Fencing

Everything you need to know about fencing with us.

Here you can find all the information you need to know about fencing with us. If you have any questions then contact us.

About

Fencing involves three weapons: Foil, Epee, and Sabre. All three weapons are fenced and scored electronically, with both men and women competing in all three. Charles Sturt offers coaching and training in all three weapons.

Foil

Foil is a light weight point weapon. Points are scored by hitting or touching the point of the weapon on the area highlighted in the image below. To assist with the scoring of points, fencers wear special jackets called lamés that cover the target area and allow points to be recorded by the scoring equipment.

Epee

Epee is a heavier point weapon. Points are scored by hitting or touching the point of the epee on the area highlighted in the image below. Lamés are not required when fencing epee as the scoring equipment can record points without them.

Sabre

Sabre is a light weight, fast-paced, cutting weapon. Points are scored by making a cutting action with the edge of the weapon on the area highlighted in the image below. To assist with the scoring of points, fencers wear special jackets called lamés that cover the target area and allow points to be recorded by the scoring equipment.

Most fencers often choose to train and compete in more than one weapon, while some choose to specialise in one only.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Equipment

Fencing requires some rather unique equipment for a sport. All of the equipment has been designed with safety as the number one priority and you'll find fencing to be one of the safest sports. Below we've highlighted some of the more common items.

Clothing

There are four items of clothing worn when fencing: jacket, plastron, breeches, and glove.

The jacket provides the main protection for your body by covering your arms, torso, and neck. The plastron is a half jacket that is worn underneath the jacket on the armed side of the body. Gloves are worn on the armed hand only and have a gauntlet that overlaps the sleeve of the jacket. Breeches provide protection for the legs.

All the clothing is made from a special lightweight material that resists puncturing.

Masks

Masks are worn on the head to protect the face and neck. They are made from a steel mesh, with padding on the inside to make them comfortable to wear. On the bottom of the mask is a padded bib that is made from the same material as the clothing to provide good protection for the neck.

In electric foil and sabre fencing, masks are connected to the lamé jacket by a short wire called a mask wire.

Lamés

Lames are conductive jackets used to help record hits electronically. They cover the target area applicable to that weapon. Lame's are only used for electric foil and sabre fencing. They are not required for electric epee fencing.

Lames are connected to the electrical scoring apparatus using special wires.

Wires

Fencers are connected to the electrical scoring apparatus using special wires called bodywires. Bodywires connect the weapon and, for foil & sabre, lamé to the scoring apparatus. Bodywires allow the act of hitting an opponent with a weapon to be recorded by the apparatus.

Foil and sabre use the same two-wire bodywire as each other, whereas epee uses uses a three wire bodywire.

Weapons

Weapons are generally made from steel and are flexibile so that they bend when they hit the target. All weapons have guards to protect the hand and the shape of each guard is designed to provide the most safety for the style of the weapon.

We have all the equipment you need that you can borrow to get started. Once you're ready to purchase your own then you are able to buy direct from us, or we can assist you with recommendations for other suppliers.

Courses

Learning to fence takes time. We regularly run courses throughout the year and aim to help people of all different skill levels learn.

Children

We run courses for children every Saturday during each school term, starting at the end of week one and finishing at the end of the last week of term. The session starts at 9:00 AM and runs for an hour. We also run an after school session every Thursday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM during each school term, starting on the first week of term and finishing on the last week of term.

Each session is structured with warm up stretches, footwork, blade work, and supervised fencing with feedback. The coaches also like to include fencing related games for the children to play for fun from time to time. The cost for the term is $100. Children need to wear long, comfortable pants, such as trackpants, and enclosed footwear to take part. They are also encouraged to bring a bottle of water to drink during the session.

Adults

We run courses for adults throughout the year. These are often run through the WEA and you can check their website for details of the next course and to book. We also offer courses directly. When we do this, we publish the details on our Facebook page. You can also contact us to register your interest in learning to fence and we'll let you know when the next course is happening. Costs vary depending on the course duration. You need to wear long, comfortable pants, such as trackpants and enclosed footwear to take part.

Sabre Squad

We run a focused sabre training squad on Tuesday nights throughout the year. This is free for club members, $10 per session for non-club members who bring their own equipment, and $15 per session for non-club members who need to borrow CSFC equipment. Sessions start at 6:45 PM with a fitness and warm-up session run by a qualified personal trainer. Our resident sabre coach takes over and runs the squad through a series of footwork drills and other exercises together with individual lessons.

Epee Squad

We run a focused epee training squad on Tuesday nights throughout the year. This is free for club members, $10 per session for non-club members who bring their own equipment, and $15 per session for non-club members who need to borrow CSFC equipment. Sessions start at 6:45 PM with a fitness and warm-up session run by a qualified personal trainer. Our resident epee coach takes over and runs the squad through a series of footwork drills and other exercises together with individual lessons.

Our coaches also offer individual lessons for those that are interested. Individual lessons typically last for approximately 20 minutes and can provide a more focused approach to learning. Costs will vary by coach and you will need to discuss the arrangements directly with the coach as the club plays no part in such arrangements.

If you'd like to find out more about learning to fence with us then contact us.

Gradings

We offer a grading system consisting of nine levels that students can choose to undertake any time they feel ready. The cost is $10 per attempt and, if successful, they will be awarded a club badge in the colour of the level they have attained. For those familiar with it, this is similar to the grading process used by martial arts.

Competitions

There are four levels of competitions for members that want to compete: Club, State, National and International.

Club

We occasionally run competitions at the club on a Saturday. There is an entry fee of $5 for club members, and $10 for non-club members, that is payable on the day. Club equipment is suitable for use in these competitions. These competitions are organised on a demand basis, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for announcements.

State

Fencing SA run competitions throughout the year. Entry fees, license and equipment requirements vary depending on the level of competition. Full details, including the timetable, can be found on the Fencing SA website.

National

National competitions are organised and run by the Australian Fencing Federation (AFF), but hosted by one of the state associations. They offer junior, senior, veteran, and team competitions in all weapons. There is an entry fee payable before the event and strict equipment requirements, which must pass a control inspection before the competition. The timetable, entry fees, and equipment requirements can be found on the AFF website.

International

International competitions are organised and run by either a host country or the Federation Internationale d'Escrime (FIE). Competing at this level is more involved than the other three levels. We suggest you consult with members who have competed at this level or with the AFF for the entry requirements and process.

We have members that have competed at every level and can offer you advice and support, whatever level you would like to compete at, if any.