Age Groups for Fencers
The Minnesota Sword Club provides fencing instruction in for Adults, Teens(12-18), Youths(8-12) and Children (6-8). Fencers move from one age group to another when they are ready. In addition we have a Competitive fencing class and a HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) group. Individual Instruction is available to members.
Adults: Adults new to fencing start in the beginner class. Afterwards, an adult may continue taking classes or just bout. Adults work in a style designed for mature individuals. The pace depends upon the individual and has no preset rate. Many adults fence for fun, recreation, health, or simply to socialize. Some enter competition for the additional challenge and excitement. There are competitions are within the club, and at state, regional and national levels. Each adult has his/her own reason for fencing, but all fence because it's fun! Open bouting for experienced adult fencers is available anytime the club is open. Scheduling is flexible since a member can attend when he/she wishes and as much as liked. Classes, open bouting, equipment use for the first 3 months and facility usage are all included in a three month membership.
Adult class structure: First everyone warms-up with the footwork used in fencing. Then, blade skills are practiced in either a repetitive or choice situation. After practicing technique, adults fence until the end of class. Fencers are also encouraged to stay after class to fence more. Some adult fencers choose not to join a class and fence before, during and after class. Other adults join a class some days and just bout during other days. All three swords of the sport are taught even though most adults decide on just one to learn. Don't be afraid to try all three until you know which is your favorite. Some fencers learn more than one.
Click here "Enrollment and Info." to go to the registration page.
Teens, ages 12 to 18 learn the concepts and strategies of fencing with an emphasis on either epee, sabre or foil. Blade technique, mobility, strategy, and bouting are taught. Technical form, perception and strategy are learned in relation to the bouting situation with both offensive and defensive actions. Skills develop rapidly and carry over to other sports. The program is based on our progressive pattern system with extra bouting time before and after class. The emphasis is on learning, but fun is an important ingredient of the training. New fencers join children of their own age after a week of beginner level classes, offered once a month. They are not expected to know the material of the experienced kids, but go through the same learning situations. The newer fencers develop quickly due to the help of their new friends. Fencers are free to choose which of the three weapons they wish to practice. They can change each class or stay in one. All basics are taught in each weapon style, but changing tends to provide variety and enjoyment. Every six to nine weeks we provide in-house mini competitions for the fencers to test the skills they have been developing.
Teen class activity: These classes are used to teach the various moves of fencing, the strategies, rules and concepts. Classes start with footwork and move into blade drills for technical or tactical actions. Both offensive and defensive moves are practiced. Then bouting, situational or unrestricted, is used to finish the session. Fencers can stay after class to continue bouting. A new fencer can change weapons each day until he/she finds a favorite. Click here "Enrollment and Info."to go to the registration page.
Youths ages 8 to 12 are taught the techniques and concepts of fencing with a strong emphasis on games. Strategy games, which carry over to all sports, are a major element of instruction. Body awareness develops quickly through fencing since the young fencer must become aware of his/her own body, how to manipulate the weapon and most of all how to relate to the opponent. The emphasis is on development and having fun while learning the sport.
Youth class activity: starts with a warm-up game which is just fun. Next, footwork and basic positions are taught. Then, blade exercises are practiced. Games are interspersed to keep the young fencers interested. Fencers in the youth class learn a different weapon each month in a three month rotation. Eventually, a youth fencer can pick a favorite weapon and stay with it. Click here "Enrollment and Info."to go to the registration page.
Children's Class ages 6 to 8 A class for children ages 6 to 8 years is specially designed to teach the basics of fencing in a fun way. Games are used to teach strategy and visual perception with fencing technique used to develop body awareness. The young fencers learn foil, saber and epee along with the rules of each. During every class the fencers bout with each other and have occasional competitions for fun. The class meets once a week on Wednesdays.
Class Times: Wednesdays, 5:00 to 6:00p.
Cost: $99 for three months.
Click here "Enrollment and Info" to go to the registration page.
Competitive Practices: These practice sessions are open to adult, teen and youth fencers who compete and want to train for competition. Practice requires electrical competitive equipment and is more physically strenuous. The strategies necessary for competition, the use of right of way, and the technical skills required are all emphasized. The practices are meant as training sessions and do not deal with basic skills. A fencer must have permission to join. Click here "Enrollment and Info."to go to the registration page.
MSC National Team: Over the years we have had many fencers reach the top of the USA ratings. They all had some common elements to their training. They all practiced at least 4 days a week, took at least 2 individual lessons a week and competed regularly in local and national competitions. We took these elements and added the additional requirements that a fencer must be at least 9 years old, have fenced at least a half year and have the desire to become a national lever competitor. Both the fencer and parents have to agree to the requirements because it takes both if a fencer is become a national level athlete. Normally we take in new team members on August 1 of each year.
Open Bouting: A time to fence without structure. This is normally after a class ends. Fencers may stay to fence with their classmates. Others fencers, who did not take part in the class, join in. On Wednesday there is open bouting available from 6:00pm-8:00mp. The entire 15 sets of electric scoring equipment are available for electric bouting. Click here "Enrollment and Info" to go to the registration page.
Individual Instruction: Individual lessons are for fencers who want to develop quickly and advance to higher skill levels. Individual instruction develops the refined movements, perceptions and strategies needed for success in competition. Group instruction develops about 70% of fencing skills and knowledge. The refined 30% is obtained only with individual instruction. To learn more click on this link to go the the page for individual instruction.
Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA): This is a class which studies swordsmanship from medieval times emphasizing the German school of fighting. The main focus is on the Lichtenauer tradition.
Students in the beginner and intermediate class study the German longsword and Fiore's dagger. Students who progress to the advanced class also study Singlestick, Messer, Dussack, and Sword and Buckler.
You must be at least 16 to join. For more about Medieval Combat click this link. Click here "Enrollment and Info" to go to the registration page.