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What Makes a Fencing Master?

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

by Julie Seal

This last February, I had the opportunity to test for my Fencing Master certification in foil. It was the culmination of three years of work towards a goal that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long time. I am very grateful that for the most part, I have been congratulated. I was actually half expecting to be minimized. Thank you, sincerely, to everyone who was very supportive.

Accomplishing that goal began in 2019, when WFencing was just beginning with a series of meetings organized by Jen Oldham to discuss how women could be more additive and supportive of one another in the Fencing Community. I was dubious then about how we could do anything more effective for ourselves as a gender, other than the long suffering service and abuse that we have been conditioned to believe is just “part of the culture”. It was in one of these meetings, that she encouraged me to consider my interest in becoming a fencing master. At that time, Jen was the CAB chair for the US Fencing Coaches Association, which is the organization responsible for certifications and testing. She got me in touch with fencing legend Vinnie Bradford who was also active (and now Executive Director) with the USFCA. I thought it was a hop