Fencing? Ask Questions!
What’s a fencing class like?
Fencing classes are typically comprised of four parts:
WARM UP, either a game or a set of dynamic exercises, to develop athleticism, prevent injury, and prepare our bodies for work.
FOOTWORK, where the students practice their ability to control the distance between themselves and their opponents. Footwork practice emphasizes coordination and balance, and is essential for beginners and Olympians alike.
BLADEWORK, where the students put on their protective equipment and practice with the blades. Students work with partners to create either cooperative situations, where they help each other practice specific offensive or defensive techniques, or competitive situations, where they practice those same skills against resisting opponents.
BOUTING, where students apply what they’ve learned in the class by free-fencing (supervised sparring) with their fellow classmates.
At the beginning of each class, we will often take a moment to sit in a circle and welcome new fencers, learn the names of our classmates, and lay out a plan for the day. At the end we close class with a group salute, a traditional way to express our gratitude for our partners, coaches, and parents.
What do I need to know for my first class?
Not much! Bring a pair of clean indoor athletic shoes and wear pants you can move in (no jeans).
Plan to come ten minutes early so that there will be time to meet the coach, fill out a waiver if you haven’t already submitted one digitally, and get a few pointers before you jump into class.
Other things you could bring if you like:
A friend (so you can stab them)
An enemy (see above)
A water bottle.
What does a new fencer’s path look like?
Here’s an outline of how our youth program flows:
Come try it out! Reach out and we will help arrange a time that you can jump in to a trial class. Free of charge, all equipment provided. CAUTION: you may have fun.
Back for more? Youth fencers in our Introductory level come to one 1-hour class per week, learning fencing fundamentals.
Not enough? Practicing just once per week makes anything difficult to learn, so youth fencers in our Developmental level begin coming to a second class to make more rapid progress. Fencers in this stage will begin accumulating their own kit of protective gear, and may even begin taking private lessons with a coach to help develop their personal fencing style.
Is this your sport? Are you excited by the idea of testing your skills in a real tournament? Once you have a good foundation, your own protective and scoring equipment, and the skills to work well with training partners, you’re ready to step up into the Competitive level! Students at this level train up to four days per week, with extra opportunities to practice more advanced drills and fence with the electric scoring equipment in preparation for official fencing tournamenets. Students start competing at a level dictated by their own skill, age, and comfort; locally on up to nationally; and begin to learn productive mental processes for solving problems, behaving respectfully under stress, and setting healthy expectations and goals.
What if I already have experience?
Fantastic! Drop us a line and tell us about yourself, we’d love to arrange a time for you to come in and see if this is a place you’d like to train. We have Teen/Adult classes in Foil, Epee, and Saber, opportunities for open fencing and private lessons, a regular squad of NU athletes for you to practice and compete with.
Absolutely! Everyone has that one swordfighting movie they hold close to their heart, and it’s never too late to take up a blade. Most of our “Beginning” training hours are dedicated to youth athletes, but fencing is a fantastic sport that you can pick up and compete in at any age. Send us an email if you’re interested and we’ll help you find the right place in our program.