What is fencing?

Fencing is an open-skilled combat sport, the only European Martial Art and one of the few sports represented in EVERY Olympic Game since Athens 1896.The term “fencing” originates from the self-defense skill of swordsmanship. The ultimate goal in this elegant, prestigious and traditional sport is to hit an opponent without getting hit. Challenging the body and the soul, the art of Fencing blends patience and determination with discipline and competitiveness.

What are the physical and mental demands of fencing?

The physical demands of fencing competitions are high, involving the aerobic and anaerobic alactic and lactic metabolisms, and are also affected by age, sex, level of training and technical and tactical models utilized in relation to the adversary. Moreover, the physical demands of fencing are closely linked to the perceptual and psychological ones, and all are subjected to a continuous succession of changes during the bouts based on the behaviour of the opponent. For this reason it is difficult to identify a significant relationship between any one physiological characteristic and performance, and performance is more likely to be influenced by perceptual and neuro-physiological characteristics. Fencers need to anticipate the opponent and to mask their true intentions with a game of feints and counter-feints, which must be supported by an adequate psycho-physical condition to prevent central and peripheral fatigue.

What does fencing teach?

As a combat sport, fencing calls on tremendous agility, reflexes, tactical smarts, discipline and hand-eye coordination. It improves coordination and posture while providing aerobic exercise and strength training. This graceful sport combines strength, peace of mind and speed. It requires focus and discipline, and a lot of hard work. Fencing teaches you patience, self-control, balance and coordination. Fencing is often called physical chess because you need to be able to think in a split second, calculate risks and make decisions about your next move in every situation. Plus, fencing provides your child with the opportunity to develop character, learn unique skills, and make new friends.

What are the fencing weapons?

Watch an introduction to the Foil.

Watch an introduction to the Sabre.

Watch an introduction to the Epee.

What are the benefits of doing fencing?

Read about the benefits of fencing here.

Is it safe?

Yes, if it is done properly. Although executed with appreciable energy, a good, clean fencing attack hurts no more than a tap on the shoulder. The force of the blow is normally absorbed by the flex of the blade. It is an extraordinarily safe sport considering its heritage and nature. Fencing is safer than badminton!

What makes a good fencer?

On the athletic side, speed and cardiovascular fitness rank foremost. Other traits that can be exploited are strength (for explosive power, not heavy handedness), manual dexterity, and flexibility. Quick reaction time is extremely important. On the mental side, a fencer must be adaptable and observant, and have a good mind for strategy and tactics. Psychologically, he or she must be able to maintain focus, concentration, and emotional level-headedness under intense conditions of combat. As far as body type goes, it is always possible to adapt your style to take advantage of your natural traits.

What is the best age to start fencing?

It would depend on your goals. If you just want to learn how to fence, you can learn that at most any age, it’s never too late. If you have Olympic dreams, you better start at the early age (6-8 years old). But, you can always start now and with a good coach and school, you can go as far as you are able. Realistically, it depends on the personal abilities and skills.

What is the minimum age to start fencing?

My Fencing Club offers beginner classes to children as young as 8 yrs old. After being introduced the idea of fencing, children join group lessons and start using plastic swords that are safe and designed to create a stimulating and imaginative environment.

What types of sports are beneficial to fencing?

Cardiovascular fitness and leg strength always help, so anything that enhances these will be beneficial. Cycling, swimming, aerobics, and skating are good examples. Running, sprinting, soccer, basketball, and similar sports can also be helpful, although some athletes dislike the stresses they put on the knees. Racquet sports like tennis, badminton, squash, racquetball and table tennis are also excellent and will exercise your upper body in addition to your legs. Interval training (short bursts of high-heart-rate exercise followed by brief recovery periods) has been put forward as particularly relevant to the demands of fencing.

How can I help my child to succeed in fencing?

Parents provide support and encouragement to their children. Most importantly, they are positive role models of good sportsmanship and showing respect to coaches, officials, and opponents. Providing consistency is also very important. Get your child to the club to practice regularly. A consistent training is necessary to succeed in fencing. Use school holidays to maximize training opportunities at camps and clinics.

Keep in contact with the coaches to assess your child’s progress and to determine readiness for competitions then start fencing at the local competitions. Enjoy the full experience of competing by taking advantage of all the opportunities for personal and athletic growth. During the competitions help your child to focus on fencing as a game and good sportsmanship, not on scoring or winning.

What equipment is necessary in fencing?

Safety is very important in fencing. Everyone has to wear an under-arm jacket, practice jacket, mask, glove and track pants. The club provides all the equipment for the introductory lessons. Fencing also can be “dry” or electric. Beginner fencers use plastic and dry foils, which has no electric components and advanced students use electric equipment which includes an electric foil, body wire and lame (electric jacket).

Is the fencing gear provided?

The gear is provided during intro lessons only. Students have to chose between renting the gear from the club for $20/m or purchase a beginner set. If you feel that your child is committed to fencing, we recommend to purchase a set for hygienic and other reasons.

What should I wear to the club?

You need to bring/wear running shoes, track pants and a t-shirt.

How is My Fencing Club different from others?

We are the only club that is focused on youth, providing children with an opportunity to make life time friendships and develop a passion for fencing. We are full time coaches and former competitive athletes with years of fencing experience. We not only grow strong fencers but also great personalities while still emphasizing discipline. The students always have coaching support at the competitions. The club has one of the biggest gyms in GTA which creates a great space for physical activities.

How is the program structured?

The fencing program is aligned with the Armband Program (similar to the karate belt test) , where students progress to the next level after they acquire specific skills. To view the outline of the fencing program, please click here

What weapon do we teach?

There are three weapons in fencing: the epee, the foil and the sabre. We offer foil lessons. Foil is the predominant school training and competition weapon. It was developed as a safer practicing weapon with a flattened or “foiled” tip that reduces the risk of injury. Much smaller and lighter than the epee, the foil is only allowed to hit the torso with the tip of the weapon.

What is fencing terminology?

Basic Fencing Terms

Fencing Glossary

What the rules of fencing?

Technical Rules

Organizational Rules

Conventions of Foil Fencing

What do “priority” and “right of way” mean in fencing?

Understanding priority in fencing

How do I fix a foil? (Repair and Maintenance)


What are the age groups at the tournaments?

Competition age groups

Is fencing an eligible activity for the Ontario Tax Credit?

Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit