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More Info

Open Bout for Middle School & High School Kids     Apr 17, 2021
NJFA: Maplewood, NJ Practice with 50 kids in a fun and relaxing environment. Group placement based upon skill level. Video games and other social activities.
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posted 03/22/2021
More Info
Weekly Open Bouting

Location: NJFA, Maplewood
Time: Saturdays 2 - 4 PM
Cost: Free for first time, $5 thereafter
Skill Level: 5th to 12th grade, all skill levels
Weapon: Foil, Épée, Sabre

*Email edwinkim777@gmail.com to play!*

Background. With the large number of fencing clubs these days, young fencers have found some difficulty finding similarly skilled opponents at their own clubs. COVID has only made this situation worse. Some have turned to tournaments to overcome these shortcomings but tournaments have some major drawbacks. They can be overly competitive and stressful. Fencers only get to fence a limited number of times. And, the travel distance and costs are prohibitive.

This weekly fencing meet remedies these shortcoming. It's a way for kids from all over NJ to come together and fence for fun. It doesn’t matter what club you are affiliated with as it is open to everyone.

Some fencing club owners are worried that this is a scam to steal their students. Let me assure you that it is not. I am simply a father who is looking for fencing partners for his 2 middle-school children. I am not affiliated with NJFA or any other club. I don't get paid for this and the $5 daily fee goes to NJFA for facility usage.

I am sure that you will agree that the more you practice, the better you will become. And, the more varied opponents you practice against, the more experience you'll gain. This is what this weekly meet is supposed to accomplish in addition to having a lot of fun. Instead of fencing the same practice partners at your local club, you get to fence kids from all over NJ. You'll get to fence people with many different styles and levels of skill.

Limited Number of Spaces. Unfortunately, due to strict COVID protocols, there will only be 12 fencers allowed per weapon per age group in the facility. The first age group will consist of boys and girls from 4th to 8th grade. The second group will be 12 boys and girls from 9th to 12th grade. That means there will be a maximum of 72 kids. This activity was announced last week and so far, about 40 kids have signed up. So, please email me before you show up!

Procedure. When fencers arrive to NJFA, they will be automatically placed on a waiting list. When it’s their turn to fence, they will be called to the strip. If you don’t want to fence, you can simply elect to pass and take your name off the waiting list until you’re ready.

While waiting for their turn to fence, kids will be gathered in the same general area and will be encouraged to talk and interact. Because this is going to be a regular weekly event, you'll find everyone friendly and easy-going.

Mini-Tournaments. Every month, I’m going to hold a quick direct-elimination tournament for each age group. The winner will get a small prize and be named as King of New Jersey. They will have their name published in Patch and other newspapers.

Cost. The first time will be for free so you can decide if it’s fun or not. If you decide you want to come again, it’ll cost $5 per visit (which is really cheap).

Strict COVID Protocols. Every Saturday, fencers will be emailed a simple questionnaire about their medical condition which they must fill out before they arrive. When they enter the premises, their temperature will be taken and they will have to sterilize their hands. Fencers will be encouraged to wear a transparent face shield off the strip in lieu of a face mask. (You can purchase this yourself or from from me for $2. This is to encourage socialization.)

Conclusion. When I fenced in high school, Masters was the largest and most successful club in NJ. It succeeded in large part because the fencers had a lot of fun so they wanted to come to the club every day. I’m hoping that I can replicate that same environment here.

If you are interested or have additional questions, please feel free to email me at edwinkim777@gmail.com.