King of the Hill
Location: NJFA, Maplewood
Time: Saturdays, 4-6 PM
Cost: $5 per day (free for the first visit)
Skill Level: 5th to 12th grade, all skill levels
Weapon: Foil, Épée, Sabre
*You must sign up in order to attend this event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.*
Mini-tournaments are held every Saturday. Starts with a round-robin round followed by direct elimination. Winners usually can win small prizes. For the last few Saturdays, winners were awarded Allstar-Uhlmann tournament socks. While waiting for their turn, kids are encouraged to sit in the same general area, socialize, and have fun!
Once this event gets big enough, larger prizes will be awarded. And, winners' names will be published in the Patch, the Star-Ledger, and other publications.
Background Information. With the increased number of fencing clubs these days, young fencers have found some difficulty finding similarly aged or skilled opponents at their clubs. COVID has made this worse as some classes have gone from 20 kids to 4. Many fencers have turned to tournaments to overcome these shortcomings but they have some drawbacks. Fencers wait long times to fence with only a limited number of bouts. They can also be overly competitive and stressful. The costs can also be prohibitive.
This weekly fencing event attempts to remedy this. It brings kids from all over NJ and NY to come together and just fence for fun. It doesn’t matter what club you are affiliated with as it is open to all.
Many fencing coaches have expressed concern that this is an attempt to poach their students. This is not the case. To let you know, I am a father who is simply creating a venue for his 2 middle-school children to have fun fencing. I am not affiliated with NJFA or any other club. I don't get paid for this as the $5 daily fee directly goes to NJFA for facility usage. I firmly believe that private lessons at your fencing club are essential for becoming a good fencer so please do not quit your club, thinking this event is sufficient for your growth!
This event also will not derail your coach's technique. If this was true, then official tournaments would be harmful as well. The more you practice, the better you become. The more varied opponents you practice against, the more experience you gain. This is what this weekly meet aims to accomplish in an enjoyable atmosphere. Instead of fencing the same practice partners at your local club, you get to fence kids from all over the NY metro area. You'll get to meet people with many different styles and various levels of skill.
Cost. $5 per visit (which is really cheap!). The first time is free so you can try it out. Venmo, Zelle, or other alternative payment options are available. (My Venmo is @EdwinKim777.) If you would like to donate, please do so. I'll put the extra money into bigger prizes!
Help Wanted. I would love any help regarding this activity. If you would like to officiate bouts or help oversee things, please let me know. When I fenced in high school, Masters was the largest and the most successful club. It succeeded because the kids had a lot of fun. This made them want to come more often, which in turn made them better fencers. Help me replicate that same environment here.
If you are interested or have additional questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.