Sunday, August 23, 2009


New Blog and Newsletter Location

Hello DFA Members,

We have updated the DFA site to include the blog and newsletters internally, so we will not be using the Blogspot location anymore. We will keep our information here as an archive.

Please visit to view the latest news.

All the best,

Josh Butler


Friday, August 21, 2009


Augst News 2009 Blast

Hi to everyone.
Yes, I’m currently working on the latest newsletter, but in the interim wanted you to know that Sam Signorelli, HOM Fencing Supply, will be coming to DFA on Saturday, August 29 from 10 am to 3 pm.

If you wish to purchase any gear, or have equipment repaired, Sam’s your man.

If there’s any gear you are interested in trying on or purchasing, i.e., gloves, masks, jackets, etc., please let me know, and the size, and I can relay that information to Sam so he can have the item on hand.



Monday, June 22, 2009


June News 2009 Blast

This is a news blast for June.

Firstly, the 2009 Pentathlon National Championships, held in Palm Springs June 5-7, went smoothly.

There were 80 participants from the US, Canada, Panama, Guatemala and Mexico. Margaux Isaksen, Eli Bremer and Sam Sacksen, pentathletes on the 2008 Olympic pentathlon team were there and it was exciting to watch them fence. Actually, it was exciting watching all the men, women and kids compete. Our very own Devon Cavaliere and Jo Ragland, all ten years old, were competing in the youth event on Friday.

I want to thank Sam Signorelli for being on hand all four days as our armorer and Josh Butler, Chasen Chapman, Max Barber and Ann Barber for refereeing.

Pentathlon one-touch epee is a different kind of fencing from our five-touch bouts and 15-touch direct eliminations (DE’s). Our referees had to be on their toes, watching for toe shots and in-bound/out-of-bound fleches. It was fun and quite the worthwhile experience for our DFA members.

Our Summer Program starts Monday, June 15. Monday through Friday, fencing will begin at 1:30 pm. Closing times remain unchanged. And fencing on Saturday remains the same, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

As everyone prepares for vacation, please let me know day(s) and time(s) your fencer would like to come and fence during the summer.

Also, please let me know when you will be gone for vacation so I can put a fencer into a vacated fencing slot.


Wishing everyone a great Summer!

Leslie Taft
The Fencing Coach

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


June News 2009

Hi to Everyone,

This is an end of May beginning of June 2009 news blast from DFA.

Firstly, congratulations and well wishes go out to our high school seniors who are graduating this June. Scott Pippin is off to Air Force Academy, Kevin Park and
Hunter Scalise are off to Chapman University and Masaki Yamada is going to Berkeley. We wish them all the best in their university careers!


Our last tournament for the season will be Saturday, May 30 at College of the Desert.
Sabre begins at 9:30 am, foil at 10:30 am and epee at 12:30 pm. Fencing will be held in the Wright Gymnasium.

This is our end-of-season tournament and we will be presenting trophies to the top teams and individual men and women fencers.

You can see the results on the San Bernardino Division website, but here are the point winners for 2008-2009.

Men’s Sabre: 1st place Scott Pippin, 3rd place Masaki Yamada
Women’s Sabre: 1st place Leslie Taft, 2nd place Gretchen Bueermann
Men’s Team Sabre: 1st Desert Fencing Academy
Women’s Team Sabre: 1st College of the Desert, 2nd Desert Fencing Academy

Men’s Foil: 1st Russell Holtz, 2nd Mark Johnson
Women’s Foil: 1st Leslie Taft
Men’s Team Foil: Tie for 1st with Desert Fencing Academy and Haake und Slasche
Women’s Team Foil: College of the Desert

Men’s Epee: 1st Max Barber, 2nd Josh Butler, 3rd, Russell Holtz
Women’s Epee: 1st Ann Barber, 2nd Leslie Taft, Debbie Romig
Men’s Team Epee: Desert Fencing Academy
Women’s Team Epee: Desert Fencing Academy, 2nd College of the Desert

Women’s 3-Weapon: 1st Leslie Taft

Men’s Overall Team: Desert Fencing Academy

Women’s Overall Team: 1st College of the Desert, 2nd Desert Fencing Academy

Overall Division Club Champion: Desert Fencing Academy

As you can see, DFA had a very good competitive season!


The 2009 USA Pentathlon Nationals, NORCECA Men’s and Women’s Championships and Open will be held June 5- 7, 2009, (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

This is a qualifying point tournament for the 2012 Olympics. There are approximately sixty athletes coming to the desert to compete, including athletes from Great Britain, Panama, Guatemala and Canada. The competitors range in age from 10 to 40 plus.

I am involved with the fencing. The fencing will be held at the Pavilion in Palm Springs, next to the Palm Springs Library and Swimming Pool. It is a large and beautiful venue.

I have attached a copy of the events schedule. This will be quite exciting to watch and Margaux Isaksen and Sam Sacksen, who were on the 2008 Olympic Pentathlon team, will also be competing.

I will need some volunteer help. I could use help on Thursday night. Sam Signorelli and I are doing the weapons check, but we could use two more volunteers, and the same on Friday night.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday we could use volunteer help timing and scorekeeping and running scores to the Bout Committee. If you are an adult, and an epee fencer, we could use you to help referee the bouts. Sunday, after the fencing, we could use volunteers to help with the tear down and clean up.

This is a great opportunity to be involved in such high level fencing and watch some great epee fencing, and also attend the other events.

Call or email me if you can help out. The schedule is attached. Also, for current information, go to the Pentathlon website, which is

Lastly, DFA will go into its Summer schedule starting June 15. DFA will close for its Summer break on July 25 and re-open on September 2.

Wishing everyone a great June and blissful fencing,

- Leslie

Friday, April 10, 2009


April DFA News Blast

Hi to all Friday and Saturday fencers, and all weekday fencers!

April is our biggest competition month and we’re away a goodly portion of the Fridays and Saturdays of this month. I thank all you Friday and Saturday fencers for being patient with our April tournament schedule; one day, you will be the one at the tournament!

So, to finish up this month and give you the May competition schedule.

DFA is closed on Good Friday, April 10

There will be fencing on Saturday April 11 and 18

DFA is closed on Saturday, April 25 as we are at Hemet High School for a tournament
(Traditionally, there is no open fencing the Friday night before a tournament)

DFA will be closed on Saturday, May 30 as we are at College of the Desert for our end-of-season tournament and awards ceremony.

We will go into our Summer Schedule starting June 15 through July 25 and then close for the remainder of the month of July and the month of August. The Summer Schedule will be posted to the DFA website.

DFA will re-open on Wednesday, September 2, 2009.

Wishing everyone a blessed Passover and Easter,

Leslie Taft
The Fencing Coach

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Monday, March 30, 2009


April News 2009

Hi… and Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

This is a DFA news blast for April.

CONGRATULATIONS to Josh Butler earning his A09 in epee and Russell Holtz earning his B09 in epee!


DFA will be CLOSED : April 3, 4 and 5 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
The fencers will be at Cal State Long Beach for the Pacific Coast Championships.

DFA will be CLOSED : Good Friday, April 10

DFA will be OPEN : Saturday, April 11

DFA will be CLOSED : Saturday, April 25
We will be at Hemet High School for the last San Bernardino Division point tournament of the season.

Our last tournament for the season will be Saturday, May 30, at College of the Desert where we will have our end-of season awards ceremony.

Wishing everyone a happy April and blissful fencing.

Leslie Taft
The Fencing Coach

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


DFA Epee Club Standings

We just starting keeping track of practice performance.

Take a look at the stats here.




March News 2009

Hi to everyone…Happy March and Happy St.Patrick’s Day.

This is a DFA news flash for everyone with up-coming tournament schedules.

San Bernardino Division Qualifier is Saturday, March 7, DFA will be closed.
Please check or go to our division website, to see the tournament schedule. Check-in times are different from our regular division schedule as we will have approximately 21 events to run, so please check the websites to know when you need to check-in for your event(s).

Pacific Coast Championships are April 4 and 5 at Cal State Long Beach.
DFA will be closed April 3-5.

Good Friday, April 10, DFA is closed, but will be open on Saturday, April 11.

Hemet High School Tournament is Saturday, April 25, DFA will be closed.

College of the Desert Tournament is Saturday, May 30. This is our end-of-season and awards tournament. DFA will be closed.

DFA Summer Schedule will begin on Monday, June 15.

Congratulations to Max Barber who finished in 11th place out of 203 and earned his B’09 rating in epee at the Junior Olympics!

Finally, I will again be running in the Women Running Wild 5k on Sunday, March 29.
This is a fundraiser for the Jody Klein Breast Cancer Fund. If anyone would care to donate, $5 would be great, please make your check payable to Women Running Wild and you can bring your check to DFA and I’ll get it to the event organizer the day of the run.

Have a great March everyone!

Leslie Taft
The Fencing Coach

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