Answers to Your Questions
CEFC COVID-19 News and Protocols
Is Fencing Safe?
The short answer is: Most assuredly! A study of injuries occurring in Olympic competition ranks fencing as having one of the lowest injury rates, making it one of the safest Olympic sports. Only 5 summer Olympic sports posted lower injury rates than fencing in this study of injuries from the 2008 Olympics. (Those were diving, synchronized swimming, rowing, kayak, and sailing.) In terms of incidence in sports, soccer and taekwondo topped the list of Summer Olympic sports, with an injury rate of over 30% for soccer. Fencing’s injury rate fell to the opposite end of the spectrum, at close to 2.5%
During practice and competition, fencing athletes wear masks made of wire mesh, and multiple layers of protective clothing. Fencing remains one of the safest sports for kids and adults with injury rates far below those of the more popular sports such as soccer, volleyball, and of course, football.
Does it hurt?
Most hits you will receive during a fencing bout do not hurt at all; the blade is designed to bend on impact and thus they kind of feel like getting poked with someone’s index finger. Fencing is a finesse sport where speed and dexterity win out over brute strength. In competition, we utilize an electronic scoring system that only requires one to lightly touch the opponent to register a hit. There is no need to hit your opponent forcefully… only to hit them quickly and solidly.
How do I get started?
At our club we offer classes to anyone age 8 and older. There is no upper limit. The Introductory Membership class costs $89 and includes membership in our club and the national organization, 2 one-on-one sessions, and a fencing glove. Start any at any time!
What weapons do you fence?
At CEFC we specialize and train in Sabre, the most dynamic and exciting of the three disciplines in Olympic Fencing.
What equipment do you need to practice?
For the Introductory Package, you'll get your own glove and can borrow a weapon. For Footwork and Targets classes, you'll need your own sabre and mask. Other gear is required in order to participate in Partner Drills and Bouting sessions, but you won't need that for awhile.
Do you have programs for kids?
At CEFC, we take students as young as age 8. We have an active and growing group of young athletes that participate in programs specifically designed for their age and skill level. In competition, there are age-specific competitive categories that ensure budding athletes are matched up in an age-appropriate manner.
Do you have programs for adults?
Oh yes we do! Our Adult level classes combine adults and older teens together in training groups. We have a solid group of fencers over the age of 25 who enjoy coming together every week and engaging in swordplay. You won’t be the only adult in a crowd of little kids!
What about older adults?
Fencing truly is a life-long sport. USA Fencing has established a category for anyone ages 39 and older, with age groups all the way up to the Over-80 category. At CEFC we are pleased to have an incredibly dynamic group of Veteran fencers who push one another to reach both individual and group goals, including two time National Team Champions in Veteran Women's Sabre. All you need to join this group is to have taken a minimum of 39 trips around the Sun!
How can I apply for financial aid?
At CEFC, we don't want anyone to feel like financial issues will keep them from enjoying the sport. We have a number of need-based scholarship and training grant options available.
Do you do competitions?
Fencing is one of 5 sports that has been in every single Modern Olympic games and CEFC fencers compete together on a regular basis. Our competitors are known collectively by the nickname of “SabreCats.”
We have an in-house series of competitions for Novices to help you get started. When you’re ready, we’ll help you get involved in Regional level competition (and CEFC helps host a number of really strong tournaments that attract fencers from all around the country). Looking to test yourself against the best in the country? We regularly have fencers participating in the North American Cup series hosted by USA Fencing, the national governing body for the sport of fencing.
Can I do fencing for off-campus PE?
Absolutely! As an Olympic sport, fencing is recognized by the Texas Education Agency as being eligible for off-campus PE credit at both the Middle School and High School levels. Policies differ between different school district, so we encourage you to reach out to your guidance counselor for specific policies at your school. CEFC is an accredited provider for Birdville ISD, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Keller ISD, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Azle ISD Trinity Valley School, All-Saints Episcopal, Fort Worth Country Day.
How is Olympic fencing different from HEMA/kendo/lightsabre/SCA?
Fencing is a distinct martial art with its origins in medieval swordplay. It has its own rules, customs, and techniques that have evolved over the centuries. Fencing has been part of the Olympic movement since the beginning and is one of four sports that have been contested at every modern Olympic Games. Fencing Athletes wear protective masks made of wire mesh, several layers of protective clothing, and wield highly flexible metal weapons. Scoring is conducted through an electronic scoring system that only requires one to lightly touch the opponent to register a hit. Fencing is conducted under the auspices of the FIE (the international federation for Olympic Fencing) and USA Fencing (our national governing body) that set the rules and govern how competitions are structured.
What is your coaching philosophy?
Our coaching philosophy is athlete-centered and revolves around helping, educating and guiding. We assist athletes in achieving their goals as they learn new things about the sport and about themselves in a positive, respectful, and collaborative environment.
How can I best support my fencer?
Encourage, encourage, encourage. A fencing parent’s (or sibling, partner, spouse, etc) job first and foremost is to bring their fencer to practice and tournaments in the right frame of mind. They need to be well-rested, well-fed, and excited to practice and compete. When they are finished with practice/competition, please ask them how it went, what they did well, what they feel they still need to work on; please do not make suggestions or coach them. That’s the job you’re trusting us to perform for you!