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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A proud fencing dad

My son, Ian, has been fencing since he was five years old, when he begged me to start a class for him at the Pocono Family YMCA in Stroudsburg, PA. I had only been fencing for a year or so and my instructor, Bernd Weishaupt, helped me start a kinderfencing program where Ian would be able to learn the fine art of swashbuckling.

When we moved to New Jersey, Ian and I started fencing with the Modified Academy of Fencing. This has been a great experience for both of us. I have taken courses in sabre fencing and Ian has really grown a lot as a foil fencer. This fall, I started teaching again, working with the beginning foil program on Thursday nights.

Over the last few years, one of the problems that Ian and I have had is that the MAF fencing tournaments have always been scheduled on days that we couldn't participate. This year, though, things were different and both Ian and I were able to participate in foil competitions this past spring.

This past Sunday evening, MAF held its annual awards dinner and Ian and I were present to celebrate his success in the tournament, where he took first place in his age group. In addition to receiving a gold medal at the banquet, Ian also was presented with the Excalibur award, which goes to fencers who were undefeated in the entire competition.

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos to show now, but I should be getting some from Julie Kimmel, the club photographer, soon. Check back to see Ian receiving his awards (and a picture of me receiving the sportsmanship award, too).

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