What the new fencing student
needs to know
Information for fencers (and their parents):
The Anchorage Fencing Club regularly teaches students as young as 10 years old and as old as ... we don't really have an upper age limit! We put a lot of focus on making the classes suitable and enjoyable for both kids and adults, and have occasionally trained students younger than 10, but typically these very young kids have short attention spans and find it difficult to wield a sword for an entire hour of fencing drills. If you have questions on this issue, we'd be glad to discuss your specific interests.
Fencing is a sport! Dress for it. If you don't have a fencing uniform, wear sweat pants. No shorts or street clothes please. To protect our gym floor, please bring court or gym shoes to wear.
Fencing is a sport! Bring plenty of water to drink.
Fencing is a sport! If you have any medical conditions or problems,
let the coaches know.
When you come for your first fencing lesson, be sure to have the following items with you:
Long sweat pants or warm-up suit pants. Jeans can restrict your movement, and shorts can trap a blade against your bare skin. They also do not provide adequate protection. If you come in shorts, you will not be able to fence. The club does not provide fencing knickers.
T-shirt: You'll want something lightweight and short-sleeved. Bring two so you can peel off the soaked one before you head home.
For males: protective hard cup. Although this is not mandated by USFA, it is highly recommended at AFC. In both foil and epee, the groin area is included in the target area.
For females: breast protectors. AFC will provide these if you don't have your own.
Gym shoes: Non-marking, please. There are several types of shoes that you can use if you don't have fencing shoes. Some people are quite comfortable with court shoes (tennis, racquetball, volleyball, wrestling, etc.. Some find that light weight cheerleading shoes of skimmers work well. You want to avoid heavy shoes or those with large soles (like trail running shoes).
Towel: Don't forget to bring a towel or two. You can work up quite a sweat just standing around in the gear. It is guaranteed once you start fencing.
Drinks: Large bottles of water or sports drink are encouraged.
Lesson Book: When you take lessons, you'll receive a Lesson Plans booklet. Please keep this and bring it with you to every lesson.
Fencing as a conditioning sport
Fencing can be strenuous, which makes it an excellent way to stay in shape throughout the year. Because of the layers of protective equipment, including a full-face mask, you'll burn off a great deal of water in an hour or two of active fencing, and not a small amount just standing around in the equipment.
Conversely, being in good shape will make you a better fencer, so it is an ideal cross-training activity.