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FAQ

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to get involved in fencing?
    A beginner’s fencing kit (cotton jacket, under arm protector, plastic chest guard, glove, weapon, mask) will cost about $250. Fencers who compete at the national and international level should purchase equipment meeting the standards of the FIE (fencing's international governing body), which is both safer and higher quality. A full set of FIE-compliant competition gear will run at least $800-1200, but clothing costs can be as much as halved by purchasing regular cotton or synthetic knits. Abilene Sport Fencing will provide basic equipment to beginning students free of charge as part of our Learn2Fence program. (credit: Alliance Fencing Academy, Houston)
  • What exactly is epee fencing?
    Epee is a type of sword used in modern fencing, and "epee fencing" denotes all fencing done using an epee and following the specific rules associated with the use of that weapon. Compared to foil and saber, epee weapons are slightly larger and sturdier. Epee is considered the most democratic weapon, with very simple rules and less equipment required than the other weapons. In epee, you can hit anywhere on the body, from the toe to the head, and if two fencers hit within 1/5th of a second (registered by electronic scoring), both points are counted. By contrast, foil and saber have more limited target areas and double touches are not allowed. For foil and saber, in cases where both fencers score at the same time, the referee will make a determination of which fencer initiated their attack first to determine who has earned the "right of way" for the touch. Unfortunately, this scoring practice is somewhat subjective depending on the referee. One of the major advantages of epee is that this level of referee interpretation is absent, making epee fencing the most objective and fair of all three weapons. (credit: Alliance Fencing Academy, Houston)
  • How can I purchase fencing gear?
    You can get a list of recommended gear and trusted vendors from Coach Starr.
  • Is fencing safe?  Does it hurt?
    Fencing is one of the safest modern sports. Based on injury statistics, fencing is safer than football, basketball, soccer, baseball, cheerleading, or even badminton. Wearing proper fencing equipment at all times is the number one way to reduce risk of injury. At Abilene Sport Fencing, our students’ well being is our top priority and we strictly enforce proper safety habits, such as wearing masks, socks, under arm protectors at all times when on the fencing strip. For our students new to fencing, we will provide the necessary equipment to learn the sport safely and efficiently. Although executed with appreciable energy, a good, clean fencing attack hurts no more than a tap on the shoulder, with the force of the blow usually absorbed by the flex of the blade. That being said, painful blows do occasionally occur. Like with all martial arts, you should expect minor bruises and welts every now and again. (credit: Alliance Fencing Academy, Houston)
  • Where are you located?
    Our classes are held in Faith Hall, a full-sized gymnasium that is a part of First Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene. You should use the parking lot on the north side of the church along North 5th Street, near the corner of Beech Street. Entrance to the gym is through a back door underneath a blue awning that says "FCPC Youth Ministry."
  • Who can take your fencing classes?
    Our classes are open to both boys and girls who are 8 years old or older (exceptions may be made by Coach Starr on a case-by-case basis). Adults are also welcome, but our programs are focused on children between the ages of 10 and 18.
  • How will I know if a class has been cancelled?
    We use the Remind app (the same app used by many Abilene ISD schoos) to make text & email announcements, and also announce any changes to the schedule on our FaceBook page. To sign up for our Remind list, go here.
  • How can I find out about fencing tournaments?  Where are they usually held?
    We will organize tournaments periodically in our gym, but fencers who want to compete at the regional level should be prepared to travel to Dallas/Ft Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. Houston and El Paso also offer a number of local and regional tournaments. At the national level (North America Cup, or "NAC"), tournaments can of course be found from coast-to-coast, and occasionally NACs are scheduled in Texas metro areas. For the local tournament schedule (some of which can be quite large), see askFRED. For regional and national tournament schedule, see USA Fencing.
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