Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Is it too late to join fencing club?
  2. What is so great about fencing?
  3. How do I get started?
  4. What should I wear?
  5. How much does it cost?
  6. When do you meet?
  7. Do I need equipment
  8. Where can I get my own equipment?
  9. When do you compete?
  10. Does it hurt?
  11. How dangerous is it?
  12. Is it difficult?
  13. How Long Will it be Until I'm "Good?"
  14. Do you offer classes?
  15. How often do I have to come?
  16. Where Can I Learn More?

Is it too late to join fencing?

No, it is never too late to come to fencing club!

We maintain an open door policy for all of our meetings. You are welcome to come at any time no matter how late in the semester or year it may be; whether you are an avid fencer who has just moved to the area or a beginner who doesn't know the first thing about fencing. We want to see you come out and have a great time with the sport of fencing!

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What's so great about fencing?

Fencing has been likened to "physical chess", combining the physical intensity of boxing and the mental clarity of chess. The thing many fencers like about the sport is it never gets dull. There is always something to learn and improve, and you can never completely anticipate what attack your opponent will use and what defensive action you need to counter it. Improved coordination, great cardiovascular fitness, sharpened reflexes, muscle tone, poise, and confidence all develop quickly with a good fencing program. Whether as a fitness regimen, a recreational hobby, or a serious competitive sport, fencing is suitable for everyone!

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How do I get started?

All you need to do is come by any of our practices. We'll get you started with fencing and teach you everything you need to know. All you need is a way into the RPAC. Everyone is welcome, community members included, any time of the year.

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What should I wear?

We recommend that you come in athletic clothing that allows you to move freely. Come to meetings wearing long athletic pants, a t-shirt (preferably a short-sleeved one), socks, and court shoes (hard soled shoes and sandals are a big no-no). Any sort of light athletic shoe will do, but the flatter the sole the better. Volleyball or tennis shoes are ideal if you have a pair lying around. For beginners, we have all the rest of the practice gear you'll need; for those who already own their own gear, bring it!

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How much does it cost?

Club dues are currently $30 a semester, which is comparatively very cheap compared to other local fencing clubs, which is very nice for the beginning fencer.

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When do you meet?

We currently meet 2 evenings a week for 2 hours. Our meeting times may change for a new semester, so see our homepage for further information on meeting locations and times.

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Do I need equipment?

We provide all the equipment you'll need to fence, but often fencers decide to buy their own equipment so that they don't have to share the club stuff. The easiest solution to this common problem is to set a budget. Decide, once you know you want to stick with fencing, what you can spend on fencing every semester (or month). Perhaps one semester you can get a dry foil and a glove, the next maybe a mask. Typically a complete basic dry set of fencing equipment can be purchased for around $150-180. The club also does a group equipment order every couple of months, which allows for club members to buy equipment at a reduced group rate.

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Where can I get my own equipment?

The best place to find fencing equipment is through online distributors, such as Blue Gauntlet, Blade, Allstar, and Triplette Competition Arms. You will need to know your size for various items you order. Most sites will have a section on sizing, but you may also want to ask an officer for more help and advice.

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When do you compete?

The club competes on an individual level across the state of Ohio. At this time, we do not compete as a team, but do travel to individual fencing tournaments together. We attend several fencing competitions throughout the school year, commonly in Dayton, Cleveland, and Athens. These are all entirely optional, but if you choose to compete you will need to obtain a USFA membership.

The club also has a relationship with the Ohio University Fencing Club, and each spring semester we travel to Athens for a scrimmage, and each fall semester they travel to Columbus.

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Does it Hurt?

Fencing is a quite painless sport compared to what most people think. Take your index finger and jab it into your chest. It probably didn't hurt that bad right? Well now imagine you have a Kevlar jacket on to protect yourself from that blunt impact.

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How dangerous is it?

Fencing is one of the safest sports when done with proper training and gear. From the bystander's point of view, being hit by an opponent charging down the strip looks like it could be painful and dangerous. In reality, fencing is one of the safest sports around, with some statistics showing it to be even safer than golf! Its safety record reflects the quality of equipment and the rules that control the manner of competition. For instance, the mask must meet international requirements for wire strength and covering of all vulnerable parts of the head. Uniforms are made of Kevlar, the same material used in bulletproof vests. Masks cover the face as well as the neck area, thickly padded jackets cover the body, gloves shield hands and fingers, and women wear chest protectors for additional protection.

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Is it difficult?

Fencing is a relatively easy sport to learn. People ranging in age from 7 to 70 regularly fence. As with many sports there are many rules, stances and movements that must be learned; however once you have learned them fencing is a very fun and easy sport.

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How Long Will it be Until "I'm Good?"

"Good" is a highly relative term and the time it takes to be come "good" will depend on the level of your dedication and inherently on your definition of "good". Most of our officers have been fencing anywhere from 1-2 years and we have seen many of our students become sufficiently "good" within a few semesters. However keep in mind that there will always be someone out there who is better than you, no matter how "good" you are. Fencing is a life long sport, do not expect to learn it all in a certain time. No one has ever mastered it all.

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Do you offer classes?"

The club does not offer formal instructional classes. However we do have many knowledgeable members that regularly critique and instruct beginning fencers over the nuances of the sport. Beginning fencers are also instructed by our head coach, Mike Barnum.

Mike Barnum is the armorer for the OSU varsity fencing team and also teaches the fencing class offered by the university.

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How often do I have to come?

You may come and go as your personal schedule allows, but we highly recommend that you come as often as you can. The more times you fence the better you will get.

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Where Can I Learn More?

The USFA (United States Fencing Association) is our main governing body. They have excellent resources for fencers of all ages. Also feel free to ask the officers of the club. If they know the answer to your question they will be more than happy to answer it or at least point you in the right direction.

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