Beginning Fencing Class and Camps:

The Beginning Fencing Classes and Camps introduce new fencers to the sport. 

Beginner Classes

  • In the classes you will learn the basics of fencing with all three Olympic Fencing weapons – Foil, Épée, and Saber, and will understand the differences between them.  (Descriptions and videos of the three weapons are included below.)
  • The classes are six-weeks long, one hour per week, and all of the required fencing equipment is provided 
  • Classes are offered for youth (ages 8 to 12), youth/adults (age 8 and up – so that parents can take the class with their kids), and teens/adults (age 13 and up).

Beginner Camps

  • Camps are usually for a specific weapon and go into greater depth than the classes. 
  • They are a week long and 2 hours per day.
  • Age restrictions are listed for each camp.

In both the classes and camps, you will be taught the basics of footwork, blade work, tactics, rules, and competitions.

Club membership is not required and all required fencing equipment is provided.

Please see the lists below for upcoming class/camp dates.

Click on the title for more information and to register.

Register for Youth Classes (8-12 years), Youth Camps (9-12 years), or Youth/Adult Classes (8 years+)

Register for Teen/Adult Classes or Teen Camps (13 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: