, jacket, knickers, and a plastron (underarm protector). For women's events, they are also required to wear a plastic chest protector; for men's events, that piece of equipment is optional. If you are fencing foil, you will also need a lame (the conductive layer worn over the fencing jacket) and a mask with a conductive bib. You should also wear long socks and comfortable shoes with a flat sole; long socks are required for compliance with USA Fencing insurance policies. Fencing shoes exist but aren’t required; a lot of people wear shoes that are used for badminton or volleyball (asics gel shoes are popular for fencing). Finally, you will need the weapon itself and the appropriate body-cords to go with it. My recommendation to get a complete kit that is easy to access would be to look at the Absolute Fencing Deluxe Starter Kits for epee or foil. The absolute fencing gear set is a good starter set and probably the most common place that fencers start: Epee: https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/deluxe-8-piece-electric-epee-set.html Foil: https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/deluxe-10-piece-electric-foil-set.html These starter sets can provide all the required clothing and include a weapon, a body cord, and a bag to transport it all. For sizing, click on the sizing guide and just take those measurements carefully at home. Pay special attention to the box about jacket sizing; for jackets at absolute, you measure the chest and then add a specific number of inches based on the type of fabric; the jacket in the deluxe kit is nylon/stretchy. The chart has all the needed measures for the mask, glove, and all the other bits that need sizing. If it is confusing, ask an experienced parent or coach for help. If you have been borrowing kit at the club, take a look to see whether the sizing is still visible inside it as that can also be a helpful reference. For the weapon, first determine from Coach whether you are fencing with French grip or Pistol grip. If you are fencing with pistol grip (common for foil and for many epee fencers), pistol grip is commonly listed as Visconti in drop-down menus. Fencers who are fencing in Y10 events require #2 blades. For older fencers, select the longer #5 blade. The #5 blade is about 3” longer than the #2 blade, so it is quite a bit heavier to wield. Some fencers compete in both Y12 and Y10 at the same time and may need multiple weapons with different sized blades, but this won’t be needed at the beginning. When you obtain a brand-new blade, it is a good idea to work with it for a bit prior to bouting with it. Extending it (properly as you would do in practice/lessons) against a firm surface (like the target boards on the wall at the club or a pillow in front of a firm surface at home if allowed) many times can induce a subtle curve in the blade downward; you can see this on most well-used fencing blades. Inducing this curve before bouting can help prevent your blade from getting dramatically bent or kinked in your first few days with it, which is common for beginners who can’t always control their distance and bodies as well as more advanced fencers. When a fencer decides to go to competitions, they are then required to have 2 working weapons and 2 body cords. At the time that one gets to this level, they may want to get an upgraded second weapon as there are some more customizable features, but this adds a bit to the cost. Some advanced blades are certified by FIE (the international fencing committee); these blades are generally extremely well made and durable. If you are buying an upgraded weapon, Coach often likes weapons from Blaise Freres (BF) and tends to recommend a blade that is stiffer (“D” rather than “M”), Upgraded masks are also available and often have a bit more padding; a popular upgraded mask includes the Leon Paul X-change mask which has a bib that you can remove to make washing it easy. If you have questions about equipment, it can be fun to talk to other fencers about what they are using or have used and what they like and don’t like. Many of the families have been to competitions, so they can often answer quite a few questions about equipment. Coach is of course always the ultimate resource so don’t hesitate to clarify before you purchase. Hopefully your new equipment will bring you many successful touches; if not, there’s always a new blade waiting to be bought or built. :-)
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 20, 2022
In Open Community
Fencers are ranked during each tournament and by their cumulative results regionally, nationally, and internationally. All fencers that fence in a regional tournament within our region (Region 6) will earn regional points and placement on the regional points list. The total points for Y10, Y12, and Y14 fencers consist of their best 3 results; for cadet and junior fencers, the best two results form the ranking. Points are based on where you finish in the tournament and the total number of fencers. The winning fencer in a regional tournament always gets 100 points so the maximum points for a season (based on 3 best results) is 300. For other fencers, the points are calculated as follows: ((#fencers-place+1)/#fencers)*100 So if you finished 3rd in a 10 person event, you get ((10-3+1)/10)*100=8/10*100=80 points! The 5th place finisher (no 4th place in fencing) will get 60 points so finishing 3rdis always a relative boost for rankings. Regional points are a mechanism that enables you to qualify for national events including Summer Nationals, JO’s and the July Challenge. You can also earn regional recognition with an award patch for finishing in the overall Top 3 at the end of the season. As they say, always look out for fencers with patches when you face them in your competitions as they usually have significant competitive experience. Qualifications Summer Nationals Y10: Any Y10 points (you get points just for competing in any tournament in your region) Y12: 70 Y12 points (earned from your best 3 finishes; so 3 finishes in about the top 75-80%) Y14: 150 Y14 points (3 finishes averaging in the top half of the field) July Challenge: Cadet: 65 Cadet Points (from best 2 finishes) Junior: 65 Junior Points Junior Olympics Cadet: 110 Cadet Points (from best 2 finishes) Junior: 110 Junior Points These events also have “trickle down” so that if you qualify for a higher age group, you automatically qualify for the lower age groups. There is also generally a qualifying tournament, and you can also qualify by being on the national points list. Regional point listing can be found here: https://member.usafencing.org/regional/points National Points: SYC For youth fencers, national points can be earned through competition in SYC tournaments held throughout the country. In these tournaments, points are awarded to the Top 40% of finishers to a maximum of 64. For example, if there are 22 participants, then 9 fencers (22*0.4=8.8) will get points (they always round up). The following point tables show how points are awarded at SYCs. For any given age group, you can collect national points from your results in your age group and the next one up. At the Cadet/JR level, you can earn points from any point awarding event in which you fence including Div I and even international events. The Super Youth Circuit is a great way to gain national experience and get started in the rankings and is open to everyone including non-US citizens. The most elite fencing experience domestically is competition in the North American Cup (NAC) circuit, Junior Olympics, and Summer Nationals. At the premier national events, points are awarded based on the Table in which you finish and generally to the Table (Round) of 32. This means anyone finishing in the Top 32 earns points (provided there are at least 43 fencers; if fewer fencers then points are awarded to smaller tables). If the field is very large (160 or more), then the Table of 64 will earn points. The national points table for the Top 32 for various events can be seen here: Additional information about points including international points, adjusting for strength factors, and other highly advanced questions can always be found in the Athlete Handbook. https://www.usafencing.org/athlete-handbook National points and rankings can be found here: https://member.usafencing.org/points/national
Regional and National Points and Qualifying for Championships content media
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 20, 2022
In Open Community
Fencing classifications, also called ratings (not to be confused with rankings), can be earned based on your placement in tournaments and the tournament’s overall difficulty. All fencers begin as “unrated” or “U” and can earn progressively higher ratings of E, D, C, B, all the way up to A. The letter classification is followed by a number indicating the year in which it was awarded. Ratings will decay after 5 years such that if you earned your A in 2017 (A17) and do not renew it in 2022, you will become a B23 in 2023. The following chart describes how fencing tournaments are classified and what types of classifications can be earned based on how you (and the other fencers) place. For youth (Y10, Y12, Y14) and cadet tournaments, the tournament must be at least a C1 in order to award any classifications to the competitors. Therefore, most youth tournaments do not give letter ratings. This begins to change in Y14 once some of the fencers are old enough to compete in Junior and Open tournaments and begin to earn the letters that make the tournaments qualify for the higher C1 standard, which becomes common by the regional Cadet level. This approach overall prevents an accumulation of inflated ratings amongst Y10 and Y12 fencers prior to their physical and mental development.
How to earn letter classifications content media
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 20, 2022
In Open Community
Based on the pool results, the fencers are re-seeded and the Direct Elimination (DE) tableau is created. In national tournaments for Y12 and above, the bottom 20% of fencers after pools are cut and do not proceed to direct elimination. In most regional tournaments, there is often no cut. It can be good to check beforehand to know. For tournaments with a cut, winning 2 pool bouts or 1 pool bout with strong indicators (the matches were close) will usually result in escaping the cut. The DE tableau is set up so that the strongest fencer faces the weakest fencer remaining in each round with strength that day reflected by the pool results. In our hypothetical example with 31 fencers and no cut, the tournament would begin with the round (table) of 32. Since there are only 31 fencers, the #1 overall fencer from pools would get a bye to the round of 16, which can be nice to rest and also give the #1 a chance to check out future opponents—always a good idea. The #2 fencer would fence the #31, the #3 would fencer the #30, etc. For any given starting round, the fencers are paired such that the sum of the fencers’ seeding numbers equals the Round+1. In this case, 2+31=33 (round of 32 plus 1). Using this concept, you can often determine your first opponent prior to the posting of the DE’s. An example of the elimination bracket is shown below: In the DE Rounds for fencers in Y12 and above, there are 3 periods of 3 minutes with 1 minute rest between. The contest goes to 15 points or until the end of the 3rd period. If it is tied at the end of the 3rd period, there is a one minute overtime. In an overtime, one fencer will be assigned priority randomly. The bout will end at the next touch or when time expires; only single touches count. If time expires with no single touch scored, the fencer with “priority” at the start of OT will win the match. The winning fencer receives a slip to take to the bout committee and advances to the next round. The defeated fencer will generally be done for the day except for the very unusual case when the tournament is fenced with “repechage”, a bracket where the 1 loss fencers continue and face each other until they lose again and are eliminated. In the Y10 age group, there are only 2 three minute periods. The first period ends after three minutes or if one fencer gets to 5 points. Because the match pauses at 5 points, this can leave a little less time to catch up if you get behind in the first period, but it also provides a chance for the fencer to reset and get advice without their opponent running away with the match. The match is to a total of 10 points or until the end of the second period. There is 1 one minute break between the two periods. During the rest periods, the fencers can meet with their Coach for advice. If there is no coach that day or time, a parent can go out and meet with them to give encouragement and a drink. Even if you have been eliminated, it is usually good to stay around and watch the other fencers compete. There is a lot to learn from observing the many styles and strategies. At the conclusion of each tournament event, there will be an awards ceremony. Fencers are ordered based on the “Table” or “Round” in which they finish. If you are eliminated in the round of 8, then you will be in positions 5 through 8. The order of the final positions is determined by the fencers seeding at the beginning of the elimination bracket. The higher seeded fencer finishes higher. Thus, the pool results strongly influence your final position up through 5th place. Both semifinalists will be ranked in 3rd place; there is generally no fence off for 4th place. Second and first depends on the outcome of the championship match, which is sometimes held on a special “Finals” strip. Medals are given to the Top 8 fencers and fencers can often receive points for regional or national rankings based on how they finish. In national events, awardees can wear either full fencing whites or a team warm up suit with club jacket and long pants for the medal ceremony; this dress code is less strictly enforced regionally but it is a good habit.
The Tournament Day, Part 2: Direct Elimination and Results content media
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 20, 2022
In Open Community
On the day of the tournament, it is generally a good idea to arrive about an hour before the tournament will begin (also known as close of registration). You will check in with your ID card. If you did not already do weapons check, you must do this and get your glove and mask stamped. Some places, especially national tournaments, will also check your 2 body cords and label them with tape and they may also check your lame if you fence foil. You only need to do weapons check once for the whole tournament. Once checked in, get warmed up and try to do some practice bouting 15-20 mins before your tournament will begin. If other members of the team are at the tournament, they can do warm-ups with you even if they are not fencing at that time if they are available. NEFC will generally have a banner marking a place where people can congregate, find others, and leave some of your stuff. For most tournaments, all the information you will need to follow the tournament can be found at Fencing Time Live. It is invaluable to have a phone with a full charge as Fencing Time Live will tell you where you need to go. (And you might want to record some videos). https://fencingtimelive.com Prior to the start of the tournament, fencers are seeded. The seeding is based first on their national ranking. They are seeded secondarily based on their letter classification. Anyone with a current national ranking will be seeded above anyone without one. Once the nationally ranked fencers have been seeded, fencers are then seeded by letter classification from A to U. Within a given letter, the higher seed is given to the fencer that earned the letter most recently (B22 is seeded above B20; the numbers refer to the year the letter was earned). Here is a typical initial seeding: The seeding is then used to construct the pools. The desired number of fencers for each pool is 7, but pools are occasionally as big as 9 or 10 and as small as 4 or 5 depending on the total number of registrants and age groups. To estimate the number of pools, divide the number of fencers by 7 and go up to the next whole number (so if there were 31 fencers, 31/7= 4.4 so round up to 5). Pools are then filled by what is colloquially known as “the snake”. The #1 seed goes into the first pool, #2 into second. In our example of 31 fencers, when you get to the 5th pool with the #5 seed, the “snake” turns and the #6 seed is also placed into the 5th pool (i.e., they are the second fencer added to that pool). The #7 seed enters the 4th pool and this continues until the #10 seed is added to the 1st pool at which point the snake turns again and the #11 seed is also added to the first pool as its third fencer. This continues until all the fencers are placed. You can see that there is an advantage to being the #1 seed as the second strongest fencer in your pool is set up to be much weaker than you are. Of course, there are always surprises and there are always fencers who are improving quickly, so it’s great to be a strong fencer with a high initial seed, but also always be wary. The fencers will then fight everyone else in their pool in a 5 point match. If you are using Fencing Time Live, you can see the fencers “pool” under the pools icon at the top. If you find the pool and click on “details”, you can also see the bout order so you can help your fencer know their turn. The fencers are also all assigned a number (to the right of their name). Referees often call the fencers by their number (1 vs 3) rather than by their name. The fencer called first hooks up on the right unless the fencer is left handed (left handed fencers always hook up on the left unless both are left handed then they follow the normal convention where first called hooks up on the right). At the conclusion of pools, all the fencers in the tournament will be reseeded based on the pool results. The fencers are sorted based on 3 criteria: 1) the percentage of bouts won from 0.00 to 1.00 (V/M); 2) the “indicators” (Ind)—the difference between touches scored (TS) and touches received (TR), the more positive the better; 3) the total number of touches scored. If there is a tie for the first two items, then the fencer scoring more touches is seeded ahead. If all of these measures are equal, the fencers are tied and they are randomly selected to fill the two corresponding positions when the elimination bracket is constructed. An example of pool results is shown below:
The Tournament Day, Part 1: Seeding and Pools content media
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 16, 2022
In Open Community
If you are getting ready for your first tournament, there are a lot of things to juggle. To help simplify the process, I have compiled a list of things here that you will need. Definitely add in the comments if there are other things that you recommend! Things You Need for Tournament Day! · USA Fencing membership card with competitive membership (physical or electronic copy). · Proof of your age (birth certificate or passport, etc.). You can scan and email these documents to USA Fencing (info@usafencing.org), and they can then verify your DOB. If you do that, your membership card will have your DOB verified, and you won't need to bring separate verification with you. It is highly recommended to get your DOB verified through USA Fencing. · Two (2) working body cords. · Two (2) working weapons. · Anyone fencing women’s events must wear the plastic chest protector in addition to the plastron. · A jacket or lame with your name on the back if fencing a national event (required for NAC and often SYC events but not RYC or local events) · A kit to check your weapons and cords. You should check your weapons before the event begins and before each DE bout to avoid getting a yellow card for non-working or defective weapons. In addition to making sure the weapon works, also check to make sure you have 2 point screws in the tip of every weapon. For epee, consider purchasing NEPS screws and a NEPS screwdriver as they are very easy to change out in critical moments. o Simple epee test kit: https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/af-epee-test-kit-w-test-box-combination-weight-shim.html o Simple foil test kit: https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/af-foil-test-kit-w-test-box-foil-weight.html o Consider also getting basic tools such as a hex key to tighten the weapon handle, small screwdriver for point screws, extra points, extra screws. These can also be obtained under tools at absolute fencing and sometimes from vendors at the venue. · Y10 events are fenced with #2 blades. You must have two #2 blades to compete in Y10 events. · Y12 and older events are fenced with #5 blades. A #5 blade is about 3 inches longer than a #2 blade. You are permitted to fence in Y12 events with a #2 blade, but the short blade is a disadvantage. Y10 fencers fencing in Y12 events should strongly consider having at least one #5 blade and two #5 blades if possible. · Make sure your glove is free of holes and tears; gloves will be checked at registration and need to be in good condition to be allowed for competition. · For foil, make sure your lame is free of any dead spots or damage and is working properly. · If fencing both foil and epee, make sure to have the right kind of mask for each weapon; the foil mask has a conductive bib while the epee mask does not. · Bring your positive attitude and open mind, ready for challenges and opportunities. · Bring a means to take photos and videos and try to capture as many as you can. They are great for review but also for just capturing the moment and memories. · The day is quite long. Bring plenty to drink and plenty of snacks. Some quick carbs such as some bites of chocolate can be a nice pick-me-up between matches. · The completion of pools generally takes about 2 hrs regardless of tournament size. Most tournaments finish in 4-6hrs. National tournaments can be an 8+hr event. General Extra Advice: Take your uniform out of your bag and air it out to dry at the hotel if fencing consecutive days. You are not required to have multiple uniforms, but try to stay presentable and comfortable.
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 16, 2022
In Open Community
Tournaments in fencing are divided by age groups and generally also into men’s and women’s events although mixed events are not uncommon. For fencers just beginning, it is usually advisable to stick to the tournament in their age category only. As fencers develop and under Coach’s guidance, many fencers will fence their own age group and one age group ahead. For very advanced fencers, they may fence two age groups up, but this is unusual. The fencing season begins in August/September of each year and runs through Summer Nationals during the first two weeks of July the following summer. The age cut offs are based on your age as of January 1 of the current fencing season. For this upcoming season, that would mean based on your age as of Jan 1, 2023. The fencing Youth categories are divided into 10 and under (Y10), 12 and under (Y12), and 14 and under (Y14). As an example, if you are 10 in August of 2022 (beginning of the 2022-23 season) but are 11 by January 1, 2023 (middle of season), then you are too old for Y10 and must fence Y12 for this season. After the youth categories, there are Cadet and Junior age groups; Junior Olympics is the official “end of season” championship for Juniors and Cadets. Because of this, Junior and Cadet fencers age out after Junior Olympics so that the oldest fencers in a given season can fence Cadet or Junior in the first part of the fencing year but not in the second part after JO’s in February. Senior fencing (also known as open competition) is open to anyone who meets the age (age 13+) and letter requirements for registration. For the 2022-2023 season, the following age requirements based on birth year apply: Y10: 2012-2015 Y12: 2010-2013 (or on Y10 national points list) Y14: 2008-2011 (or on Y12 national points list) Cadet (pre-JO): 2006-2009 (or on Y14 national points list) Cadet (post-JO): 2007-2010 (or on Y14 national points list) Junior (pre-JO): 2003-2009 (or on Cadet national points list) Junior (post-JO): 2004-2010 (or on Cadet national points list) Div I: Born 2009 or before (Classification rating A, B, C) Div II: Born 2009 or before (Classification rating C, D, E, U) Div III: Born 2009 or before (Classification rating D, E. U) Div IA: Born 2009 or before (A, B, C, D, E, or U—all)
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 16, 2022
In Open Community
Tournaments come in a variety of different sizes and levels of competition. Fencing is relatively less popular (for the moment) in the greater Nashville area, so local tournaments in this area are often small, especially as compared to fencing centers on the coasts. Since they are relatively small, local tournaments, including tournaments held at the club, can be great introductions to tournament fencing without a lot of travel or pressure. Local tournaments can be held by clubs exclusively for their own members or be open to others in their area. The slightly larger local tournaments, often hosted by clubs, can be sanctioned by the TN Division of USA Fencing. A tournament must be sanctioned to give out letter classifications. Both sanctioned and unsanctioned tournaments can be a good way to develop skills. Some states also have strong high school fencing programs; although that is not currently the case for TN, Memphis University School in Memphis has a fencing team and will occasionally host tournaments during the school year focused on high school fencers. Local tournaments such as these can generally be found on askfred where registration can also be completed. You may have learned about this for our club tournament a few weeks ago. https://askfred.net Beyond local tournaments, most tournaments are organized by USA Fencing. The typical next level for fencing tournaments are the Regional Youth Circuit (RYC for Y10, Y12, and Y14) and the Regional Junior and Cadet Circuit (RJCC for Junior and Cadet). These tournaments are hosted by USA Fencing and are divided up by region. We are Region 6 (VI), the Southeast portion of the country. By fencing tournaments in Region 6, you can earn regional points and qualify for tournaments like Summer Nationals, July Challenge and Junior Olympics. USA Fencing also promotes national level tournaments that enable fencers to gain national points. For Youth Fencers, a primary vehicle for national recognition is the Super Youth Circuit (SYC). This is a series of “mini-championship” tournaments within each region. They are open to anyone that wishes to attend including non-US citizens. The top 40% of finishers earn national points and placement on the US National Points list (yes, Canadian, Korean, and other citizens can be on the US national points list, but they cannot compete for US national championships). For Juniors and Cadets, there has previously been an SJCC tournament similar to the SYC, but very few of these have been held. The most elite level of competition for fencers of all ages domestically is the North American Cup (NAC) series and Summer Nationals. The NAC calendar provides a series of tournaments throughout the year where fencers can test themselves against the best in the country and earn national points. Typical NAC schedule and eligibility is as follows: October: Div I, Cadet, Y14 December, Div I, Junior, Cadet January: Div I, Junior Junior Olympics (Feb): Junior and Cadet (Junior and Cadet Championships) March: Y10, Y12, Y14 April: Div I, Junior, Cadet (Div I Championship event) Summer Nationals: Y10, Y12, Y14, Div IA, Div II, and Div III Championships July Challenge: Jr and Cadet National Event concurrent with Summer National Championships Events organized by USA Fencing can be registered for at https://member.usafencing.org/search/tournaments For most tournaments, there is a tournament fee and then a separate fee for each event that you enter. Local tournaments are typically cheaper than USA Fencing regional or national tournaments. The championship events generally require meeting a qualification standard; other tournaments are generally open to everyone that meet the age or other requirements. Regular tournament registration typically closes about 1 month before the tournament. After the close of open registration, there is often a late registration period until up to 1 week before the tournament, but you will incur triple the normal tournament fees for late registration, so definitely try to register early. It also helps with planning flights and hotels.
What types of tournaments are there? content media
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 13, 2022
In Open Community
With the new season starting and the recent email that had a list of upcoming tournaments, you may be wondering whether you and your fencer are ready to compete. For pretty much everyone Lex and I know that has ever started competing, none were completely ready and eventually, they just got out there and tried it. As general advice, the youngest fencers (under 12) will often be ready to compete after 9 to 12 months of lessons and classes while teen and older fencers can often become physically and mentally ready faster after 6 to 9 months. Like all decisions during your fencing development, you should seek ongoing guidance from Coach Young and let him know your specific goals as everyone develops at their own rate. We went to our first tournament after Lex had been fencing for about 6 months in March of 2021, and we started attending tournaments about once a month thereafter. We might have started a tad early, and tournaments were really hard at first as Lex had to learn to win. Although he could keep many bouts close, it wouldn't be until the very end of that first season that he would win his first elimination match. There was a lot of frustration, and our motto for each point and match often became "you are either winning or you are learning". That's still hard, but we've appreciated how fencing teaches a balance of physical, mental, and life skills in a way few other experiences do these days. Along the way we definitely appreciated how competitive fencing is a bit different than competing in the club. Although everyone in the club is always working hard, top fencers are often training to develop their weaknesses into strengths. On competition day, everyone will be bringing their best, so it can be a step-up in intensity from the club. At the same time, it is a chance for the fencer to amp up the energy of their own game and begin to learn more about their own strengths and weaknesses. Even if training in the club has been very successful, there is nearly always a developmental period during which a fencer learns to translate their game to the tournament and “learns to win”. Fencers at most tournaments will be helped by the presence of their coach when available who can provide “strip coaching” (advice during matches and ongoing discussion throughout the day) and also by the encouragement of their families and teammates. With practice and perseverance, fencers begin to fully express their skills and will begin to learn to win points in matches, win pool (“seeding”) matches, win eliminations, and, for many of our fencers, ultimately win championships. If you and your fencer feel excited to try and Coach indicates you are ready, you should get registered and test your skills in competition. Registration can generally be found here through your USA Fencing account: https://member.usafencing.org/search/tournaments/regional If you want to know who all from the club is signed up, you can usually see that here: http://fencingtracker.com/club/100322683/NEFC/registrations I will look forward to seeing you as part of the traveling crew of fencing families!
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 12, 2022
In Open Community
As we get ready to start the next fencing season (it runs from late August to early July!), it is nice to reflect on how our Nashville Elite Fencing Club put together an outstanding 2021-2022 season. The club earned over 32 total medals including 1 National and 2 SYC medals and produced 3 nationally ranked fencers, 6 regional championships, 29 RYC medals, 3 regional patch winners, 4 letter classifications, and 3 All Americans. In future posts, I'll give out some more information about competing in tournaments in case you find yourself (or your fencer) ready to take the competitive leap for 2022-23! Always happy to talk about it and to answer questions in the comments, but for now I'll just point out our many club successes. Fencers with National Rankings and Overall Regional Point Winners National rankings are earned by high finishes at the national events held throughout the year (Summer Nationals, NACs, Junior Olympics, SJCCs, SYCs). The rankings generally include the best 4 finishes a fencer has domestically and can also include international results. Results in the Top 40% (SYCs/SJCC) or Top 32 (NACs) are given a point value. Earning a high placement in the Div I category is the means by which the US Olympic team is chosen (generally the Top 4 on the Div I list in the Olympic year are selected to the team). Achieving a placement on the national list is a strong outcome for any fencer, and we currently have 3 nationally ranked fencers contributing to our training environment. Mariasole Capellua #71 Div I/Senior Women’s Epee #55 Junior Women’s Epee Sam Choun #106 Junior Men’s Foil Alexander Moore #11 Y10 Men’s Epee Fencers similarly earn rankings on the regional point list based on their finishes at regional tournaments. Three of our fencers earned regional recognition this year. Mariasole Capellua: Gold (#1), Cadet Women’s Epee, Region 6 Alexander Moore: Gold (#1), Y10 Men’s Epee, Region 6 Sheerea Yu: Bronze (#3), Junior Women's Epee, Region 6 Championships Mariasole Capellua Peachtree Battle RJCC, JNR Women’s Epee, May 2022 Magic City RJCC, JNR Women’s Epee, Mar 2022 Alexander Moore Peachtree Battle RYC, Y10 Men’s Epee, May 2022 Bull City RYC, Y10 Men’s Epee, Apr 2022 Tampa Challenge RYC, Y10 Men’s Epee, Feb 2022 Fairfax Challenge RYC, Y10 Men’s Epee, Aug 2021 Murfreesboro Winter Open, Y10 Mixed Epee, Jan 2022 (Local) Semaj Toussaint Murfreesboro Winter Open Div II Mixed Epee, Jan 2022 (Local) Murfreesboro Winter Open, Unrated Mixed Epee, Jan 2022 (Local) 2021-2022 Season Medals and Classifications National/Super Regional Tournaments (NAC/SYC) Summer Nationals, July 2022 Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 7th Place North Texas SYC, Aug 2021 Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 3rd Place Windy City SYC, Apr 2022 Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 2nd Place Regional Tournaments (RYC/RJCC) Fairfax Challenge, Oct 2021 Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 1st Place Mariasole Capellua, JNR Women’s Epee, 3rd Place Mariasole Capellua, CDT Women’s Epee, 6th Place Alexander Moore, Y12 Men’s Epee, 3rd Place The Southern, Dec 2021 Sheerea Yu, JNR Women’s Epee, 6th Place Sheerea Yu, CDT Women’s Epee, 3rd Place Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 2nd Place Tampa Challenge, Feb 2022 Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 1st Place Alexander Moore, Y12 Men’s Epee, 7th Place Magic City, Mar 2022 Mariasole Capellua, JNR Women’s Epee, 1st Place Sheerea Yu, JNR Women’s Epee, 2nd Place [earned D22] Mariasole Capellua, JNR Women’s Foil, 5th Place [earned E22] Alexander Moore, Y12 Men’s Epee, 3rd Place Zeke Newton, Y10 Men’s Foil, 5th Place Maya Arsovski, Y10 Women’s Foil, 3rd Place Iris Rauch, Y10 Women’s Foil, 7th Place Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 2nd Place Bull City, Apr 2022 Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 1st Place Alexander Moore, Y12 Men’s Epee, 6th Place Peachtree Battle, May 2022 Mariasole Capellua, JNR Women’s Epee, 1st Place [earned B22] Alexander Moore, Y10 Men’s Epee, 1st Place Mariasole Capellua, Div 1A Women’s Epee, 3rd Place Samuel Choun, Div 1A Men’s Foil, 2nd Place Semaj Toussaint, Div II Men’s Epee, 6th Place Samuel Choun, JNR Men’s Foil, 3rd Place Semaj Toussaint, CDT Men’s Epee, 5th Place [earned D22] Alexander Moore, Y12 Men’s Epee, 3rd Place Alison Kim, Y10 Women’s Foil, 6th Place Maya Arsovski, Y10 Women’s Foil, 8th Place Local Tournaments Murfreesboro Winter Tournament, Jan 2022 Semaj Toussaint, Div II Mixed Epee, 1st Place [earned E22] Semaj Toussaint, Unrated Mixed Epee, 1st Place Alexander Moore, Y10 Mixed Epee, 1st Place Rocket City Open, Apr 2022 Mariasole Capellua, Mixed Open Epee, 3rd Place Semaj Toussaint, Div III Epee, 2nd Place All Americans All American status can be earned by achieving or renewing a letter classification during the fencing season along with other factors; applications generally open in early Spring for high school students. Mariasole Capellua 1st Team Epee, Honorable Mention Foil, Academic Team Sheerea Yu: 2nd Team Epee, Academic Team Semaj Toussaint: 2nd Team Epee, Academic Team 2021-22 TN Club RYC/SYC/NAC Medal Counts and Championships NEFC demonstrated its commitment to competitive excellence throughout the 2021-22 season with outstanding results and was the leading competitive club in TN. Not only did NEFC earn the most medals of any club, but it also had the most fencers earning medals emphasizing the broad commitment to fencer development and the growing strength of the club. 1. Nashville Elite Fencing Club 32 Total Medals 29 Regional, 2 SYC, 1 Summer National, 6 Championships [9 fencers] 2. Lang Fencing Academy 14 Total Medals 14 Regional, 0 SYC, 0 NAC/National, 2 Championships [2 fencers] 3. Williamson/Murfreesboro Fencing Club 13 Total Medals 13 Regional, 0 SYC, 0 NAC/National, 0 Championships [6 fencers] 4. Nashville Academy of Fencing 6 Total Medals 6 Regional, 0 SYC, 0 NAC/National, 0 Championships [2 fencers] 5. Memphis University School Fencing Team/Raptors Fencing Club 2 Total Medals 2 Regional, 0 SYC, 0 NAC/National, 0 Championships [2 fencers]
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Daniel Jensen Moore
Aug 09, 2022
In Open Community
Hello, friends. It looks like we are experimenting with a forum/blog where we can continue to increase communication and provide information for each other and for would-be fencers that visit the website. My name is Dan Moore, but most importantly at the club, I am Lex's dad. Lex has been fencing for almost two years now, and both he and I have learned a lot. Lex has grown in confidence, in physical execution, and in understanding the mental and strategic game. He's also gotten a little bit taller. We have learned to be good competitors together and learned to manage both victory and defeat. I've learned to be a part-time navigator, travel agent, referee, armorer, and sport psychologist, but most importantly I've had a lot of time with my son to support him in working on goals he has made for himself. I'll post some about fencing here and I also love to answer questions. If there's anything you'd like me to reflect on or talk about, just let me know. I'm at the club pretty much all the time. When I'm not busy being the club dad, I'm a pediatric endocrinologist at Vanderbilt and I also run a research program studying many aspects of Type 1 diabetes.
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Daniel Jensen Moore

Daniel Jensen Moore

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