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When One Opponent Is Not Enough

Karolina Nixon scores with a diagonal attack against Raymond Schorr at Swords’ Sixth Annual Dual Duel. Karolina’s teammate is Emon Daroian. Raymond’s teammate is Ziad Khayat.

Nine teams squared off against each other in Burbank on Saturday at Swords Fencing Studio’s Sixth Annual Dual Duel epee tournament. Veterans of the format approached the challenge with carefully calculated strategies, but for many it was all new. “You mean we’re both fencing at the same time?!” Karolina Nixon was heard to say upon learning the rules of the game.

Doubles fencing was the brainchild of Swords’ Coach Tigran Shaginian in 2003. The rules are simple: Each team consists of two fencers. Either fencer on a team can score against either fencer of the other team. A fencer who receives a touch is eliminated, leaving the remaining fencer to face both opponents, alone. The first team to eliminate both opponents receives a point. Then all four fencers are brought back to their en garde lines and the whole process starts again. Bouts are fenced to 5 points in the first round (pools), and to 10 points in the second (direct elimination).

The gold medal went to The Alfred E. Neumans (Byron Burchard, Bill Chien, and Cameron Garrison, who subbed for Bill in the finals). The Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies (Karolina Nixon and Emon Daroian) took the silver, while We like Poptarts? (Trevor Shepard and Madeline Kehl) walked away with the bronze.

The complete rules for doubles fencing as they originally appeared in the Fall 2003 issue of American Fencing, can be found, here.

Amelia Wu (teammate Rob Radanovich) scores with a lunge against Trevor Shepard (teammate Madeline Kehl).

Having lost his teammate, doubles fencing originator, Tigran Shaginian, is left with the daunting task of defending himself against a righty (Leonard Aron) and a lefty (Stephan Ewart) at the same time.

Bill Chien and Byron Burchard face off against Cameron Garrison and Dillon Zehnder in the semi-finals.

The top four teams (left to right): 4th place – Good and Old (Stephan Ewart and Leonard Aron), 3rd place – We like Poptarts? (Trevor Shepard and Madeline Kehl), 2nd place – Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies (Karolina Nixon and Emon Daroian), 1st place – The Alfred E. Neumans (Byron Burchard, Bill Chien, and sub Cameron Garrison).

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