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About Cumberland D'Escrime Fencing

At Cumberland D'Escrime Fencing, our goal has always been to provide a safe, fun, relaxed place for both beginning and experienced fencers to fence. We also aim to provide quality instruction at a very low cost to the student, especially to those just beginning in the sport or wanting to experience the fun of fencing.

History of Cumberland D'Escrime

Cumberland D'Escrime (CDE) has had a long partnership with Nashville Community Education. The club was originally founded by Eric and Charlotte Howard in 1994. They were also the coaches for the Vanderbilt University Fencing Club and needed a new place to fence for the fencers that weren't students at Vanderbilt when the Vanderbilt club was moved to the Recreation Center. Eric and Charlotte continued to coach both clubs until Eric handed the club over to Otto Schwarz approximately 1999. Eric is currently a coach at Music City Fencing Club. Otto was also one of the founding members of the Tennessee Technological University Foil Epee Sabre Society (FESS) fencing club in 1994. Otto in turn handed the club over to Chip Moore, another founding member of FESS, approximately 2002. Otto is currently a coach at Capitol District Fencing School in New York. Chip Moore was also joined by Kelcey Casson (2002) and Kristen Thomas (2012) as instructors. Chip formally made CDE a registered 501(c)(3) organization in 2008. Chip remained the primary instructor and the club president until 2019. Kristen also had the FESS lineage, being part of the initial group behind that club. She was in charge of the CDE Beginning Youth program from Fall of 2012 to Summer of 2014. Kelcey began with FESS around 1999. He was an instructor with CDE until 2017. Donovan Grimwood began with FESS in 1995 as a college P.E. credit and continued with FESS until about 2000. He joined CDE approximately 2002 (in part due to carpooling with Kelcey). Around 2006, Donovan became the armorer for CDE and helped manage the gear and secure a sizable donation from the University of Knoxville Fencing Club (many of those jackets are still in use today). He also assisted the primary instructors and filled in as necessary. About 2017, he became the primary instructor after Kelcey moved and in 2019 became the club president as Chip officially handed the club over. Jason (Adder) Clemmons began fencing with CDE in the spring of 2017 and was asked to be the instructor for the Intermediate class in 2019. 

A special recognition goes out to Patrick Stiles for designing the CDE logo. He was a fencer with CDE for many years and continues to do fantastic art. He is currently the editor in chief for several comics that are available through Walmart.

Throughout this all, CDE has been actively involved in demonstrating the sport of fencing at NCE Open Houses and supporting the NCE mission. CDE is very happy to have a home with NCE that allows the sport of fencing to be very accessible to everyone!

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