THE club for fencing lessons in
St. Louis, Belleville, Collinsville,
Columbia, Fairview Heights,
and the entire Metro East.

FOTC News 2018

UPDATE: High School Team trip to Memphis on January 5th?

December 31, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We're not getting much feedback about this trip from our high schoolers. (That is to be expected this time of year) If I don't hear from a few of you by Wednesday we'll skip this one.

High School Team trip to Memphis?

December 25, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Saturday, January 5. Memphis Tennessee

Memphis University School is hosting a high school only three weapon tournament on January 5th. This might be a good one for us. There are currently not many fencers pre-registered but this same event last year was well attended so I'm hoping for the same this year.

If you are a high school student and are interested in another of our adventures speak up. Whether we go will hinge on the interest level from you guys!

Extra Fencing Practice!

December 20, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Sunday December 23. 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

We had a special request from Chad. Also Ashley has something special planned for everyone.

Join us this Sunday for some stabbing holiday fun!

Holiday Schedule Changes

December 19, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

No fencing on Christmas Eve or on New Years Eve.

Junior Olympics Qualifier results

December 10, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The St. Louis Division's Junior Olympic Qualifier was held in St. Louis this weekend. From our club, both Chad and Ashley have qualified to represent our club and the St. Louis Division at the JO's (the national championships for teens) this coming February in Denver. Congratulations to both these fencers. The Junior Olympics is an incredible experience that I hope all our teen fencers will get to have at least once in their career.

I wish I could tell you tales of exciting fencing contests resulting in victories for our kids but sadly both Chad and Ashley qualifed automatically because there were not enough local fencers attempting to qualify this year.

We ('we', meaning all the St. Louis area clubs) are working hard to grow the sport and we are growing but we have more work to do.

Swords in the family?

December 7, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Welcome Elliot!
Elliot's wife Jessica began fencing with us a couple weeks ago. One night she brought Elliot along to try it and he got the bug. He joined this week. I think both he and Jessica are going to be good fencers. They are learning fast.

Glad to have you in the Club!!

Class and Club membership prices will go up next year.

December 5, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Our club is expanding and so are our expenses.

Club membership will go to $120 for 4 months.
Classes for club members will be $80 for 4 months. (Class and Club = $200)
(** we have a couple of fencers who are paying by the month, that will go from $50 per month to $60 **)
Individual lessons will go to $15 for our club members.

We have a number of fencers whose membership is paid through the end of January. So we won't change prices until they have a chance to renew at the old prices.

I don't like to raise prices but if it is any consolation I think we will still be about half the cost of the other St. Louis area clubs.

And as always, if money is tight just say something. We want you to fence.

Day two of competition in Oxford Mississippi.

December 2, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Ashley faced an all male (all but one of the men was nationally rated) slate of fencers.
She finished the preliminary round with 5 victories and 1 loss.
She also set a new team record with a 5 touch victory over her nationally rated opponent in only 9.04 seconds. The previous team record was held by Corey with 10.4 seconds.
She ended the day with the bronze medal after being eliminated by the eventual gold medalist in the semi-finals.

Day one of competition in Oxford Mississippi.

December 1, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Warren fences his first tournament and medals in both foil and saber.
Chad fenced all three weapons in one day and earns a medal in all 3.
Ashley fenced epee and saber. In epee she took 3rd overall but 1st in the women's bracket. In saber she won 1st place overall and earned her first national saber rating to go with the national rating she earned in foil earlier this year.

Ashley is only our team's 3rd fencer to earn national ratings in multiple weapons.

Welcome Graham and Jessica!

November 29, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

It is wonderful to be able to welcome a couple more new fencers to the club. Graham is new to fencing. Jessica fenced once before in grade school. Both took part in their first class last night.

2019 Junior Olympics qualifier

November 19, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The Junior Olympics qualifying tournament has been announced.

Cadet events are on Saturday, December 8th. Junior events are on Sunday, December 9th. The contests will be in St. Louis.

The Junior Olympics themselves will be held in Denver this February.

Please only enter this qualifying tournament if you intend to travel to Denver to compete in the actual Junior Olympics.

Here is the link to sign up for the qualifier: Junior Olympic Qualifier preregistration link

The Gathering. Oxford Mississippi

November 16, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The Oxford Mississippi competition team trip is a go!

The Oxford Mississippi Club is hosting unrated senior events (age 14 and up) in all three weapons on Saturday, December 1st and open senior events in all three weapons on Sunday, December 2nd. In other words, if you are a nationally rated fencer your events are on Sunday. If you are unrated you can fence either Saturday or Sunday or both.

These contests require USFA membership. If you don't already have yours get it updated.
Also important to our female fencers, this season's foil fencing rules require a new kind of padded chest protector. If you don't already have the new style you will need to get one ordered.

We can discuss travel and lodging plans at our next practice.

Link to sign up: The Gathering

Fencing practice tonight?

November 15, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The roads in Millstadt are clear of snow but still wet. Last I saw forecast temps are to be 29 degrees overnight. Fencing practice is NOT CANCELED but if road conditions are poor where you live or you have any concern at all for a safe trip, STAY HOME!

Have sword. Will travel.

November 1, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

This chilly, wet, and breezy day has us thinking of team fencing trips.
We are considering a trip to Oxford Mississippi the first weekend of December. There are available events in all weapons for our fencers 14 years old and up.
If you would like to be part of the travel team speak up soon. These trips require quite a bit of planning. Don't get left behind!

"Once a fencer, always a fencer." Welcome Caren!

October 30, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Caren is our newest adult club member. She fenced competitively when she was in high school in New York. Now she wants to take the sport back up and we're excited to have her.

No Fencing Wednesday, October 31.

October 30, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Potential Team Trip: Check your calendars!

October 23, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Oxford Mississippi - First Weekend in December
Unrated Epee, Foil and Saber on the Saturday.
Open Epee, Foil and Saber on the Sunday.

Events for all our fencers 14 and up in all weapons at both unrated and open skill levels. NOTE: this event does require USFA membership.

The team has fenced in Oxford many times before, Oxford is a great college town (home of Ole Miss) with a distinct southern flavor. And you will NEVER find a nicer bunch of people than you will find at this club!

Welcome to Karoly Nagy our newest team member.

October 8, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Karoly is from Hungary. In fact, he lives in Hungary.
Karoly is a father of three and just starting to learn epee fencing in his home country. He found our training videos on this website and asked if he could join our team as a virtual member so he could have access to the team-members-only content we have here.

We have a variety of online training tools that are restricted to FOTC team members. We think these tools can accelerate your training. If you are not already using some of these tools, we encourage you to at least try the Parry Riposte Threat Recognition Trainer.

All our team members have a login and password to gain access to these training tools. If you don't know yours, just ask.

College League MIZZOU Results

October 7, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Ashley and Chance fenced saber Saturday morning at the University of Missouri.
Both fenced well. Chance was ranked #2 coming out of pools. Ashley and he faced off in the quarter finals where Ashley barely edged Chance.
Then Ashley continued her winning ways knocking off the balance of the college males to take the gold medal.

Montana, Logan, and Ashley fenced foil in the afternoon.
It was our boys' first tournament and a good first competition for them.
Ashley did the best of our foilists with a 9th place finish overall and first place of the women.

I had to look up the records. Ashley's gold medal saber performance yesterday is even better than I thought.
This is only the 3rd time in League history that a woman has won the Gold Medal in one of these mixed competitions (first time ever in saber).
The other women gold medalists? One was a very talented foilist from St. Louis. The other, an NCAA national champion epeeist who fenced for Penn State and earned NCAA All-American honors 4 straight years... and is now an assistant coach at Notre Dame.

College League tournament at University of Missouri

October 5, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Wish us luck! Ashley, Chance, Logan and Montana are headed to the University of Missouri to compete in the College League tournament this weekend.

This is Logan's first ever tournament. This is almost Montana's first tournament. He has fenced a couple practice tournaments at the Grange.

An attempt to catch up the news...

October 5, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Our web site was messed up for almost a month. We try to make Fencers of the Corn's website as professional as possible but it is an all volunteer effort. So when the paying job demands all our attention, the website gets neglected.

Cronologically, the first thing we missed was reporting on the Opposite Handed Tournament we held at Bluff Grange. IT WAS FUN! To no one's surprise, Ashley earned the gold medal. She often fences both left and right handed at practice.

Next was Tyler's silver medal performance at a Y12 tournament in Wentzville.

We had to bid a sad farewell to our team captain Shelby, as she headed to Nashville, Tennesee to complete her college education. We're going to miss her!

Then, again Tyler competed in a Region 2 RYC foil competition in Chicago. No medal this time. But he did get to fence a 'C' rated fencer from Michigan in the Y12, (yes that is 'C' rated as a Y12!!!) competition.

Finally, welcome to new team members Aaron and Brad who joined in September. And to new team member Warren who joined in October. So glad to have you!

Fence in Europe?

August 9, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Anyone interested in a European Vacation?

We just received an invitation for our teen fencers to compete in Germany this September:

In Jena will take place qualification tournaments of the German Fencing Federation in foil at two weeks in september 2018.
- 22th of september 2018 is the international competition for female fencers born in the years 2002 to 2006 (Fair Resort Cup)
- 29th of september 2018 is the international competition for male fencers born in the years 1999 to 2004
- 30th of september 2018 is the international competition for female fencers born in the years 1999 to 2004

"Once a fencer, always a fencer."

August 7, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Welcome back TJ! TJ fenced with us a few years ago when he was in high school until his family moved to another city. Well, he is back and he visited fencing practice last night. It is so much fun to see our alumni!

Bluegrass Games Results

August 6, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Fun times in Louisville! We come home with 2 bronze and 2 gold medals.
As an aside, we couldn't help but notice Louisville is a booming town. Lots of construction. Lots of nightlife. You should consider a mini vacation to visit. It is worth your time.

The best fencing had to be Tyler's. He faced some very well trained competitors from a couple clubs with a pedigree of turning out great fencers. His opponents were good. He had to use his brains to beat them.

New style chest protectors required for foil starting today.

August 1, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

New style plastic chest protectors for foil only are required for competition starting today.
We don't have any of the new style in our club gear. And we probably won't get any. The chest protectors we have are still fine for practice, and are fine for either epee or saber competition. Only the foil rules changed.
If you fence foil in competition and use a plastic chest protector get your new one ordered.
I just checked Absolute Fencing's website. They have the new complete foil chest guard for $44 or an add on for your existing chest protector for about half that.

Bluegrass Games **UPDATE**

August 1, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

There is still time to add your name to the travel roster for the Bluegrass Games in Louisville KY this Saturday.
We currently have 4 fencers and a coach going.
Let us know if you are interested.

Bluegrass Games

July 27, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Saturday August 4th in Louisville KY is a tournament to consider.
They have events for most of our fencers.
Let us know if you are interested.

Opposite Handed Foil Tournament

July 23, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Sunday, August 12. 2:00pm at Bluff Grange. Just for fun. We have some extra gear if you want to try your (opposite) hand at it.

Extra Club practice tonight.

July 17, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

7:00 to 9:00. All are welcome.

It's time to ask THE question again.

July 16, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

I ask this periodically of our fencers: What do you want to get out of fencing in the next year?

Are you fencing for fun and don't really care too much about competition? Are you trying to win the gold medal in the Olympics? Something inbetween?

The new season starts in a couple weeks. Your training plan should reflect your goals. We have a variety of fencing 'experiences' available to our fencers: Group classes, Individual lessons, Club practices, Competitions (local, regional, national), Fitness for Fencers workouts. Pick the right combination of 'experiences' to fulfull your goals.

1) Our Group class is designed to teach a little bit of everything. Some footwork. Some bladework. Some strategy. Some bouting. Some fitness. The level of each of these is dictated by the fencers in attendance. By its very group dynamic, it cannot be fine tuned to your exact needs.

2) Individual lessons are fine tuned to your exact needs. Preferably, they are part of the long term training plan we put together to meet your goals.

3) Club practice is the place to practice what you've learned.

4) Competitions are where you test yourself.

5) Fitness for Fencers workouts. We have done these in the past and are willing to bring them back if we have enough serious fencers interested. We designed these workouts for high level fencing fitness development. These workouts are intense and not recommended for younger than high school ages. We try to make them fun but they are hard. You will get into the best shape of your life, just not overnight!

So I ask again, what do you want to get out of fencing in the next year? There is no wrong answer but your answer might change the way we train.

Skip the sports drink. Chocolate milk is where it's at for serious athletes.

July 13, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Got [chocolate] milk? This Reuters article at Yahoo News outlines the benefits of chocolate milk as a recovery drink for athletes involved in intense exercise. Aldo Nadi, one of best (maybe the greatest?) fencers of the 20th century recommended chocolate milk as the best recovery beverage.

"...plain water would not be as effective at promoting fuel replenishment (due to lack of carbohydrates), muscle repair (due to lack of protein), or fluid retention/rehydration (due to low electrolyte content) in comparison to chocolate milk (which has all three)," Saunders, who wasn't involved in the study, said by email. "Traditional sports drinks have the carbohydrates and electrolytes, but usually no protein."

British Fencing Association to cease U10 National Championships.

July 10, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

There has been an ongoing discussion among coaches: What is the right age to start serious competition? The British Fencing Association has decided that kids under 10 should focus on having fun and learning new skills and not be concerned with a National Championships.

"The Board of British Fencing, in conjunction with the Home Country Associations (Scotland, England, NI and Wales) has agreed that BF will no longer run or license the running of a National or British Championships at U10 level.

BF and the Home Countries would like to take this opportunity to thank the competition organisers who have run these events in the past

It is the view of BF and the Home Countries, based on the latest evidence and research about participation and performance, that fencing for children under the age of 10 should primarily be about having fun and getting opportunities to practice their skills without the pressure of competing in or winning a National/British Championships. Young fencers should also be encouraged to participate in a variety of sports. If parents and coaches do wish their children to compete they are encouraged to do so at a developmentally appropriate inter school/local/regional level competition.

BF and the Home Countries would like to encourage more event organisers to consider holding events for young fencers using formats which focus on ensuring that every fencer receives a consistent high quality of participation experience and the same amount of fencing irrespective of their relative ability. We will be looking at how we can facilitate a conversation with our communities to explore alternative formats that deliver this for our young fencers."

Mini armoury clinic and extra practice tonight

July 8, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

I'll be at the Grange this afternoon/evening to fix some blades and body cords. If anyone wants to meet me there around 5:00 with your broken stuff, I'll teach you how to fix it. I have tools and spare parts.

Also, at 7:00 we'll have an extra open fencing practice for any interested.

Tyler fences the last leg of our team's National Championship efforts.

July 6, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Another fun day of fencing at the National Championships. Today Tyler competed in Y10 Men's Foil. He fenced well in this his first National Championships but not enough to medal against the best fencers in the United States.

It was exciting to test ourselves against the best but it was obvious over the course of the 18+ hours our fencers were competing this week that to beat this level of competition is going to take a lot of work. These fencers are really really good! We have a year. Get ready for lots more footwork practice!!!

Dual Weapon Matthew at Nat Championships

July 5, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Matthew finished his competitions today with Y14 Foil. Yesterday was Y14 Epee.
He did pretty good against more than 250 of the best epee fencers and more than 350 of the best foil fencers in the country.

Clinic with the Olympic medalist U.S. Men's Foil team

July 4, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Not to be out-done by Matthew and Shelby training with two U.S. Olympians, Tyler trains with FOUR U.S. Olympic medalists!

Epee clinic with U.S. Olympic medalists Hurley sisters

July 3, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Matthew, Shelby and Pearce attended a clinic in St. Louis last night with a couple of the best epee fencers in the world. Huge thanks to Kelly and Courtney Hurley for taking the time to relay their experiences on the road to their Olympic successes.

First day of National Championship competition

July 2, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Monday was the first day of competition at the National Championships for our fencers. Here Rob prepares to compete in Men's epee. This is Rob's first year qualifying for the National Championships.

Holiday week practice schedule changes!

June 27, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Next week is a mess.
Between the holiday and the National Championships and the Olympian Epee Clinic our Monday, July 2nd and Wednesday, July 4th practices are canceled.
We will add a practice on Sunday July 1. 7:00pm to whenever.
Everything is back to normal starting Thursday, July 5th.

Extra fencing practice tonight.

June 26, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Tuesday, July 26. 7:00pm to whenever.

Train with Olympians!

June 22, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Reminder, the Hurley sisters' epee clinic is in St. Louis on July 2nd from 6:00 to 7:30. It only costs $50. You should go!

Cheer your teammates on to victory!

June 21, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The United States Fencing Association National Championships being held at the St. Louis Convention Center (downtown), are only about two weeks away.

We have 4 fencers competing in a total of 5 events. Would you like to go and cheer your teammates on? You can! And the best part? Spectators are free!

Yinka fences foil at 7:00 am on Monday, July 2.
Rob fences epee at 11:00 am on Monday, July 2.
Matthew fences epee at 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 4.
Matthew fences foil at 7:00 am on Thursday, July 5.
Tyler fences foil at 7:00 am on Friday, July 6.

McKendree University to drop its fencing program.

June 19, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Such a shame. Our region deserves a University level fencing team. Ultimately University athletics is a business. Unfortunately, McKendree decided their fencing program no longer fit with their Athletic Department business plans.

Videos down?

June 15, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We are in the process of uploading our videos to an Amazon Cloud server. Some videos will not be available until tomorrow while they get uploaded.

The good, no, great news is that once complete the lag problem we had with our videos due to our low speed local server will be fixed.

Participation records added to private member pages

June 15, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We added a feature to the private member pages. You can now look back at your past participation in class, club practices, competitions, etc.


If you have an idea for something valuable to add to the website, whether on the public side or on the private member side, let us know. We want our website to be the best it can be.

Summer Tournaments to Consider

June 12, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

There are two upcoming out-of-town tournaments we need to keep an eye on. Both could end up being great events for our fencers.

July 28 and 29 in Columbia MO is the Missouri State Games fencing competition.
August 4 in Louisville KY is the Kentucky State Games.

Check your calendars. We might make another team trip out of one or both of these.

2018/2019 season home tournament scheduling: Your input requested.

June 4, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Sunday was our last scheduled home tournament of the 2017/2018 season. We hosted a whole bunch of tournaments this season so we could test a variety of tournament formats. Some worked. Some didn't.

We made some progress this year in getting more fencers to come to our events from out of town but getting the 15 fencers needed to hand out high ratings continues to be a challenge. Plus we are still limited by referee availablity (and space issues) to keep our events on the small side.

Unsanctioned Youth events approximately every other month seemed to be about right.

The Practice night tournaments? I thought we could hold these small tournaments on one side of the room and regular practice could continue on the other side but it was difficult. I don't think we will do any more of those.

Prizes for medalists didn't increase attendance. So we probably won't do that again either.

Multiple weapon tournaments didn't seem to pull in enough additional fencers to make the extra work worth it.

The one thing that did seem to work is pairing the tournaments with a party banquet. We did two of those, the July barbeque event and the Mardi Gras event. We will consider doing more of those this coming season.

What are your thoughts or suggestions?

June Bug Foil

June 3, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Lots of fun this afternoon. In the youth foil competition, Tyler takes the gold. I was glad to see how well all our younger fencers did. Also thanks to Andy Katze who refereed the youth event. (Youth foil is harder to referee than adult foil!)

In the adult foil, we had a fencer from Arizona. It is exciting when we get visitors from around the country. The results were exciting too. Ashley earned the gold medal and her first United States Fencing Association National rating.

Train with Olympians in St. Louis

June 3, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

US Olympian epee fencers, sisters Courtney and Kelly Hurley will be putting on an epee clinic on July 2nd in St. Louis. You can attend! The cost is $50 per person and the funds go to help cover their costs for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

All of our fencers are invited. Don't wait too long to sign up. Space is limited! To register, go here:

Yes, you will get hooked on fencing, but it's a healthy addiction.

May 25, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

I was planning on taking off for Memorial Day but the looks of terror I got from our fencing junkies last night when I mentioned it, told me I can't.

So we'll see you Monday for practice as normal.

Chance Dietrich, our first High School All-American

May 23, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We could not be more proud. We received word yesterday from the United States Fencing Association that because of his academic and fencing successes during the 2017/2018 season, Chance has been added to the U.S. Fencing Association 2018 High School All-American Team as an Honorable Mention.

Adventures in Nashville Tennessee and locally.

May 22, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We had a busy weekend. Seven of our fencers competed in various weapons and cities.

Six of the team (Rob, Carlos, Yinka, Timber, Matthew, and Shelby) traveled to Nashville to compete at Music City Fencing. Highlights were Shelby's bronze medal, Yinka's two bronze medals, Carlos' silver medal, and Matthew's gold medal. Our IRON WOMAN, Yinka... competed in 4 different events in a single day. That is unheard of!

Tyler couldn't make the Nashville trip but he was able to compete closer to home in Wentzville. He came home with yet another gold medal in foil!

We lost a friend this week.

May 17, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Judy Bessink, the mother of one of our first fencers passed away this week. Our fencers and their families become part of our family. When we lose one it hurts. The Bessink family became close personal friends of Darla and me and have been great supporters of our Scout group and fencing team over the past 15+ years.

Flowers for Mom

May 13, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Saturday we held our 2nd annual Flowers for Mom fencing tournament. The top female and the top male fencer from each event won a Mother's Day floral bouquet from Bliss Floral. Second place earned a gift certificate also from Bliss Floral.

In the morning we held the saber event. Pearce won first of the men. Ashley, first of the women. Tim got second of the men and Karina earned second of the women.

In the foil event Chris won first of the men. Ashley again won first of the women. Matthew and Bill tied for 2nd of the men. Karina earned second of the women. Sarah won 3rd place of the women.

Thank you to Bliss Floral for the gift certificates and the beautiful flowers!

New Youth Foil Added

May 11, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We have added a Y10/Y12 Youth Foil to the Sunday, June 3 "June Bug Foil" tournament. Go to the Tournaments page to pre-register.

New team patches have arrived.

May 10, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Dark green text, metallic gold, and metallic silver on a white background. 3 inch diameter. We did not opt for the iron-on backing as that glue won't stick to fencing uniforms. Cost will be $3 a piece. I'll have a few in the tool bag if you want one just ask.

2018-2019 Season National tournament (North American Cup) schedule has been announced.

May 10, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The United States Fencing Association has posted next season's National events schedule. Lots of relatively close events for us. Unfortunately, the Junior Olympics is in Denver. Not an impossible trip for our fencers but not as easy as the past couple of years.

October 12-15 2018 Milwaukee WI
- Division 1 (A, B and C rated fencers)
- Division 2 (C, D, E and Unrated fencers)
- Cadet
- Wheelchair
November 9-12 2018 Kansas City MO
- Junior
- Cadet
- Y14
December 14-17 2018 Cincinnati OH
- Division 1 (A, B and C rated fencers)
- Division 2 (C, D, E and Unrated fencers)
- Veteran
- Senior Team
January 4-7 2019 Charlotte NC
- Division 1 (A, B and C rated fencers)
- Junior
- Senior Team
- Wheelchair
February 15-18 2019 Denver CO
- Junior
- Cadet
- Junior Team
March 1-4 2019 Cleveland OH
- Y14
- Y12
- Y10
April 2019 (date and location TBD)
- Division 1 (A, B and C rated fencers)
- Division 2 (C, D, E and Unrated fencers)
- Division 3 (D, E and Unrated fencers)
- Veteran
- Wheelchair
- Division 1 Team
June 28 - July 7 2019 Columbus OH
- Division 1A (all rating levels)
- Division 2 (C, D, E and Unrated fencers)
- Division 3 (D, E and Unrated fencers)
- Y14
- Y12
- Y10
- Veteran
- Division 1 (A, B and C rated fencers)
- Junior
- Cadet
- Senior Team
- Veteran Team

Two potential fun fund raisers.

May 9, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The Adewale Cup We haven't done this one in a few years. It is a 1920's style fencing exhibition/tournament with a Roaring 20's Speakeasy, banquet, and costume party to go along with it. It is a lot of fun. Our own Ms. Adewale has asked that we reprise the event.

A 24 hour Fence-A-Thon We've never tried this before. But other sports have done things similar. It has been suggested more than once that we should consider it.

What do you think, should we start planning?

Flowers for Mom

May 8, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We need a couple more saber fencers for this Saturday's Flowers for Mom Saber and Foil tournament. We could always use more foil fencers too!

If you are willing to give saber a try, we have some gear you can borrow.

Nashville fencing scene!

May 4, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Photo courtesy Nashville Visitor and Convention Bureau,

The team is heading to Nashville for a tournament in a couple weeks. There is still time to add your name to our travel roster! This tournament has good events for most of our fencers. Speak up if you are interested in joining us on this adventure.

Fire and Steel?

April 30, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Who is ready for some bonfire fencing photos?

This Friday or Saturday night might be a good time to do it. If you want to be in the pictures let me know. We'll see if we can get a few of us together and light up the big pile of brush piled up behind my barn.

Tyler leaves Kansas with some bling!

April 29, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

In Kansas today, Tyler was 1 point from going undefeated in his pool round. His great showing in pools earned him a bye in the first round of the Direct Elimination round. He won both his 2nd and 3rd round contests before losing in the Gold Medal Round to come away with the Silver Medal. Congratulations Tyler!

Tyler heads to Kansas

April 27, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Good luck Tyler! This weekend he travels to Kansas to compete at Heartland Fencing.

Differences between Class and Practice

April 26, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Everyone who takes a class with us is welcome at the Club practices.

The structured classes we teach are intended to cement proper movement to lower the risk of injury and to teach new skills. And while we try to have some open bouting at the end of each class, the main goal there is to give some immediate feedback on that day's lesson by giving our students a chance to try the lesson in a live bout situation.

The Club practices are where you go to get good at what you learned in class. You will have an opportunity to fence a variety of different fencers of varying skill levels and styles. Club practices also provide a great work out. We fence hard for a couple hours. And frankly, the Club practices are a lot more fun!

If you are currently taking a class but not coming to Club practice, come on out to one of the Monday or Thursday night's and see what you're missing.

This week's lessons

April 25, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We'll try something new this week, a chance to view the lesson plan in advance. We are working on a combination of disengage attacks. Some will be review. Some will be new. Go to the Foil Training Attacks page for more but here are a couple samples. One review and one new.

Review: Double Disengage.
New: 7 + 8 = 6.

Remember the Lego concept. Each action is very simple and by itself not very effective. We combine a variety of simple actions to build something useful. The more advanced disengage attacks require the following skills: Feint, U Disengage, Check Mark Disengage, Double Disengage, Hand and Feet Timing, Advance and/or Balestra Lunge, and Calculation of Proper Distance.

Congratulations to American fencing's living legend, Mariel Zagunis.

April 23, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Congratulations to American fencer Mariel Zagunis on her U.S. National Championship gold medal this weekend.

We normally stick to news about our team but Ms. Zagunis' weekend performance is an amazing accomplishment and serves to highlight something special about fencing.

Ms. Zagunis was the first American to win a fencing gold medal in the Olympics (2004). She repeated in the 2008 Olympics with another gold medal. She also competed in but did not medal in the 2012 Olympics.

Within the past year Ms. Zagunis started her family with the birth of her first child. (also congrats!). At 33 years of age and so soon after having a baby, she is already (still?) in world class fencing shape.

Back to what that means to us, sure it helps to be an incredible athlete but fencing is special because so much of what makes a great fencer is between the ears. An older fencer can perform at a very high level.

It is never too late to start fencing, whether for fun or competition. It is never too late to make that run to see just how good you can be.

May and June Tournaments at Bluff Grange

April 18, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Saturday May 12 we will hold our Flowers for Mom Saber and Foil tournament. Top female and top male fencer in each weapon receive a floral bouquet for their mom.
Sunday June 3 we will hold an Open Foil and an Unrated Foil tournament.

Surf over to the tournaments page to find the pre-registration links or just tell Pearce you want to enter.

April Stab Epee Tournament

April 14, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We held a double header today. Unrated Epee in the morning. Open epee in the afternoon.
20180414 unrated epee
Congratulations to Matthew and Chad who tied for 3rd in the morning event; Ashley who earned 2nd place and Carlos who won first place.

20180414 open epee
In the afternoon event, Ashley and Chad tie for 3rd, Carlos takes 2nd and Karina wins first place.

Special congratulations go to Carlos and Karina who both earned their first National epee rating through the United States Fencing Association with their wins today.

New style chest protectors to be required in foil starting August 1, 2018.

April 13, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Sooner for some of the Summer National events.
Just posted. Click to view ruling.

FOTC Attack Lesson Video Library

April 13, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Shelby and I spent an hour before practice yesterday recording attack lesson video. It is part of our continuing efforts to provide the best training tools possible for our fencers.

It will take quite a while to process the raw video and get all the segments online. The first is up now though at this link.

2018-2019 National/Regional tournament schedule starting to take shape.

April 11, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The United States Fencing Association has posted its Super Youth Circuit (SYC) and Regional Open Circuit (ROC) schedules for 2018/2019. There will be 14 SYC's and 32 ROC's across the country during the season. Still to come are the Regional Youth Circuit (RYC), Regional Junior and Cadet Circuit (RJCC) and North American Cup (NAC) schedules.

Our Club tournament schedule is dependent on filling in holes in these larger USFA events' schedules. And this presents a problem. Over the past couple of years, the USFA has expanded the number of these 'qualifier' events to the point where it seems they are crowding out local club tournaments around the country. SYC, ROC, RYC, RJCC events are great for more serious and experienced fencers. They are expensive and intimidating for the newer or recreational fencer. Local club events are generally less expensive and better suited for the athlete just starting out or entering just for the fun of competition. The new and/or recreational are the vast majority of fencing athletes.

This season we scheduled A LOT of tournaments. We wanted to test a number of different formats. This season we have tried official USFA sanctioned events and unofficial unsanctioned events. We tried Saturday, Sunday, weekday, morning, afternoon, and evening events. We tried unrated, open, single weapon, multiple weapon, youth, cadet, and adult events. We tested zero entry fee tournaments and 'going' price tournaments. We also tried tournaments held coincidental with banquets, prizes for winners, attendance prizes, and events with paying spectators. We absolutely knew that some of these events would fail from either a financial or head count perspective. After all, a successful test requires failure at some point. Our goal was to test what works and what doesn't so we can better provide useful events for our members and the greater fencing community going forward.

We have a few tournaments left on the schedule for this season before we finalize our plans for our 2018/19 season tournanament schedule and whether we should pay the fee to be an offical USFA member club again. The expanding competition for tournament dates from the USFA will play a large factor in these plans.

Wednesday April 11 Class Canceled.

April 10, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

There is a big county-wide Grange meeting that night at Bluff Grange so we have to skip. We will be back to normal on Thursday, April 12. See you then.

April Slash

April 9, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Small but fun saber tournament yesterday at the Grange. Chance and Carlos tie for 3rd. Ashley takes 2nd. Dave wins 1st place.

april slash

Congratulations Tyler!

April 7, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

He competed in a foil tournament this morning in Wentzville. Lost 13-15 in the gold medal round to a fencer an age bracket up but because in this mixed age event they awarded medals to both age categories, comes home with the Gold in Y10.

Online Training Updates

April 5, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Over the next few months we will be recording more training videos for the Online Training pages. The goal is to create an always available resource for our fencers to review the lessons we learn in class or even to pick up on new skills that we haven't yet covered in the class.

To that end, we made a major update to the footwork videos on the Online Training pages. We have 3 additional footwork videos still to record then we will begin recording other of our lessons.

The training videos are only available to our Class students, Club members, and Distance Learning members. Log in to your private member page to gain access to these new tools.

Referee Seminar Results

April 3, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Those of you who were at last night's class or Club practice have already seen some of the changes. We learned lots from some very good international referees at the referee seminar that was held concurrent with the Middle Tennessee State University fencing tournament.

First I have to congratulate Middle Tennessee State for the awesome job they did with this their first big tournament. And I couldn't help but notice how many fencers participated who live in the mid-south. Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville all seem to have vibrant and growing fencing communities.

Our specific goal on this trip was to improve our saber refereeing skills. We did (and also learned how much more we need to learn!) but we also learned valuable lessons in foil and even some epee reff'ing nuances.

In foil, the changes we studied were in line with those we saw and previously blogged about from the Junior Olympics but the seminar made those changes more clear. There is no reason to wait, we started learning how to fence under and take advantage of these changes at last night's class and practice.

Middle Tennessee State University referee seminar

March 30, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We're headed to Murfreesboro Tennessee today for a full weekend of referee training.

If we don't keep up with the latest rules interpretations we can't do a good job of training our fencers. This weekend's training is being lead by Justin Meehan, one of the United States' top referees.

We're especially interested in improving our saber reff'ing skills. We have more and more fencers interested in saber and admittedly, our current saber reffing is weak.

Referee call trends change. Maybe adapt is a better word. We noticed a change in foil attack vs. preparation to attack calls at the Junior Olympics National Championships last month in Memphis. So even besides saber, we have to work hard to keep up if we want our lessons to stay current.

Changes coming to chest protectors

March 29, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

New chest protector requirements will take effect this Spring at the international level. We have seen no word on when they will start being required for U.S. domestic competitions. Click here for Leon Paul's article on the new chest protectors and why the change was needed.

March 26 practice videos ready

March 27, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

The training bout videos from last night's practice are ready. Look for them on your member page.

Who wants a fencer portrait?

March 27, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

shelby portrait
tyler portrait

We have a youth saber event scheduled for Sunday April 8 at 11:00 am and an open saber at 2:00 pm. The contests will be small. That morning before we start fencing might be a good time to take fencer portrait pictures. Let us know if you are interested.

Why yes, we did learn to soar!

March 26, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We held 3 foil events this weekend. All the participating fencers got a kite as a prize plus of course, the medalists their place medal.

Saturday morning was an Open Mixed Foil. It's always great to see fencers from other clubs around Illinois participate. We had fencers from the University of Illinois' club, The Point and from Eagle Fencing Academy in O'Fallon fence with us. We award medals to the top places of both the men and women. For the men, Matthew takes gold; Dave takes silver; Rob takes bronze. For the women, Mikayla takes gold; Shreya takes silver; Rachel takes bronze. Mikayla from Eagle Fencing Academy won overall first place and for the second year in a row earned her National rating.

Saturday afternoon was an Unrated Mixed Foil. For the men, Matthew takes gold; Carlos takes silver; Rob takes bronze. For the women, Rachel takes gold; Shelby takes silver; Shreya takes bronze. Rachel from the University of Illinois won overall first place and earned her first National rating.
As an aside, the individual contests between the various fencers were very close all day. We saw a bunch of fencers who are ready to break out to big things.

Sunday was our youth foil. Again, the contests were very close. There were very few points separating the fencers up and down the line. For the men, Timber earns gold; Austin wins silver; Tyler and Dylan get bronze. For the women, Kellan take gold.

Online Training Tools

March 23, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

At last night's practice, Shelby asked about the various online training tools we have available on the FOTC website for our members. Our online tools are designed for the serious competitive fencer. All our club fencers are welcome to use them but a recreational fencer will likely find the tools a little boring compared to just coming to fencing practice and having fun.

Some of the tools are experimental. Specifically, the 'Scored Point Control' is not very useful unless you have a laser pointer mouse. But the unscored version of the Point Control tool is very useful for hand eye coordination training. It can be used on both desktop and mobile devices. It is simple really, just follow the bouncing ball with your sword tip. Try to stay on top of it. When you get good at a lower speed, increase the speed and train again.

The other tool(s) that we have found to be extremely useful is the Parry Practice exercise. The plain 'Slides' trains your brain for quicker threat recognition and reaction when you are at a proper engarde postition. The 'POV Slides' does the same for those times you get caught out of proper engarde position. The video version that you will find on the same page is more experimental. The theory was that video would be a closer approximation of real life but we discovered that the slides are more challenging and have proved to yield a better training outcome. For the Parry Practice exercise to be useful, you need to know how to parry correctly. If you use this exercise with bad parry form all you will do is get really fast at bad parries. So if you are in doubt of the proper form for any particular parry, go to the 'Learn The Parries' training tool first and study the example video and still photos of the various parries.

If you are on a desktop or larger screen of a tablet, we suggest you slow the training down to a speed that you can see the threat and pantomime the parry/riposte with a lunge. Yes, actually lunge! You don't need to hold your sword, but if you do, please don't stab your computer screen! That would be bad!! If you are on a phone screen size device you can go faster and just practice the hand motion of the parry/riposte. Again, make sure you know how to execute each of the parries correctly. Start slow. When you can parry/riposte with the correct parry flawlessly at that slower speed, move to a higher speed and train again. The program is setup to go from crazy slow to impossibly fast. There is no value in training so fast you consistently fail. Pick a speed that is a challenge but not impossible.

I used a very early experimental version of this tool a number of years ago to great success. (At that time only a very basic plain slides version was working.) I used the tool for 10 minutes each day for one week leading up to a tournament. At that tournament all the other fencers' attacks appeared to me to be coming at me in slow motion. I just stood on the strip and waited for the other fencers to attack me and parry/riposted. I was undefeated that day.

At this time only the foil version is working. If you want to use this tool as a pure epee fencer pick foil parries 4, 6, 7,and 8 to practice. If you want to use this tool as a pure saber fencer pick foil parries 3, 4, 8, and 9 to practice. A pure linear foil experience would be parries 2, 4, 5, 6, plus envelopment but all the parries available on the check list are used in foil and in the long run you need to get good at them all.

Learning to Soar

March 22, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

This weekend we have a foil tournament at the Grange. Everyone who participates gets a kite!

Saturday is Open Senior Foil at 11:00am and Unrated Senior Foil at 3:00pm. We have enough fencers pre-registered for a decent couple events but we have plenty of room for more. If you are interested in joining us, we'd love to see you.

Then on Sunday at 11:00am we have a Y10/12 foil. This one is a practice tournament for younger fencers. If you don't have your own competition gear we have some you can use. This is a great training and learning opportunity.

Fencers of the Corn is branching out into teaching math classes.

March 20, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

For the second year in a row, we were asked to teach "The Math of Fencing" to a group of grade school students. We have one more class to teach this Thursday.

We use a hands-on beginner fencing class to teach how important distance, speed and time; levers and leverage; and vector forces are to successful fencing.

Congratulations to Rob and Matthew!

March 18, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Both qualified for the National Championships today at the St. Louis Division of the United States Fencing Association 2018 National Championships Qualifers.

Rob qualifed in 40+ Men's Epee. Matthew qualified in Y14 Men's Foil and in Y14 Men's Epee.

This will be Rob's first National Championships. Matthew has fenced one National Championship when he qualified and competed an age bracket up at the Junior Olympics (the National Championships for teens), last month in Memphis.

Rob and Matthew will join Yinka and Tyler, two other of our fencers who have qualifed to represent the St. Louis region and our club at the National Championships.

A To Z Fencing

March 16, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Tyler recently completed a school project, a book about fencing. He did a great job on it. He's leaving it at practice for a few days so any of our interested fencers can take a look. It's in the closet. Ask Pearce if you want to see it.

Replay looping capabilities added to practice videos.

March 15, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We added a 4 second continuous loop replay feature to the member videos.

It should be helpful for fencing training. We know it will be helpful for referee training.

Right now it only works correctly at live speed. Over the next few days we're hoping to figure out the balance of the code so you can watch replay loops in slo-mo or double speed.

Messaging capabilities added to member pages.

March 12, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We added the ability to send notes to the Coach and Team Captain via your private member page. Look for the 'Note' box on the bottom left under your private messages list.

National Championship Qualifying Tournament

March 9, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Summer National Championship qualifying tournament for our area is March 17 and 18 BUT THE DEADLINE TO PREREGISTER IS THIS MONDAY -MARCH 12.

If you are over 40 and want to fence in the Championships this summer (in St. Louis this year) YOU WANT TO ENTER THIS!

If you are born 2003 or younger and want to fence in the Championships this summer YOU WANT TO ENTER THIS!

For the in-between ages, entry would be to qualify for Division 2 or Division 3 competitions at the National Championships and are of less interest to me. But you can do it if you want.

If you don't know how to get pre-registered, let us know immediately!

Star Charts and Next Skills features added to member pages.

March 7, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We added a couple of (we hope) very useful features to the private member pages of the website.

If you log into your member account at the site you will see we now have a separate column on the right with a list of the next skills you should be working on.

Years ago we started making Star Charts to register skill achievements of our fencers with silver and gold stars to signify learned skills. They were taped to the wall at fencing. But they took up a lot of room on the walls and they took up a lot of time to maintain. Because it was so much work to keep up to date, we stopped using them 4 or more years ago. They were very popular. So popular that two of the fencers who are still fencing with us from those days, still give us grief about taking them down. We hope you find the on-line version of these charts as valuable as our earlier fencers found the old paper versions.

You'll find the link to your personal Progress Star Chart at the top of the 3rd column on your Member page.

To log into your member account you need your login and password information. If you don't know it, ask Pearce for it.

Learing to Soar!
Short notice fencing tournament coming up.

March 6, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Another club had a tournament scheduled for March 24 and 25 but were unable to secure a facility for the event. They offered the dates to us.

Saturday, March 24 we'll hold an unrated and an open foil tournament for USFA members.
Sunday, March 25 we'll hold a Y10/Y12 foil and a Y14/Cadet foil tournament. The Sunday events do not require USFA membership. This is a really good one for our newer fencers to get a little more tournament experience.

Oh, yea, it's March so everyone who participates gets an kite!

New Fencing Tournaments Posted

March 1, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We will host two April tournaments at Bluff Grange.
Sunday April 8th we'll host a Y10/12 saber and a Senior Open Mixed Saber tournamet. Then on Saturday, April 14th we'll host a Senior Open Epee and a Senior Unrated Epee.
You'll find links to pre-register for these events on the Tournament page. Or of course, just tell Pearce you want to fence them.

Gently used fencing shoes looking for a new home.

February 22, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

One pair of men's size 5-1/2 and one pair of men's size 9-1/2 Absolute brand fencing shoes. Free if they fit you.
They are in the fencing closet. Ask Pearce if you want them.

Memphis Central High School Marching Band performs at Junior Olympics

February 20, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We would be remiss if we didn't thank the Memphis Central High School Marching Band for their performance of the National Anthem to start off the 2018 Junior Olympics. They put on an impressive a show!

Someone wants to buy our videos

February 19, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

A media company has offered to buy the broadcast rights to our videos.
Price would be based on viewership our videos get on their system.
It is very flattering but the amount of money is not large and we could lose control of our work.
I think we're going to tell them no.

2018 Junior Olympics National Championships

February 18, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

One more day to go at the Junior Olympics. Tomorrow is Matthew in Cadet Men's Epee and Ashley in Junior Women's Foil.
Day one was Ashley in Junior Women's Saber.
ashley 2018 jo

Day Two was Chance in Cadet Men's Saber and Daniel in Junior Men's Epee.
chance 2018 jo

daniel 2018 jo

Day Three (today) was Matthew in Cadet Men's foil.
matthew 2018 jo

No one has gotten close to winning a medal so far, but everyone is fencing well.

Fencing Class and Practice Schedule Changes

February 14, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Thursday, February 15 and Monday, February 19th classes and practices are cancelled.
The team is headed to Memphis for a long weekend of competition at the Junior Olympics National Championships.

Mardi Gras fun and fencing.

February 10, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

mardi gras mask saber
Saber gold medalists Ashley and Christopher modeling their first place prize, Mardi Gras party masks.

We are testing new formats for tournaments in an effort to increase the fun for not just the fencers but also for spectators. Today's events were accompanied by a New Orleans Mardi Gras style feast.

corn bread
Corn Bread.
corn bread
saber medalists
Our saber medalists.

epee medalists
Our epee medalists.

Of our team's fencers, Ashley gets the gold in women's saber. Daniel gets the bronze in men's epee. Shelby gets the gold in women's epee and silver in women's saber.

Thank you to Shelby for not only fencing really well, but for refereeing the entire day. She did a great job.
And special thanks to Bill and Darla for helping us cook the wonderful feast. They spend lots of hours in the kitchen so the rest of us could have fun fencing and eating.
cookin friends

February Earn Your 'E' Series - Foil

February 8, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We held a small foil tournament tonight.

(Rob and Ashley tie for 3rd. Matthew wins second. Karina takes first. Zoe and Shudi fenced their first tournament. Missing from the photo is Sarah who came down from Champaign Urbana.)

We have to keep these events small due to time restraints. A huge thank you goes to Chris French who helped referee. Without his help there is no way we could have let 7 people enter.
As it was, it took 2 and 1/2 hours to complete.

Our next fun tournament is not one to be missed!

February 6, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Saturday, February 10 at Bluff Grange. Saber starts at noon. Epee starts at 3:00.
Sure, we'll be fencing hard in separate saber and epee contests but after the fencing we'll be celebrating Mardi Gras with a banquet.

What kind of New Orleans Mardi Gras would it be without Red Beans & Rice, Beignets and Chicory Coffee?

Spectators are welcome to watch the fencing for free.
$10 for non-fencers to join in on the Mardi Gras beads and banquet. Fencers eat free.

womens mask prize
Women's first place prize.
mens mask prize
Men's first place prize.

Thank you for a successful Trivia Night fundraiser!

February 4, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us Saturday night. Also thanks to all those who helped us run the event and who donated items for our Silent Auction. Finally, extra special thanks goes to Rob, Cheryl and Shelby who were responsible for making this another great night for our team.

Special thanks to these treasured individuals...
Adeyinka Adewale
Rick and Joyce Brenner
Rob Comstock
Catherine and Tom Hunter
Cheryl Korobey
Joyce and Bill Korobey
Lisa Korobey
Shelby Korobey
Tina Orr
Bill Velders
Dorothy and Malcolm Weiser
Carol Wiley
Dave Woesthaus

... and businesses:
Bliss Floral
Body and Mind Gifts
Curt Smith's Outdoors
Curt Smith's Sporting Goods
DiGregorio's Italian Market (on the Hill)
Float Center Shiloh
Grappa Growlers
Pottery Hollow
Randall's Wine & Spirits
Schubert's Smokehouse
St. Clair Bowl
Town Hall Archery
Unique Inking

Trivia Night fund raiser this Saturday. Your help is needed!

January 29, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We need items for the silent auction and we need more people to come play the games with us.

The funds we raise go to provide training and competition equipment for kids from across the St. Louis metropolitan area who are challenging the best in the world.

(Matthew studies up on giant slaying.)

Matthew is one of 4 of our athletes who will be competing in the US Fencing Association/U.S. Olympic Committee sponsored Junior Olympics in less than 3 weeks. He and the other 3 will face the best teen fencers from each state in the Nation.

Please help us continue to provide these opportunities to many more deserving kids in the coming year.

Successful fencing weekend in St. Louis

January 28, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

On Saturday, Matthew wins 5th in Y14 Men's Epee. In Y10 Men's Foil, Tyler has 4 victories and 2 losses in pools. Wins first elimination bout. Loses in the semi-finals to take the bronze medal.

On Sunday, Matthew fenced Y14 Men's Foil. He was eliminated by the eventual gold medalist, a very good fencer from Kansas City. He comes home with the bronze medal.

Matthew and Tyler head to St. Louis for a National Championship qualifying tournament

2018 - Pearce Wilson

Tyler and Matthew will be competing in a national championship qualifier this weekend in St. Louis.
For Tyler, this is just a practice tourament, he has already qualified for next summer's championship. For Matthew though, this is a chance for him to qualify in the Y14 age bracket at the championships.
Matthew has already qualifed for and will compete in the Junior Olympics (the separate national championship for teens) in a few weeks but in that event he will be competing an age bracket up. By age, he is still a Y14 athlete.
Wish us luck!

Changes coming to fencing mask design

January 23, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Due to concerns that masks could come off during fencing, the international fencing oversight body, the FIE, is requiring a change to mask designs. It is not clear when these new masks will be required for US Domestic competition.

Absolute Fencing Gear is offering a discount off regular prices for their existing FIE approved masks. These current design masks are what many fencers use today and should be fine for practice but be prepared to have to buy a new mask in the coming months for competition use.

If I had to guess when the new mask regulations would go into effect, my date would be August 1, 2018... the start of the new season.

I note that the current Leon Paul mask has a unique design that in my opinion will not be effected by any new mask design regulations.

Another of our fencers qualifies for the National Championships!

January 22, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Congratulations Yinka! She competed in epee, foil AND saber at a national championship qualifing tournament over the weekend. She is the first of our adult fencers to qualify. The national championships are in St. Louis this year.

Adding 2 extra weekly practices for our Junior Olympians

January 17, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We will add a Sunday evening practice starting at 7:00 and an extra Thursday evening practice starting at 6:00 just for our Junior Olympians.

We did this last year and it worked well. These extra practices will run til the Junior Olympics in February.

We only need one strip for the Junior Olympian practice. If any other of our fencers wants to get in some extra practice time, the balance of the salle is availble. You are welcome to come and fence on your own.

A lesson amongst the chaos of open fencing practice.

January 15, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Fencing Fun in the New Year tournament

January 13, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

In the morning we held the Youth Foil event.
(Congratulations to our Youth Foil medalists, Dylan, Timber, Christine and Nicolas.)

We had a noon youth saber scheduled but we didn't have enough fencers. So we improvized and drafted a couple extra siblings and held one anyway! We continue to try to get enough saber fencers to enter tournaments but we just don't have very many in our area.

Finally in the afternoon we had a big crowd for the Senior Unrated Mixed Foil. It was especially nice to see so many of the University of Illinois' team fencers make the long trip down to fence with us.

(Pictured are the 1st through 3rd place women's and men's medalists.)

Unrated Senior Foil almost at capacity

January 11, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Saturday, January 13 9:00 am youth foil and noon youth saber are good. Plenty of room for more fencers.
However our 2:00 pm Unrated Senior Foil is getting full. We can only take a few more fencers. If you want to fence and are not pre-registered you need to tell Pearce quickly or you could get left out.

Do we have a mission statement?

January 10, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Our team captain, Shelby is hard at work getting donations for the silent auction. One of the potential donors asked if we had a mission statement.
We have written about our mission before but we've never put it down in a concise form.
Our not very well kept secret is that while we work hard to become the best fencers we can be, being great fencers has never been our goal. Our fencing is just a tool. It's just the hammer to the carpenter. We are building something wonderful, our future self. We strive to use what we learn about ourselves as we train, to become better people.

So here is a more concise version of our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Fencers of the Corn's fencing program is not just to create great fencers.

Our mission is to teach young people about goal setting, that life requires non-stop learning, that achievement requires struggle and to never be afraid to challenge the best.

Our mission is to help create a great person.
By the way, our Trivia Night fund raiser is Saturday, February 3 at Bluff Grange. We are in need of more donations for the silent auction as well as more players. Please help us by supporting our young people at this, our biggest annual funds drive.

Deerfield High School Invitational (Chicago Illinois)

January 6, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

Ashley and Chad made the trip to Chicago to compete in their first big tournament.

(Fencers ready to hit the road to Chicago.)

Ashley has competed in a number of small tournaments in the St. Louis area but this was her first out-of-town trip and first big tounament. Chad has only ever fenced one practice tournament we held at Bluff Grange last month.

Ashley won 4 of her 6 preliminary bouts. Because she did so well in that preliminary round, she received a bye (a free pass through) in the first round of the direct elimination round. In the second round she continued her winning ways. She was finally bested in the 3rd round, missing a medal by one bout. Ashley finishes the tournament in 11th place.
Chad was nervous for this his first real competition. As a new fencer, I told him his job was to get one point against each of his opponents - if he accomplished that, I would consider him to have won the day. He did that and more. He scored against each of his opponents. Plus he tallied one victory. He finished the tournament in 44th place.

This photo displays what I like best about fencing, the sportsmanship. Here you see the dad of Chad's next opponent helping Chad hook up to the scoring machine for the bout with his son. We have some pretty awesome people in this sport!

January Earn Your 'E' Unrated Saber

January 4, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

We FINALLY got enough entrants to have a good saber tournament! WOOHOO! We don't have many saber fencers in our area so it has been a challenge to get enough of them in one spot at the same time where we could actually have a tournament.

Congratulations to the medalists. Ashley ties for 3rd with Karina (not pictured). Dave takes 2nd. Chance wins 1st place.
Chance was fencing especially well tonight. In addition to this FABULOUS FIRST PLACE CERTIFICATE he also earns his first national rating from the United States Fencing Association. Chance is our team's first ever fencer to earn a national rating in saber.

Leaping into the New Year

January 1, 2018 - Pearce Wilson

What is the best way to start a new year? Stabbing your friends!!


Yes, we absolutely do fence in a cornfield! Literally at Bluff Grange, a farmers' coop building in the corner of a cornfield on the bluffs over the Missisippi River Valley near St. Louis in Southern Illinois.

We have both recreational and competitive fencers of all ages.