Competitive Opportunities through VAF - Viginia Academy of Fencing
There's Something
Going On Every Day

Coach Bill gives a fun Halloween-time sword demonstration.
Coach Bill gives a fun Halloween-time sword demonstration.

Special Programs at VAF

Special programs available to VAF members enrich the students training. Fencers participate with world famous athletes in master clinics and workshops. Students further hone their skills in VAF training competitions and supervised free fencing.

Master Clinics

Mariel Zagunis Wins the Gold
Mariel Zagunis Wins Gold
Renowned coaches and Olympians have shared their experiences and knowledge with VAF members. Mariel Zagunis, gold medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing led the competitive sabre students in a master training class. Other guests have included more members of the Olympic team, university professors, historians of fencing and world renowned champions.

Dr. John Heil
Dr. John Heil, Sports Psychologist consultant for the United States Fencing Association, was a recent visitor.

Fencers with coach
World renowned Coach Vladimir Nazlymov
trains members of Virginia Academy of Fencing.


Coach workshop
Duke University Coach Alex Beguinet explains a move
to a student attending his participatory workshop
in foil techniques.

VAF members attend free workshops held throughout the year on various fencing related topics. Often, workshops are participatory, involving hands on exposure to a new weapon or skill.
Some of the workshops held include:
"Competitions & Competing" by Coach Alex Wood
"Family Fencing Day" with Coach Bill Grandy
"So You Want To Fence in College?" by Coach James Murray
"Dueling in the Renaissance" by Coach Tom Leoni
"Pumpkin Cutting with Historical Swords" by Coach Bill Grandy

Training Competitions

The first step to gain competitive experience is to participate in VAF training competitions which are fantastic opportunities for those who just want to compete for the first time or prepare for a higher level of fencing. Events are fenced in a format similar to United States Fencing Association competitions, but in a much friendlier and more helpful environment. Participants easily learn the skills, procedures, and etiquette necessary to compete at local/divisional and national events. At the end of each event, a pizza dinner is served for all competitors.

Rules and Regulations of VAF Competitions
  • An appropriate uniform, footwear and proper equipment is required for each event. Fencers in electric events must have appropriate, working electric equipment.

  • The event times indicated are "close of registration" times. You should arrive and check in no later than the scheduled time for your event. We will begin fencing approximately a half-hour to one hour later. Fencers should use the time to warm up and prepare for the competition.

  • Competitors may be divided into different age or gender groups depending upon the configuration of entries.

  • Each event begins with a short informational meeting to discuss how the event will be conducted and to assign fencers to pools. Important announcements are made at this time.

  • The competitions last approximately two to four hours, depending on the number of participants.

  • The top finishers in each event receive medals.

  • Spectators are encouraged to observe, but must follow the safety directions of the competition officials. Young children must be supervised. Non-flash photography and videotaping will be permitted.

  • To participate, you must be a VAF member. Each fencer should return a separate pre-registration form and payment to the front desk by the pre-registration deadline.

  • The pre-registration deadline is one week prior to the event.

  • There is a fee per event.


Do you have a group interested in a fencing demonstration, either Olympic sport or historical swordsmanship? Bringing a group to our studio can be arranged. Ages 9 and over work best. Pricing is based on the length of presentation and the number of participants; please contact the business office at 703 321-4922 or for more information.

Past presentations have included scout troops, schools, adventure enthusiasts, singles clubs and corporate team building groups.

Supervised Open Fencing

For All VAF Members

Fencers with coach
Fencers face off as coach watches.

Open to all Intermediate, Advanced, and Competitive members in both Olympic Sport and Historical Swordsmanship. It is a great opportunity for students to get in additional bouting practice, refine their skills, and to meet other fencers. An assigned coach helps students to get acquainted, gives advice on techniques, helps referee bouts, and answers questions. Members are not required to attend the entire session.

Tuesday 7:00 pm 8:00 pm with Coach Eric
Friday 8:00 pm 9:00 pm with Coach David
Sunday 1:30 pm 2:30 pm with Coach Eric