Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: September 2019

How to Qualify for 2020 USA Fencing Summer Nationals [Infographic]

How to Qualify for the 2020 USA Fencing Summer Nationals - Infographic

Fencing season 2019-2020 had started! Which means you should start thinking about how you want your fencing season to go. Every year there are some changes to the rules and qualifying paths for USA Fencing Summer Nationals, not to mention that fencers progress through the age divisions and previous year path might be not relevant anymore. 2020 USA Fencing Summer Nationals are not exception.

This year there are not that many changes in the qualification process for USA Fencing Summer Nationals, but there are some changes to the eligibility and format for some divisions and the youth 12 and 14 events. In the previous post we covered all these changes.

To summarize these changes:

  1. All initial seeding will be based on national points, which is applicable for Division 1 and Junior events
  2. Division 2/3 eligibility will be based on the classification at the time of registration for the appropriate event at the nationals.
  3. Youth 12 and Youth 14 events will have an 80% cut off from the pools
  4. The maximum DE table will be 256 fencers

Everything you see on this infographic is information you’ll find on the USA Fencing website and in Athlete Handbook. We’re simply presenting it in a format that is visual and hopefully easy to follow.

Click here to view the updated infographics for USA Fencing Summer Nationals 2020 qualification.

Please share with your fencing friends on social media! Spread the word about how to qualify for USA Fencing Summer Nationals, and see you in Louisville, Kentucky next July!

Essential USA Fencing Tournament Changes for the 2019-2020 Season

Essential USA Fencing Tournament Changes for the 2019-2020 Season

There are some big changes coming to fencing tournaments for United States fencers this season. Most of the changes will affect the USA Fencing Summer Nationals that will happen in Louisville, Kentucky on June 28-July 7, 2020.  

While it might feel like it’s a little bit too soon to be talking about what’s going to happen with fencing next summer, given that this season has just started, it’s better to know ahead of time than to get behind! 

New rule changes

Fencing rules change every single year. This is because there is a belief that we can always make things better, and that’s of course true. 

The USFA Fencing Board met back in February during the Junior Olympics in Denver, and during their meeting they talked about a lot of things, one of which was how the USFA will improve its tournament structure next year. Every year, the USFA adds new updates to its existing rules to make things better for fencers who compete in USFA sponsored tournaments. 

Frankly, with some changes it will take space to make sense of whether they will be good or bad changes. How this might play out is something that I’ll explore below in depth, though the reality is that it just takes time. I find myself arguing internally about how I think these will unfold, which makes me all the more excited to talk about the changes and to see how they change fencing in the next year and beyond. 

Here are the major changes coming to fencing for the 2019-2020 season, as well as my commentary on what I think they mean. 

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What If You’re Not Cut Out to be a Fencing Parent?

What If You’re Not Cut Out to be a Fencing Parent?

Your child is into fencing. Really into fencing. They want to be at their fencing club five days a week, taking classes and private lessons and going to open fencing nights. They love to compete, and are willing to work hard to make their dreams of qualifying for top competitions. You’re a couple of years into this now, or maybe even a few years into it, and you know that fencing is not going anywhere. 

But you’re tired. Exhausted by it. Your child has all of this enthusiasm, and that’s wonderful, but after a while you’re struggling to keep up your enthusiasm for them. There you are anyway, cheering from the sidelines as your child goes for another point, grunting and panting while you jump up and down in your “Best Fencing Mom Ever” sweatshirt. You love your kids, you love that they are fencers, and you want to love the sport!

What happens if you don’t though? Deep down, what if you secretly don’t like fencing at all? Maybe you find it boring or repetitive. You might not like that you can’t see the athletes’ faces or that it uses weapons, even if it is in a non-violent way. There are lots of people who don’t like fencing. That doesn’t make them bad people. Not even if those people who don’t like fencing are the parents of children who adore it.  

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Fight Until the End of Your Fencing Match

Fight Until the End of Your Fencing Match

The fencing match started out well. You felt confident, missed a touch at the very beginning but almost got in. Your opponent jumped right back in with an answer, getting a point against you. That’s ok, you brush it off, focus and go again. You miss, and they come back with back-to-back touches. You shake it off, take a deep breath and come back to your en guarde, ready to go for your opponent again. This continues, on and on until you look up at the score and realize the match is 14:0. 

Should you give up? Just one more touch and the match will be over. With time running out, you don’t possibly have enough time to get the points and save the match, so it would be very easy and even have some logic to just pulling back to let your opponent have the point. Get on with things and move on. 

Don’t give up!

You know that you’ll probably lose. You know that it would take a miracle to win. Fencing isn’t about winning. Fencing isn’t about beating your opponent. It’s about you becoming better, it’s about you improving over yourself. Oftentimes we see fencers just give up, sometimes well before the match really is over. They think it’s impossible to catch up and they just think it’s not worth it. It’s never worth it to give up. 

Here are twelve reasons why you shouldn’t give up in a losing fencing match.

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Why Fencers Should Hate Luck

Why fencers should hate luck

“He got lucky with that referee’s call.”

“You sure were lucky to get that point!”

“The matches pools are the luck of the draw.”

“I wish I had her luck in getting a good coach.”

Oftentimes in fencing it can seem like we don’t have control over everything. That’s not just the way that it seems, the truth is that we don’t have control over everything in fencing. There are plenty of aspects of this sport that do come down to chance, like the draw of opponents in competition or even the chance encounter that brought someone to fencing in the first place. 

It’s ok, even good, to get a firm understanding of how you as a fencer do have a lack of control in some situations in fencing. The problem comes for fencers, whether they are young fencers or seasoned fencers, who start to think that they don’t have control over anything in the bout. They get into this dangerous mindset that they are no longer in charge of how their fencing goes, and that leads to everything from poor performance to stagnation.  

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