Thursday, September 01, 2005


Fall 2005

Hi and welcome to the Fall 2005 newsletter. We trust that all our fencers, their parents and grandparents had a wonderful summer.

Aaron Fagan, Nico Bergmann, Scott Pippin, David Roberts, Linden Ballen, Mitchell Link and Chasen Chapman were at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs participating in the fencing camp the AFA puts on each summer.

Chasen, Julie Austin and Leslie Taft participated in the Armorer's Clinic held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, most ably taught by U.S. Olympic Team Armorer, Dan DeChaine. Who would have thought that studying foil and epee tips, screws, springs and wires would be interesting, but Dan made it so exciting that we didn't want to stop for breaks and even gave up a free evening just to repair and rewire weapons! And, Julie aced the written exam by scoring 100%, the second person to do so in the five year history of Dan teaching the class. All three are now Level 3 Armorers.

Lee Ernst was at the OTC taking the Level 1 Foil class while Leslie earned her Level 2 certificate in sabre.

Leslie also went to Portland, Oregon, to work with U.S. womens' Olympic sabre coach, Ed Korfanty, at his coaches camp. Coinciding with the coaches camp was the elite sabre fencers camp with 2004 Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis in attendance. It was poetry in motion, watching Ed give Mariel a sabre lesson.

DFA officially re-opens on Tuesday, September 6. The fencing schedule is on the website, with some minor schedule changes for Saturday.

It seems that Saturday morning comes early for some fencers so, to optimize lesson time, I've slated 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for individual lessons, and 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for a beginners class. From noon to 3:00 p.m., the schedule remains the same with individual lessons and open electric fencing. A fencer could make a day of it at DFA on Saturday and even fit in a coffee break at Starbucks!

Our Division fencing schedule is up with the first tournament scheduled for September 17 at Victor Valley High School, October 8 at College of the Desert, November 5 at VVHS, November 19, Junior Olympic Quals at San Bernardino Valley College and December 17 at SBVC. Close of check in for sabre is 9:00 a.m, 10 a.m. for foil and 12 noon for epee. The entry fee is $10 per weapon.

Our two electric scoring boxes have been updated with the new timing for foil and sabre.

We now have DFA patches! Our new patches, with the male and female fencers, look great and are available for purchase at $5.

I am also working on DFA warm-up jackets, an off-white satin finish coaches' jacket that front zips with elastic waistband, cuffs and neckband, pockets, DFA crest logo on the front and large DFA male and female fencers on the back in black. The purchase price of the jackets will be $40. I will be taking orders for these in September so I can give an accurate count of sizes to the manufacturer.

The 8-week beginning fencing classes seemed to stretch on forever so, I've revamped it to a 6-week format. The student will learn just as much only a little bit faster. The fee for the six week classes is $120 and these are one hour classes.

Also trying something new・or those fencers who only come on Saturday, and usually miss a Saturday a month due to our being away for tournaments, on the Saturday we will be gone for a tournament, I'll offer fencing classes on that Wednesday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

DFA is entering into its third fencing season. DFA is doing well financially. All fees will remain the same. The $30 monthly membership fee and $20 lesson fee remain unchanged. You may pay per lesson, or pay for a series of four, six or ten lessons.

I'd like to tell all the DFA junior competitive fencers how proud I am of you and of your fencing accomplishments this past season. You are strong, seasoned fencers and I'm looking forward to another wonderful fencing season with you. And my thanks to the parents and grandparents who make it all possible for us to fence.

Wishing Blissful Fencing to All,

Leslie Taft
The Fencing Coach

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