Fencing has three different sports or "weapons": Foil, Epee and Sabre. Each weapon is best suited to a different athletic physiology and psychology. At our Academy we offer instruction in all three weapons to provide an inclusive atmosphere for as many students as possible.
Child Beginner 1 (6 yrs) Classes
Our children’s program begins with participation in “mock” fencing-related training activities, sometimes referred to as fencing gymnastics, that are focused on fun, building fitness and enhancing coordination. Students will improve their physical strength, dexterity and motor skills participating in training activities complimentary for all sports. All equipment is provided.
Child Beginner 2 (7-8 yrs) Classes
Our children’s program continues to focus on fun, fitness and coordination while introducing basic fencing skills, bouts using real fencing equipment, and in-house tournaments. Students will be taught the rules of the game, and gain an understanding of teamwork, competition and good sportsmanship. All equipment is provided.
Youth Beginner (9+ yrs) Classes
Our youth program begins with a four-session introductory class, quickly teaching the basic actions of the sport, allowing students to progress to fencing bouts in a short time. We have tailored these youth introductory courses from our experience in teaching physical education classes in the public school system. At the end of the four sessions, the students have experienced enough of the sport to understand what is ahead of them should they choose to continue. All the necessary equipment is provided and students are only required to bring a water bottle, track pants and a willing attitude to work hard and have fun! This introductory class provides an informative and economical way for older students to try the sport.
Level 1 (9-10 yrs) and (11+ yrs) Training Programs
After completion of a beginner program, students enter either our L1 (9-10 yrs) or L1 (11+ yrs) training programs. Our L1 programs are split to provide specific learning experiences for different age groups. Younger students will be in their L1 program until they reach the age of 11. Older students will typically take 3-9 months to develop their sport fencing basic fundamentals, this will vary based on the commitment and age of the student.
Students train once per week in a structured program empahasizing and reinforcing the basic actions. Instruction is done with the foil and students are given a fencing "manual" that serves as a teaching resource and a means to record their progression through the sport and TFA's programs. All the necessary equipment is still provided during this L1 program and students are only required to bring a water bottle, track pants and a growing desire to learn and develop their technical skills.
Level 2 (11+ yrs) Training Programs
Once students have spent the time required in Level 1 to have mastered all their basic skills, they will be tested by our instructors to insure that they can successfully move into the Level 2 Training Program. At this point the instructor, in consultation with the student and parents, will recommend a weapon that best suits the student. The weapon choice will be based upon a combination of the observed physiological and psychological mannerisms that the student has presented and developed over the Level 1 training period, and the student's desires.
Students in Level 2 will receive instruction 2-3 times per week, for 1 to 2 years, following a graduated learning program from the Canadian Fencing Federation (CFF). During their time in Level 2 students will begin to purchase their own equipment, so that they are fully outfitted before moving into Level 3. After spending 3-6 months in Level 2, students will also begin to compete in our in-house tournaments and possibly other clubs' outside events as well. Understanding and experiencing the competitive environment is a key component to fencing and a huge part of progressive learning for students.
Level 3 (13+ yrs) Training Programs
Once students have shown a growing degree of competency with their weapon, have outfitted themselves with equipment, and have particpated in competitive tournaments, they will be considered for advancement to the Level 3 Training Program, which requires training 3-4 times a week and for longer hours than in Level 2. At this point the weapon coach, in consultation with the student and parents, will discuss the student's level of commitment to the sport and help the student set realistic and achievable goals. Moving to a higher level of performance in a technique-driven sport like fencing requires a strong degree of commitment from the student and the student's family. Tournament competition becomes a much more demanding component of the training and can mean travel and long hours. At our Academy, our coaches are prepared to make the commitment to our students to help them bring forth excellence in their performance.
A strong part of the learning process is also through indiviudal student lessons with their weapon coach. Group training in L2 or L3 classes is good for basic weapon skill development, more so than personal skill refinement, and the repetition and bouting are necessary to reinforce all learned skills. Individual lessons, in combination with group training, provide direct one-on-one time with a coach to create a personalized learning experience, refining fencer specific skills, and advancing all skills faster.
Starting in Level 2, students may receive more intense and personalized 20 minute individual lessons from any of our coaches or instructors. These lessons allow our students to work directly and get immediate feedback on improving their technical and tactical skills.
Safety is the first and most important rule in fencing and within the club. Fencers must always remember that fencing is a combat sport and any disregard for this rule can result in serious physical injury. All fencers should always think safety first during training and tournaments.
Sportsmanship is one of the most important rules in all sports. The salute and handshake in fencing symbolise this belief. It is expected that this rule should not be limited only to these gestures, but should be present in all actions on and off the strip.
Respect is expected from all fencers during training and in tournaments. It goes beyond the word "coach" and should be present within the attitude and actions of the fencers toward their peers, coaches and fencing officials.
Self-Discipline must be practised in all combat sports. A fencer must always have the foresight to be responsible in the absence of any authority. This is an expectation of all fencers during training to achieve their maximum potential.
Fun is an important part of learning and participating in any sport. The student should always remember that fun only exists within an atmosphere of respect and responsibility.
Please review our
TFA Programs Brochure
2020 Winter Insert
to learn more about our Programs.