Fencing Club

News letter #7.

Autumn Term 2017 - Issue Seven

We are now well into the swing of things in the Autumn term. In this issue, we report on the great results we have had in the recent Southern Region team championships and the Wycliffe Junior Open. Coach John also shares some tips to help you with everything from footwork, to improving attacks and even how to hold the grip of your foil. We hope you all have a great half term and we will see you all in a few weeks.

Wycliffe Junior Open Medallist

Jamie Beaumont (near right) In action at the Wycliffe Junior Open

Congratulations to Jamie Beaumont for winning a silver medal at the Wycliffe Junior Open on the 15th October. Jamie started brilliantly, only conceding a single point in his poule. These strong results placed him as top seeded fencer moving into direct elimination stages. Jamie then produced a very convincing string of wins to fight his way through to the final. In the final, Jamie was defeated 10-6, to finish in 2nd place out of 24 entries.

Well done also to Ella-Marie Rudman-Bromley who finished 5th out of 12 competitors in the girl’s event. Ella fenced fantastically well in the poules. Despite having the distraction of losing a tooth mid-match (non-fencing related), she managed to win all her poule bouts. We make them tough at Sarum Swords! Ella was unable to win her quarter final match, but should be really pleased with the excellent progress she has made with her fencing and her performance throughout the day. Great fencing and well done to both fencers!

Ella-Marie Rudman-Bromley (Great timing for a tooth to come out!)

Southern Region Team Champions

On Sunday the 8th October, Sarum Swords sent a team to compete in each of the three age categories at the Southern Region Team Championships in Swindon. In the under 10 age group, our team of Daniel Coombes, Matthew Stahl and Truman Dore won all their groups stage matches and progressed smoothly through to the semi-final. At this stage, they had an extremely close battle. As the clock was just about to run out, Matthew scored the final decisive hit with one second left on the clock to secure the team’s place in the final. The final proved equally close and went to a sudden death priority minute hit. This time we were unable to get the final point, but finished a brilliant second place out of seven teams and were only one point away from total victory.

Silver medallists (from left) Matthew Stahl, Daniel Coombes and Truman Dore

In the under 18s, we were lucky to have Jemima Milford representing us, after coming back from a break from fencing. I was really pleased with the excellent level of fencing Jemima produced, giving us a commanding lead against Dilettante fencing club. A tricky left-handed fencer gave us a late scare, but Jonathan Baker and Gabriel Cox saw the match through and take us into the final. The team were defeated in the final but should be really pleased with their fencing and well-earned silver medals.

Silver medallists (from left) Gabriel Cox, Jemima Milford and J.J Baker

In the under 14 age group, our team of Laurie Sturgis, Kunle Taiwo and Davis Dore were undefeated all day. After some brilliant fencing in the group stages, they defeated Espada in the semi-finals to meet Swindon fencing club in the final. In the final, Swindon initially pulled into a commanding lead. Our boys found another gear, producing some unbelievable fencing to close the gap. In the final match of the day, Davis defeated Southern Region fencing champion Ben Turner on a sudden death priority hit. The boys victory ‘bundle’, also probably won best celebration of the day. Well done to all our amazing fencers. We are so proud of you!

Gold medallists (from left) Laurie Sturgis, Davis Dore and Kunle Taiwo


Our Sarum Swords full zip tracksuit jackets are still available to order. Look like a pro at club training sessions and at competitions. Or just look plain awesome about town. The track tops are £25.

To order a track top - Click Here

Post printed order forms to :

John Routledge,
19 Water Lane,

Email them to:

Or give the printed out form to John at a club session.


Coach John's words of Wisdom


As a coach, I find that using metaphors can capture the essence of a fencing principle in a way that descriptions cannot. The pictures that metaphors paint, are worth a thousand words, because the images stay with us long after descriptions have faded from our memory. Here are some of my favourite animal comparisons that I like use to explain fencing to children.

If you wanted to catch a fly, you should start by moving your hand very slowly towards it and then accelerate through the motion to catch it. The fly will not be able to judge the change in speed and will be caught. This principle can be applied to fencing. The golden rule is, if you move fast, your opponent will react fast. If you move slowly, your opponent will react slowly. If you start slowly and then accelerate, your opponent will be lulled by the slow start and will not be able to judge or react to your change in speed. For example, when doing a step lunge, the first step should be slow and controlled and the final action of the lunge should be lightning quick. Fencers who believe they need to move quickly all the time are making a mistake. It is far more effective to start slowly and finish fast. Or to put it another way…

When tigers hunt, they start slowly, so as not to startle their prey. They continue to sneak closer without their intended victim realising the danger they are in. Only when they get close enough do they pounce at full speed. When pressing forwards, fencers should do likewise, starting with a slow preparation and only upon finding the correct distance, accelerate for the final action of their attack. And about those steps forwards…

Most young fencers are far too heavy on their feet. Encouraging them to take little cat-like steps tends to make them lighter on their feet. And while they are at it…

Swans appear incredibly poised and elegant and seem to glide along effortlessly. However, we know that below the surface of the water, their legs are paddling like mad. It strikes me, that fencers need to be similar. Their torso should be bolt upright, their shoulders completely level and they should try to sit on their back leg as opposed to leaning. When they move forwards and backwards they must avoid bobbing up and down and should appear to glide along the piste. Like a swan, all the hard work is taken by their legs which should be bent and working like crazy.

Finally, most fencers hold the grip of their foil too tightly, which hinders the fine motor control of say doing a small, neat disengage. The fencer should hold the grip as though they are holding a bird. Not so tight as to crush the bird, but not so loose as to let it fly away.

Past Newsletters:

Issue One: Click here

Issue Two: Click here

Issue Three: Click here

Issue Four: Click here

Issue Five: Click here

Issue Six: Click here

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

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