Unlike other martial arts type systems where you can test to earn a new belt or level up; fencing requires you to win rated events to earn a rating. The All-American Fencing Academy has been hosting monthly sanctioned events with fencers from all over North Carolina hoping to earn a rating.
Over the weekend, Spc. Trevor Herrin earned his “E” rating in epee. Herrin had to best fencers from Apex, Charlotte, and his own teammates to be the last person standing in the elimination rounds.
“Fencing ratings go from a scale of unrated, ‘E’ being the lowest, and ‘A’ being the highest,” noted Coach Gerhard Guevarra.
Herrin isn’t the first fencer from the United States military to earn a rating at the All-American Fencing Academy. The most recent — prior to Herrin — was Melea Stoltenberg, fencing coach and Air Force spouse, who earned her “E” rating last season. Victor Gomez also earned his “E” during the last season.
During the second day of the tournament, the youth fencers competed in two large events. In the older event, after an undefeated pool, Fayetteville’s Jack Tart took first against Charlotte’s Ilia Tikhonov in a hard fought final.
Neither fencer could get a solid lead in the first period; in the second period, however, Tart started to pull away and kept the lead winning 15-7.
In the younger group, Jackson Woodward, a fencer training with the All-American Fencing Academy, came out on top. Woodward only had one defeat in the pools against his eventual finals opponent and teammate, Daniel Decipulo. In the end Woodward ousts Decipulo with a 10-8 victory.
A first place victory has eluded Decipulo and Woodward several times before. Decipulo reaching as high as second place, while Woodward suffered early losses in the elimination rounds placing in the bottom half of the results.
Also in the tournament, several new fencers competed in their first tournament, including Noah Choi and Jacob Delgado. Delgado, with some natural talent has picked up fencing well after only one month of classes. Delgado lost to Woodward in the semi-finals that guaranteed him a third place medal.
A Growing Sport and a Growing Club
The sport of fencing is growing world wide. In a historically European dominated sport, U.S. teams have been consistently been in the top places on the world stage for several years. Fencing will have a full medal count in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for the first time. There will be six individual medals and six team medals.
The All-American Fencing Academy hosts a walk-in class for fencers that want to give it a try without making a full month commitment. Walk-in classes occur during downtown Fayetteville’s Fourth Friday events.