Keizer Karel Tournament 2019

On October 20th 2019 Don Quichote organizes the 2nd Keizer Karel tournament at the Radboud Sports center in Nijmegen. This tournament is a competition for the Dutch ranking. The invitation can be found here.


Final exam fencing master course

Our trainers Danny and Nico have been participating in the fencing master course for a level 3 certification for almost two years now. After two years of hard work, the exam was held on Saturday June 29th for both. The exam started early at 9:00 am with a one-hour long theoretical exam about the rules and the terminology within fencing. After that, Danny and Nico had to wait almost 6 hours to be the last two participants to take the practical exam. This practical exam consisted of giving a 20-minute lesson to one of their own students. During this lesson the examination committee assessed them. In this case Béla participated as a student for the individual lessons of Danny and Nico.


Team Nationals 2019

On the weekend of May 11 and 12 Don Quichote entered the Dutch Championships for teams in Apeldoorn. This year our club managed to delegate teams in the categories men’s sabre on Saturday and men’s epee on Sunday.

Men’s sabre

In the men’s sabre event on Saturday Don Quichote was represented by Béla, Tim and two of our coaches, Danny and Nico. Because only five teams participated, a single pool was fenced. That meant that the team had to fence against all other teams to determine who would claim the Dutch title. First our team had to compete against the team of Delft Fencing Club, with former Dutch champion Teun Plantinga in the ranks. After a few exciting bouts, at the start of the 7th game the score is 35-34 for the team from Delft. With a score of 6-1, Nico managed to bend the score to 40-36 in favor of Don Quichote and Béla could finish the game. He did this with 5-0 and our team eventually wins with 45-36.

The second match was against ASSV Esprit, the student fencing club from Amsterdam. The Nijmegen team started the match well and immediately build up a 10-5 lead after the first two matches. The size of the lead fluctuated a bit, but the lead itself was never really at stake. With a lead of 40-33, Béla finished the match with 5-1 to a 45-34 win. After this match our team had a break.

After the break a match against the reigning Dutch champion from Apeldoorn, Surtout, was up. The team from Apeldoorn was aggravated by an earlier loss against Schermcentrum Amsterdam and it showed. The Apeldoorn teamstarted ferociously and took a 15-3 lead after the first 3 bouts. In the second part, Don Quichote managed to get into the game a bit more through a 5-5 for Nico against the strong-fencing Dirk-Jan Bouwman, but the real fireworks came from Béla, who managed to make 14-5 against the always tricky Mike Goedhart. With this our team entered the third part with a 30-23 deficit. Unfortunately our team was unable to keep the strong game going and in the last part the difference in strength became clear. Don Quichote lost this match with 45-27.

Final bout in the match between Don Quichote and Schermcentrum Amsterdam (© S.V. Surtout)

The last match was against the team of Schermcentrum Amsterdam, who had already beaten Surtout. Due to the progress of all matches so far, with Don Quichote winning, the home team would still be Dutch champion and our team had a (small) chance of a second place. This first fact got the crowd behind Don Quichote and the second fact made our team go in guns blazing and after the first part of the match it was 15-14 at our disadvantage. Tim seemed to rise above himself and managed to make four hits against the strong Hungarian Miklos Farkas. Nico, however, could have provided the lead in the following bout, but he was unable to achieve this. Good work from Béla kept the damage limited and Don Quichote trailed 30-27 at the end of the second part. Nico was not fencing at its strongest in the 8th match, which meant that Béla was faced with the difficult task of making up for a 40-32 deficit in the last match. This assignment turned out to be too hard and after a good 6-5 by Béla, Don Quichote had lost 45-38. Don Quichote ended up in 3rd place.

Podium men’s sabre, with from left to right Don Quichote (3rd place), Schermcentrum Amsterdam (1st place) en Surtout (2nd place) (© Ashley Ophorst)

Men’s epee

On Sunday Don Quichote participated with Laurens, René and Gijs in the men’s epee event and because 15 teams participated, they fenced a table of 16. Because our team was placed tenth, the first match was against AEW, who where placed seventh. It was an exciting match from the start and at the end of the second part our team was 28-23 behind. This was straightened out by Gijs in the 7th match with a 12-5 to a 35-33 lead. René then had a hard time with Edwin Treffers, which resulted in our team being down 38-36 before the start of the final bout. In the final bout Laurens could not get a grip on his opponent and the match was eventually lost with 45-38, so Don Quichote had to compete for places 9-15.

In this part of the tournament our team met De Drie Musketiers for a Nijmegen derby. After a strong start our team was in a good 15-9 lead after the first part. In the second part, Gijs, Laurens and René managed to expand this to a 30-15 lead and this lead never came under serious attack in the final three bouts. Eventually the match was won with 45-31.

After this win Fencing Club Almere was the opponent for the match for places 9-12. This difficult opponent turned it into an exciting match, with a lead of 15-13 built up by our team in the first part. In the second part, Christian Jelders in particular turned out to present a problem for the fencers of Don Quichote and it was 30-26 for the club from Almere after the second part. At the start of the last bout, the score stood at 40-35 for Almere. Laurens tried to wrest control of the game back into our favor and did very well against Christian Jelders, but he was undone by a late discoveryof a broken point. The game was eventually lost with 45-42. For the 11th place Don Quichote had to take on De Vrijbuiters from Gouda. In this match, none of our fencers really managed to get a grip on the opponent and it was lost 45-29. Don Quichote ended up in a 12th place.

The hall during the men’s epee tournament. The Don Quichote team is seated at the back of the hall (© S.V. Surtout).

Black light fencing at the NSSR Sportsnight 2019

On Wednesday March 27, we exchanged our normal training hours for a very special evening: the NSSR Sportsnight 2019. In short: 10 sports, in black light, till 2 in the morning. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to deliver something cool. Hence, we used excessive amounts of glow sticks and glow in the dark-tape on the salle, weapons, masks and ourselves. It also involved some epic battle music.

Preparing the salle with glow in the dark-tape on the floor, walls, doors and any other stickable stuff.

And the result was quite nice! We gave a total of 6 workshops to multiple very enthusiastic teams. Battles were fought and all people were very eager to get some points. So, let’s do this again next year!
And oh well, scraping all the tape off the weapons and walls was definitely worth it – even though it took us nearly an hour. Thanks to our members for helping out during the night!

Below a selection of photos made during the evening (night). Photos made by Rieke Bande and Rein Wieringa (SFV De Cycloop). Many thanks!
In case you’re on a picture and you would like it removed, simply use the contact form.

11th International Delft Tegeltjestournament

Last Sunday, 11 of our members competed in the popular Delft Tegeltjestournament. One of our members entered in the women’s sabre, and 6 in the men’s sabre tournament, and in the epéé tournament 4 of our members competed. Besides that, in the afternoon we entered 2 teams in the recreational sabre equipe competition.


X-Systra in Paris

This post was featured in the NSSR MegaMonday.
This past weekend, the annual X-Systra tournament took place in Paris. Traditionally, this is one of the biggest student fencing competitions in Europe. Fencers from all levels are competing in this tournament, from beginners to people who compete in the worldcup circuit. This time, two Don Quichote members competed: Thomas Nijsen (sabre) and Ashley Ophorst (foil). And with succes!
The individual tournament took place on Friday. Thomas fenced a solid poule with 3 wins. He won his first eliminations with 15-10. He lost his next one with 15-10. He finished in 23th place (49 competitors). A great result!
Ashley fences well and wins all of her matches. She doesn’t have to fence the first elimination due to the high ranking. She wins the following eliminations with 15-2 and 15-13. Unfortunately, Ashley loses the quarterfinals with 15-8 and ends just besides the podium in 5th place (45 competitors)
The team competition took place on Saturday. Thomas joined a team with two fencers from the University of Amsterdam and one fencer from Imperial College London. The guys made it to the semi-final, but unfortunately lost this match. They also lost the match for the bronze medal and ended in 4th place.
Ashley was teamed up with one fencer from the University of Amsterdam, the University of Mainz and a fencer from the University of Tübingen. They also made it to the semi-finals, and only just lost this thrilling final by one point (45-44). Next, the ladies fenced for bronze and won it!
We finished this amazing weekend with a nice gala and fireworks. We will surely go to Paris again next year!
The women’s foil equipe medal winners, with Ashley and her team members on the right.

Reflection cycle for fencing

In previous blogs I talked about Strip Coaching and Getting the Most Out of Your Practice. Both topic require you to be able to honestly and critically reflect you performance. To help you improve the reflection process I will introduce a model that is often used in education: the Reflection Cycle.


Don Quichote at the Sports gala

Before the holidays, we asked everyone to vote for Nico Speelman, one of our trainers. He was nominated for the title Volunteer of the Year, which would be revealed at the NSSR Sports gala. So off we went!

After posing for a group picture, it was time for revealing the titles. We are very proud to announce that Nico won the title! On our Facebook page you can find a video of the moment.

Nico and Rob Cuppen, who announced the winner. Photo by NSSR.

Don Quichote at the Sports gala. Photo by NSSR.

Besides that, as a small cherry on top, the board was told their board picture ended in the top 5. We are also very happy with that!

Photo by Nils van Rooijen.

Congratulations to all winners!

The sexual assault problem in fencing

The other day a was frequenting and found a disturbing article from r/fencing on my front page ‘The sexual assault problem in fencing’. The author wrote that she is quitting the sport because sexual assault from coaches goes unaddressed.



A few weeks ago, we had our beer tasting activity at the brewery De Hemel. This was quite a success, with a lot of enthusiastic members. Now, our activity committee has right away organized the next activity: Absinterkerst! This year, it will be held on December the 14th, so save the date. You’re welcome at 20:00.

Would you like to join us? Write your name on the list on the notice board, or mail the committee: If you’re joining, please bring 2 presents with you. These gifts may have a value of max. €5, but may also be stuff you have at home and don’t use (anymore). As an example: last year, the pineapple with a sponge was very popular.

NB: Title is Absinth + Sinterklaas (Dutch tradition involving Black Piet, gifts, and chocolate letters) + Kerstmis (Christmas).