Please browse below for answers to some common questions asked about fencing.
What is your approach to teaching fencing?
Our emphasis is on developing both the athlete and the person. Our philosophy is to create a positive, focused learning environment where students can quickly immerse themselves in the sport. We work closely with parents to build an environment where students develop mastery of the sport along with the self-confidence, determination and sportsmanship that allow them to excel in life as well as fencing. We believe in the long-term development of the athlete, working to ensure that they develop a passion for fencing that will transcend natural phases in their lives. For our staff, intrinsic motivation is the key to keeping students happy and emotionally healthy in sport; they need to love what they do and enjoy training. By showing them how to reach their maximum potential while intrinsically motivating themselves they can enjoy fencing for a lifetime!
How do I know if I (or my child) will be good at fencing?
Fencing is a complex sport and tends to draw students who enjoy challenging activities. It is also a sport that is adrenaline-fueled and incredibly fun! Fencing challenges students to become stronger, faster, more flexible, increase coordination and develop incredible skill at rapid decision-making. Development in these areas can vary from student to student based on natural ability and previous sport experience. It is also important to understand that fencing is a full-contact sport in a fighting environment. This means that students will be adjusting to the rigors of combat; learning how to think calmly under pressure, control their emotions and master their coordination under challenging conditions. Again, how long it takes a student to acclimate to the fencing environment can vary depending on previous life experience.
What commitments do I need to make to enter this program?
Our fencing program is designed to get the student immersed in the sport with minimal time and monetary commitment, allowing them to quickly try it out and see if they like it. The first class session is free and basic equipment is provided for new students at no additional fee. You can select the number of days you would like to fence per week and you can change which days you attend on a week by week basis.
Is fencing safe?
The sport of fencing is very safe with a low injury rate. Injuries that do occur generally involve pulled muscles, etc. Fencers wear full protection and the weapons are flexible.
Help! I am a parent and need to know what my child should be doing to progress!
Our coaching staff endeavors to meet regularly with our students and their parents to coordinate their overall development. If you have any questions about our programs, your child's progress or what their "next step" should be, please see a member of our coaching staff and we would be happy to chat with you. If you are a competitive fencer and need more information on what tournaments to attend, how fencers are ranked and what your season plans should be, the Parent's Corner menu is for you! We have an extensive list of guides to help you through this process.
Is there competitive fencing in the US? Is competition necessary?
There is a robust competitive environment in the US. In fact, the US is one of the leading powerhouses for fencing at the international level. There are competitions ranging from local events through national-level tournaments and on to international events. We welcome students with both competitive and recreational aspirations; whatever you want to take away from the sport, we have programs to meet your needs.
What is your training structure and what should I (or my child) be doing to help them reach their maximum potential?
Training revolves around four tiers of instruction. The core - central to their development - is the private lesson. This is one-on-one instruction where our staff can refine technique and develop a game that is individually suited to the specific fencer. Around the private lesson is the group class. This is an environment where the student can train together with their peers in a structured setting, trying new movements and refining their game. Outside of organized instruction, students have the freedom to use the center to train on their own, fence with teammates and work out at their leisure. Membership is included in all fencing classes for no additional fee and the facility is available to them during our open hours. Finally, we encourage students to attend competitions on a regular basis, although this piece is not required. Competition allows students to draw motivation from the experience, fine-tune their skills and track their progress in a way that creates accountability.
What are the different weapons in fencing and is one better than another?
We have three weapons in our sport: foil, epee and saber. All of our introductory programs are taught using the foil, although all three weapons are taught at the center. Each weapon has unique characteristics and there is no progression from one to another (there is no sequential progress across weapons - fencers simply choose one they like). For a complete description of each weapon see our Resources menu.
What are the credentials for your coaching staff?
All coaches at the center are profession members of our national organization - the United States Fencing Association (USFA). All are also members of the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA), the governing body for coaching fencing in the US. All staff are fully background-checked through the USFA and routinely go through continued education for both technical training and teaching methodologies. For bios on our staff, please see the Who We Are menu.