Programs - Viginia Academy of Fencing VAF Programs
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Virginia Academy of Fencing Programs

Face offIntroductory
For those without any fencing experience, six group classes or private lessons are taken in a chosen discipline: Olympic Sport or Historical Swordsmanship. A new program in theatrical Stage Combat is also available. Summer, spring and winter camps are offered for youth participants as well. The following age groups apply:
  • Adults and Teens 14 and over
  • Youth: 9-13 years
  • Youth: 6-8 years
  • Little Musketeers: 4-5 years
The next level is a more intensive approach that refines the fundamentals of our Introductory class. The goal is to prepare students for the Intermediate level where they may fence other students with less direct close supervision. New techniques designed to rapidly improve knowledge of the basics are introduced in the next 6 classes. Classes are divided by the age groups noted above.

Intermediate, Advanced, Competitive Ė VAF Membership
Upon completing the preparatory level, students are eligible to become Virginia Academy of Fencing members. Members select a training program and receive additional benefits, including practice time known as Supervised Free Fencing.

Weekly coed classes are divided by skill level, weapon and age groups. Fencers who are comfortable in one class may stay there as long as they want. Others may want to move ahead to a more challenging class or another weapon.

Intermediate Olympic Sport (foil, epee, sabre)
Intermediate Historical Swordsmanship
(youth historical, rapier, longsword)

Classes are fun and social, and provide a good physical workout. The focus is on moderately paced learning and adding to basic skills. This class is a good way to maintain skills and make reasonable progress.

Diagram of the path to success - path.png Advanced Olympic Sport (foil, epee, sabre) classes are for those who want more intensive training. These classes are recommended for students who have completed one year of fencing. Advanced classes improve point control and overall technique. Instruction is aided by the use of electric scoring equipment and fencers are prepared for competitions, but do not have to actively compete. Electric equipment for each weapon is required.

Advanced Historical Swordsmanship (longsword, rapier) classes are for students who are ready for higher level training in historical swordsmanship. Instruction covers a broader and more in depth study of historical fencing traditions, and features additional physical conditioning beyond that of the intermediate level. For longsword, students should own a wooden or aluminum waster and, ideally, a blunt steel practice sword. For rapier, students provide their own practice rapier with a flexible blade, and a fencing dagger.

Competitive Sport (foil, epee, sabre) classes provide the highest level of training offered in the U.S. Classes are serious and intensive, designed to produce skilled competitive fencers. A strong commitment is essential, not just for the individual but for the team as a whole. Skill level isnít as important as having the right attitude. An interview between the coach and the prospective student (and parents, if student is a minor) must be arranged in advance.