Fencing Club

Newsletter #2.

Spring Term 2017 - Issue Two

Welcome to Sarum Swords' second newsletter. It has been a busy first half of the term, with our more experienced children fencing to qualify for the British Youth Championships via their Regional Qualifiers. Behind the scenes, we have been working on sew on club patches so that our fencers can look the part at their next competition. We have also welcomed some really promising new fencers to the club.

In this newsletter, John explains how you can improve your 'en garde' position and shares some ideas for how you can take your footwork onto the next level and we report on some of the brilliant competition results we have had recently.
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Southern Region Silver Medallist

On Sunday the 29th of January, we sent nine boys to the Southern Region British Youth Championships qualifier, which this year was held at Wellington College. In the under 12’s Kunle Taiwo won all his group stage matches and emerged as the top seeded fencer for the elimination stages. He had a bye through the first round, before beating Matthew Berrecloth from Salle Eton 10 – 2, club mate Laurie Sturgis 10 -3 in the quarter final and Stefan Hedley- Cheney from Espada fencing club 10 – 4 in the semi final. Kunle was defeated in the final by ZFW’s Ben Turner, but a regional silver medal is a fantastic result which qualifies him for the British Youth Championships and was well deserved. Laurie Sturgis who has another year in this age category finished 7th and produced some absolutely brilliant fencing.

Congratulations also to our newest club member Joseph Westlake finished in 10th place in the under 14’s  which also qualified him for the BYC's. Well done to all our fencers who represented us this year. We’re really proud of you all!


Under 12 Boys

2nd - Kunle Taiwo

7th - Laurie Sturgis

12th - Josh Key

14th - Max Alvis

17th - Zak Read

18th - Perran Akib


Under 14 Boys

10th -Joseph Westlake

27th - Oliver Key

29th - Seth Ryan


Laurie Sturgis - Southern Region Quarter Finalist

Club patches now available


These sew on Sarum Swords patches are available for free for all club members with their own fencing jacket. They go on the fencer’s non-sword arm. Ask John for one at the club.

Welcome to our newest club member

I would like to extend a warm welcome our newest club member, Joseph Westlake. Joseph is the Grandson of renowned fencing coach and former Chairman of the Wiltshire fencing union, Geoffrey Russell. Joseph already helps John with coaching the novices at Bishop's Wordsworth school and his excellent bladework skills are sure to be an asset to the club.


Click here for the Sarum Swords Calendar


( The calendar includes all training sessions and upcoming competitions )

Leon Paul Junior Series Medallists

Well done to Truman and Davis Dore, who continue to put our fencing club on the map. This time, by both winning medals at the Cornwall Leon Paul Junior series. Truman won the Silver medal in the under 9 foil event and Davis secured the Bronze medal in the under 11s. Congratulations to this talented and hard working duo!


-Truman (left) and Davis Dore (right) with their LPJS medals

Coach John's words of Wisdom

An experienced fencing coach may helpfully tell you that in order to get your feet the right distance apart, you could try starting with your feet placed right together in an “L” shape and then move your front foot forward one and a half times the length of your foot. Alternatively, you could stand normally with you feet shoulder width apart and turn your front foot 90 degrees to get your feet at right angles. I believe that this is the very minimum your feet should be apart.

A good fencer will remember that if your feet are too close together, you have no balance. If your knees are too straight it is quite impossible to take small steps. Small steps enable you to control the distance between you and your opponent. Remember, whoever controls that distance, controls the fight.

Very often fencers start in the right position. However, after scoring a hit and returning to their ‘en garde’ line, they forget to bend their knees. As a result, their footwork suffers. A small thing like reminding yourself to bend your knees each time you return to your ‘en garde’ line can have a massive impact on your fencing. Sitting low in the’ en garde’ position, bending your knees and taking little catlike steps is a winning formula for fencing. Enjoy scoring many hits from this stance!

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Sarum Swords · 19 Water Lane · Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 7TE · United Kingdom

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