First Fencers of the Corn event for the combined MCK and MVC

Last weekend fencers from McKendree University and from Millstadt Venture Crew traveled together and helped each other with shared equipment, coaching and cheering each other on at the first college league fencing tournament of the 2014/2015 season hosted by St. Louis University.

Fencers participated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-S&T, Southeast Missouri State University, St. Louis University, University of Central Missouri plus some unaffiliated fencers from as far away as Milan Italy.

We had 5 foil fencers on Saturday. Mary, Kenny and Alex fenced for McKendree. Luke and Tiffany fenced for Millstadt. On Sunday we had 3 saber fencers and 6 epee fencers. Mary, Tristan and Cameron fenced saber for McKendree. Mary (yes again… she can’t be stopped), Andrew and Ivan fenced epee for McKendree. Rory, Emma and Daniel fenced epee for Millstadt.

We did pretty well. The highlights, Kenny takes 6th in foil. Rory takes 5th in epee. Andrew takes 6th in epee. Tristan takes 1st in saber. Cameron takes 3rd in saber. Mary takes 1st in the women’s bracket in saber.

I couldn’t be happier how well all our fencers worked together to help each other. This is going to be a wonderful partnership!

Now we are THE Booster Club for Southern Illinois & St. Louis Metro East fencing

With the addition of the McKendree University fencing team in our area, the Fencers of the Corn will serve as an umbrella group for both the McKendree University team and the Millstadt Venture Crew Girl & Boy Scout fencing team.

We will serve to coordinate both groups’ fundraising, fencing equipment, classes and coaching, schools and group demonstrations, etc.

Show-Me State Games

We were honored to be able to run the fencing tournament for the Show-Me State Games.

This year’s event was held at Columbia College in Columbia Missouri.

And we got some great press from the Columbia Missouri newspapers.

The “Columbia Missourian” published a very nice article about Corey Kilgallon, one of our fencers who competed in Saturday’s saber competition.

Click for link to Columbia Missourian article

The “Columbia Tribune” also published a very nice article about the Show-Me State Games fencing tournament including a great picture of Ms. Kilgallon fencing saber with a very good fencer from Lawrence Kansas on the front page of their Sunday Sports Section.

Click for link to Columbia Tribune article

The Adewale Cup 2014

adewale sample

Saturday August 9, 2014.

1920′s style dinner, *drinks, music and fencing.

Roaring Twenties costume are encouraged but not required.

Come to fence or just for the party!
$30 to fence & party or $25 just for the party.

The fencing is double elimination combined foil, epee, saber 8 touch bouts fenced dry with four judges and a Director for the entertainment of the spectators.

Fencers can read more and pre-register here.

Please RSVP so we make sure we have enough food and drinks for everyone.

* under 21 will be served soft drinks.
** in the unlikely event we have more than 8 fencers participating, we will move the preliminary rounds earlier so only the final 8 will fence in front of the audience.

Grandpa Luke’s sponsored fencing tournament

Saturday, July 12. Just fencing? You’re thinking too small. How about fencing and eating!

Free samples from Grandpa Luke’s Deli & Coffee House’ great menu will be available to try. Coupons from Grandpa Luke’s for fencers and spectators. After the tournament run into Millstadt for a delicious meal. Grandpa Luke’s is next to the Dollar General Store on Washington Street. (Link to Grandpa Luke’s)

Hint! Stop off at Grandpa Luke’s for a coffee on your way to Bluff Grange. Awesome stuff!

Y12 and Y14 mixed foil start at 9:00am.
Unrated mixed foil starts at 1:00pm.
Open mixed foil starts at 4:00pm.

Fencers can pre-register here: (Link for fencer pre-registration and more event information)

Neither electric bib nor USFA membership is required for the Y12 and Y14 events.
USFA membership and full gear IS required for the Unrated and Open events.

Congratulations Alex Smith!

Even though he has never fenced before, Alex earned the gold medal and his Foil E14 in his first tournament after only a month of fencing training with the Fencers of the Corn.

Alex is a student at McKendree University.

Alex is the third of our fencers in the past year to earn a rating at the first tournament they entered. He is the second of our fencers to earn a rating within a month of starting fencing.

Can auditory signals defeat the visual Mandelbrot Set complexity of fencing?

I was talking with a former World Cup competitor yesterday at the National Championships. Great guy.

I was telling him I tried combining music with fencing training. I told him about an unusual bagpipe piece that had two rhythms, one with 3 beats per measure, one with 4 beats per measure, running simultaneously through the piece. I would get my opponent to dance with me to one of the rhythms and then on one of the instances when the rhythms synced (every 3 X 4 = 12th note) I could switch to the other rhythm.

Then I told this coach the story of how Bill Velders, who plays in a symphony orchestra, could never stop my attack until one time during rehearsal of the Overture of Symphonie Fantastique the conductor yelled at the musicians, “No! Come in on the AND of Four.”

I explained that for Bill this was his epiphany. Bill heard my attack in that piece of music. Turns out my attack has a distinct 4 beats per measure rhythm but my hand is moves in that time/space between the beats. I feint on the third beat. I hit between the fourth beat and the first beat of the next measure. In order to parry me, the fencer must parry on the AND of four. That is, BETWEEN the fourth and first beats.

Bill discovered that if he watched my attack, I deceived him and he could not stop it. But if he listened to my attack, he could.

As I was explaining that I was fascinated by the idea of natural rhythms and that I was pretty sure this rhythm idea was something but didn’t quite understand what to do with it, the coach’s eyes kept getting bigger. Finally he looked at me like I had just pulled out a pirate treasure map and told him, “I found this thing and I’m pretty sure it is important but I don’t quite know what to do with it.”

When he was fencing on the World Cup Circuit he got to know a French Olympian whose coach had trained numerous Olympians and World Class fencers out of a little club in France. Half a century ago, this French coach had developed a saber training system based on sound and feel. They would even train with the lights off. When the saber timings changed and devalued defense in saber this system was dropped.

This world class fencer/coach went on to explain that the training system was a 10 step system of increasing complexity with programmed attack, parry/riposte, counter-parry/riposte actions. This coach described the training system as on one level, genius in its simplicity. On the next level a feedback loop of interconnecting multidimensional infinite complexity.

The foil system we are developing is based on saber fencing style of half a century ago. What we are developing uses a system of interconnecting loops of complexities.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

The entire system fits hand written on a half sheet of notebook paper. I have a copy of it.