Group classes constitute the core of fencing development at CFA. All fencers, regardless of age or ability, are encouraged to participate in one or more group classes each week. Classes are offered in all three weapons (foil, epee, saber) and at various levels (Intermediate, Advanced and Competitive). Each group class lasts one hour and meets between 5pm and 8pm on weekday evenings.
Participation in group classes requires Membership, fencing experience or participation in a Beginner’s class, and additional fees paid quarterly. The group class fee entitles the fencer to participate in as many or as few classes as they desire. Please see the current schedule for which class are currently offered.
Our current classes address the following skills and have specific prerequisites.
Intermediate (C1) Foil
This class builds on the skills learned in the Beginner’s Class by reviewing and honing the beginner skills while adding new skills that include:
Footwork: Double check, check retreat, cross overs, types of lunges and developing foot tempo.
Bladework: Counter parries, circular parries, coupes and beats. Also the beginnings of building a coherent multi-phrase attack and understanding the basics of right-of-way.
Tactical: Introducing separate hand and foot tempo, using footwork to trigger actions and to change tempo, introduction to “moments to go”.
Advanced (C2) Foil
This class is a significant step up in conditioning and training. Members are expected to dedicate time outside of club to mastering the skills introduced in this class and to work with focus and attention to detail during the class itself. Members at this level are encouraged to compete in local USFA events to better prepare and understand their skills and to develop through private coaching in addition to the group classes..
Footwork: Building footwork phrases, accelerated foot tempo, slide, fleche, esquive, duck.
Bladework: Separating hand and foot tempo, absence of blade and active bladework. Parries five and prime, using countertime and introduction to infighting.
Tactical: Constructing a bout strategy, in depth study of “moments to go”, choosing hold vs. beat blade actions and creating surprise.
Competitive (C3), Foil
Fencers at this level are actively competing on the divisional and national level. Many are rated or nationalyl ranked fencers and are on the “competitive track” incorporating private lessons and conditioning with their group lessons.
Footwork: Advanced footwork actions such as drop and floated lunges, tempo changes inside footwork, controlling the bout space and development of accelerated footwork actions.
Bladework: Using deceptive bladework to set up finishing actions, lost hand tempo and angulated attacks.
Tactical: Using the different areas of the strip, bout psychology, tourney prep and situational bouting. Constructing and using a fencing journal, analyzing types of fencers and development of personal areas of excellence.
Epee is considered to be the most tactical of all the fencing weapons. As there is no right of way governing who scores and that the entire body is target area, epee fencers must take particular care in setting up and choosing the precise moment to score. The epee itself is the heaviest and stiffest of all the weapons, and the most complex in its assembly. CFA has consistently produced some of the top epee fencers in the area including multiple Division Champions, Collegiate Champions and points list athletes. CFA epeeists currently hold the Division Championship. The CFA epee classes are appropriate for anyone in the intermediate or advanced level who are interested in exploring this tactically and physically demanding weapon.
Saber is the fastest of the three weapons and is often considered the most aggressive and purely athletic. Saber is a descendant of the calvary sword and as such is the only weapon where you can score with the edge as well as the point. The CFA saber class is appropriate for anyone in the intermediate or advanced level who is interested in exploring this explosive and fast-paced weapon.