At the Barrington Fencing Club, we’re about having fun while learning how to fence (and practicing fencing). At every session, there is preliminary stretching and group instructional drilling for new fencers and those wanting to brush up on their technique.
In 2023, our regular Tuesday sessions start at 7:00 PM (both Novice and Experienced Fencers). Novice Fencers — those who have not yet demonstrated their fencing proficiency — share the floor from 7:00 to 8:00. During this time they will engage in stretching, footwork drills and learn the basics of good fencing technique. From 8:00-9:30, on their part of the floor, our more experienced fencers do footwork drills, obtain instruction and bout each other. Typically, the BFC’s electrical scoring machines are used by members at this time. There is also informal bouting among our other fencers – mostly foil, but also among our saberists and epeeists (the latter being a small minority currently). Novice Fencers are encouraged to watch and learn from our more experienced fencers. Once a Novice Fencer demonstrates his/her proficiency, s/he is permitted to “move up” to the join the more experienced fencers. Some of our most experienced fencers graciously provide one-on-one instructional tips to our newest (and newer) members. No bouting occurs without proper equipment (mask/jacket/glove) — safety is paramount!
Our fencers come in all shapes and sizes and range in age from 13 to 82. Our fencers include ex-college fencing coaches, retired airline pilots and Himalayan mountain climbers. Many of our fencers are middle-school and high-schoolers, but many participants are younger or older. So far, two of our former members have fenced in college as NCAA varsity fencers.
In August 2006 we acquired our first electric (foil) fencing equipment – electric equipment is used in all USFA and FIE (International) competitions. We now use several electric scoring machines during our sessions to keep our fencers “competition ready.”
2023 Schedule – No Fencing Nights
During 2019 we will NOT be fencing on the following nights, due to scheduling conflicts with St. Michael’s (subject to change):
- April 4
The BFC strives mightily to keep fencing affordable, and our membership rates reflect this. There are two reasons why our dues are so low: (1) the BFC members who administer the BFC and instruct our new fencers do so for free, and (2) St. Michael’s generously allows us to use its space at very low cost. Because we rely on the generosity of St. Michael’s for the use of its space, from time to time we are required to cancel our regular Tuesday session when St. Michael’s is in need of its own space.
For simplicity’s sake, our dues are paid on a calendar year basis, and are not prorated. As of September, 2023, dues are $175/year per person.
Where Can I Learn More About Fencing?
A good place to learn more about fencing is at any of the following websites:
www.usfencing.org (website of the Unites States Fencing Association)
www.totheescrime.org/IFC/ (the Illinois Fencers Club website)
A Good Book: Fencing: Steps to Success (Steps to Success Activity Series) by Elaine Cheris (available at www.amazon.com )
Where can I buy fencing equipment? Here are some of the vendors with whom we’ve had great experiences:
Physical Chess: www.physicalchess.com
Blade Fencing: www.blade-fencing.com
Blue Gauntlet: www.blue-gauntlet.com
Interesting Factoids About BFC Members:
- One BFC Member has fenced for 60+ years
- One BFC Member has climbed the highest mountain on each continent (the “7 Summits”), and has trekked to both the North and South Poles
- 2 former BFC members have participated as NCAA varsity fencers
- Several of our BFC members are/have been home-schooled