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DFA March 2018 News

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Hi to All…Happy March…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Sunday, March 11, Daylight Saving Time begins.  Spring your clock forward one hour.

Saturday, March 17.  St. Patrick’s Day and fencing tournament at College of the Desert.  (Wear green socks).

Monday, March 20, Spring begins

Friday, March 30, Good Friday.  DFA will be closed.



Saturday, March 17, 2018, 3-weapon open and “D” and Under Tournament at College of the Desert

Close of Check-in for 3-weapon: 9:00 a.m. for Saber   10:00 a.m. for Foil   12 noon for Epee

Close of Check-in for “D” & Under: 11:00 a.m. for Saber   12 noon for Foil   2:00 p.m. for Epee
Please pre-register on AskFred.  All close of check-in times are posted on AskFred.

Saturday, April 14, 2018, 3-weapon open at Hemet High School

Close of Check-in: 9:00 a.m. for Saber   10:00 a.m. for Foil   12 noon for Epee
Please pre-register on AskFred.

Saber (l-r) 3rd, Dennis Stephen, DFA, 2nd, David Moran, South Coast Fencing Center, 1st, Costa Nichols, DFA and he earned his "E" 2018 saber rating!











Dennis fences foil and epee.  He’s been taking saber lessons since September 2017.  He did fence saber in our Division qualifier for Summer Nationals and did qualify in saber, as well as foil and epee.  The February tournament was the first time Dennis fenced saber in an open tournament in our Division.  Not bad, Dennis!





Our 2018 Men’s Foil & Epee Team: (l-r), Kamin Morrelli, R2 (visiting from college), Dennis Stephen, Reese Frenter, Ronan Joyce, Ashton Arrington and Paul Zappia.

Wishing everyone a happy March and St. Patrick’s Day..and, as always…blissful fencing (with the luck of the Irish!).

the fencing coach


DFA February 2018 Newsletter

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Happy February…Happy Valentine’s Day!

First of all…we all qualified for Summer Nationals!!  Our San Bernardino Division qualifier for Summer Nationals was held at Hemet High School on Saturday, January 27.  Nationals will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, June 28-July 7, 2018.

Our DFA fencers who qualified are:  Ashton Arrington, Ariana Dorticos, Ronan Joyce, Michael Mansour, Simeon Miller, Kamin Morrelli (who earned his E2018 rating in epee), Dennis Stephen, Leslie Taft, Maddie Wales, Dominic Whittaker and Paul Zappia.

The three youngest DFA fencers competing were Paul Zappia, 13, Ronan Joyce and Dominic Whittaker, both 14.
Dennis Stephen
qualified in all three weapons!  This was some of the best fencing ever, not only by the DFA fencers, but by all the fencers who came to compete.

Greg Schiller and Allex Gruman came out from Los Angeles to be our official referees for this qualifier.


February 10, 2018, 3-weapon open at College of the Desert
Close of check-in times:
9:00 a.m. for Saber    10:00 a.m. for Foil    12 noon for Epee

March 17, 2018, 3-weapon open & “D” and Under Tournament at College of the Desert

All tournaments are posted on  Please pre-register on AskFred.


DFA celebrates its 15th anniversary on Saturday, February 24!!  I opened the club on my birthday.  We’ll have a little celebration on Saturday, February 24…cake, beverages, fencing, friends and fun from 12 noon til 3:00 p.m.  Please stop by.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and blissful fencing.

- leslie, the fencing coach

DFA January 2018 News

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Happy New Year 2018!

DFA re-opens on Tuesday, January 2…back to full lesson and teaching schedule.


January 27, 2018, San Bernardino Division Qualifier for Summer Nationals, at Hemet High School.

This is our Division Qualifier for Summer Nationals which will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, June 28-July 7, 2018.

Close of Check-In Times:
9:00 a.m.    Y-14 men’s & women’s foil
10:00 a.m.   Y-14 men’s & women’s saber
10:30 a.m.   Y-14 men’s & women’s epee
11:00 a.m.   Div 2/3 women’s saber
11:30 a.m.   Div 2/3 men’s saber
12:00 p.m.  Div 2/3 women’s foil
12:30 p.m.  Div 2/3 men’s foil
1:00 p.m.    Div 2/3 women’s epee
1:30 p.m.    Div. 2/3 men’s epee

Please pre-register on

February 10, 2018, 3-weapon open, at College of the Desert

Close of Check-In Times:
9:00 a.m. for Saber   10:00 a.m. for Foil   12 noon for Epee

Please pre-register on


US Fencing recognizes individuals who have shown exceptional dedication to the sport with the Fencing Spirit of Sport program.  Each quarter during the season, one individual will be recognized from each of the six USA Fencing Regions.

Based on the nomination by Laura Holmgren (Poly Technic Coach), I was selected as the Region 4 recipient for the 1st quarter of the 2017-2018 season!  An article celebrating my accomplishment is posted on the USFA Fencing website.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2018 and, as always, blissful fencing!!!

the fencing coach

Saturday, December 9 Tournament at College of the Desert

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Hi to All,

Saturday’s December 9th, 2017 tournament at COD was simply stellar!!!  We ran two tournaments in one day, the 3-Weapon Open followed by the “D” and Under mixed foil, saber and epee events.  Almost everyone in the Open continued on to compete in the “D” and Under events.

And it was a stellar day for DFA!

In the Mixed Saber event, seven fencers, five of which were DFA fencers:  Simeon Miller, Ian Maskiewicz, Gabriel Rivkin,Dominic Whittaker and Leslie Taft.  Finishing in first place and earning her E2107, Leslie Taft, 2nd place Simeon Miller, tied for third place, Ian Maskiewicz and Gabriel Rivkin and fifth place, Dominic Whittaker.

In the Div 3 Saber event, taking first place and earning is E2017, Simeon Miller, 2nd, place Ian Maskiewicz, third place, Dominic Whittaker and fifth place, Gabriel Rivkin.

In the Mixed Foil event, making his fencing debut, Paul Zappia, taking 7th place and Ronan Joyce, taking 8th place.
In the Div 3 Foil event, Paul took 5th and Ronan took 7th place.

In the Div 3,Epee event, Kamin Morrelli took 2nd, Ashton Arrington 3rd, Ariana Dorticos 6th, William McCloud 7th and Michael Mansour 9th.

2017 DFA Saber Team (l-r) Dominic Whittaker, Ian Maskiewicz, Simeon Miller, Leslie Taft, Gabriel Rivkin










Mixed Saber (l-r): 1st, Leslie Taft, 2nd, Simeon Miller, 3rd, Gabriel Rivkin, 3rd, Ian Maskiewicz










DFA Foil fencers (l-r): Ronan Joyce and Paul Zappia, making his foil fencing debut











Div 3 Epee (l-r): 3rd, Qingtao Meng, UCR, 3rd, Ashton Arrington, DFA, 2nd, Kamin Morrelli, DFA, 1st, Aaron Liang, Swords & earning his E2017 rating.

DFA December 2017 News

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Hi to All…Happy December…Happy Hanukkah…Merry Christmas!!!

DFA will be closed December 23 - January 1…Back to fencing starting Tuesday, January 2.

December 9, 2017, 3-weapon and “D” & Under, at College of the Desert
Close of check in times for 3-weapon:
9:00 a.m. Mixed Saber   10:00 a.m. Mixed Foil   12 noon Mixed Epee   $10 per event

Close of check in times for “D” & Under:
11:00 a.m. Mixed Saber   12 noon Mixed Foil   2:00 p.m. Mixed Epee
$25 per event for “D” & Under.  We will have rated referees for these events.

Please pre-register for your events on

For more information, go to


Gift giving ideas…DFA tee shirts ($10) and DFA warm and cozy sweatshirts ($20).  Also, Linea blue and green, foil/epee gloves, right hand, various sizes, $20.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and blissful fencing to all!

- Leslie, the fencing coach


Results in Pictures of 11/25/17 Tournament at College of the Desert

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

How many fencers will come to a Thanksgiving Saturday fencing tournament?….83!  From Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, L.A., Orange County, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside.   And, of course, our very own DFA fencers.

L-r: Dennis Stephen, Ariana Dorticos, Kamin Morrelli, Leslie Taft, Ashton Arrington, Michael Mansour, William McCloud, Reese Frenter, DFA Epee Team











L-r: DFA Saber fencers, Dominic Whittaker, Ian Maskiewicz and Ryan Sebti (in his first tournament).











L-r: Saber, 3rd, Costa Nichols, DFA, 3rd, Christopher Reyes, Laguna Fencing Center, 2nd, Ian Kim, Poly Technic, 1st, William Wun, Cardinal Fencing and earning his E17 rating.














DFA at the Oct. 30, 2017 Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Andrew, Leslie, Ashton, John, Dominic, Santiago, Josiah,Peter, Paul, Grace, Christian












Start of the Parade. Entering under the blue & white arch. Peter and Paul's mom, Bridget, carries our DFA banner.













Marching & fencing along the El Paseo parade route.










Grace Sullenger in the parade

Ashton Arrington





Andrew Arbid


Ashton Arrington





Andrew Arbid


















Ashton and Paul in foreground. We're all fencing.

Leslie & Andrew, Bridget with banner, son Peter, Josiah, Dominic



DFA November 2017 Newsletter

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Hi to All…Happy November…Happy Veteran’s Day…Happy Thanksgiving!!!

REMEMBER:  Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 5…Turn your clocks back one hour when you go to bed Saturday night.

DFA will be closed on Thanksgiving, November 23 and also on Friday, November 24.

We have a San Bernardino Division 3-weapon tournament on Saturday, November 25, at College of the Desert.


Saturday, November 25, 3-weapon open at College of the Desert
Close of check-in:  9:00 a.m. Saber, 10:00 a.m. Foil, 12 noon Epee
Please pre-register on  All events are mixed.

Saturday, December 9, 3-weapon open & D and under tournament at College of the Desert
Close of check-in for 3-weapon:  9:00 a.m. Saber, 10:00 a.m. Foil, 12 noon Epee
All events are mixed.  You may pre-register on AskFred.

Close of check-in for D and under events:  11:00 a.m. Saber, 12 noon Foil, 2:00 p.m. Epee.
All events are mixed.  You may pre-register on Ask Fred.

The 3-weapon open, fee per weapon is $10.
D and under events, fee per weapon is $25.  There will be rated referees for this event.

For more information on the D and under event, please visit


DFA participated in the 53rd Annual Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade on Sunday, October 29.  We fenced along the parade route down El Paseo to the cheers and applause of the spectators.  It was a wonderful time and a beautiful day.  Photos are posted on the DFA website.

DFA fencers included:  Santiago Amparo, Andrew & Christian Arbid, Ashton Arrington,  Josiah Llapitan, Grace Sullenger,  Dominic Whittaker, John Williamson, Paul & Peter Zappia and coach Leslie.

Wishing everyone a happy November and a happy Thanksgiving celebration.

Blissful fencing,

the fencing coach



DFA October 2017 News

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Hi to All…Happy October…Happy Halloween!


October 7, 2017, Qualifier for Junior Olympics at Hemet High School
Close of check-in times posted on and you may pre-register now on AskFred.

Also, go to  for check-in times and more info on the qualifier.

November 25, 2017, 3-weapon open at College of the Desert
Close of check-in times:
9:00 a.m., Mixed Saber   10:00 a.m., Mixed Foil, 12 noon, Mixed Epee
Please pre-register on


DFA will again be in the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade!  We will be fencing along the parade route on El Paseo.

Date of the Golf Cart Parade is Sunday, October 29, and commences at 12 noon.  Theme for this year’s parade is Desert Safari.

If you are interested in participating, I have the signup sheet at the club.

There will be an NAC (North American Cup) in our backyard this October 13-16, in Anaheim.  Division 1, Division 2, Cadet and Wheelchair fencing.

Two of our DFA fencers will be competing:  Dennis Stephen and Ariana Dorticos.

If you’ve never been to an NAC, you should treat yourself and go.  They are huge.  And, you see some of the top fencers competing and the vendors will be there if you’d like to purchase some fencing gear.

Halloween is Tuesday, October 31.  Yes, we will fence at DFA, usual schedule.  The club will close at 5:00 p.m., so everyone can get into costume and Trick-or-Treat, or enjoy Halloween and Fall Festival events.  Enjoy!!!

Blissful fencing and have a fun and spooky Halloween!!

the fencing coach


Off To School

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

R2 (Arturo Perez-Hunt) and Ariana Dorticos are off to school

R2 graduated from Rancho Mirage High School this past June.
He is a freshman at Sacramento State studying Civil Engineering.

Ariana is now a junior at Cal State San Bernardino.
She is studying Biology and Medicine.  She wants to be a Coroner.

Ariana is still close by, so, her school schedule may be such that she will be able to come and compete in our Division tournaments.

Leslie & Ariana





















The DFA Epee Team all together in June, 2017. Top row: Dennis Stephen, R2, William McCloud, Michael Mansour. Bottom row: Kamin Morrelli and Ariana Dorticos