VFA-in-Exile Update #4
March 25, 2020

The VFA "virtual fencing club" on Discord is up to 31 members. I would love to see all of you there! Contact me for the invitation link to join (current club members only please):

So far, here are a few things that we have used the Discord server for:

The Practice-at-Home channel (Discord's name for a section)
-I created and posted two practice-at-home videos (with the help of my cats!)
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU_H50QrOqA
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNVJ48CgU5U

In addition, I shared a few other good home practice videos from other fencing coaches, and will add more as I come across them.

-I posted links to all of my fall and winter lesson plans
Level 1: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11px5C0j4K50ncqWXtyXZ9uwuMlzGQXnO/view?usp=sharing
Level 2: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bPZqOtGpNJnIeU56NzKQ3QRJqVjPdHPw/view?usp=sharing
Level 3: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZmBdnUJgiVlj5SlbCrOjHRcJ9laNjRqR/view?usp=sharing

-The Fitness channel
I have shared some fitness recommendations, and fencers are using this channel to report on their fitness activities in order to help stay motivated.

-The Strategy channel
I invented a "verbal chess" fantasy fencing game, in which you challenge other fencers to virtual "bouts". Henry and Karen quickly took this well above my expectations by injecting some real creativity. You'll just have to join to see (and play)!

-The Video channel
I shared my favorite video of world class foil fencing, and Garrett added his favorite Grand Prix epee bouts.

-The Social channel
For keeping in touch with fencing friends. Last night, 4 of us (me, Karen, Theron and Simon) tried out the video chat feature. Zoe owes us all a picture of her puppy. Isidora is home from France.

I want to reiterate my offer to all fencers who own their own basic set of gear, and are now isolated with nonfencers. One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. I deputize all of you (even those who just completed Level 1) as assistant coaches. If you have someone in your household who is over 8 years old (no upper limit!), I challenge you to teach that person to fence this spring. You will develop your own built-in practice partner, and when we reconvene, we could have a whole slew of new fencers who want to join the VFA!

Here is how I can facilitate this:
-Lesson plans are posted (see above). Use them for ideas, modify them as you see fit.
-I am in the process of cleaning equipment, with some sets now ready to sign out. Please contact with me with your student's size info (height, weight, age, gender, whether right or left handed). I will put together a package set for that person (mask, jacket, glove and foil or epee depending on which weapon you fence). You pick it up from my garage in Addison (we can wave at each other through the window, or shout across the driveway, but you won't need to enter my house and we will observe proper social distancing). It is yours to borrow for the duration, and return to me properly cleaned at the end. There is no charge for this, just make sure to take good care of it. I am offering it to people who have taken the step of purchasing their own equipment, because that shows me that you are commited to continuing fencing and won't ghost on me with the borrowed equipment. So far, only one person has requested loaner equipment. Come on, let's see more driveway fencing this spring! Unfortunately, if you are isolated by yourself, this won't help you (but join Discord for some solo practice recommendations).