The "Rogue's Gallery" commences!

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Who ARE these guys? Check out Team SwordPlay!

1) Here's one of Dan Kellner (l) and me at the 1997 Palm Springs NAC open. I got a very quick lesson...I don't think I touched his blade, let alone him! As it turns out, I came in dead last, while Kellner won the event. Hey, I get on by the best!

2) SwordPlay's #1 epee team at the 1998 Southern California Division Championships (l to r) Alec Bellanca, Freewind, Wesley Bellanca.

3) SwordPlay's #2 epee team at the 1998 Southern California Division Championships (l to r) Chip Travis, Mario Ceballos & Me.

4) SwordPlay's #3 foil team at the 1998 Southern California Division Championships (l to r) Freewind, Me, Dan Holm

5) SwordPlay's sabre team at the 1998 Southern California Division Championships (l to r) Freewind, Me, Anatoli Moutsetoni (instructor, kneeling), Dan Crowe. The same three comprised the 1999 team, with the addition of Jeffrey Hoffman as the alternate. However, Anatoli was no longer the coach, as he had moved to another salle.

SwordPlay put on a good showing at the 1998 California State Games

The results:

Under 20 men's foil -Wesley Bellanca 6th, Alec Bellanca 17th, Erik Peterson 22nd.

Under 20 men's epee -Alec Bellanca 3rd.

Open men's foil -Owens Rodriguez 11th, Wesley Bellanca 17th, Sam Signorelli 21st, Dan Holm 29th, Alec Bellanca 37th.

Open men's epee -Freewind 11th, Wesley Bellanca 26th, Alec Bellanca 29th.

Open men's sabre -Freewind 14th.

6) Okay, time for some family bragging here. My sister came to watch me at State Games and brought along her two sons and their respective ladies. Mary said they all agreed fencing was the sport for me...since I'm somewhat hyper and it's a fast sport!

7) Ooohhhh...THIS was a good fight! My D.E. bout against Jere Bothelio. I lost 15-8, but it was close up until the first break, then he figured out my relatively limited technique. I came close on a lot of shots though. All in all, it was a fun day. Had I beaten Jere I would've had to fence Robbie Carrillo, and that would've been VERY fast...and painful, since Robbie's a LOT better than I am. Hey...he's an "A" and I just now got my "E"...whaddya want?

8) Here's a good shot of me parrying one of Jere Bothelio's attacks. Of course, if I could learn to riposte with a lunge instead of just sticking my blade out there, I might've scored after this shot.

Here are some other shots of SwordPlay fencers at the 1998 California State Games.

9) Dan Holm (l) takes on Jeremy Patterson (Look, Ma! Two lefties!)

10) Dan & Jeremy again. Didn't know you could fence on pointe, huh? And where did Dan's left arm go?

11) Wesley Bellanca. He's a big's kinda like fencing a linebacker. He's now the captain of the men's foil team at U Cal San Diego.

12) 'Nother shot of Wes (l) catching his opponent totally off guard

13) Owens Rodriguez,probably the best fencer at SwordPlay. Came really close to his "B" this season, only losing to Robbie Carrillo by 2 points in the gold medal bout at one tournament. That's Derek Cotton in the background directing.

14) Owens (l) on the fleche' attack. I've no idea who his opponent is, but how come Soren Thompson's in the shot? C'mon, Soren. You won the under 20 foil and open've gotta get in my pictures too?

15) SwordPlay at the 1998 Dan Tishman Memorial Novice Foil tournament, which traditionally kicks off the SoCal Division season. SwordPlay had nearly 20 people in the tournament, which meant we had a good chance of winning. We took 1st & 3rd in men's foil (among the other placings) and 2nd & 3rd in the women's foil. The funny thing about this pictures is on the right hand side. Albert Perrotta and Zach Isaacs are still hooked to their reels. They were fencing each other in their DE bout while we were setting up the shot. Time ended in the 2nd period and they rushed over to join the group while still hooked up, confirming to the rest of the attendees that SwordPlay is a different sort of salle.

Here are some other fencing shots -- sort of -- from earlier in my career.

16) Oh yeah...from my 3rd year at San Diego State, and my first with sabre! The piece is from the Daily Aztec, circa 1983!

17 through 20) A series of shots from me at the fencing booth at the Renaissance Faire, circa 1988. I think it was the first time I'd used a pistol grip.

21 & 22) A couple of shots from my SciFi convention days. That's me on the left, as one of my Star Trek characters, Commander Adrian DeMoraad III, first officer of the Starship Devastator. He's wearing the uniform of his native world, and yes, that IS my fencing sabre. It now belongs to SwordPlay, since it's dry and I've since gone electric. The OTHER guy is just a fun shot for all you SCA folks who haven't created your persona yet

23) And last, but certainly not ain't a fencing shot, but in honor of George Lucas and "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace", I present "Darth Vagrant." Ol' Darth's seen better days, eh wot?

From the 1999 Pacific Coast Championships in Lost Wages -- er -- Las Vegas!

24) SwordPlay's foil team. Left to right - Donald Benge, me, coach Yefeem Berizovsky, Freewind, Wesley Bellanca.

25) SwordPlay's sabre team. Left to right - Freewind, me, Dan Crowe.

26) Dan Crowe scores one in the individual sabre. Good shot, Dan!

27) I attempt to score on in the same event. At least I hit the guy!

28) Freewind (left) in the team epee against the team from the Capitol Fencing Center in Sacramento, CA. if you look real carefully at the Capitol guy, you'll notice something's missing...his left arm! Great fencer, though...smooooooth footwork! We were ahead after one bout, but then Capitol started going to work and we got killed.

29) Okay...this isn't just from PCCs, but from all my fencing. I call it...(insert evil organ music and thunder sound effects here)Frankenbag!!! I've managed to create a rolling monstrosity that can hold 6 weapons, two masks and all equipment I'm likely to use in one easy to get to area. Looks ridiculous, but no one's stepped on my stuff in a year.

Some pics from a sabre practice with Freewind a while back.

30) Here's Freewind showing me how to do a better head parry than I do.

31) Then again, every so often I get him with a single light...but not very often!

32) You really can't see it on this scan, but this is when I broke a blade on his head...on the actual pic, the front 6" or so of blade sort of wraps itself around his forehead, then snaps. The broken part has yet to be found.

33) SwordPlay's three-weapon boys!

34) Okay, this isn't sabre, but it IS from the foil comp held earlier the same night. Don't'cha just luuuv that lousy parry 2 I'm doing? It works, however, if only because I'm fast enough with the riposte to pull it off most of the time.

35) Nothing special here...just little ol' me at a club tourney.

1999 Dan Tishman Memorial Novice Foil tournament, 9-26-99, SoCal Division

36) Brad Wilcox being awarded his gold medal for winning the 1999 Dan Tishman Memorial Novice Foil tournament. For the third year in a row, SwordPlay won the men's event.

37) Brad Wilcox & Alexandra Carter following the Tishman. Alex won the women's event, but lost ownership of the overall trophy to Brad following a fence-off.

38) Brad Wilcox, SwordPlay owner Tim Weske and Alexandra Carter following the trophy fence-off.

1999 Swords Open Epee competition, 10-10-90, SoCal Division

39) Me (l) vs Christine McGowan in pool play. She beat me in pool, but I got a few off of her, as the lights show. I think this was off her weapon hand.

40) Me vs Christine again. Why I'm fencing the rafters with an epee I'll never know!

41) Another shot of me & Christine (l). This lunge resulted in my first touch off her in the pool, but the camera was on the wrong side to record it. Don't'cha just love that front foot? Amazing I didn't fall over.

42) Okay, so it's a posed shot. it's still fun!

43) Vinnie Carbone (l) vs Kevin Anderson in pool play. I beat Kevin, but I haven't beaten Vinnie in foil or epee in months...then again, he's a "B" (and a mutant left-hander to boot) and I'm unrated...I'm workin' on it.

44) This about the only way I'm ever gonna beat Vinnie!

1999 Swords Open Foil competition, 10-10-90, SoCal Division

45) Sergio Tellez (r) ducking away from his opponent's attack. Sergio ended up winning this DE bout and finished in 4th place.

1999 Swords "C" Sabre competition, 10-10-90, SoCal Division

46) Me (l) vs. Swords' Lupa Chang in a DE bout...this win got me my E99 sabre's also one of my favorite picture of me fencing.

47) Linda Dunn (l) goes against her husband, Larry Dunn. Larry won, so I guess he had to sleep on the couch that night.

Remodeling & fencing at SwordPlay

48-50) Some interior shots of SwordPlay following the recent remodeling. Notice the new floor. Carpeting covered by rubber strips. No more fencing on a hard wooden floor!

51) Freewind (l) and Albert Perrotta during the first Wednesday tourney following the remodel.

52) Jus' some stiff at SwordPlay (It's a mannequin, in case you're not looking closely).

Inspirational stuff

53) This is the front and back of my competition shirt I wore at all USFA comps during the 1998-1999 season. I tried to get some inspiration from the cats, since I'm a cat person. It seemed to work, since a lot of stuff came together and I came home with a fair amount of hardware from club tourneys, along with a couple from USFA comps. After I got my E99 sabre rating, I retired it.

54) This is the competition shirt for the 1999-2000 season. The primary goal is my "D" in foil, but I'll take an "E" epee to go with the "E" foil & sabre.

Not-so inspirational stuff

55) Gotta admit, I bring it on myself! Loy Hopkins, an instructor at Swords ( a rival salle in our division) drew this up for me. I guess she's seen Frankenbag go through so many variations, she wondered what could possibly be next. I think she found the answer!

SwordPlay at the 1999 Palm Springs NAC

56) Almost all of us during the 1st day of the Open Men's Foil. L to R; Alec Bellanca (170th in Open Men's Epee,183rd in Open Men's Foil) , Owens Rodriguez (130th in Open Men's Foil), Me (147th in Open Men's Foil and just realizing how short and bald I really am compared to the others!), Angela Spinler (doesn't fence, but she wins the beauty pagent division!), Freewind (76th Open Men's Sabre, 183rd Open Men's Epee, 91st Open Men's Foil...a couple more years and he'll probably start in the veteran's events as well), and Wesley Bellanca (111th Open Men's Epee and 110th Open Men's Foil). Not shown: Sergio Tellez (171st Open Men's Epee and 163rd Open Men's Foil), and Donald Benge (25th Veteran Men's Epee and 18th Veteran Men's Foil).

57) For those who have never seen one (I hadn't), this is a frame for wheelchair fencing. The Y hooks laying down go over the wheels and are used to hold the chairs in place.

1999 Palm Springs NAC

58) Pavel Kolobkov, ranked #2 in the world in mens epee, at the 1999 NAC in Palm Springs, CA. I don't remember his opponent's name, but I remember Kolobkov landing a foot touch as his opponent retracted the foot. Beautiful! He later won the gold in the individual epee at the 2000 Olympics.

Open Foil #6, San Bernardino Division, 2-12-00

59) Eric Kelly (r) during the round of 4 bout in the open sabre, vs Mike Menefee of College of the Desert. Eric won this bout, losing 15-14 in the gold medal bout to Jim Royal of the Cabrillo Academy of the Sword.

60) Me in pool play against Michael Martin of the Redlands Fencing Center. Look ma...more purple socks! I beat Mike in pool 5-4 and ended up winning the tournament, upping my foil rating to an E00...or as they called it, E2K! Mike was a very tough fight.

61) Brad Wilcox (l) and me at the Inner City Youth Games fencing demo. This was the first time Brad and I met.

2000 Senior Pacific Coast Championships Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA 5-12-00 to 5-14-00

62) Left to right, Eric Kelly, Freewind and me just after getting knocked out of the team sabre comp. We won our first match handily, then went against Spartak from San Diego. The other two times we'd faced Spartak, they spanked us 45-5 and 45-6. THIS time we actually scared them 45-36. The glow from that match kept Eric and me awake nearly the entire 8 hour drive home!

63) It ain't SwordPlay's team, but you just HAD to love Don Snyder (r), who had NEVER fenced before, deciding to hit the piste with his son, Cadet National Team member Derek Snyder (c) and teammate Fabian Ricard so Masque de Fer (Chaminade) could field a team in the men's foil division. Don actually got a couple of touches! He's starting to hit the strip in local competition as well.

"The Battle of Burbank", Media City Center, Burbank, CA 6-4-00

A fencing tournament in the mall. Woohooo! It went fairly well, all things considered. The turnout was small, which made it manageable. Better things for next year. Complete results are here.

64) This sign was right next to the carousel in the main throughway of the's in my living room now.

65) Alec Bellanca (r) scores one on Michael Alexander in the gold, medal bout of the Open Epee. Michael won, but Alex fought very well.

66) Paul Freidman (l) faces off against Martin Juarez in the Open Sabre. Sabre looks very strange from the spectator's vantage.

67) Dan Holm (l) against Abraham Kuo in the semi finals of the Open Foil.

Misc. shots

68) Ooohhh! New clothing! Finally got my FIE clothing this year. I still get whomped on, but I look a lot better doin it.

69) Poppin' a salute before a foil bout in Long Beach.

70) Argh! I felt this shot for an hour! I think I scored.

71) I got her, but I'll be buggered if I can figure how!

72) The epee tournament was a killer...15 people, 5 of whom were A's! Oy! This guy's hand position is so sweet. It's almost like he's backhanding me.

73) Same guy, same thing. I just don't learn!

74) I actually caught his blade a few times, but I tended to drag it into myself.

75) I can't infight.

"The Duel in the Desert", Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, NV 1-5-01 to 1-7-01

76) This was the demo strip used to showcase the event at the hotel. The top 2 finishers in each weapon (male & female) fenced in a best of 5 or 7 series for $500 to $1000 in poker chips. Oh BOY, did they fight hard!

77)  Team SwordPlay. Standing, left to right: Donald Benge, Daniel Maynard, Sam Signorelli, Alec Bellanca. Sitting, left to right: Alec's dad, Jim Bellanca, and brother, Wes Bellanca.

78) Me vs No Fear's Chuck Alexander. Chuckie was my first bout in the epee, and I actually got 2 off him!

79) The one & only Donald "The" Benge

80) Me in the Sabre. I think I stopped rushing into the point in line, but maybe not.

81) Two Sabres that crash in the night.

82) Me in the foil. I did allright. Made DE, but lst the 1st one 15-14. Had fun, though!

83) Alec Bellanca lunges during his DE bout.

New pics 8-19-01!

2001 USFA Summer National Championships, Sacramento, CA 7-3-01 to 7-11-01

Well, I finally went to the Big Show! Fenced 7-8 and 7-9. Didn't do too badly, all things considered! Div I Epee team took 17th, and I took 71st and 29th in Div III sabre & foil.

84) Here's our epee team...Freewind, me and Alec Bellanca., We got seriously spanked...but we got spanked at Nats! I ended up coming in an am emergency replacement when Donald Benge fell ill.

85) Here's me posing like a doofus!

86) My DE against Charles Williams in Div III sabre. He killed me :)

87) For those who have asked...the current incarnation of Frankenbag! Now it's a double-wide hard-side golf travel case, and everything;s mounted inside! Got a lot of looks and compliments on this!


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