What’s it all about then?
Sadly, fencing isn’t as well known in the UK as it used to be, so you’re probably going to have a few questions and we’ll do our best to answer some of them here. If you can’t find the particular pearl of wisdom that you seek, please do email us and we’ll be happy to get back to you.
Q: I’m about to start fencing at RTWFC – what should I bring?
We supply all the kit that you’ll need. Come dressed in a t-shirt that you can exercise in, trainers and tracksuit bottoms (so that your legs are covered). A bottle of water is essential, as is a sense of humour.
Q: Do I have to be very fit?
Not at all – a large majority of our members would probably confess to being the complete opposite. All club nights and lessons are run for the benefit of those taking part, and you should only exercise up to a level you feel comfortable with – feel free to sit out anything you don’t fancy: we’re not in the business of giving people heart attacks.
Fencing is also special in that it is sport that all ages can indulge in with success – some fencers are happily still competing into their 70s and beyond in the thriving veterans’ scene.
Q: Does it hurt?
All children and beginners use what are known as ‘steam’ epees which are much softer and more flexible than normal epees. Furthermore, we ensure that you have full protective kit on and safety is a priority – no one is allowed to fence without the correct kit in place.
Having said that, it is a physical sport and you may pick up the odd bruise – especially if you work your way into more competitive fencing! If it’s something you’re worried just let your opponent know and they’ll do their best to help you.
Q: Do I need to have fenced before?
Not at all, whilst we encourage and welcome experienced fencers, the vast majority of our fencers have come as complete novices and have learnt at our club.
Q: What level of tuition is available?
Paul Beasley, the Head Coach, is a British Fencing Association Level 3 Epee Coach, and is currently coach to age-group champions at county and regional level. Paul offers group classes and individual lessons to adults on a Monday and Thursday, and runs the more advanced junior group lessons on a Sunday.
Chris Higginson, the Assistant Coach, is a British Fencing Association Level 2 Epee Coach. His clear, enthusiastic instruction is much in evidence in the Monday junior beginners and Thursday teen and adult classes he runs, as well as the beginner and intermediate groups he coaches on a Sunday.
Further to Paul and Chris, we often have another assistant coach or experienced volunteer with the younger fencers to ensure a good ratio of coach to fencers.
All our coaches are BFA certified and have undergone current criminal record (enhanced DBS) checks.
Q: I keep seeing references to épée – what’s that?
In the sport of fencing three different versions of sword are used: épée, sabre and foil. At RTWFC we fence épée exclusively as we feel it is most suitable to our members (which weapon is superior has been argued in fencing clubs since the dawn of the sport).
I have more questions…
If you’d like to come along or if you have any questions at all then please contact us through our contact page.