Just went to my first fencing class...


Orange Belt
Jul 13, 2010
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Halifax NS, Canada
I enjoyed it a lot. The people there were friendly and they definitely seemed to know what they were doing. I was even complimented on being "a natural" by one of the assistant coaches when I intuitively started beating the blade before it had been taught, which was very encouraging. There were six students counting myself, and three instructors (well, one and his two assistant instructors). What I'm enrolled in now is just a beginner's course, 5 weeks long, one hour practice twice a week (although I can only attend once a week due to a scheduling conflict... I'm making up for it by going for 10 weeks instead).

After that I would have to enroll for the club membership to continue fencing there, which is something like $50 per term. However, the club is associated with a university and there's a membership I need to have in order to even qualify for the club which costs and additional $55 per month. I have a membership currently, but it will expire by the time I complete the beginner's course and I have no reason to renew it otherwise (I've since discovered a superior fitness facility that I'm able to use for free due to living at residence there). Thus it may not be cost effective to buy a membership solely to fence there.

My alternative would be a different club in the area which I haven't checked out yet. Their rates are lower than the combined club fee and membership fee of the group I'm at now, but as I understand it you need to bring your own equipment there, whereas the equipment is provided where I'm at now. Keep in mind that I'm essentially a poor college student, so buying a set of equipment would not be ideal for me right now. However if it saves me money in the long run (I'd probably need my own equipment to participate in tournaments, and I'm sure it would be better to own my own custom-fit equipment than use mix-matches), it's something I may be forced to consider...

On another note, the big toe on my left foot now has a massive callous on it from when I was sparring continuously with one of the coaches, and to a lesser extent the ball of that same foot. The footwork is quite different from the shuffling I'm accustomed to in wrestling and judo (which is primarily side-to-side)... is there anything I can do to help prevent that in the future, or is it something that I just have to suffer through in order to toughen up the skin in those areas that will be exposed to such stress?

There's also a slight pain on the inside of my right thigh, although I suspect that that may be from inadequate stretching, since I was getting changed while everybody else began (there'd been a class before this that I was forced to miss, so I was the only true newbie there who didn't know where the equipment was, etc.). That's purely my fault though, I should have made an effort to do that before jumping in with the rest of the (stretched out) class.

So yeah, any helpful advice? Like I said I enjoyed the class quite a bit and I'm definitely planning on taking up fencing. Thanks!


Master Black Belt
Apr 12, 2007
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Calgary, AB, Canada
I don't recall any toe problems when I did a lot of rapier fencing. If you fence left-handed, then it might be from not landing on the lead heel when you lunge. Hard to say.

Other than that, I'm envious of you living in Halifax! I used to live there, and have dreams of moving back. :)

Best regards,