A tough one to begin with…

Men’s Fencing 1st League: Imperial 2nds vs UCL 1sts, 24th of October

Imperial Fencing’s 2nd men’s team finally began their new season last Wednesday with an away match against UCL’s 1st team, after the disappointment of a rescheduled match the week before. UCL have previously been in the Premier League but after ending up in the 2nd league last year they have been working their way back up, winning last year’s Conference Cup with the help of some well-known names on the national fencing circuit and rejoining Imperial’s 2nds in the 1st league. We arrived at the venue near Euston Square at 2pm in high spirits but knew that UCL would be a tough nut to crack over the next few hours.

The match started with sabre, with Camille van Hoffelen, Tim Wright and team captain Jamie Fairclough on the piste. After 2 bouts we were trailing our opponents slightly but Camille did a great job in his first bout, getting several hits to catch up and keep us in play. UCL’s sabreurs then found their own steam and over the next 4 bouts they developed a good lead, even though Camille kept parity with his opponent in the final bout by scoring 5-5. UCL finally won sabre 45-29.

The second weapon of the day was foil, a particularly strong weapon for UCL. Our foilists, Steve Moore, Arnold Ng and Joby Hollis had their work cut out. UCL took an early lead with some devastating flick-hits and particularly bad luck for Arnold, who took priority from his opponent several times but missed them on the riposte. Steve and Joby struggled too, catching out the UCL foilists with successful counterattacks and feints but failing to catch up on the rising UCL score. Foil ended with Imperial losing 20-45, now trailing UCL by a total of 41 points with only one weapon to go.

Last up was epee, Imperial’s strongest weapon, but we needed to win this one 45-3 if we wanted to win the match. A tough challenge for epeeists Tommy Hirst, Adam Butler and Tom Powell! Sadly UCL scored their 4th point in the first bout, guaranteeing their victory, and extended their overall lead with a score of 20-13 by the 5th bout. Instead of losing hope, our new recruit Adam took the fight to UCL by driving his opponent to the end of the piste. Several hits later Adam finished his bout and Imperial were back in the running to win epee. Tom and Tommy kept up the assault, reaching the final bout only 5 points behind. Tommy tried his best to take the lead in the last 3 minutes of the match, but UCL managed to hang on to their 5 point advantage with the last points awarded to both sides due to simultaneous hits, eventually finishing epee 45-40 and ending the match.

UCL won all three weapons, with a final score of 135-89, an uncomfortable loss for the Imperial 2nds after never scoring less than 100 per match in last year’s league. With a strong team of old and new fencers on our side, we were very impressed by the quality of UCL’s 1sts and how well they did across all 3 weapons. With us, UCL and Kent gunning for promotion this year the 1st league is going to be very interesting indeed. We look forward to playing them again at home in a few months time, and with any luck we will even the score.

By Joby Hollis

Newsletter October

It’s the end of the beginning, or even better; the beginning of the rest! October has passed surprisingly quickly, and it’s time for a first newsletter. So what has happened? It all started at Freshers’ Fair, where we stood with Jelly Babies and cocktail swords, had a demonstration piste and lots, and lots of sign ups! I was almost a bit worried as the number of names for novice taster sessions went up and up, but at the end of the day it’s great to see that so many people are interested.

Even more exciting were the team trials with both a bunch of old members and lots of fresh faces turning up! The team captains found themselves having plenty of keen members, and I’m crossing my fingers for another successful year ahead. Hopefully we’ll also see several match reports here on the website, and most of the time you can follow the results via twitter (@IC_Fencing).

Routines are now gradually falling in to place, with new coaches, extended training hours and all that comes with it. We’re going to be uploading the lesson list here, uploading pictures and publishing reports of how the teams are doing.

Stay tuned!

Fencing love,

freshers-fair-2012 Imperial Fencers London Team TrophyTeam Trials

Taster Sessions for Novices

We’ve had an amazing number of people signing up for taster sessions this year. It’s great to see that so many are interested in joining the club, but we are reaching a point where these sessions are filling up quickly. Please check the list below for times and email fencing [at] imperial dot ac dot uk if you want to join one.

Friday 12th October 6-7pm FULL
Friday 12th October 7-8pm FULL

Friday 19th October 6-7pm FULL
Friday 19th October 7-8pm FULL

Friday 26th October 6-7pm FULL
Friday 26th October 7-8pm FULL

Friday 2nd November 6-7pm FULL CANCELLED
Friday 2nd November 7-8pm FULL CANCELLED

All sessions take place at Ethos Sports Centre (7 Prince Gardens), on the badminton courts. Bring with you sports cloths (tshirt and long tracksuit trousers, not shorts!), trainers and maybe a water bottle. The beginners course will start after the taster sessions, ie 9th November, and if interest is higher than we can deal with then we’ll look in to running one in Spring term as well.

Charlotte Levin
President IC Fencing

Welcome everyone, to another year!

And so we’ve reached that point again. The Fresher’s have arrived, all clubs are gearing up to attract as many people as possible at Fresher’s Fair and the Fencing Club is not different. Last year was a success: we had more novices than ever before trying it out and also staying, our teams had several successes including BUCS Championships gold for the Women’s 1st, bronze for the Men’s 1st and the Women’s 2nd, Men’s 2nd and Men’s 3rd finished 3rd, 2nd and 6th respectively in their leagues, and we took several medals in the BUCS Individual Championships. But most importantly of all: we had a great time!

Another year is coming up, and a few things are changing such as coaches and training hours, but a lot stays the same. We’re looking forward to seeing many, many fresh faces, both those that have fenced before and those that are completely new to the sport. Please come find us at Fresher’s Fair, sneak in to one of our trainings if you’re curious or email (fencing [at] imperial dot ac dot uk) if you want!

I’m definitely looking forward to this year, and I have a feeling that it’s going to be great!

President IC Fencing

BUCS Approaches

So the BUCS national finals approaches and both the men’s and woman’s 1st teams have successfully made it to the semi-finals of the Competition. To be held in Sheffield on Thursday 15th March both teams are hoping to defend their national titles and complete another successful year for Imperial fencing. Recently both teams won their respective premier leagues with a complete set of wins for the womens’ and the men only suffering one defeat (a draw on points with oxford winning on weapons). Now only 2 more matches stand in the way of both teams to repeat last year’s stunning success.

Keep following on twitter here for all the latest results through out the day.

Keep fencing everyone and I hope to completly update the website soon.



Half way through the term

So this website has been active for far too long, which is my (this year’s webmaster) fault. So here’s a quick summary of what has happened so far:


The club has had an amazing start, with a lot of freshers turning up. We have a large group of novices staying with us which is amazing, as well as a good group of more experienced fencers joining regularly. The teams are rocking up, the women’s first team standing strong with 4 victories from their first premiership weekend and the women’s second are working hard and have currently lost one match and won one. For the men, the first have yet to wait for their first weekend while the seconds are leading their league with 2 out of 3 victories, and the thirds have fenced two but are still fighting hard to get their first victory.


Anyhow, make sure to check in here for recent news about what is happing as well as lesson timetable. Keep turning up, and keep the good spirit!



Webmaster and W1st Team Captain

Imperial Fencing Returns with Medals of Two Metals

It was a crisp Saturday morning as a group of Imperial fencers headed out to St Paul’s School Sports Hall for the London Team Trophy. The number of entries for the competition was its highest ever, with 16 epee teams, 16 foil teams and 12 sabre teams, making the competition the second biggest team event in the country after the National Championships. Representing Imperial were three full teams. In foil: Imperial 1st with Ed Collier, Chris Gilliam, Outi Supponen and Robert Shaw. In epee: Imperial 1st consisting of Ed Gilhead, Marcello Colombino and Miles Gandolfi and Imperial 2nd with Thorsten Hamann, Charlotte Levin and Peter Cronbach. In both weapons, we had previous year’s results to defend, gold for the foil team and silver for epee.

In the epee, Imperial 1st won all their matches in the first round without much trouble, while in the foil Imperial 1st also kept their level high with the same result. Imperial 2nd epee lost one out of three matches and won the rest with a comforting margin. All teams easily qualified for the quarterfinal knock out rounds.

In the quarterfinal draw for the epee, Imperial 1st were faced once again with a young ULU team they had meet in the first round and Imperial 2nd was up against a team called “+39”, a hint that the entire team originated from Italy. Imperial 2nd unfortunately had to admit themselves defeated by the skilled Italians. Though the sad faces did not last for long as Imperial 1 methodically made their way to the final, convincingly beating +39 in the semis. In the final they faced Brixton, a strong team of young fencers. The match was even, swaying back and through all the way to the last period where Imperial showed the value of experience and keeping their nerves under control to win the match and clinch gold.

Meanwhile, in another hall, the foil team was presenting results similar to the first team epeeists. They cruised their way to victory in both quarterfinal and semi-final, but were defeated in the final by Salle Paul EU, a very strong team from one of the country’s top clubs. This was a small let down compared to last year, when they had won gold, but they at least had the honour to have the President of British Fencing, Keith Smith, as a referee in the last match. When we left the hall at the end of the day, after prize ceremony and high-fives, we were all tired but happy off to enjoy the delights of Halloween.

by Charlotte Levin.

(For a video of the Foil final see http://vimeo.com/16367927 )

A Word from the President

I discovered fencing in my first year at Imperial.  A friend suggested I tried it out for some fun and a bit of exercise.  In my first session I found some friends, learned some moves and stabbed some people!  So I kept going, and it didn’t take long for it to become my main source of exercise and an outlet for some of the weakly stress that builds up.  I went to competitions with other people of about my skill level, and enjoyed it so much that I decided to get good enough to get on one of the teams, or go to some of the bigger competitions that some of the higher level fencers went to, some of them in locations such as Paris and Malta.

I also enjoyed the social side of the club as I began to spend more time with the members of the club.  What started as chatting in training and a pint afterwards became going out together to bars, joining them in summer training, or just dropping by if I didn’t have anything to do that afternoon.  The fencing club at Imperial is one of the most welcoming and friendly clubs around, and I now regularly spend most of my free time with other members of the club.

That’s not to say that we only cater for beginners in any way.  We have some of the most highly regarded coaches in London teaching every level of fencer, from “never held a sword before” all the way up to international standards.  Many of our fencers compete in National Opens and do rather well in some of them. We also have club members competing at both junior and senior World Cup events.  Then there are our teams, which compete at every level of university fencing, with many of our teams having a good track record.  In fact, both our Men’s and Women’s 1st teams compete in the BUCS Southern Premiership which last year the Women won with the Men coming second. Both teams then went on to take silver medals in the overall championship, the highest ranked university competition.

The Imperial College Fencing Club is a great place for lots of things.  It’s a great place to get some exercise, for meeting new people and having some fun, for learning a mentally and physically stimulating sport, and for getting competitive at fencing.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that this is the club for you.  If you aren’t sure, come down and give it a try anyway, you’ve got nothing to lose.  See you on the piste!

Jack Patten


Imperial College Fencing Club

Imperial Reign Supreme

Don’t take our word for it, that was the title that BUCS gave to their article on the BUCS Fencing Individuals:

Imperial reign supreme on the final day of the BUCS Fencing Individuals

Today saw Hannah Bryers from Imperial College, London claim her fourth Women’s Foil Championship in four years over Nikki Barlow from Brunel University.  A fellow competitor from Imperial, Outi Supponen came joint third along with Luisa De Sordi from the University of Kent.

Imperial continued to shine in the Men’s Sabre competition.  Every competitor was expecting Franceso Egro from the University of Bristol to retain his title once again, but he met his match against Stephen Fenwick from Northumbria in the last 16.  Fenwick then went on to lose against the eventual winner, Maiyuran Ratneswaran from Imperial.  Coming in second was Dominic Kerr from Oxford, with Matt Billing (Bristol) and Henry Gann (Imperial) taking the bronze medals.

Congratulations to everyone who went!

Full results for Imperial fencers after the jump: (more…)