About the Flaming Blades
-- Historic Motto of the Oberlin College Flaming Blades
The Oberlin College Fencing Club (aka the Oberlin College Flaming Blades) is the official fencing team of Oberlin College. It is the oldest chartered club sport of the college, and has been converting young, impressionable students to the glories of fencing since 1929. Our members are of all genders, weapons, and skill levels; some are lettered in the USFA ranking system, and even more continue to fence beyond college. Our coach is Johnny Ana, who also coaches at the nearby Hooked on Fencing.
The Flaming Blades is a club sports team, so the atmosphere is more relaxed than that of a varsity team. Attendance is not strictly enforced, although good attendance is expected of officers and those who want to form a part of the competitive team.
We practice in Hales Gymnasium, which is right next to the Cat in the Cream coffeehouse (map).
Practices usually consist of warm ups and stretching, followed by footwork and bladework drills, and concluding with open fencing. We have several strips available so everyone has ample opportunities to fence! In addition, Johnny regularly visits our practices twice a week in order to run drills and conduct private lessons in all three blades.
PRACTICE Schedule (2017-2018 Academic Year)
Officers comprise some of the most dedicated members of the Flaming Blades. There are regular elections for all positions excluding armory, although anyone who wishes to learn about armoring can ask to be trained in the hopes of earning a position as an armorer.
NCAA Captain: Kenny Wang
USFA Captain: Zoe Heuser
Armorers: Max Kramer, Michelle Liu, Maddy Clemente, Franco Ortiz-Gallo
Treasurer: Marina Wright
Club Sports Liaison: Maddy Clemente
Public Relations: Max Kramer, Valentina Zhang
Staff Advisor: Greg Solow
We welcome fencers of all skill/experience levels, but we do require some amount of experience prior to joining the team. If you have fenced very little or not at all, we recommend taking the FenceCo: Beginning Fencing ExCo to brush up on the basics before joining the team. Otherwise, we take new members at any point during the year; e-mail an officer or stop by practice if you are interested in joining. There is no membership fee. You will need to be medically cleared by the college in order to fence with the team. Please e-mail us if you have any questions regarding medical clearance.
Equipment - The Armory
We are a fully armed and operational fencing club; we have everything necessary to fence all weapons for those who don't have their own equipment. Our armory, located in the basement of Hales gymnasium, houses all the equipment the club uses at practice and tournaments, as well as storage for personal gear and weapons. We have four armorers on staff who are available to make repairs on all club gear. Personal gear can be repaired by the armorers, provided that parts costs are covered by the fencer. Any and all questions regarding equipment purchase, maintenance, and repair should be directed to Max Kramer or any of the other armorers.
The Flaming Blades are one of the few club fencing teams who compete at the NCAA level. We regularly attend sanctioned tournaments at Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University, as well as the Midwest Fencing Championships and Club Fencing Championships.
Most tournaments we attend are team tournaments, where squads are differentiated by blade and gender. In accordance with NCAA regulations, it is highly recommended that any fencer who wishes to fence in tournaments is consistent in attending practices. Furthermore, failure to compete in enough tournaments may potentially bar a fencer from competing in championship tournaments. As previously stated, not everyone on the team fences in tournaments regularly; some just enjoy coming to practice and fencing with their teammates.
Apart from NCAA competitions, we host USFA tournaments each year in Hales Gym. All three weapons compete over the course of the day, with fencers coming from all over Ohio in order to compete.