London Fencing Club
November/December 2006 Newsletter, No 24

In this issue...

Fencing etiquette    Christmas party, presents and break dates    Competitions reports     Horrifying pictures from Halloween party      Laurent on telly      Members websites   

68 Amwell Street, London EC1

Christmas party...

will be generously hosted by the club's top foil Paul Hallam at his notorious Filthy Macnasty's Whiskey Cafe  68 Amwell Street, London EC1. The party will take place on 15 December starting 7.30 pm. Once again we're inviting entries for the International Food competition from those who can cook and deliver! Last year's winner were Chinese Dumplings by Yu Du (followed closely by Davidoff blinches). Who will take the prize home this time?

... and Christmas presents!

This year upholding the best traditions of Christmas, Santa will be giving presents to all London Fencing Club members whom he'll meet at the party! Please let him know that you'll be there by writing a little letter to santa@londonfencingclub.co.uk. And why not mention what would you like to receive - the elfs are already working hard to make sure you'll be happy this Christmas!  Santa just cannot wait to hear from you!

...followed by Christmas break

We are off from 15 December 2006 and back on 3 January 2007.  As you all know this is the only break the club takes during the year. Do not forget to exercise with your close family in the meanwhile!

Our people on the piste
by Adam Steiner

Leicester Open
After two years of disastrous management the Leicester Open has become a much smaller competition, with attendance falling by half.  Nonetheless it is convenient for  Gadaski fencers being only a couple of hours north of London, as bizarrely it is held in Kettering rather than Leicester.  Rachel was the only fencer representing Gadaski Ladies this year, but did them proud.  She finished 11th with a strong display which should see her move further up the rankings.  The men were solid but unexceptional, with Adam, Dominic and Adeel making the last 64 but failing to progress further. 

Bedford Open
Gadaski had a great result at this year's Bedford Open Epee as Rachel won the club's first senior open medal, coming 3rd in the Ladies Epee.  Also fencing for the ladies was Suzanne Hounslow, who stayed on to support the other Gadaski fencers late into the afternoon.  In the men's competition Shakespeare fought excellently, finishing 19th out of 93 entrants.  Adeel and Dominic also represented Gadaski, Adam decided to represent Haverstock after crashing out in the 128. While people do not yet cower in terror of the flaming heart, Gadaski's profile as a competitive club has increased dramatically over the last two months.
 Welsh Open
On the second weekend of November the All-Blacks in the Millennium stadium were heavily outnumbered by the all-in-whites who had gathered in the Welsh Institute of Sport.  The 36th Welsh Fencing Open is one of the biggest competitions of the fencing year with almost all of the top fencers attending, and subsequently a huge NIF count - NIFs are the points that count towards your UK ranking.  Gadaski epee was represented by four gentlemen (Adam, Adeel, Dominic and Shakespeare) and Rachel for the ladies. Kevin was the only one defending the club on the sabre piste. Once again the ladies outperformed, with Rachel finishing an amazing 54th out of 128 entrants.  She was knocked out by Jo Maynard, the ladies number one, who once again was given a big scare by a Gadaski fencer.  The epee men struggled with the high standard of competition, but were undoubtedly the hottest men not to qualify for the last 128 while Kevin ended up the solid 74th.

Once again we would like to encourage any budding competitors, particularly ladies, to speak to Adam or Rachel about attending competitions.  There are a number of nice small sized ones just after Christmas which are ideal for beginners.

Most of the competitions are listed in the calendar  available on the British Fencing Association website.

etiquetteFencing room etiquette

Fencing would never be as appealing without the centuries long tradition and without those small but important rules of behaviour that stem from it. Sadly, it's difficult to find much guidance in the contemporary fencing literature which focuses mostly on the technique. Aspiring fencers therefore might find interesting the rules of conduct laid down by Maestro Vittorio Lambertini in his Tratatto di Scherma back in 1870.
General Obligations:

Article 1: All individuals occupying the fencing room must behave in a civil and educated manner.

Article 2: On entering, as well as leaving, it is necessary to greet everyone in the room (shake hands).

Article 3: During the lessons the bystanders must not prevent the student from hearing the master's voice.

Article 4: It is prohibited to engage in the exercise of arms in the fencing room without a protective jacket, glove, and mask appropriate to the weapon in use, in order to prevent accidents.

Obligations of the Students:

Article 1: Anyone wishing to take fencing lessons must contact the master to arrange the day, hour, and monthly fee.

Article 2: Every student must provide himself or herself with the necessary equipment for fencing; and lacking this, may not use that of other persons without permission.

Article 3: Students may free fence only if the master, knowing their ability, gives them permission.

Article 4: It is the obligation of the students themselves, when fencing, to observe from time to time, whether of not the point of the weapon is covered with a button, so that accidents can be avoided.

Article 5: It is absolutely obligatory when fencing, that every time one is hit, to announce the touch, saying toccato.

Article 6: During fencing, if one of the two fencers is by chance disarmed, and his weapon drops, the other, regardless of his rank, must pick it up and hand it to his adversary by the guard, in order to avoid even the idea of haughtiness.

Article 7: If it occurs that the master breaks one or more blades in the lesson or assault, when training his students, it is their obligation to pay for the broken blades. Similarly, if not as an obligation, at least one of courtesy, it is customary that when a guest breaks his blade that his host pays for it. And when two students fence and break blades, no reason for why the blades were broken is sought; instead, the expense is always borne by the individual left holding the broken weapon.

Article 8: Smoking is not permitted in the fencing room.



Halloween party

The recent party proved to be one of the scariest and most dressed up ever! Thanks to everyone for making it happen, Chrissy and Adam for hosting it and to Roy for coming all the way from the States to take part!

More pictures on are now on the website.


Pick of the web

Have look at a selection of websites run by our members! They're now featured on a dedicated club's page http://www.londonfencingclub.co.uk/links.php. (Those interested in web marketing will notice Google ranking 3).
Do you have a website to show off? Let us know!

Monday class regulars must have a look at young Laurent performing a special TV challenge: now available from Laurent's page on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxY0c6R-lBU
Next time you'll know how to use your playing cards and free time!

         Tim Gadaski 
freelance newsletter editor


flaming heart