FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Everyone has questions, we have some answers

How do I get started?

WE LOVE VISTORS, so just COME ON IN and take look around.
You can check out our class structure on the website, but the best way is to stop in and visit the club. You can see first hand what the sport is all about, talk with and watcher fencers, meet the coaches, and discuss the best way for you to get started.

Optimal times to visit is during the weeknights between 6 pm – 9 pm.
Hours of Operation are 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm Monday thru Fridays and 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Saturdays

Typically ages 5 – 8 start in the Musketeer Classes and progress through to membership at age 9.
Beginners ages 9 through adult start with the beginner classes and then become members.

How do I know which weapon is right for me?

Your beginner class coach will let you try both the Epee and Foil weapons and help evaluate which weapon you are best suited for based on size, strength, and skills shown during class, and which one you are most comfortable with. We do not offer saber.

What about fencing equipment if I'm new to fencing?

Gold Blade Fencing Center provides all necessary fencing equipment free of charge for Beginner and Musketeer Classes. After taking the classes, and you decide to continue with the sport either recreationally or competitively, we’ll help you order what’s best for you. GBFC has a large in house inventory stock for your convenience, plus we offer start packages that are an excellent value to get you started. Equipment sales are available to everyone, not just members.

What about fencing equipment if I'm new to fencing?

Gold Blade Fencing Center provides all necessary fencing equipment free of charge for Beginner and Musketeer Classes. After taking the classes, and you decide to continue with the sport either recreationally or competitively, we’ll help you order what’s best for you. GBFC has a large in house inventory stock for your convenience, plus we offer start packages that are an excellent value to get you started. Equipment sales are available to everyone, not just members.

DO I have to be a member to fence at GBFC?

NO. All fencers are welcome. We have a “drop-in” fee of just $10 per visit.
We love to have visiting fencers as it adds variety for our members and unique training opportunities for you.

Is fencing a safe sport?

YES.
Fencing as a sport is not like the movies portray it with sharp blades and deadly blows. Fencing swords are not pointed or made for stabbing.
The Epee has an electric tip and the weapon is wired for electronic scoring.
The Foil has a electric tip and the fencer wears an electronically wired vest for scoring when the weapon touches it.
Additionally, Gold Blade Fencing Center maintains strict rules concerning wearing the appropriate fencing attire, especially the fencing mask when on the fencing floor for everyone’s safety.
The fencers are supervised to help maintain a safe environment.

How can I get a fencing demonstration for my organization?

Just call or stop by the club and we’ll work with you to schedule fencers to come to your organization and demonstrate the sport of fencing. Demonstrations have been done for Boy Scout / Girl Scout troops, school programs, community centers, church fitness groups, home school groups, etc.

What is USAF?

USFA is the United States Fencing Association which is the governing body for fencing in the United States and is headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO. GBFC and our coaches are registered as such with the USFA.

Anyone who decides to compete at ANY tournament is considered a competitive fencer and must be a member of the USFA.

This is an Annual Membership (fencing year is Aug – July) paid directly to USFA and a membership card is issued. This card must be presented to enter tournaments.

WHY? Tournament results are maintained for each fencer. Your official “classification” and “rank” are based on your individual tournament results.

The classifications are U-Unrated, E, D, C, B, and A is the top rated.

The ranking is based on points earned at Regional, Divisional, and National competitions. The top 32 for each weapon/age category are considered Nationally Ranked Fencers.

GBFC has produced many Nationally Ranked fencers. Several of whom have gone on to college on fencing Scholarships.

Please see the USFA website www.usfencing.org for a complete explanation of classifications and rankings.

Who can compete in tournaments?

Anyone ages 10 and up can compete at any tournament, provided they have proper attire and equipment as well as have (or purchase at the tournament) a USFA membership. There are a few National tournaments for which you have to “pre-qualify” but all other tournaments are “open”. Check www.askfred.net and browse tournaments. We are in the Southwest Section and North Texas Division.

Proper attire consists of knickers, long socks, underarm protector, jacket, mask, and women must wear chest protectors. You should have at least two working weapons in the blade size that is age appropriate (check with your coach for proper sizing) and two working body cords.

Competing in any tournament is a fun experience, allows you to test your skills with fencers from other clubs, and if it’s your first tournament will help you decide if you want to contine to compete or just fence for fun.

What to expect at a tournament?

Tournaments will rank all participants in order by their current standings.

POOLS:
They are split into groups of 5 or 6 fencers called “pools”. Each fencer has a 5 point bout with each of the other fencers in their pool. The scores are then taken from the pool results and the fencers are placed in order based on wins/loses/point scale (all computerized of course).

DIRECT ELIMINATION (DE’s):
Then the fencers go into “Direct Elimination”. The top fencer is paired with the lowest ranked fencer, the 2nd fencer is paired with the next to last fencer, and so on and so on.

Other helpful tips...

Bring water bottles to have with you on the strip. There is usually very limited seating available for fencers/observers, so you might want to consider bringing your own folding chair.
Tournaments are not “fast” and tend to last ALL DAY. You may want to bring snacks/energy bars to keep you going.