Fencing Club

News letter #6.

Autumn Term 2017 - Issue Six

We hope everyone had a good Summer! In this news letter we will be letting you know what has been happening at the start of the Autumn term.

Cardiff Leon Paul Junior Series Medallist

Matthew Stahl (far right) LPJS Silver Medallist

On the 23rd and 24th of September, we had three fencers representing Sarum Swords at the Cardiff Leon Paul Junior Series competition. In the under 11 boys' foil, Truman Dore was fencing up an age group for experience. He fenced brilliantly, winning two poule matches against older boys before winning his first elimination match 10-6 over Roselyon’s Jonathan French. Truman lost his last 16 match to Sheffield Buccaneers’ Ethan Dakin. In the same event, Davis Dore won four out of his five group stage matches. Davis then put out Elliot Baxter 10-1 and Ryan Zhang from Russell Swords 7-2 to reach the quarter final. In the last eight, Davis had an extremely close match against the eventual tournament winner, losing 7-6 against ZFW’s Ben Turner.

Davis also chose to also fence in an older age group for experience and took part in the under 13 boys foil. He won two matches in both rounds of poules as well as winning his first elimination match. I am extremely proud of both boys for stretching themselves and both will have learned lots from taking on such tough opposition.

In the under 9 boys foil event, Truman fenced brilliantly in the group stages, winning four matches and earning a bye through the first round of elimination. He could have hoped for better luck than to meet club mate Matthew Stahl in the next round. Matthew was in blistering form in the elimination, defeating Edward Smith from Team Melia 10-1 and Truman 10-4 to make the quarter final. Matthew continued his fantastic run, beating excellent fencers, Luca Florea 10-8 and Alexander James 10-8 to make the final. In the final, Matthew was defeated by Arlo Bason, but finishing 2nd out of 22 competitors and winning a Leon Paul Junior Series silver medal is a brilliant break through result for a talented and hard-working young foilist. Well done to all our fencers!

Under 9 results - Click here
Under 11 results - Click here

Hampshire Under 14 Team Championships

On the 17th September, Sarum Swords fencing club was able to send eighteen fencers in six teams, to Sparsholt College, for the Hampshire Under 14 team championships. We were extremely pleased by the progress that our fencers have made, which is down to hard work they have all put into their training. We were also very impressed with the camaraderie between teammates, the sportsmanship the children all showed, as well as how brilliantly supportive the parents were. Pictured below are our medallists on the day. Well done to everyone who took part!

Silver Medallists - (from left) Joseph Westlake, Adekunle Taiwo and Davis Dore
= 3rd Place - (from left) Alec Dakin, Oliver Key and Matthew Stahl
= 3rd Place - (from left) Ben Waller, Seth Ryan and Laurie Sturgis

British Fencing Talent Coach

Congratulations to head coach John, who has been appointed as a ‘British Fencing Talent Coach’. John will now help support the British Fencing Talent Pathway. The job includes running training camps in the Talent Development Centres and the Award in Sporting Excellence programme (previously AASE). The main purpose of the post is to deliver high standard coaching to athletes in conjunction with their personal coaches.

Summer Training Camp

A huge thank you to Great Britain Olympic coach Ziemek Wojciechowski for inviting our head coach John to give lessons at the ZFW Summer Training Camp which was held at the Leon Paul Centre in London. The other coaching staff also included British three time Olympian Richard Kruse (4th in the Rio Olympics) and Alexander Choupenitch (currently ranked 20th in the World) from the Czech Republic. The camp followed on from a fantastic five day international coaching seminar lead by Maestro Ziemek that John attended.
- Coaching staff, top row from left – Richard Kruse, Ziemek Wojciechowski , Alexander Choupenitch, Michal Roček and Sarum Swords coach John Routledge


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


I want all my fencers to be aware that there are two levels of fencing. The lower level of fencing is ‘reactive’. When fencing at this level, my opponent does something and simply I try my best to react to it. For example, my opponent suddenly lunges and I try my best to parry it. Fencing in this way is fine, if tactically unsophisticated, but my fencers must recognize that there is a higher level of fencing which is called ‘second intention’.

‘Second intention’ is employed by performing a false offensive or defensive movement to lure your opponent into a predicted reaction. To put it another way, you provoke your opponent in such a way, that you are ready for their answer and can seize upon it to score a hit against them. The Italian foilist Valerio Aspromonte, was a master of this. He would slowly search for the other fencer’s blade (in a way that was easy to deceive), whilst exposing the target of his chest to his opponent. His adversary, seeing this ‘golden opportunity’ would be unable to resist the temptation to avoid his blade and go for the attack. The Italian would follow his slow first false parry with a second lightning parry, before flicking the riposte onto his opponent’s back. They fell into his trap, by foolishly believing that his first block was his real defence.

This is like a chess Grand Master, who is always thinking several moves ahead of his opponent. It’s perhaps a cliché, but fencing is physical chess. Elevate your fencing to a higher level and enjoy scoring many hits with second intention actions.

Past Newsletters:

Issue One: Click here

Issue Two: Click here

Issue Three: Click here

Issue Four: Click here

Issue Five: Click here

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

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