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.
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.
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.
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 about then just let your opponent know and they’ll do their best to help you.
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.
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 four fencers on the GB under-17 team as well as 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.
Further to Paul, we often have an assistant coach or experienced volunteer with the younger fencers to ensure a good ratio of coaches to fencers.
All our coaches are BFA certified and have undergone current criminal record (enhanced DBS) checks.
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. With no limits to the target area, and no right of way, épée is undoubtedly the discipline that is closest to the spirit of a duel, but which weapon is superior has been argued about in fencing clubs since the dawn of the sport…
What admin hoops do I need to jump through in order to come along?
Take a look at our classes & courses, drop us a line (see below), then visit our Join Us page for instructions on how beginners can sign up for a taster and experienced fencers can come along for a visit.
RTWFC seems to be harder to find than Area 51. Where the devil are you?
The club is currently based at the Army Reserve Centre, which is on St John’s Road. We are not allowed to give out the vehicle gate code, so please park close by and we’ll open the pedestrian gate for you. The fencing hall is in the building to the right as you enter the site – access is via the door at the front (facing the road).
I have more questions…
If you’d like to come along or if you have any questions at all then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org