Well, thanks to Tony Zaldua and Art Crash, we pulled off our largest practice tournament yet with twenty-five people. With a beginner crashcourse at the start, two different divisions for fencers at various levels, and $140 in prizes given out at the end, it really couldn't have been better. We also received an excellent reaction from the local tennis players, which might make this location ideal for Lightspeed Base Los Angeles.

Daniel Kim helps a newcomer.

Daniel Kim helps a newcomer.

One thing I've neglected to mention recently was the tremendous help given by Daniel Kim, one of our original members of Lightspeed Base Buena Park. He came to Los Angeles to just assist us, and or that I am extremely grateful. Daniel always gives up his time generously for the things and people that he loves.

So how did the beginners do? Well, we had two traditional saber fencers in the mix, and one particularly crafty guy who spent the whole day pommeling, which I did not teach, nor did I prepare anyone in the crashcourse to deal with. So he did very well.

Two traditional saber fencers.

Two traditional saber fencers.

We also had our little man, Mason, getting in on the act, probably putting on the gear for the first time. We threw him in for a match or two when we could. His dad told me later he wanted to really do it so they're shopping for some gear for him now. Pretty cool!

Not to overshadow the tournament, but of course the big story of the day was the announcement of our participation at SkillCon this year.

It's funny cuz it's so far away. We've still got a summer tournament series to plan so it's almost silly to get this excited already. But it's gonna be huge so we need tons of time to plan, not just for the competition but logistics of travel, accommodations, and also recruiting efforts while we're there, tabling, etc.

Regardless, it's been an enormous amount of work getting to this point. I'm so glad I have people behind me helping this happen. We probably wouldn't even be going to SkillCon if it weren't for this girl on the right. Batty Loco. What a saleswoman. She pitched us applying to SkillCon to begin with. Batty, thank you. This wouldn't have happened without you.

My only worry is sustaining everything. The bigger it gets the harder it seems to get. I want to accept everyone into the tournament that wants to come but staffing matters a lot to make sure everyone has a good experience. I guess it's time to get my ass on that refereeing video. Given that Hawaii and Dallas will be hosting their own tournaments shortly, I guess now it's more important than ever.

Cang Snow