October marks the start of a new quarter of classes, and all practices will be held at the Westside Community Center in Santa Barbara. The schedule for Fall will be such:
6:00 Group Warm-up
6:15 Group Footwork
~6:30 Group blade work drills
6:00 Group Warm-up (including new fencers)
6:15 Group Footwork (including new fencers)
~6:45 Experienced fencers practice blade work drills or sparring
~6:45 Group Lesson for new fencers
There are a number of tournaments coming up in new quarter -- too many for me to keep emailing about. I will only be advertising the local events via email. If you are an experienced fencer, and you're looking for more competition, then you need to familiarize yourself with Askfred.net. All upcoming tournaments are posted there. You can always send me an email about whether or not any particular tournament is appropriate for you.
Please bring dues checks to practice or use the PayPal buttons on the website for payment. And as always, please let me know if you would like to be removed from this list or if you will not be attending practices. I understand that schedules fill up, and that fencing comes in and out of the priorities bulls-eye for some people.
And what a school year it already is. For those parents who
have been around the club for a while, I want you know that Dax just
started Kindergarten. How time flies?!? Seems like just
yesterday that I had to have Tom cover Saturday Footwork class because
Dax decided to pop out. And it wasn't so long ago that a few of
you mothers volunteered to hold him so I could teach a lesson or two.
So now, like many of you out there, I am trying to figure out how to schedule PTA meetings, Axxess book sales, and parent-teacher conferences. Speaking of which, back to school night at Adams Elementary is next Thursday, September 3rd. I will be late to practice. So please just come, warm-up, and then spar or drill.
I spoke tonight about the need for drilling. I stand by what I said. We spent the summer trying to cultivate some practicable actions. By now, most people at the club should be able to pick a skill and practice it without direct supervision. On Thursday nights, instead of suiting up and fencing electric right away, please consider grabbing a partner and working on some specific moves. I really want to encourage everyone to drill more than spar. If you want to improve, then you have to practice. On Tuesdays I will still lead drills until at least 7 pm.
I will be happy to give you guidance on drills specific to you, but I also want you to be thinking about your own game. Fencing is not something you can just do for a couple of hours each week. You need to be constantly thinking about footwork and tactics, about bouts and opponents, and about self-improvement all of the time. Email me with questions or ask for suggestions to watch on YouTube. Borrow a book on the subject. Be active about learning the sport -- just as you have to be active about scoring a touch on the strip.
And one more thing: since fencing is so technical, and since our time together is so limited, I find it difficult to devote precious class time toward too much athletic training. And yet, training is a major part of being an athlete. There is so much value in building strength and flexibility, especially in the abdominals and posterior chain. In the coming weeks, I hope to follow up this email with some links to various exercises and stretches for you to do at home. I hope those of you who are sincere about improvement will take it upon yourselves to do these exercises outside of fencing practice.
Check askfred.net. The competition calendar is filling up. Let's see what we can accomplish.
Remember: no practice June 30 through July 7 due to the National Championships in San Jose.
We have a number of Santa Barbara athletes competing. I list them here in order of the days they're fencing:
Starting July 9, our Tuesday and Thursday practices will both be held at the Westside Neighoborhood Center. They will stay there through September.
As we move our tassels to the other side of our cap, I wanted to take
a moment to acknowledge our graduating high school seniors. This year,
there are five graduates at Presidio Fencing Club, and they all hail
from Dos Pueblos High School. Due to senior engineering projects, and
in some cases "senioritis," we don't see many of them at practices
these days. But they're still around, and they deserve recognition.
-Nick Cleland will be digging into some deep dish
pizza at the University of Chicago.
-Isabella Franco will have to take up surfing at UC San Diego.
-Spencer Mullanix will need a rain jacket at the University of Washington, Seattle.
-Matt Schmidt will be searching for mermaids as a nuclear tech on a Navy sub.
-And Sean Strong will finally be able to explain what's so scary about a Tree after attending Stanford.
At least Isabella and Sean will have opportunities for NCAA fencing when they go to their universities. I am familiar with UCSD's fencing, since the UCSB team regularly competes against them in conference play. And Stanford is regarded as the top college fencing program on the West Coast. Also, Nick will find himself at home in a fairly competitive club program in Illinois. I met some of the U. Chicago fencers when I took the UCSB team to Club Nationals in Pennsylvania last April. I am not sure about the fencing at the University of Washington, although Seattle has a couple of top-notch private clubs. And as for Matt, well, the Navy doesn't let their sub technicians see much daylight in the first few years of service.