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Which class is best for me?

We offer beginners’ classes in all of the three Olympic Fencing weapons: Foil, Épée, and Saber.  Differences are described below.  There are classes are for 8+ years (youth and adult) and 14+ years (adult only). 

We also offer a Youth Beginning Fencing Class (ages 8 to 12 years) that gives an overview of all three weapons. 

All classes are 6 weeks long and we provide all of the required fencing equipment. Club membership is not required .

Beginning Foil

The class covers basic foil footwork, blade work, rules, and bouting. Foil classes are held at our Noblesville site and at Wilfong Pavilion in Founders Park through Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation.

Beginning Épée

The class covers basic foil footwork, blade work, rules, and bouting. Electric scoring equipment is used. Classes are held at our Club location in Noblesville.

Beginning Saber

The class covers basic foil footwork, blade work, rules, and bouting. Classes are held at our Club location in Noblesville.

Youth Beginning Fencing

This class gives students an overview of all three fencing weapons, including footwork, blade work, rules, tactics and bouting,  It is for youth ages 8 to 12 and is held at our club location in Noblesville.

Register for Youth/Adult Classes (8 years+)

Register for Adult Only Classes (14 years+)

Fencing Overview

Fencing is done on a strip or piste that is approximately 14 meters long and 1.5 meters wide.  Scoring is done electronically and a referee calls the action and enforces the rules. Bouts are to 15 touches (or points) and consist of three 3-minute periods (time is stopped between actions) with a 1 minute break between each period.

Épée Fencing
Épée fencing is based on the European dueling weapon and its rules are fairly simple.  Duels were usually fought to “first blood,” so touches (or points) in Épée fencing are scored by hitting your opponent anywhere on the body that would bleed.  The Épée is the heaviest weapon and incorporates a fairly large bell guard to shield the hand from touches (since the hand is a valid and popular target).  Touches can only be scored with the point.

Foil Fencing
The foil is the lightest and most flexible weapon. It was originally created as a training weapon for Épée and was never used as a real weapon.  Foil fencing is similar to Épée fencing with two major exceptions.  First, the valid target area is the torso, front and back, from the neck through the groin.  Foil fencers wear a “lame” which is a metal vest that covers the valid target area.  A fencer must hit the lame with the foil’s tip in order to score a touch.  Second, Foil uses a system called “right of way.”  This means that the fencer initiating an attack has the right to hit their opponent, who must stop the attack before they can attack. The referee calls the “right of way” action and awards touches. 

Saber Fencing

The saber is the only weapon that uses both the point and the edge.  Saber fencing is very different from Épée and Foil fencing fencing, particularly the blade work.  The valid target area is everything from the waist up.  Saber fencers wear a “lame” similar to foil except it also covers the arms.  They also wear a conductive mask since the head is valid target area.  A fencer must hit the lame or mask with any part of the saber’s blade in order to score a touch.  Saber is similar to foil as both use “right of way.” 

Below are some videos of bouts with the three weapons: