Archive for September, 2011

  • See Us at the New Albany Classic and Save

    Sep 25, 11 • Coach Tim • UncategorizedNo CommentsRead More »

    We are at the New Albany Classic all day Sunday, September 25. Bring one of our special cards from the Classic and save on an introduction to fencing class regular price $75 with this offer only $30 thats four classic to learn the art of fencing for $30. Valid only with the card you get at the Classic.and save Tweet

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  • Tonight’s the Night

    Sep 16, 11 • Coach Tim • UncategorizedNo CommentsRead More »

    Royal Arts is hosting a lock-in Friday night, September 16, 2011. Starts at 7 pm. Bring family and friends. Lock-ins are great fun. Fencing all night. Eat. Fencing related movies broadcast huge. What could be better than fencing all night? Leave the kids with us and and enjoy a night off. WHEN: Friday, September 16, 2011 TIME: drop-off any time after 6:30pm, official start time 7pm. PICK-UP: early pickup 12:00 AM. Saturday pickup 9am (or just stay for practice Saturday). WHAT TO BRING: a snack or drink, sleeping items just in case you sleep. COST: $30 full night, $20 early pickup Please forward this to your family and friends. New guests will be required to sign a liability waiver. Past participants and Academy members are not required to fill one out. This event is great for kids whether they are fencers or not. Movies watched are considered generally acceptable to most age groups. If you have specific movies your child is not allowed to watch, please discuss it with us when you arrive. Tweet

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  • Random Reno Reflections

    Sep 2, 11 • Mark Ditullio • Articles, TournamentsNo CommentsRead More »

    So, it’s Independence Day at 7:10 am and I’m sitting in the airport with my wife and two sons, ready to go to Summer Nationals.  I am sure I packed everything (you may recall my previous article concerning packing for Reno).  We’re carrying most of the fencing equipment with us on the airplane (except my son’s lame’ and, I thought, both of their knickers – more on that later).  I purchased a new hybrid golf bag to carry their weapons and had no problems checking it with the other four pieces of luggage containing all our clothes.  I booked a Southwest flight that stops in Las Vegas and continues on to Reno – no airplane changes. I calculated every angle to not lose our luggage and packed every conceivable item required for the tournament.  The kids got up in time (even though it was 5:00 in the morning!) and the airplane is at the gate ready for us to board within the next 10 minutes.  T-minus 40 minutes and everything is going smoothly.  7:11 am, Columbus airport, my wife asks, “Did you remember to pack their passports to verify their ages?”  Houston, we have a problem! I am obsessed about having proof of my kids’ ages for competitions.  My wife is not, but at some point, I helpfully read the rule to her out of the USFA Athletes’ Handbook.  I’m

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  • Nervous at Nationals

    Sep 2, 11 • Frank Ditullio • Articles, TournamentsNo CommentsRead More »

    My Dad told me I had to practice for Summer Nationals – A LOT. He was not kidding.  To begin with, he decided to send me to Ohio State camp all day.   Then, when the camp finished, my dad would drive me over to Royal Arts where I would have a private lesson with Coach Tim. I did this for about three weeks – twenty-four seven. By the time I got to Reno, I couldn’t have been more physically prepared. Or so I thought. The first time I walked into the venue, I was amazed about how many fencers there were which, in my opinion, was extremely intimidating. I watched some fencing including the pool bouts of Jewelia Smith, a Royal Arts saberist. After cheering her on during all her pools, it was time for me to leave. I had to go to sleep early since I was competing in the morning as was my brother. I thought about the venue. I thought about the fencers. I thought about my fencing. I started to worry about my ability to win and, being as stubborn as I am, did not tell anyone. The next day, I woke up and got ready to fence. Truth be told, I was scared, but not just for myself, for everyone. If I lost, I felt like I would have let everyone down. Going into

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  • Who Was Vladimir Smirnov and How Did He Make My Child Safer?

    Sep 2, 11 • Mark Ditullio • ArticlesComments OffRead More »

    Based on the title to this article, you may think that Vladimir Smirnov is the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, head of the President’s Council on Fitness, or Surgeon General of the United States. No.  So who was Vladimir Smirnov and what does he have to do with the safety of my child when he fences? Vladimir Simonov was a Russian fencer who competed at the 1982 World Championships in Rome.  Tragically, the foil blade of West Germany’s Matthias Behr broke and penetrated the mask of Smirnov resulting in a fatal head puncture wound.  Smirnov was kept on life support until the final touch of the final bout of the championships. The shock waves this one sport’s related death sent through the fencing community resulted in “maraging steel blades (instead of the weaker carbon steel ones of the day), kevlar (or other ballistic nylon) in the uniforms, and masks two to three times stronger than the one he wore, and other safety rules.” See Vladimir Viktorovich Smirnov,  The reaction to this single death by the fencing community, through the changes of its safety standards, shows why modern sport fencing has the right to call itself one of the safest sports in the world. As a parent, you may think that I’m a little crazy to claim that a sport like fencing can call itself safe just

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  • Why Can’t Johnny Pick a Fencing Weapon? Part Two: The Yin and Yang of Weapons

    Sep 2, 11 • Mark Ditullio • ArticlesNo CommentsRead More »

    If you missed Part One, read it here. In part one of this topic I explained the rules for the three different type of weapons.  This gives a background in helping your child decide on a weapon that will hopefully, not only allow him to enjoy fencing, but also stick with the same weapon.  Saving you money and not causing the parental dilemma of “weapon, weapon, do I really have to buy him a different weapon?” After knowing the different weapons and their uses, you can understand how two key elements can determine whether your child will enjoy fencing and be successful with his chosen weapon. The easiest element in choosing a weapon is determining your child’s physical characteristics.  Although some fencing books, and perhaps fencers, will tell you that physical body types are not significant in determining the success at any particular weapon, I have observed that certain body types have more success in one weapon over another.  This seems to be especially true with inexperienced or young fencers who have not yet developed many fencing skills.  Using the three basic body type categorizations of ectomorph (tall and thin), mesomorph (average and athletic), and endomorph (short and stout) you can determine your child’s closest body type. In choosing a weapon for a child, I would choose the epee for the tall child (ectomorph), the foil for the short/athletic child

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  • Shhhhhh….Don’t Tell the Fencing Coach, But My Kids Like Other Sports, Too!

    Sep 2, 11 • Mark Ditullio • ArticlesNo CommentsRead More »

    You don’t have to be a fencing parent for very long before hearing the story about the kid that tried every other sport but would never do it for very long before losing interest– until he tried fencing. The parent says, presumably with a tear of joy flowing from his eye, “This is the only sport he felt like he was any good at.  Now it’s the only sport he does.”  Fencing coaches love this story, especially when the parent confesses that he should have known his kid would like fencing because he always loved playing with toy swords or light sabres and pretending to be a pirate or a Jedi Knight. Of course, what kid doesn’t want to be a Captain Jack Sparrow or Luke Skywalker? As an aside, if you haven’t heard the “my kid only does fencing” story, check out the first few chapters of The Devil’s Sword by Douglas E. Richards. I always felt like there is something wrong with my two sons because they actually like doing other sports besides fencing. Sometimes my kids actually, big gasp, like another sport more than fencing! I try not to announce this to the fencing coach especially when there is a conflict with a fencing tournament competition that weekend.   I think there might be other parents out there with kids like mine and they may eventually silently

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