Never fenced before? No formal grades? This page is for you, below are some details of what we can provide for both someone new to the sport or someone looking for a refresher before completing grade classes in any of the three weapons. If you’re already well versed in fencing and looking to move clubs take a peek at the membership page instead.
We offer both adult and junior taster sessions for free.
How to book and what’s involved
Please book your taster session in advance by clicking the button below and filling in the form. You’ll then receive a response from our secretary Rebecca who will give you an idea of the next session available and get you booked in. Once your session is confirmed all you’ll need to do is turn up wearing comfy trousers, a t-shirt and trainers. We’ll provide you with all the fencing kit and you need.
We’ll run you through a quick warm up to get you moving and then once you’re kitted up we’ll get stuck in and put a sword in your hand, demonstrate how you hold it and how you need to stand. You’ll quickly learn how to accurately hit your opponent and we’ll show you how to move up and down the fencing area (piste) and some other basic moves. We hope that by the end of the session you’ll have an idea of both how we run classes and if you want to continue to more formal grades.
After the session / I’ve fenced before & want to take grades.
If you’ve had a taster you’ll get an email from Rebecca a day or two after your taster, this will just ask you how you felt during your time with us and if we can book you on to a grade course. If you’ve sent us an email about starting courses and want to jump in as you’ve fenced before then we’ll invite you to start the next grade course. The course you book in to depends on when you come for your taster session, the part of term you come in will determine how quickly we can get you in the full length course or the intensive half length first grade. After grade 1 every grade takes a full term to complete up to grade 3 (approx 1 year in total).
If you start at the beginning of a school term (within the first two weeks) then we can start you into the full length course straight away, 10/11 weeks excluding half term.
If you try out at any point in the first half of a school term we will give you the option of an intensive first grade course starting after the half term break or waiting until the full course the next school term.
If you try out in the first week of a new half term (October/February/May) We’ll invite you to join the short course straight away or waiting for the full course the next school term.
If you try out at any point after this then we’ll ask you to wait until the start of the next full term (September/January/Easter) simply because there’s not enough time to catch you up and teach everyone everything too.
What’s the difference in the full course and the intensive course?
The standard length of time any of the first three grades takes to teach and examine is 1 school term, generally between 10 and 12 weeks, excluding half term week. This involves both practical and theory classes and then the final exam (which can take a couple of weeks if there’s a very large group. The intensive grade 1 is something we’ve designed to allow people to start learning a little sooner. Before we used to ask people to wait until the start of the next school term but that can sometimes be 7/8 weeks away (more if you count for easter fluctuating in date) so now every 2nd half term David runs a short version of the first grade. This involves everything in the usual grade but squished down to half a term of 5/6 weeks, the only thing we ask differently is that you will need to do a lot of the theory learning in your own time, the practical time really does take up the full 4 weeks we have and then the exam will be in the 5th (or 6th if you’re lucky) week. From there you will be able to join the grade 2 class at the start of the new term along with everyone who completed the term length grade 1 course. It’s worked out very well so far with the 3 people who’ve completed a full intensive course progressing well in grade 2 and the 3 who started in June also doing well towards their first grade.