To get started, we encourage new fencers to try our monthly Free Fencing class on the first Saturday of each month. After the Free Fencing class, the first class meets on the following Monday (Teen/Adult Class) or Tuesday (Youth Class for ages 6 to 12).
Students begin classes with other students who are also new to fencing. As they progress into intermediate and advanced classes, there are more experienced fencers who are happy to provide guidance. Our coaching staff has worked to develop an environment where students feel comfortable learning from others, which is led by Olympic medalist Hongyun Sun and international medalist and Olympic referee Yuanjing Wang. Before joining the Birmingham Fencing Club in 1998, both were Chinese National Team coaches.
Most classes follow a similar structure, typically beginning with warm-up exercises, which are sometimes in the form of games. Then, a new skill or strategy will generally be introduced. And mainly, classes will be spent fencing with other students. Classes may also involve mock tournaments, tournament strategy, or activities that develop mental and physical skills.
Beginning Youth Classes (ages 7-12) – Foil
These beginning level classes Age 6 through 12 will introduce students to the basics of the sport of fencing, specifically foil. The classes will cover footwork, handwork, rules, and strategy. Each class will stretch and do warm-up activities, work on building skills, and fence bouts. Our two head coaches or assistant coaches will teach this class. Click here to learn more about foil fencing.
Class Times: Tuesday and Thursday 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Beginning Teen/Adult Class (ages 13 and up) – Epee
We created an epee class for teenagers and adults because we think and learn in a different way than children. We focus on building technique, developing skills, and creating personal strategies for each fencer. Some days you might leave completely exhausted while gaining endurance, and other days you might leave with new skills or competitive strategies. Either way, our goal is that each class, you leave a better fencer than when you walked in. Click here to learn more about epee fencing.
Class Times: Monday 6:00 – 7:30 and Saturday 10:30 – 12:00 (noon)
Class fees are $130 each month. We ask fencers to pay their class fees through PayPal using the subscription button our Members page. If more than one member of your family attends class, the second and subsequent family members receive a 10% discount.
Note: please sign up for class fees before the 10th of the month for accounting purposes.
The Birmingham Fencing Club provides your equipment for the first month of classes at no cost. We provide an opportunity to learn about the sport before investing in the equipment. After the first month, you will purchase your own fencing equipment which includes a mask, jacket, plastron, knickers, glove, epee, body cord, and a bag to carry everything. The total cost is approximately $350. We will help properly size everything and place the order for you with no markup. Although the epee and body cord need repairs and replacement from time to time, equipment is very durable and will last several years with proper care.
We encourage fencers to compete in tournaments as a way to apply the skills learned in class. Our club hosts tournaments throughout the year. Tournaments are also available at other clubs in the Southeast, particularly in Atlanta and Nashville. USA Fencing provides tournaments at the regional and national level as well. You will learn more about tournament opportunities as you gain experience. Costs for tournaments primarily involve travel expenses, with tournament fees ranging from $40 for a local tournament to $150 for national tournaments.
Beginning – Tuesday and Thursday, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Intermediate – Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Advanced – Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
All Skill Levels – Wednesday and Friday, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
All Skill Levels – Monday, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
All Skill Levels – Saturday, 10:30 am – 12:00 noon
We offer private lessons in order to help your fencers focus, develop skills outside the classes and advance more quickly. Private lessons are optional and available to all fencers. Ask your individual coaches about scheduling.
$40 – Head Coaches Wang and Sun
$30 – Assistant Coaches Luona Wang and Rylan Delap
$25 – Assistant Coaches Fred Grindle, Troy Arias, and Matt Neu