Fencing for Adults (aka Seniors)
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 our more-advanced and competitive Youth fencers might also invitated to participate with the Seniors.
We offer two types of group lessons: Drills and Sparring. Drill Classes allow fencers to learn specific technical and tactical skills in a controlled setting, either with a group, or with a partner. Sparring Classes put those skills to the test in a more competitive setting. Occasionally, these classes will also address topics such as nutrition, goal setting, tournament mentality, and equipment maintenance. Most fencers attend one drill class and then one or more sparring sessions each week. We provide basic equipment when available, especially for our students at the introductory stage. 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.
This hour-long class, which occurs every Wednesday night, introduces a set of drills that are meant to familiarize fencers with terminology, to impart muscle memory, and to hone technique with repetition. It is a foundational class, and all those with less than a year of experience should try to attend. Intermediate and Advanced fencers can also benefit from Group Drills by approaching the lessons from a higher level.
This is a "footwork" class for sport-specific conditioning. We warm-up as a group and then practice various movements and exercises. All competitive fencers are encouraged to attend.
Footwork classes are included in the monthly drills fes. A floor fee of $15 is available for non-members.
Please note that, due to tournament scheduling and other conflicts, Footwork classes might have to be canceled on certain Saturdays. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. Any cancellations will be posted on our Updates page.
for both competitive and recreational Senior fencers. Electrical equipment is optional. Fencers practice in a more realistic setting. A floor fee of $15 is available for those who do not take drills.
for competitive Senior fencers, and personal electrical equipment is required. Opportunities for practice in Foil, Epee, and Saber. A floor fee of $15 is available for those who do not take drills.
Levels of Fencing
We organize our Senior fencers into five categories, measured by the drills they practice. Mastering each set of drills opens doors to new levels of fencing. For example, proficiency with the Introductory drills allows participation in Sparring classes; proficiency of novice drills allows entrance into tournaments; and proficiency of higher-level drills allows entrance into higher-level tournaments. Remember that success in fencing is directly related to the amount of effort one is willing to invest. As a result, time must be spent practicing basic moves until they become familiar. Those fencers who can play an instrument often note the similarities.
Below are our five levels, with suggestions for when to attend practice:
Level 1: “Introductory”
Wednesday at 6:00 pm
Introductory Drills are foundational lessons for those who are new to the sport of fencing. Each week we learn new skills to build upon the previous week’s lesson. Students work one-on-one with an advanced fencer during Partner Drills. Our introductory level lasts for one month and comes with a special rate of $60. After four weeks, newcomers will be ready to spar with their peers and continue with the Level 2 lessons. The curriculum of this class resets at the beginning of every month. If you missed the first week of lessons, then you can jump in next month. We provide all of the necessary equipment. Check out our Learn To Fence page for more information.
Level 2: “Novice”
Novice drills revolve around a curriculum of four lessons. We introduce one of these four lessons each week in Group Drills and provide opportunities for students to practice each lesson in Partner Drills until they achieve proficiency. These lessons are meant to familiarize fencers with terminology, to impart muscle memory, and to hone technique with repetition.
Most fencers will spend between four and twelve months at the Novice level before moving on to Level 3 Drills. Once they advance beyond Level 2, they may start to enter local tournaments and may choose to fence with epees and sabers during Sparring. Novice drills are $105/month.
Level 3: “Intermediate”
Fencers at the intermediate level are expected to exhibit independence, focus, and competitive drive. Many will be starting to attend local competitions, and they will be encouraged to attend Sparring Classes at least once per week in order to practice what they’ve learned in their lessons.
Our Level 3 drills are more complicated than those at Level 2 – and rightly so! The lessons focus on setting up compound maneuvers to trick one’s opponent, and the physical and mental coordination needed for execution tends to be fairly complex. Because of the marriage of bladework and footwork, Level 3 drills are sometimes practiced during Saturday’s Footwork classes. The majority of the time, however, these drills are practiced during the Partner Drill Sessions on Monday and Wednesday at 6:00 pm.
Because tournament experience and success is required, most fencers can expect to stay at Level 3 for twelve to twenty-four months. When they advance beyond Level 3, fencers will be encouraged to attend regional and national tournaments. Intermediate Drills are $105/month.
Levels 4 and 5: “Advanced”
Level 4 and 5 drills are always practiced one-on-one, either with another advanced partner, or with a coach. These drills are meant to prepare fencers for higher-level tournaments, such as those on the national scene. Advanced fencers attend sparring classes at least two days/week, and regularly take private lessons. They also help with Introductory, Novice, and Intermediate drills, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Athletes can expect to spend at least 12 months with the drills at Level 4 because the standards that must be met are very high. At Level 5, fencers continue practicing everything learned and attempt to develop a more personalized sense of style. Advanced Drills are $200/month and are available via invitation only.