For Love of
Fencing & Fine Wine
Fencing & Fine Wine (F&FW) began with the decades-old friendship of Lisa Bell, Thomas Theuerkauff, and Michael Marx who are fencing enthusiasts and wine (almost) connoisseurs.
F&FW is a camp that caters to veteran fencers across all three fencing weapons, with a goal to provide an outstanding international fencing environment though partnership with foreign fencing clubs. Participants of the camp get coaching advice and instruction by world renowned Fencing Masters, along with competitive bouting experience and development of fencing technical and tactical skills. The duration of the fencing program is typically six days, with the last being a competition.
The recreational aspect of the camp runs alongside the fencing program and takes place in the afternoon with scheduled sightseeing trips to cities, visits to châteaux and meals at vineyards- undoubtedly with fine wine. For this, many accompanying non-fencers have been able to enjoy the camp just as well.
F&FW has made 7 successful trips to the region of Bordeaux, France, since its conception in 2010. 2017 was the first time that a trip was made to a region besides France - to Speyer, Germany. As the program gains in popularity, plans have been made for a trip to Havana, Cuba in 2018.
Friends That Travel
We couldn’t be happier to have met with some of the most amazing kindred spirits through F&FW; some of whom we fondly dub "Senior Counselors", have travelled with us for years.
I've been to five of these camps; you could say it's become a habit. Why? Because if you love fencing you'll get some of the finest coaching available. Because if you like wine you will be in the world's epicenter of excellent wines red and white. Because if you are over 40 but still enjoy acting like a teenager you'll have fun. These camps are a blast. The collegiality among the veteran fencers is outstanding. And if you fence hard you get to eat and drink whatever you want and only put on five pounds plus or minus.
Gerry Duffy is a Senior Counsellor, soon-to-be 70 years and still rockin'.
The Fencing and Fine Wine Camps are truly wonderful and unique experiences. I attended the first camp in 2010 in order to prepare myself for the 2010/2011 season. I went in the expectation of good coaching from a fencing legend (Michael Marx) in an exotic location.
What I encountered that first time, was way beyond my expectations. Michael is justly known for his innovative teaching, but his assistant coaches were Thomas Theuerkauff (multi-time German team member and Fencing Master), Sebastien dos Santos (US Mens epee Coach at the time), and Jean Francois DiMartino (French National Junior Womens Coach) and Cody Mattern (world epee team champion in 2012). The teaching was extraordinary and there was plenty of individual attention for every student.
Out of the Salle, the immersive experience in Bordeaux and the vineyards and barrel rooms of Acquitaine were delightful. The group, including fencers and non-fencing spouses and partners, visited some of the most famous vineyards in the world and we also visited small, family owned vineyards and labels known only to locals. And, because the camp is conducted in the best time of year for local produce, the menu was extensive, delicious and fresh. At each stop and every restaurant, the proprietors saw our passion for our sport and shared their passion for their wine or food.
My fellow campers have included some of the best (and best known fencers) in the US Veteran Fencing Community; including several US team members from World Championships. Subsequent camps have included excellent fencers from Europe and the US. Over the week of the camp, we all became very good friends.
I have now been to 5 Fencing and Fine Wine Camps. My skills have grown and it has kept the “fun” in fencing. Fencing and Fine Wine has become the perfect “preseason camp” for me. I’ve met people who have become some of my best friends. These friendships are renewed and celebrated whenever we gather at a NAC or other tournaments. We retell stories from past camps and cheer each other on. And we all plan on reuniting at the next Fencing and Fine Wine Camp.
Fencing and Fine Wine is a great combination of supportive brilliant coaching, incredible food and wine, and great camaraderie. The experience is the epitome of the fellowship of fencing, leading to lasting friendships and five trips to Bordeaux.