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Riverside ends programming in West Springfield

posted Mar 15, 2020, 6:50 PM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Mar 15, 2020, 6:50 PM ]

Riverside Fencing Club will no longer offer classes through the West Springfield Park and Recreation department.

While we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Westside for many years, the time has come for us to part ways. We leave on good terms with them, and leave open the possibility of future collaboration. We have thoroughly enjoyed being there, and cherish the friendships we made in our time there.

Coronavirus Updates

posted Mar 13, 2020, 9:17 AM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Mar 13, 2020, 9:17 AM ]

As the state of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a fast-changing one, rather than making separate individual announcements, a document that will be updated will be shown on the Riverside Fencing Club home page. Please check the club's web page for updates.

General information from Riverside that may be outside the scope of that document will continue to be posted online as announcements here and on our Facebook page, and will be sent out via email to our members and/or general email list.

Riverside Fencing Club and the Coronavirus

posted Mar 4, 2020, 8:38 AM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Mar 9, 2020, 2:15 PM ]

UPDATED March 9, 2020

The current risk level associated with the coronavirus in Massachusetts remains low. However, here is what we will do at Riverside as precautionary measures. These measures will also be helpful in preventing the spread of the flu virus. To make these steps effective, we will need your cooperation. It’s for the good of us all, and allows us to keep having fun.

  • Disinfecting wipes, soap, and hand sanitizer will be available for use.

  • Club gear will be disinfected regularly, and the club will be cleaned regularly.

How you can help:

  • Stay home if you are sick. Parents, you too!

  • Wash your hands upon arrival at the club.

  • Fencers, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately prior to putting a glove on.

  • Instead of the traditional handshake, please touch elbows or bell guards instead. 

  • Bring your own filled water bottle, if possible.

  • If using the club water dispenser or coffee machine:

    • Wipe surfaces you touch with a disinfecting wipe

    • Do NOT refill your personal water bottles or mugs; please use a fresh disposable cup (and please dispose of it after use)

USA Fencing statements on the coronavirus: https://www.usafencing.org/coronavirus

Massachusetts information on coronavirus: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Registration open for Mar-Apr 2020 session classes

posted Feb 3, 2020, 9:58 AM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Feb 3, 2020, 10:00 AM ]

Registration is now open for the Mar-Apr 2020 session of classes.

FMI & registration links here: 

Mar-Apr 2020 session classes will start the week of March 2, 2020, and will conclude May 2, 2020.

Early closing Wed Jan 15, 2020

posted Jan 13, 2020, 8:33 PM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Jan 13, 2020, 8:33 PM ]

Riverside Fencing Club will close early on Wednesday Jan 15, 2020.  We will close at 6:00pm.

Private lessons and open fencing from 4:30pm to 6:00pm will take place as normal.

Senior epee class and open fencing after class are canceled for the evening.

Tue Dec 17, 2019 Planning to be open

posted Dec 16, 2019, 6:41 AM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Dec 16, 2019, 6:41 AM ]

Winter weather expected Tue Dec 17, 2019, but looks not too bad. We are currently (as of Mon Dec 16, 2019) expecting the club to be open as scheduled on Tue Dec 17, 2019, including holding our annual party as scheduled.

Jan-Feb 2020 Intro to Fencing Registration Open

posted Dec 11, 2019, 11:44 AM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Dec 11, 2019, 11:46 AM ]

Registration for the Jan-Feb 2020 session introduction to fencing courses is now open.

This course will be offered in both Hadley and Longmeadow.

The Hadley class will run on Saturdays from 9:30am to 11:00am starting January 4, 2020.
The Longmeadow class will run on Fridays from 6pm to 7:30pm starting January 17, 2020.
Please see here for more information.

Riverside Open Tue Dec 3, 2019

posted Dec 3, 2019, 6:46 AM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Dec 3, 2019, 6:46 AM ]

We will be open as normal today, Tuesday Dec 3, 2019. All classes, open fencing, and lessons will take place as normally scheduled.

As always, use your own best judgement as to whether you can travel between your home and the club safely. Be safe, but we hope to see you later today!

Registration for Nov-Dec 2019 Classes Open

posted Oct 14, 2019, 3:21 PM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Oct 14, 2019, 3:21 PM ]

Registration for the Nov-Dec 2019 session of classes is now open.

Please register online by Thursday Oct 31, 2019 at http://www.riversidefencingclub.com/registration.

2019 Veteran World Championships Coach's Report

posted Oct 13, 2019, 1:00 PM by Taro Yamashita   [ updated Oct 13, 2019, 1:09 PM ]

Julian Tyson and Lisa Wolf competed in the 2019 Veteran World Championships last week in Cairo, Egypt, both representing Team USA and Riverside Fencing Club.

Julian competed in the Vet70 men’s foil and Vet70 men’s epee events, while Lisa competed in the Vet50 women’s epee event.

First up on Tuesday was Vet70 men’s foil, where Julian finished 12th, having gone 4-1 in the pool with a +11 indicator. This seeded him #9 out of the pools into the elimination tableau. 

Julian actually made pretty quick work of most of his opponents in the foil pool, with the exception of Graham PAUL (GBR), who was British national champion many times over in the years when Julian was still fencing in Britain, decades ago. They have been competitors and friends for decades. PAUL’s style on the strip starkly contrasts with Julian’s classical clean movements, but is effective in flummoxing most (PAUL went undefeated in the pool and emerged seeded #2 into the elimination tableau).

Julian had a bye into the round of 32, where he faced Abbas EZZAT (EGY). In a spirited bout that had some back-and-forth early on, Julian was able to prevail once he got a handle on the timing and distance needed. He prevailed 9-6 to face Heik HAMBARZUMIAN (USA) in the round of 16.

In the round of 16, the TYSON v HAMBARZUMIAN the matchup was a familiar one from competitions at NAC events in the USA. It was an unfortunate bit of luck that had them seeded to face each other this early (both were 4-1 in the pools, and HAMBARZUMIAN was seeded #8 out of the pools). Unfortunately, this is a particularly poor match up for Julian, and Julian was defeated, 4-10.

On Wednesday was the Vet50 women’s epee, Lisa’s debut in international competition. Lisa would finish 44th, going 1-5 in the pool with a -7 indicator, good enough for a #44 seed into the DE.

It is typical to be very nervous at first, then to be a bit tenfirst bout she was a bit nervous, in her second bout, she was more cautious than normal, and then was finding her groove by the third bout. Lisa had three defeats by only one touch.

In her round of 64 elimination bout, Lisa was pitted against Pia BJORK (SWE), who, according to one of the other American coaches, was a member of the Swedish national team some 20 years ago, and may have been an Olympian. BJORK had exquisite timing, acceleration, and hand speed rarely seen at any level in women’s epee (blurringly fast). While she went down fighting hard, Lisa was overmatched in this bout, 1-10. BJORK went on to claim a bronze medal.

On Thursday was the Vet70 men’s epee, Julian’s second event for the tournament. Julian would finish #10, going 5-0 in the pool with a +14 indicator, and earning the #2 seed into the elimination tableau.

In the pools, Julian was steady and strong, besting all of his opponents with clean and smart actions, mixed with a few daring actions to tip the scales in his favor.

Julian had a bye into the round of 32, where he faced Marco BERTOLINI (ITA). This was a very tight bout, with Julian coming out ahead 6-5. Both fencers made some very good adjustments against each other, back and forth. Notably, BERTOLINI made terrific use of a late, deep parry four that seemed to move Julian bodily sideways, and then was still able to make the riposte, even at very close distance.

In the round of 16, Julian faced Jean Francois ROBERT (FRA). Julian had a lead of 3 touches at one point in the bout, but ROBERT was able to chip away at the deficit, and managed to tie the score back to 9-9, forcing the bout into overtime. Notable to me was that ROBERT demonstrated phenomenal blade skills (control, speed, strength, precision) whether holding his French grip weapon traditionally or at length (“posting”). It was a study in classic French fencing technique, in a way. In the overtime, ROBERT scored on a daring remise of attack, eliminating Julian. (ROBERT went on to earn bronze.)

The overall organization of the tournament was reasonably good, especially given that the venue had been changed only a couple months prior to the event at the behest of the Egyptian government. The stadium we were in was older, and suffered from some neglect and disrepair, but they were adequate to fence in. Any tournament troubles were associated with transit between the host hotel and the venue. Traffic in Cairo matches the legends, and the 5km or so distance could take as long as an hour to cover, depending on traffic conditions. However, we managed to get where we needed to be in time.

It is certainly my hope that Riverside will have the opportunity to fence for Team USA again in the future. I am very proud to have been a part of this incredible experience. Thank you to Julian and Lisa for having me along, and for all of Riverside for helping us all get here. We are aware that this is a team effort.

-Taro Yamashita

Head Coach, Riverside Fencing Club

October 13, 2019

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