Epee Class : Where we all begin
SITS begins all fencers (age 12 and up) in epee, unlike many schools that choose foil for beginners. We chose to begin with epee fencing for several reasons. Epee offers beginners a chance to learn the mechanical skills of fencing without the added complexity of certain rules, such as "Right of Way." Also, since the entire body is a target in epee, fencers learn to defend the whole body as opposed to the limited targets of foil and saber. Once the techniques and principals of fencing are learned, a fencer can begin to learn strategies that apply to all three weapons: epee, foil, and saber. Our coaches, each experienced teachers as well as fencers, focus on the learning process and continually modify lessons to help all fencers learn techniques and how to apply them to the game.
The first hour is a combined group lesson, followed by an hour of bouting where students can apply the techniques practiced in the lesson. In the beginning of class, fencers of all levels work together on footwork and basic fencing skills. Later, during the technique/strategy portion of class, fencers are often grouped by ability to provide appropriate instruction.
Saber is a unique game in fencing featuring a faster pace and "Right of Way" rules. Fencers are challenged with high intensity footwork, explosive movements, and a need for quick reflexes. Our saber classes focus on training fencers who have a strong grasp on the basic skills of fencing to adapt to the different positions, timing, and distance of saber.
Youth Fencing (ages 9-11):
The SITS Youth Fencing Program is a fencing class for younger children. The class focuses on developing strong basic fencing skills in a positive, fun, age-appropriate environment. Skills are introduced and reinforced with games and short drills designed for the physical limitations and shorter attention spans of younger children. The class has a very low coach-to-student ratio to provide for maximum assistance for each child. Tools for training are employed that encourage learning proper technique while keeping safety as the top priority. Bouting is limited and modified as needed to ensure that fencers develop good habits during their early years of fencing.
Fencing equipment can be expensive, and it is impractical for a beginner to buy equipment if he/she has not tried the sport. SITS will provide most safety equipment and a weapon for use during our class time. Students may continue to use club gear for a period of time until they decide to continue with the sport. Male students are required to wear groin protectors (cup), while female fencers are encouraged to buy hard chest protectors. Parents and participants should be aware that fencing is a contact sport. While considered extremely safe (safer than soccer and baseball), bruises are common and other injuries can occur. Safety is a priority in all aspects of our instruction and bouting.
Private lessons consist of 30 minute sessions with an individual coach. Private lessons have the advantage of being targeted to a fencer's unique skills. Private lessons are available by scheduling weekly sessions with a specific coach.