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Yet Another Makes It Abroad!

Add Allan Ding to the list of Marx fencers that get a chance to leave the nest- this time to Pisa, home of the world famous leaning tower. In this article we speak to Allan, whose cadet ranking got a boost from a Top 8 finish at an October RJCC Junior event, on his thoughts and hopes for this European Cadet Circuit in Pisa. 

Q: We heard that your family is stoked to have you represent the US at an international competition for the first time, and are excited to attend this meet with you. Do you regard such family support as pressure, or strength? How do you manage this?
Although I know that my parents have no intention to inflict pressure on me, their support definitely adds a bit of pressure because they devote so much time, resources, and effort into my fencing. To manage this during the competition, I try to ignore these outside influences and just focus on the bout, my next action, and what my coaches are instructing me to do. My parents don’t cross my mind very much unless I ask them to give me some advice. On good days, I am able to manage this very well, but on bad days, I can get distracted and influenced by outside factors. However, when I don’t perform as well, they understand that it’s a process and don’t hold it over me, which helps immensely because it helps me focus on my next competition rather than dwell on past loses. 
Q: What have been your goals in training leading up to this competition?
To get my endurance up so that I would be able to perform everything that I wanted to do and not be hindered by tiredness. Knowing that I'm likely shorter than the other competitors, I also wanted to work on my agility and speed in order to close the distance on taller opponents quickly. 

Q: What do you think of your performance?
It was different from the first round of pools to the second round of DEs. In pools, I did not know what to expect because I have never fenced fencers from Italy, Croatia, Spain, and Chile, though I did hear that the level would be similar to that of a NAC. On hindsight I agree with that, as I finished with a 5-1 victory and a couple of close 5-4 matches, which are typical for me in a NAC event. I did not perform as I had hoped, or as others expected me to during the DE round by playing it too safe and reacting to my opponent, rather than setting a plan up for myself. Although it was very disappointing, I know that I had gained more knowledge about how to go about handling a similar situation in the future. 

Q: What was the most memorable part of the competition?
The most memorable part was stepping into the venue for the first time when there were very few people present. As more fencers started to show up, and it got interesting seeing so many people from different countries as well as hearing the languages that they spoke. When the time came for me to warm up, it was a very different experience doing so with some of the best fencers in the US. 

Q: Is this your first time in Pisa? What were some sightseeing activities that you and your family did?
No, it isn't not my first time in Pisa but we went to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa again of course. Unlike last time, my parents, Coach Bissdorf, and I climbed to the top of the tower, which was a much greater experience than seeing it from below. It was an amazing sight of the Cathedral Square and the red roof architecture of the city. We also walked alongside the Arno River, not far from the tower. The river was calm and spanned a very large area from Pisa to Florence. We visited a few shops near the river and met some of the shop owners, who were very friendly, welcoming, and helpful. In one instance, a shop owner tried to help us with directions and called the restaurants in the area to let us know which restaurants were open so that we wouldn’t be walking around aimlessly. It turns out that at this time of the year, no restaurants opened before 7:30pm for dinner. To pass the time, my parents and coach thought it was a good idea to have dessert before dinner…I, on the other hand, resisted the temptation because of competition the next day.

Allan is currently ranked 32nd on the US National Cadet Men's foil standings.

Do you know your Fencing Rules?

So you’ve fenced for quite some time now and you think you know the fencing rules like the back of your hand. 
Trust us, you probably don't.

But you’re not alone. In fact, many experienced fencers have never read the technical rulebook from cover to cover either. But knowing the rules is an important aspect of the game because you could incorporate it into your strategy and use it to your advantage, or when the situation calls for it, you need to know if your case with the referee is valid or not.
Now let’s see if you could answer the below situations correctly.
Situation: In a direct elimination bout, a minute has passed during the second period with both fencers not scoring and the score tied at 10-10.
Q1: What should the referee call?
Q2: Another minute has passed during the third period with the score tied at 11-11. The referee calls for non-combativity, and proceeds to a last minute of fencing. Fencer A scores a single light against Fencer B, putting the score at 12-11. Has Fencer A won?
Q3: What if the last minute ends with the score still tied at 11-11?

Situation (see above): The heel of the front foot has crossed the back line. Ball of foot is not touching the stip.
Q4: Has the fencer crossed the line, i.e. point to opponent?
Situation (see above): Fencer fencing by the lateral side of the strip (near the back line) accidentally lifts the right foot off the strip without touching the ground.
Q5: With right foot in the air, is the fencer still considered to be on the strip?
Q6: How about when the fencer places the foot on the ground outside the strip- what should the referee call, what happens next, is there point awarded?
Situation (see above): Fencer B does a lunge after both feet leaving the strip and hits a valid target on Fencer A. Fencer A, after seeing Fencer B leave the strip, steps to the side with one foot out of strip, sticks out an arm and also hits a valid target on Fencer B. Both colored lights on the machine are on. The referee calls “Halt” after all the actions are complete.
Q7: Is there a point awarded in epee?
Q8: Is there a point awarded in foil?
Q9: In foil, what if Fencer B had done a parry while on the strip, then ripostes after both feet are outside the strip – is the point awarded for Fencer B's parry riposte, or Fencer A's counter attack?
Q1: Referee should call “Halt”, and proceed to the third period of the bout without the minute rest.
Q2: No. The last minute given after non-combativity in a DE third period must be fenced in its entirety (i.e. until the time runs out).
Q3: There will not be another minute given. There will be a drawing of lots to decide the winner should the scores be equal at the end of the minute.
Q4: No.
Q5: Yes.
Q6: Once the foot is on the ground, the fencer is considered to have left the strip. The referee should call “Halt”, and the fencer must retreat one meter from the point where he/she left the strip. If the exercise of this penalty places the fencer with both feet beyond the rear limit (back line) of the strip, the opponent will be awarded a point.
Q7: If one of the fencers leaves the strip with both feet, only a touch made by the fencer who remains on the strip with at least one foot can be counted valid, even in the case of a double touch. In epee, no point for Fencer B, point for Fencer A.
Q8: In foil, even though it’s a counter attack, Fencer A gets the point.
Q9: If a fencer goes off the strip with both feet, the referee must annul everything that has occurred after the boundary has been crossed, except a touch received by the fencer who has crossed the boundary even after he/she has crossed it, provided that this touch results from a simple and immediate action. Therefore, Fencer B’s riposte does not count. Since Fencer A had countered with a simple and immediate action, point goes to Fencer A.

Who's That Guest Coach?

To be revealed on 15 February.

Club News

Feb 20 - 25: Closed.

Medal Count

Gold: 12
Silver: 13
Bronze: 19

Miles Travelled

(49 times around the earth)
January Results
Jan NAC- Columbus
Junior Men's Foil- Julian Cheng (3rd), Duncan Rheingans-Yoo (25th), Allan Ding (54th), Brian Li (68th
)Junior Men's Foil- Julian Cheng (3rd), Duncan Rheingans-Yoo (25th), Allan Ding (54th), Brian Li (68th)
Junior Women's Epee- Ariel Cox (32nd), Meghan O'Reilly (51st), Kaija Gisolfi-McCready (97th), Aeryn O'Reilly (101st), Rory Cunningham (131)
Div 1 Men's Epee- Liam Carpenter (110th), Adam Maczik (249th)
Div 1 Women's Foil- Emily Winstead (135th)
Div 1 Women's Epee- Kaija Gisolfi-McCready (21st), Cassandra Bates (44th), Hannah Provenze (71st), Meghan O'Reilly (87th), Ariel Cox (156th)
Div 1 Men's Foil- Duncan Rheingans-Yoo (5th), Gregory Mitberg (9th), Julian Cheng (42nd), John Crumpler (114th), Brian Li (123rd), Allan Ding (139th)

BFC Youth Tournament Series (IV)
Y10 Mixed Epee - Benjamin Witkov (2nd)
Y10 Mixed Foil -  Zihang Sha (14h)
Y12 Mixed Epee - Seva Plotnichenko (7th), Isabella Parte (10th), Benjamin Witkov (12th)
Y12 Mixed Foil - Arianna Roberts (5th), Emma Xiang (8th), Isabella Musto (14th), Lisa Xu (16th), Tyler Robb (21st), Sophie Han (23rd), Keira Lonadier (24th), Sophie Parte (26th), Andria Bao (27th), Ben Green (31st)
E & Under Y14 Mixed Epee - Helen Cobert (1st), Gavin Cox (2nd), Christopher Petter (5th), Coby Lai (9th), Isabella Parte (16th), Ian Cordon (17th), Joachim Laurent (18th)
E & Under Y14 Mixed Epee- Benjamin Lu (1st), Eric Lim (3rd), Arianna Roberts (14th), Isabella Musto (15th)
Five Weapon C Meet
C & Under Senior Mixed Epee- Joshua Lim (5th), Arthur Andreev (6th), Barry Litt (9th)
C & Under Senior Mixed Foil - Barry Litt (6th)

European Cadet Circuit (Pisa, Italy)

Cadet Men's Foil- Julian Cheng (6th), Allan Ding (66th)

Noreaster Open
Senior Mixed Epee- Jeffrey Sumler (1st), Barry Litt (3rd)
Senior Mixed Foil- Will Chiang (1st), Barry Litt (3rd)

Premier Club RYC Region 3 and Cadet
Y14 Women’s Foil- (7th) Katelyn McShine
Y14 Men’s Foil- (7th) Anuj Sirsikar, (28th) Jonathan Ding, (39th) Eric Sun, (47th) Benjamin Lu
Y14 Women’s Epee- (2nd) Helen Cobert
Y14 Men’s Epee- (11th) Arthur Andreev
Cadet Women’s Foil - (7th) Katelyn McShine
Cadet Women’s Epee - (1st) Helen Cobert
Cadet Men’s Foil- (2nd) Will Chiang, (8th) Jonathan Ding, (13th) Oliver Hu, (29th) Anuj Sirsika, (37th) Eric Sun, (38th) Benjamin Lu
Cadet Men’s Epee- (13th) Arthur Andreev

Junior World Cup (Aix-en-Provence, France)
Julian Cheng (21st)

Tom Gorman Beanpot Open
Senior Men’s Epee- (1st) Adam Maczik, (7th) Carpenter Liam, (10th) Jeffery Sumler, (14th) Cameron Santos, (27th) Tal Kronrod, (30th) Anthony Ma, (42nd) Aidan Parte, (44th) Joshua Lim
Senior Mixed Foil- (1st) Allan Ding, (23rd) Albert Wu, (25th) Haiming Wu
Senior Women’s Epee- (2nd) Rebecca Pfeiffer

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Marx Fencing Academy · 119 Commonwealth Avenue · Concord, MA 01742 · USA

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