Menu

VIRTUAL FENCING ACADEMY

Online training for fencing coaches and fencers

DAILY FENCING CLASSES

Salle Green offers a range of daily fencing classes on Zoom.us.  The current list is:

(1)  Classical Fencing - Tuesdays at 7pm eastern time for 30 minutes

(2)  Bladework - for all three weapons - Wednesdays at 7:30pm eastern time for 30 minutes

(3)  Footwork for Point Weapons - Saturdays at 9:30am eastern time for 30 minutes

(4)  Footwork for Sabre - Saturdays at 10:30am eastern time for 30 minutes

(5)  Sunday Seminar - tactical discussion for all weapons for one hour

We announce the week's schedule and URLs every week in the Salle Green newsletter Thrust and Cut.

These classes are open at no charge to all Salle Green fencers.  We welcome fencers from other fencing clubs that are looking for additional training.  A monthly subscription for all the classes offered is $40.00.  We can price a smaller selection of classes based on your interests.

For members of others clubs and their coaches, we would like to make it absolutely clear that we have no desire to poach you from your current club.  We believe that poaching students is a disgusting, unethical activity practiced by clubs that cannot develop their own fencers.  We offer this training to give you additional opportunities to train which we hope will make you a better fencer for your current club.  

BEGINNER CLASSES

Our activities are greatly constrained by COVID-19.  Virginia is currently in Stage 3 of reopening, and the Governor’s guidelines mandate that athletes and coaches maintain a 10 foot separation in any activity.  Our insurance and our sports national governing body, USA Fencing, require that we abide by state requirements.  Obviously, 10 foot separation makes it impossible to actually do an activity that requires being close enough to score a touch with a considerably shorter blade.

However, we are working.  This is actually a two part section, the first about the class details, the second about fencing for your information.

We have written this for children, but for adults all of the information below is valid.  We have a strong adult recreational fencing program, and we also support a small, but active, competitive fencing presence.

Part 1 - Class Details

Our charge for the 4 lesson beginner's course online over Zoom is $40 - that is our regular monthly member charge for the period of COVID, because we can't provide the full range of fencing opportunities.  That entitles members to any combination of (1) beginner’s class, (2) our Sunday seminar where we discuss fencing tactics, (3) our Saturday morning footwork sessions, (4) our Wednesday night bladework session, and (5) our Tuesday night Classical Fencing session.  When a member finishes the beginner course, he or she can immediately transition into one or more of these activities at no extra charge.  Sessions are shorter than our normal sessions, but they run faster so approximately the same amount of material is covered.  This program is designed to keep both our competitive and recreational fencers active and fully engaged in core skills so that when we finally are able to return to fencing in the Salle we will not come in stiff and rusty.

The second expense is annual non-competitive membership in our national governing body, USA Fencing.  This provides accident and injury insurance and helps us meet our required number of members for recognition as a fencing club. It is $10 for the fencing year, to August 1 next year.  To join USA Fencing click on this link, register to create an account, and complete the membership form..

The other expense is a weapon. Inexpensive but good quality foils ($26), sabres ($39), and epees ($39) can be acquired from a number of vendors - we can provide guidance.  For youngrer fencers, 10 and under, we should have a discussion about weapon choice - there are flexible weapons for children that might be more appropriate than the larger and heavier adult weapons.  We used to supply weapons, but we have stopped supplying equipment because of the difficult of maintaining it safely in the pandemic. 

Part 2 - Fencing

There are three fencing weapons, foil, sabre, and epee - each a separate competitive event.  Foil is a light weapon, around a pound in weight (500 grams), and very flexible.  To score you must hit with the point.  The foil target is the torso (and the lower part of the bib of the mask).  It is fenced using priority rules which require that if I start an attack by extending my blade and moving forward, you must either block it or I must miss for you to have the right to score.

Sabre is also a light weapon, around a pound in weight, and very flexible.  To score you may hit with the point or with a cut with the blade (there is no sharp edge).  The sabre target is basically everything above the waist.  Sabre is also fenced using priority rules which require that if I start an attack by extending my blade and moving forward, you must either block it or I must miss for you to have the right to score.

Epee is a heavier weapon, approximately 1 and 2/3 pounds (770 grams) in weight and somrwhat stiffer than the foil and sabre.  To score you must hit with the point.  The epee target is the entire body.  It is fenced using the basic rules of its heritage as a dueling weapon - if I hit you first anywhere on the body, I win.

Fencing is a very safe sport.  All the equipment we use meets national and international standards and is maintained and tested on an established schedule.  Every athlete in any sport will suffer bruises and minor orthopedic injuries – fencing is no different.  Individuals with specific medical problems may require additional monitoring as the protective clothing does trap heat.  However, overall since 1937 fewer fencers have died fencing in total than the number of student athletes American high school football kills in a typical year or the number of golfers in the United States who are killed by lightning on the course in a year.

Fencing is one of the oldest of modern sports.  Fencing masters were teaching students as early as the 1200s, and our system of training and certifying coaches has been in use since the late 1400s.  Fencing was competed in the first Olympic Games in 1896 and has been in every summer Games since then.

I am providing links below to elite level fencing bouts in each weapon.  A couple of points about these.  Bouts in the first round of competitions are fenced until one fencer scores 5 hits - in the direct elimination rounds they are typically fenced to 15 hits. They are scored electrically (although we practice in the Salle with non-electric weapons predominantly). When a hit is registered a colored light, red or green, turns on and a touch is awarded in epee either to one fencer or to both fencers if it is a double hit.  In sabre and foil, if there are double hits the referee (who is standing on your side of the strip in the video) determines which has priority and awards a touch to that fencer.  In foil only a hit off the target will result in a white light - if the fencer with priority hits off target it stops the action, but no touch is awarded.  Fencing bouts in competitions are fenced on a 14 meter long strip - if you go off the end it is a hit against you.

Foil - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZrRwqIfkg0

Epee - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxT4vSwEyhg

Sabre - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui3lO91WSB8&t=98s

Fencing is a great amateur, collegiate, and lifetime sport.  If your child thinks this is interesting, let me know and we can set up a schedule.

Best wishes, stay healthy, and please do not hesitate to ask any questions you might have.

Walter G. Green III
Maitre d'Armes AAI
Diploma IFCA
Classical Fencing Master CAA

Contact US ABOUT VIRTUAL CLASSES

If you are interested in our online classes please let us know which classes interest you, and we will be in touch.

BEGINNER CLASS REGISTRATION

BEGINNER CLASS PAYMENT

The Beginner Class fee of $40.00 includes 4 thirty minute sessions to introduce you to the sport of fencing.