saving the fleche for last

fall 2021 update

We have been lined up to return to Monday night classes on September 13th, but had been awaiting the official confirmation that the contract was accepted and programing restarting.

We know now know for sure and are setting up our first night back.

Our first beginner class will start on September 20th, please see information on our page for contact information and guidelines.

covid precautions

With any questions, please feel free to email Nate Westcott, President of the club,

SWOH division board

This year, 2021 has seen a sudden and exciting renewal of interest in the USFA Southwest Ohio Division Board.

Many of you saw an openly posted election, for the first time in at least a decade, for the board of the SWOH Div Board.

The results are in and these are the results:

Kyle Roat of HCMA is the new president of the division.

Alex Burte of Queen City Fencing Club is the vice president.

Jessica Betteridge of Miami University is the treasurer.

Nick Aguilar of Miami University is the secretary.

This was the campaign statement of Roat and Burte,

Dear Members of the Southwest Ohio Division,

Our names are Kyle Roat and Alex Burte. We are candidates in the Division Officer election that opened today. We’re reaching out to you today to ask for your support. This is the first division election in recent memory and the officers selected have a chance to catalyze the growth of fencing in our area if the Executive Board can meet the challenges of rebuilding long neglected organizational infrastructure and act as effective partners of the division’s member clubs and members while adhering to the national association’s internal regulations and statutory constraints. We believe our knowledge and expertise uniquely qualifies us to lead the reformation of the division.

Who are we? We’re fencers who’ve been involved in the sport for the last twenty years. We learned to fence here in Southwest Ohio and had our first tournament experiences here. Those practices and local tournaments were our first steps toward eventually competing at the national level and in the NCAA. We’re also coaches and active referees. Alex is the owner and head coach of Queen City Fencer’s Club, a program he has taken from meeting in borrowed spaces in other facilities to having its own location with permanent electric strips. Kyle is the lead foil instructor at the Hudson Center for the Martial Arts where for ten years he has worked with students at all levels and seen them develop into national medalists and members of highly competitive NCAA teams. In addition to coaching at HCMA, Kyle is an attorney specializing in corporate law with experience advising both for-profit and not-for-profit entities on a variety of issues.

We are passionate about expanding access to the sport. Our first-hand experience operating our own programs will enable us to lead the Board in building a division that actively promotes the growth of the sport in Southwest Ohio. We understand the challenges member clubs face because we’ve faced them ourselves, and we are ready to apply those lessons in service of the fencing community that gave us our start in the sport. Our knowledge and experience will allow us to partner with division members to create high quality fencing programming and events.

Before the division can expand its operational capacity, the Board must restore appropriate policies and procedures for the operation of the organization and the protection of its assets. It is a process that will depend on attention to detail and sound decision making and will require the Board to navigate the complexities of USFA regulations as well as substantive law applicable to non-profit associations. Our professional experiences in the law and owning a small business will ensure inadvertent mistakes do not hamper the efforts of the Board.

Finally, our continuing involvement with fencing at the national level has allowed us to develop a nationwide network of coaches, administrators, and division officers that are an invaluable resource. But our interest doesn’t begin and end with the highest levels of competitive fencing. We believe local competitions and clubs are a vital part of the fencing community and will work to address the needs of all member clubs and members, regardless of their competitive aspirations. This election is an opportunity to create positive change in the division as a whole and we hope you will choose us to lead that change.


Kyle Roat

Alex Burte

We are excited to see a renewed interest in local fencing, particularly during this period of difficulty for local organizations. Already, Roat and Burte have arranged the following seminar as an initiative to increase the number of local referees capable of overseeing tournaments, a significant bottleneck to having local events.


At all times we will be observing the state's requirement for wearing face coverings. It is important that the covers are breathable enough to allow for safe exercise, please give consideration to that, but we want to restrict droplet spread and inhibit inhalation of foreign bodies.


We are strongly discouraging usage of the locker rooms. They are small, enclosed spaces that don't allow for proper ventilation and thus are risky for the spread of the virus.

Please come to practice in whatever gear you would need to use the locker room to change into.


Don't get caught too close to be safe!

As much as possible we will be enforcing proper distance between all participants to minimize the exchange of air.

We will be watching for this, but you as fencers know, it is everyone's responsibility to maintain their safe distance.


At this point there is no reason to believe that we will be seeing interest and return in numbers too great to stay within the state's established guidelines for safety.

As we resume, if we are seeing that we will be bumping up against restriction, we will address and establish a system for signing up for classes ahead of time.

Class at Clifton Rec: Mon

Monday evenings we are running both our beginner classes through the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and our continuing programing for members intermediate level and on. We already have a beginner class under way and will be planning our second post-COVID class coming up sometime around the start of the new year. Anyone interested in getting involved with that class can contact Dick Males to be added to the waiting list for the upcoming sessions.

For those club members that are interested in getting some extra fencing in, we will be continuing our engagement with NKFA. Nate Westcott will be running classes for both groups on Thursdays going forward and we have been invited to continue attending on those days.

The club is making a donation that will extend NKFA's availability through the end of the year, providing they have space in their facility. Information about registering for those classes is listed below.

partnering with nkfa: Thurs

During the pandemic, we have partnered with the fine folks down in Ludlow, KY to help their students get back on the piste and to get our members a place to get back to the serious business of fencing. It has been a fantastic partnership and a testament to the small family that is fencing and the wonderful partnerships that exist between our groups.

Now that we are resuming, we will be fencing at Clifton on Mondays. NKFA is allowing us to continue working with them on Thursdays for those that are interested.

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looking back, wistfully

I've been going back through old files, photos, and the like; riding on waves of nostalgia. I've pulled out some photos going back to 2014 when we were meeting at McKie recreation center while the Clifton rec was being renovated!

These are trying and difficult times for everyone, but it's important that this club has been around for a very, very long time. It is entirely thanks to the people in these photos, the instructors like Kim, Dale, Dick, Adam, and Nate; the officers of the club like Mike; the members of the club, both new to the sport and old to the club. We will bounce back. We will, together, overcome the challenge that is this disease and the necessary hardships that we endure so that we may all endure.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a little look back!

usfa membership and tournaments

USFA Memberships are required for all sanctioned fencing tournaments. Memberships renew in July and must be current for the following fencing year. You can follow the button below to the USFA Membership page to get your first membership or to renew your existing membership.

Competetive Fencing and Upcoming Tournaments

If you are excited to learn more about competition fencing, if you are looking for upcoming tournaments, or if you are looking for results from previous tournaments, then it is time to get acquainted with

AskFred is a database open to the fencing community to organize tournaments, keep results and data about fencer's careers, and give a unified place for clubs to advertise their upcoming events!

For information on upcoming tournaments follow this link to see all tournaments "near" Cincinnati (AskFred is a little broad in it's definition of near):

Check out this link for a search of tournaments with a limit of a 100 mile drive.

USFA Rating Chart

Academy of Fencing Masters Blog is a great resource for information by fencers and parents of athletes, talking about all the stuff that we all wonder about. Wonder no longer, start learning today!

The following link will take you to for the explanation of how the ratings given out during a tournament are determined. USFA Ratings.

Also, this article goes into all the nitty-gritty of earning your ratings:

Fencer Ratings Made Simple