My First Longsword Class

Today I got to be a fencing student! Triangle Sword Guild offers free introduction on the longsword Saturdays and Tuesdays. The instructor, Ben Strickland, and I have have been playing email tag for a few months in attempt to bring an introduction course or seminar to Mid-South. The release of the New York Times post in September compelled my curiosity in fencing sport archeology. The concepts were generally the same as modern sabre, but scoring is somewhat is different. The video in [Read More]

Professional Bias

Bias finds its way into our work and it is most often based on significant past experiences that influence our current agendas as fencers, referees and coaches. As a fencer and coach I have developed an attunement to two types of biases: technical and social. Technical biases in refereeing and coaching cannot be ignored and are often overlooked obstacles to growth in US Fencing and within our own clubs. Technical Bias Technical biases are most commonly noticed in [Read More]


Death and Taxes

Morbid as death may seem and depressing as taxes can be, this time of year I think about both. I have been comparing the two in my head in relation to our community as I pay more taxes and we come upon significant anniversaries of friends gone. About ten years ago when the club was in the gestation phase there were no taxes to be paid and no deaths to mourn. I had several personal tax write-offs because so much money was being invested [Read More]


Half jokingly I refer to coaching my own children in our club as analogous to being a preacher and raising children in the church. All eyes are on the preacher’s kids during service and how they behave. No doubt coaches’ children faces similar scrutiny. Submerged in a fencing family there is no doubt my children will be greatly influenced by the fencing world. For this reason I pay close attention to factors that influence and support my children, including and especially my own reactions [Read More]

The Opportunity Game

The Opportunity Game embraces inner noise and trash talk in order to build competitive resiliency. Our club played this group game last week with the goal to earn as many points as possible over 7 days. Points were recorded on a large community board and each point indicated when the member noticed internal noise or trash talk about themselves or others relating to their fencing world. The concept was developed to increase awareness of distractions [Read More]

Year in Review and The Search for Kung Fu

Sometimes looking back is embarrassing, other times it is painful, awe-inspiring or even oddly nostalgic.  In 2014 I have had to look inside personally and we as an organization have had to dig deep. This year has seen many powerful things happened at our club: friendships have grown and some were broken; medals were won; and, most importantly, we have evolved. Being Mid-Southish, our way, is on the way to being an actual thing in 2015. [Read More]


On Becoming an Olympian

The Olympics or college? Seems like a silly question, but an article published in The Oregonian eloquently contemplated this choice for Olympic hopeful Sage Palmedo of Oregon Fencing Alliance. Sage, like every competitive fencer, faces the choice of “real life” or fencing. I call this a training commitment choice. Fencers make these choices all the time and if your passion is fencing, this is serious stuff! The article got me thinking about what a training [Read More]


Year in Gratitude

More than simply a small business, it is my belief that our fencing club is a living entity.  Instead of listing all of the great things we have collectively accomplished in 2012, I’ve decided to personify the club in this blog and through this describe our journey from her perspective.  As you read the lines below you will experience the fencing the club from a different point of view as she offers her gratitude in [Read More]


Supporting Youth Competitive Fencing

Now is a great time to reflect on the purpose of competition as we start our new fencing season. I’d Iike to offer responses to common questions parents ask when considering signing their child up for the first or 50th competition. 1. Is my child ready to start competing? For starting out, we always suggest that a first timer watch a tournament before entering an event.  Some children will be ready to compete very soon, [Read More]


2011 Mid-South Fencer Year End Review

The 2011 review is a hard one to write.  I’ve been thinking about it for weeks.  Though so much has been good, we’ve had some pretty big losses this year that have had a ripple effect in our community.  The top ten things that stand out of me this year start with two noteworthy losses: 10. Resignation of Coach Matt:  We wish Matt well as he pursues his international refereeing independent of Mid-South and pushes [Read More]