Theo Funk, Presidio Alum Keric Moore, and Li Meinhold
at the 2014 SoCal Musketeer Regional Youth Circuit. Li and
Theo finished 7th and 8th respectively in the Youth 12 Mens Foil.
Sean Strong at the 2014 Summer National Championships,
where he finished in 7th place.

Salle Updates: News and Information

8/26/15: Back to School and Back to Fencing

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. Kindergarten...

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  The competition calendar is filling up.  Let's see what we can accomplish.

8/23/15: 2015-15 Central Coast Competition Calendar

We have a calendar for tournaments on the Central Coast.  You will see four youth tournaments, two youth clinics, three tournaments specifically for unrated athletes over thirteen-years-old, and then a few open tournaments for the higher-level fencers. More information about each of these events will be delivered in separate emails. 

Oct. 4 - Unrated Epee / Saber @ Cal Poly
Oct. 10 - Youth / High School Clinic @ San Luis Highlanders
Nov. 7 - Youth / High School Tournament & E Foil @ Los Olivos
Jan. 9 - Unrated Foil / Epee / Saber @ San Luis Highlanders
Jan. 23 - Youth / High School Tournament @ UCSB
Feb. 20 - Youth / High School Clinic @ Los Olivos
Apr. 9 - Youth / High School Tournament @ Ventura
Apr. 10 - Unrated Epee / Saber @ Cal Poly
Apr. 30 - Open 3-Weapon @ UCSB
May 7 - Youth / High School Team Tournament & Unrated Foil @ San Luis Highlanders
May 29 - SLO Open @ Cal Poly

Schedule note 1: a couple of other events may be added in Los Olivos and UCSB as we approach 2016.  
Schedule note 2: this calendar does not include other events outside the Central Coast, including Qualifiers, RYC, SYC, ROC and NACs.  

8/2/15: USFA Membership Renewals and No Practice this Week

This is a reminder that there will be no fencing this week August 3-7. We will resume practice at the Westside Neighborhood Center on August 11.

Also, most US Fencing memberships expired on July 31. Please be sure to renew your memberships. You must be at the non-competitive level ($10) in order to fence at practices and to participate in Central Coast youth competitions and clinics. You must be at the competitive level in order to participate in USFA sanctioned tournaments. When you renew your membership, please list Presidio Fencing Club as your club, and Southern California as your division. Membership renewals can be done online.

7/6/15: Summer Nationals Recap

There are three large bodies of sport fencing in the United States, and each has its own Championship event.  Two of these organizations, the NCAA and the USACFC, promote college-level fencing.  The third organization is the United States Fencing Association, also known as US Fencing.  

US Fencing's Summer National Championships is not just the largest fencing tournament in the US; it is the largest sporting event, period.  The logistics are amazing.  Thousands of athletes take over a convention center for a period of 12 days.  Hundreds of referees keep order on hundreds of strips as fencers from every state pour everything they have into making the podium.  As I mentioned in an earlier email, Santa Barbara sent eight people.  

The UCSB fencers fared pretty well.  Jason Lipton, the UCSB Men's Epee captain, was the first to compete.  He went undefeated in the preliminary round and was seeded 4th going into Direct Eliminations.  Kevin Fuller also went undefeated in the pools, but couldn't seem to figure out the left-handedness of his opponent in his first elimination match.  Justin Makino was one point away from winning his pool.  He fenced hard until the round of 32, when his legs cramped and he collapsed on the strip.  Emily and Christian, the saber fencers, did well in their pools, but they went out in the first or second elimination matches.

From Presidio, there was Sean Strong, Harriet Eckstein, and Lucas Nichols.  Sean's first event was Division 1 Epee.  Div 1 is where the biggest fish swim, all hoping to make the US International Team.  The competition is fierce and Sean did not make the cut after the preliminary round.  In fact, he missed that cut by one point.  He fared a little better in the Junior Epee (which is where the top fencers under 20 years old are trying to make their age-specific international team).  He managed two upsets in the elimination round, but couldn't defeat Justin Yoo, losing 12-15 in the round of 32.  Justin is a world silver-medalist.  

Neither Harriet nor Lucas made the elimination rounds in their events.  But they didn't leave the tournament empty-handed.  Both spent time with US Olympians, and they have the selfies to prove it.

Remember: there is no practice tomorrow, July 7.  We will resume on Thursday, July 9, at the Westside Neighborhood Center.

6/25/15: Summer National Championships, June 26 - July 6

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:

You can follow the results live at this website:

Starting July 9, our Tuesday and Thursday practices will both be held at the Westside Neighoborhood Center.  They will stay there through September.

6/7/15: Happy Graduation

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.

Congratulations, graduates!



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