Do I need to buy equipment for the class?
No. Equipment is provided for both the beginner and intermediate classes. Once you’ve finished the intermediate class and join the club, you may still use the club equipment but students in the class have first priority over the equipment. Most club members choose to buy their own gear so that it fits properly and they always have it when they need it.
Is there any experience necessary?
Not for any of the beginner classes. Once you are in the club, we will make recommendations about which weapons or techniques you should focus on to meet your specific needs, but each SIF fencer’s path is ultimately up to them as long as they don’t pose a danger of injury to themselves or others.
How is classical fencing different from sport fencing?
Sport fencing, as its name states, is a sport. It is centered around competition, winning, and scoring points. If you see people fencing with electrified scoring systems, that is sport fencing. On the other hand, classical fencing as we teach it at SIF is a martial art. We evaluate each hit and ask ourselves what damage would have been done if the point was sharp. If the hit would have probably caused only a minor, superficial wound, or scratch, we will not count it. In addition, the attitude toward the sword and the fight is very different. Generally, if you wouldn’t do it if faced with a real sword, we don’t train it.
I want to compete! Do you do that?
SIF is not a competition-focused club. We don’t participate in classical fencing tournaments. There is some opportunity to compete in historical weapons through HEMA tournaments. These are 2-3 day events all over the world that feature seminars, lectures, and tournaments. Though there are too many events to name, they include Fechtschule America, Purpleheart Open (Houston, TX), PNW (Tacoma, WA), Iron Gate Exhibition (Boston,MA), Schwerthampf (Mexico City, Mexico), and Swordfish (Gothenburg, Sweden).
What are the health benefits of fencing?
Fencing can help you lose weight, tone muscle, increase endurance, widen range of motion, and improve reflexes. In addition, classical fencing can do all this without being hard on your body. A famous classical fencer, Ralph Faulkner, taught fencing until a week before he died. He was in his 90’s.
What if I have fencing or martial arts experience?
Come on down, we’d love to have you. Exact circumstances will depend on your specific experience in certain arts. Contact Becca by phone or email to discuss your experience and you will determine the best course of action together.
When and where do you meet?
Currently we meet at Boyer Academy on Meyer Rd, about halfway between Troy and Wentzville, MO. However, we are currently working to setup additional weekly club meeting times and spaces.
What if I have a physical limitation? Can I still fence?
While it will depend on your specific circumstances, usually yes. We have seen many individuals with physical limitations not only be successful in fencing but, in some cases, they have actually experience an improvement after fencing regularly for a time.
What do I need to bring to class?
You need to bring tennis shoes, athletic pants, and a positive attitude. No shorts, jeans, or flip flops. Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear to the gym. We also recommend a glove for your dominant hand(golf, garden, work, etc) but it’s not required. We provide jackets, masks, and foils, but if you are an unusual size and are concerned about your jacket, you may bring a thick sweatshirt.
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