The club has been in existance for over 50 years, and remains a traditional fencing club in that we start beginners with the french style non-electric foil. We cater for all levels of fencing, from beginners through to those who compete at international level. Unlike many clubs, we do not specialise in one weapon. After starting with the foil, to learn the basic moves, most fencers soon find which weapon they prefer, and stay with it. Others like to ring the changes. We have close links with other local fencing clubs, in particular with Sussex University, which brings us visiting fencers from all over the world.
The evening starts off with a short group warm-up and footwork session, while the less energetic start setting up the electronic scoring apparatus. This is followed by group instruction sessions, and individual lessons. Others practice fight using the electric scoring equipment. The fencers also take turns in refereeing the matches. The senior fencers give advice on tactics, and refereeing. Some members only fence at this club, but as we meet only once per week, some also fence elsewhere, and compete in local and national competitions. At the end of the session, it's all hands to help put everything away, and some of us depart to the Park View to discuss the evenings fencing, and sample the local ale.
Fencing is a relatively inexpensive sport. However, after the initial beginners course, for which equipement is provided, you will need to buy your own, as the equipement will be required for future beginners course. Advice on purchasing is here:
Fencing is not classified as a dangerous sport, but it is a combat sport with the potential for serious, even fatal injury, although these are extremely rare. British Fencing Association (BFA) along with other worldwide fencing organisations constantly monitor safety and impose safety regulations for both behaviour, and equipment. The club is affiliated to, and insured by the BFA, and we operate under their safety guidelines. All equipement meets or exceeds BFA safety standards. It is essential that all fencers understand, and abide by these rules. With under 18's, we have to ensure that parents are also aware of them. There is a safety section on the beginers application form, and you can find the full club safety guidlines here.
Having said all this regarding safety, as long as people behave sensibly, and within the rules, most fencers only ever suffer a few bruises. These are difficult to avoid and are part of the risk accepted by participants in a combat sport.