Monday, July 11, 2011

Franklin Inn has Our Own Zorro!

Brendon (left) at the Holy Grail 2011 Tournament.
You’ve probably met Brendon Beatty during one of your visits to the Franklin Inn.  He’s been with us for several years and can be seen mostly serving and sometimes even cooking (probably because he likes the shiny sharp objects in the kitchen!) This soft spoken server has another side unrelated to food….he’s a master swordsman.  That’s right! He is the Franklin Inn’s very own Zorro!

Brendon is actually a Champion Fencer, Master Swordsman, and USFCA Certified Instructor with years of experience in tournament competition and teaching others.  He is the former coach of the then Championship winning Taylor Allderdice Fencing Team (My Alma mater by the way!). He continues to share his knowledge and history of the sport he loves through his Corsair School of Arms.

Leanne at the Tiger Fencing,
Women's Foil Competition.
Corsair stands for Club of Renaissance Swordsmanship and Interpretive Reenactment.  Corsair provides both Sport Fencing and Historical Fencing (Dueling) with period weapons. I told you he’s our Zorro! I visited one of his practices and was surprised to see that it was multi-generational not just kids and teens.  I should also note that Corsair is not just for the boys. In fact, another Franklin Inner is also involved and receiving accolades: Leanne Woods looks sweet and smiley when she is serving you a margarita but she is a worthy opponent as evidenced by her progress in the sport. In their last competition at the Holy Grail 2011 Tournament the Corsair Team entered with a Mixed Saber Team and won first place. Corsair will be competing again July 30th at the 2011 Keystone Tournament Games in Hershey, PA. Good Luck Brendon, Leanne and the rest of Team Corsair.
Brendon's dad, Vince (middle)
During my visit to Corsair’s practice, I was warmly welcomed by Brendon’s father, Vince.  He enthusiastically explained what we were observing, the various weapons used and the history of fencing (like why fencers wear white...see for the answer to that and some cool fencing facts). I was hooked and intrigued by the eloquence of this sport and how it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood authors, Dumas, whose stories brought romantic ideals alive for me…the struggle between good and evil, the triumph of truth, forgiveness, noble intentions, honor and true love. Hoping to live vicariously through my children, I just about begged them to be my three little musketeers and give fencing a try.  Alexandre who? The Count of What? They’re in a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” reading world. My mention of the Princess Bride and Zorro was also met with a blank stare. I switched tactics and told Joey that he would learn to battle like a Jedi with his light saber and reminded the girls of how much they loved the Barbie and the Musketeers movie.  That sparked some interest!

Corsair Saber Team at Holy Grail 2011.
Setting aside the romantic notions of the classics or images of modern pop movie heroes engaged in battle; fencing in reality is a great sport to stay fit mentally and physically.  You’ll also learn hand eye coordination, balance, stamina, agility, and what "En garde" really means.  Consider visiting Brendon to find out more about fencing. You will be fascinated by his and his father's fencing knowledge. Corsair currently meets at Heritage Church just a block south of the Franklin Inn.  Most recently, practices are held on Monday and Thursday nights but the schedule does change occasionally, so contact Brendon for updated days and times. He can be reached at or Feel free to ask Brendon about Corsair next time you visit the Franklin Inn as well.  He's at the restaurant at some point (pun intended) most days of the week.

1 comment:

Donna Johnston said...

Congrats Brendon & Team~! Your teaching abilities which I've observed at the church speak for you. Keep up the good work. See you at the Inn!