Senior Classes: for ages 13+
Are you going to be at least 13 years old by January 1, 2014? If yes, then you are a Senior.
In sport fencing in the United States, Seniors are athletes aged 13+. For competitions, the Senior age category is further divided as such: Youth 14 (ages 13-14); Cadets (ages 15-16); Juniors (ages 17-19); Seniors (ages 20-39); and Veterans (ages 40+). Some of the more-advanced and competitive Youth 12 fencers might also be seen practicing with the Seniors.
Most of our Seniors fence as a team, and they train together in a group class format. We offer three types of group classes: Conditioning, Drills, and Sparring. Conditioning classes are intended to help athletes improve their strength, agility, and power through exercises related to fencing. Drill classes teach sport-specific technical and tactical skills in a controlled setting. Occasionally, drill classes may also address topics such as nutrition, goal setting, tournament mentality, and equipment maintenance. Sparring classes create a more competitive environment in which to practice. Most fencers attend at least two drill classes and then one or more sparring sessions each week as they train for various tournaments held throughout the season.
We provide basic equipment when available, especially those students who are new to the sport. Membership with the United States Fencing Association is required before joining any class. Membership is $5, and expires on August 31. It may be purchased by visiting USFencing.org.
Senior Conditioning Classes
Fencing requires a considerable amount of coordination and dexterity. Conditioning classes help fencers get into shape by running through various exercises to improve balance, agility, strength and explosiveness. Conditioning classes are team practices; they are not allowed on a "drop-in" basis. Participants tend to be high school athletes who are toward the more competitive end of the spectrum, but adults are also more than welcome to attend.
Senior Drill Classes
Much like playing an instrument, fencing involves constant attention to technique. Our Drill classes familiarize students with terminology, impart muscle memory, and hone technique through repetition. In any given class, students may work with balls and bean bags to develop hand-eye coordination, with wall targets to improve manual dexterity, or with various functional exercises and games to increase their strength and flexibility. We spend time in each day discussing footwork exercises and working with partners to solve problems related to actual fencing bouts.
As with the Conditioning classes, Drill classes are unavailable on a "drop in" basis. Fencers must commit to the month of classes, although that commitment may be for one day per week. Drill classes are appropriate for beginners. Novice fencers will often be paired with experienced athletes with the understanding that a "rising tide raises all ships."
Sparring is typically held at 7 pm, after drill classes, in order to give students an opportunity to try and implement what they have just learned. If drill classes are comparable to music lessons, sparring classes are like playing in a band with friends. But, just like you would need your own instrument to jam in your friend's garage, you're going to need your own electrical equipment to spar.
We also hold sparring classes on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings. Some people only attend sparring sessions. These are usually the fencers who are uninterested in competition, but just want to cross swords for exercise and recreation (stress-relief). We offer a discounted monthly rate of $75 for fencers who just want to spar. Or there is also a drop-in fee of $15/day.
Friday Night Fights
On select Friday nights, we hold fun tournaments to bring all our fencers together in a more social atmosphere. These tournaments are usually small, with numbers varying from 6-15 people. They often combine varying ages and ability levels. It is not uncommon to see food and drink brought in by participants, and there are always prizes to be won.
Doors open at 5:30 pm to allow for warm-ups and registration. The tournament starts promptly at 6:00 pm. The fee is usually $10 for club members and $15 for non-club members.
Fight Night dates and formats are announced a few weeks in advance, and pre-registration is posted on askfred. These tournaments are open to all fencers, but they are typically unsanctioned events.
Most tournaments are organized by age and ability, and there are different leagues in which to play. For example, our Youth 14 Seniors would start in the Central Coast Youth Circuit, a series of tournaments managed by the Central Coast Fencing Foundation. There is also a high school fencing league based in Los Angeles, and an amateur league managed through the US Fencing Association. Presidio fencers compete in each of these leagues. For more information on the various leagues, and for a competition calendar, please visit our Tournament page.
Although we have some equipment that may be borrowed, fencers will need to purchase most of their own gear before entering tournaments. Visit our Equipment page for a list of vendors and what to buy.