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

FOTC News 2019

2019/2020 Season Planning Is Underway

July 9, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Year in, year out, the best experiences our team has are the team travel adventures. Our trips are not just about fencing. When we plan long trips we look for additional educational experiences.

The first opportunity of the new season is a National event over Labor Day weekend in Dallas. They have events for all our Y10 through Cadet fencers. Of course there is plenty to experience in Dallas besides fencing. The Dallas Book Depository Museum where President Kennedy was assassinated is one such experience worth a visit. The Fort Worth Stockyards is another fun place. And then for the junk food aficionados, the official fanciest McDonalds Restaurant in the World is in Dallas!

The next opportunity is a regional tournament in Chicago on September 13-14. This tournament has events for Y10 through Junior ages. It will be smaller than the Dallas tournament. The Chicago Art Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum are all fantastic and deserve a visit.

The beginning of September seems miles away but it only a month and a half. Think about either of these tournaments and speak up if you are interested.

2018/2019 Season is almost complete

July 8, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

We're back from the National Championships. No one medaled but we enjoyed the challenges of competing with so many great fencers.

Rob ends his season ranked #55 in the Nation in Vet40 Epee. Ashley ends this season and her high school fencing career with 3 USFA honors, All-Academic Team First Team Honoree, High School All-American Team Honorable Mention Honoree in Saber AND High School All-American Team Honorable Mention Honoree in Foil.

There is one final tournament to consider. The Show-Me State Games fencing competition is the last weekend of July in Columbia Missouri. If you are interested in competing in that one let us know.

National Championships, Columbus Ohio

July 2, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Good luck Rob and Ashley!
Rob fences epee today. Ashley fences foil tomorrow.

Mississippi State Games Roundup

Jun 3, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

3 of our fencers compete. 2 medal. Not too shabby!
Caren wins Bronze in Senior Women's Foil. Graham wins Gold in Y14 Men's Foil.
Great job guys!


May 28, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

The United States Fencing Association has named Ashley to their High School All-American Team as an Honorable Mention in both foil and saber.
Earlier Ashley was named to the All Academic Team based on her work in the classroom but these High School All-American Team awards are based on her successes in competition this season.

No Fencing on Monday May 27.

May 26, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Enjoy your Memorial Day holiday!

Congratulations Ashley!!!

May 24, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

2019/2020 Season National Tournament Schedule Update

May 23, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

The USFA sponsored, RYC (Regional Youth Circuit) schedule of events for the 2019/20 season have been published.

I've updated our Tournament Schedule to include the RYC events our fencers are eligible for.

We are in Region 2. Competing in an RYC in another Region does not count towards qualification to Summer National Championships for youth fencers. Likewise, results from an ROC competition in another Region do not count towards Summer Nationals Qualification for 14yo+ fencers. The exception is 40+yo fencers who automatically qualify for the Summer National Championships' Veteran events by competing in an ROC from any region in the country.

Where is the Black Pearl When You Need Her?

May 16, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

I recently checked our website logs. We are getting a lot of visitors from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and other of the various Caribbean Islands.

They probably need a fencing team to come teach them! Does anyone have a ship they aren't using? Of course, it needs to be a pirate ship.

Tai Chi Classes

May 15, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

We offer taichi classes on Wednesday's from 7:00 to 8:30 pm FREE to our fencers and their families.
Taught by our multi-talented fencer Dave.
Give it a try!

Upcoming Tournaments of Interest

May 9, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

The competition season is winding down but there are still a few events worth a look.
On May 18 and 19 in Wentzville is an epee, foil and saber tournament. Some events require USFA membership, some do not. Y10/Y12 plus 14+yo events.
Also on May 18 in Peoria is a youth tournament in all 3 weapons. Y8 and Y10 events.
On June 1 is the Mississippi State Games in Oxford. We received a personal invitation to compete from one of the coaches at the hosting club. Y10/12 foil, Y14 foil, plus 14yo+ events in all 3 weapons. The 14yo+ events require USFA membership. ** Unfortunately, Missouri residents cannot compete in this one. **

Member Practice Video Catalog Changes

May 2, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

In the next couple of weeks we will be removing the older practice bout videos from our Cloud storage location. We want to add new ones but we are at the limit of our free Cloud storage so we have to free up some space.

You will still be able to watch and download your videos after they are removed from the Cloud but they will be coming from our slow local server.

If you log into your member account on our website you can download any of the videos to your computer and watch them to your heart's content.

The Math of Fencing

April 30, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

We are headed to St. Louis this morning to teach a class of grade school kids about how we use math when we fence.

2019/2020 Season National Tournament Schedule

April 29, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Most of the National USFA events have been announced. This is a good year for Midwest fencers. Lots of close events for us.

I've updated our Tournament Schedule to include the national and regional events our fencers are eligible for. There will be one more round of updates once the USFA sponsored RYC (Regional Youth Circuit) events are announced.

Local clubs' tournaments will be scheduled later this summer. We will post an update to our tournament schedule once that happens.

PS: We are in Region 2. Competing in an ROC in another Region does not count towards qualification to Summer National Championships. Likewise, results from an RYC competition in another Region do not count towards Summer Nationals Qualification for youth fencers. The exception is 40+yo fencers who automatically qualify for the Summer National Championships' Veteran events by competing in an ROC from any region in the country.

Team and Competition Class

April 25, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

We tested the new Wednesday two hour class format for our intermediate and advanced fencers yesterday. I'm sure we will tweak it as we go along but based on this first test I think it will work.

Halfway between a structured class and an open practice, the goal is to pit fencers with different styles, strengths, physical characteristics, etc. against each other with a coach offering training suggestions so our fencers get practice time against the widest variety of opponents as possible.

And to be clear, a fencer can attend this Wednesday class and still come to the Monday class for specific skills practice.

Wednesday Classes Changes

April 22, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

We will be changing the format of the Wednesday classes beginning in May.

The Wednesday classes began as beginner classes however, those coming on Wednesdays are no longer beginners. *** NOTE: Monday classes will remain the same. ***

We will evolve the 5:00pm and 6:00pm one hour Wednesday classes into one 2 hour (5:00pm to 7:00pm) semi-open fencing practice. Unlike the regular open practices on Monday and Thursday nights where fencers are fencing without coaching interruptions, the altered Wednesday format will be halfway between a class and an open practice with coaching input to practice bouts between the fencers. We will fence electric as much as possible.

Fencers can come for just an hour or stay for both hours.

Again, Monday's classes will remain structured class format. Also individual lessons are always possible if you feel the need to learn/practice specific skills.

Private Member Page Upgrade

April 19, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

I added a little bit of code to the website.

Now when you log in to your Private Member Page you can see when your club dues and if it applies, your class tuition are due.

What, you didn't know you have a private member page? All our fencers have a private page on the website that gives access to our proprietary computer based training tools, tournament suggestions, messages, etc. that only they can see.

If you don't know your login name and password just ask.

Oxford Fencing Results

April 16, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Oxford is wonderful. The people are friendly. The hosting club is spacious. Have I told you how much I like Oxford?

We had 4 boys in the Y14 foil event. Timber, Montana, Dylan, and Graham all fenced well. Unfortunately, Graham and Timber met in the quarter-finals and one of them had to lose. Graham won that battle of the teammates to move into the semi finals where he lost to the eventual gold medalist. Montana and Dylan also made it to the semi finals where they met. Dylan bested Montana. That put Dylan into the Gold Medal round where he lost to that very skilled fencer from Alabama. Final results, Montana and Graham tie for the Bronze Medal. Dylan wins the Silver.

In the Unrated Senior Foil, Caren took on a dozen fencers from the University of Mississippi. She lost to the eventual Women's Division gold medalist in the quarter-finals in a nail biter sudden death tie-breaking overtime. She end up with a sixth place overall and with a Bronze Medal in the Women's Division.

Chance fenced the Senior Open Foil. He fenced as well for a saber fencer who hasn't fenced foil in months as can be expected, but did not medal.

All in all, we had a great team trip.

Road Trip!

April 12, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Later today the team heads south for a big tournament weekend in Oxford Mississippi. Six of our fencers will be competing in 3 different foil contests.

This weekend's roster includes some of our newer fencers who have never had a chance to travel with the team. That adds to the fun for everyone.

Wish us luck!

Thank you Ashley!

April 11, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

At yesterday's classes Ashley helped train three of our fencers who will be competing this weekend in Oxford Mississippi.

Who needs fencing equipment?

April 10, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

I expect a vendor to be in attendance at the Super Youth Circuit tournament being held in St. Louis the weekend of April 26-28. This should be a good place to try gear on to ensure proper fit before handing over any cash!

Monday vs. Thursday open fencing practice info

April 8, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

If you've attended recently you already know, our Thursday night open fencing practices are getting really crowded.

Monday's are more lightly attended. If you want more fencing time come on Mondays.

Good Luck Rob!

April 5, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

He is heading to Peoria for a very challenging epee tournament.

Unsanctioned Y14 Foil in Champaign Illinois

April 4, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

This Saturday in Champaign Illinois. Start time 10:00am

Short notice on this one. It is Unsanctioned! I had not been pushing this to our non-USFA fencers because I thought USFA membership was required. It is not.

This will be a small tournament but if we can get 2 or 3 of our fencers to go, it will be a good experience.

Say something right away if you are interested.

Host A Summer Away International Fencing Camp? NO WAY!

March 31, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

We received a request from a Chinese sports authority for us to host a two month summer away fencing program for 40 Chinese kids.

First off, there is no way we can do it. Too many kids. Too long. Too much 24 hours a day responsibility.

I assume they sent it to every fencing club in the United States. But the more I think about it, who could do it?

The Chinese sports authority sends chaperones who can help translate but there is so much more that needs to be done.

They need their US host to arrange lodging, meals, local transportation and English lessons for the kids. Then you would need to come up with fun and enriching activities to keep them entertained when they were not in fencing class.

The fencing lessons part is simple. But how on earth do you arrange all the other things kids in a 2 month summer away program need?

Congratulations Rob and Ashley

March 31, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Both have qualified for the United States Fencing Association National Championships being held in Columbus Ohio this summer.

Rob qualified for Vet40 Men's Epee.

Ashley qualified for Division2 Women's Epee, Division2 Women's Foil, Division2 Women's Saber, Division3 Women's Epee, Division3 Women's Foil, and Division3 Women's Saber.

Oxford update:

March 28, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

The Oxford Fencing Club coach emailed this morning. They ARE planning an Open Senior Foil event. They just don't have it listed yet.

So yes, there will be an event for all our foil fencers to compete in.


March 27, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Event date: April 13, Oxford Mississippi. At our request, the Oxford Fencing Club has kindly agreed to add a couple of unsanctioned foil events to their annual "April Foils" fencing tournament. There will be an Y14 event and a beginner Senior event.

I thought they were also planning a sanctioned senior open foil event but so far, their Askfred preregistration page doesn't list one. I'll have to email them to double check.

You have heard me say this before, the people at the Oxford club are just wonderful people. And the town of Oxford is one of my favorite towns. It has such an old time southern feel. I love taking our fencers there.

Go to this webpage to pre-register:

Once we have a better idea who is going, we can work on travel and lodging plans. I'm really hoping we can take a big squad.

If you have any questions, just ask.

Weekend Competition Highlights

March 25, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Graham and Aaron both win silver in their first foil tournaments. Ashley takes first place of the women in her mixed foil tournament. She also earned a new National E19 Foil Rating.

Competing this Saturday

March 22, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Aaron, Tyler and Ashley are competing in foil in Missouri. Graham is competing in both foil and saber in Kentucky. Good luck guys!

What are the odds?

March 21, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

A little statistical analysis of the United States Fencing Association national rating stats for you math geeks!
There are 22,259 competitive fencers in the 2018/2019 season. 7397 female. 15262 male. Note: This includes only the official USFA competitive member fencers. There are many multiples more of recreational fencers in the United States who are not included in these statistics.

... with an epee rating: 1011 (13.67%)
... with a foil rating: 883 (11.94%)
... with a saber rating: 792 (10.71%)

... with no rating: 4916 (66.5%)
... with at least one rated weapon: 2481 (33.5%)

... with a rating in only one weapon: 2291 (30.97%)
... with a rating in exactly two weapons: 175 (2.36%)
... with a rating in all three weapons: 15 (0.20%)

... with an epee rating: 3014 (19.75%)
... with a foil rating: 2139 (14.02%)
... with a saber rating: 1723 (11.29%)

... with no rating: 9395 (61.56%)
... with at least one rated weapon: 5867 (38.44%)

... with a rating in only one weapon: 5002 (32.77%)
... with a rating in exactly two weapons: 721 (4.72%)
... with a rating in all three weapons: 144 (0.94%)

Lots of Competitions

March 13, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Some suggested events for our fencers:
March 23 in Wentzville Y10/12 foil. USFA membership not required.
March 23 in Louisville Kentucky. Beginner Youth Epee, Beginner Youth Foil, and Beginner Youth Saber.
March 23 at Purdue University. Strong epee, foil, and saber events for our more serious 14+ USFA member fencers.
March 30 and 31 in St. Louis. Y14 Men's and Y14 Women's, C & Under Men's and C & Under Women's, 40yo+ Men's and 40yo+ Women's qualifiers in all 3 weapons for summer national championships.
April 6 in Champaign Illinois. Y14 foil. Requires USFA membership.
April 13 in Oxford Mississippi. Youth Foil. 14+ Beginner Foil. Open Foil. The open foil will require USFA membership.

Valentines Day. NO FENCING

February 14, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Between our married adult fencers likely being absent and our Junior Olympians headed to Denver, we would have very few people.

Belleville Famous

February 5, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Our fencer extraordinaire, Ashley made the paper. (Belleville News Democrat) If the text is too small to read, it basically just tells how awesome she is!

Our 2019 Junior Olympians

February 5, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Chad and Ashley will be representing our club and the St. Louis Division (encompassing Southern Illinois and most of Missouri) at the United States Fencing Association's 2019 Junior Olympics.

They will be facing the best fencers from each State in the nation at this US Olympic Committee sponsored championship for teens.
Chad will compete in both epee and foil. Ashley will compete in foil and saber.
The Junior Olympics will be held in Denver Colorado in a little under 2 weeks.
Good luck guys!!

Busy Competition Weekend

January 27, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Yesterday Logan and Cole fenced in the college league foil tournament at St. Louis University.

This was Cole's first tournament. It was Logan's second. Both fencers did well. These first tournaments are where a new fencer really begins to learn. New opponents, never seen before tactics, new referees who call action differently; all add to the challenges.

Today, Ashley and Chad travel to the Point Fencing Club in Champaign where the University of Illinois team trains to compete. Good luck guys!

Saber in the Snow!

January 17, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Ashley and Chad challenge each other AND the snow! Thanks to the Katzes for the cool video!!
Click picture to view video.
This is a slow version of the video. Later today or tomorrow I'll get it uploaded to the cloud (and to our video catalog) for better viewing speed. --Pearce

First competition of 2019 is in the books.

January 6, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

No medals but good fencing. Chance and Warren traveled to Memphis Tennessee this weekend to take on the 2018 Tennessee State High School Fencing Champions of Memphis University School.

As we were leaving, one of the MUS coaches asked us to let them know if we were going to host a high school tournament at our place. They want to visit us. How fun would that be? We'll have to look into doing just that.

Chance lunges from the left.

Warren lunges from the right.

The team is headed to Memphis

January 2, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

This weekend Memphis University School is hosting a high school 3 weapon tournament.
We currently have fencers for the foil and saber events.
It's not too late to add your name to the travel roster but you need to speak up quick!

Welcome to the New Year

January 1, 2019 - Pearce Wilson

Tomrrow, Wednesday January 2nd we FINALLY get back to our regular schedule.


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.