View Full Version : Out of club practice

-24th October 2003, 15:44
I'm newly back into fencing. I fenced for two years about 13 years ago.

I have attended one club, and I'm probably going to go to another as well, because once a week is not enough for me. When I get into a thing, I want to really get into it.

What's the etiquette for attending multiple clubs? In martial arts, it can be a bit iffy

Now, I have a couple of friends, one of whom is only just starting (complete newbie), and the other who is an ex international champion fencer (though it was 30 something years ago he was fencing for the USSR!).

I want to do a couple of things. I want to practice in my own time, which is fine. I can practice footwork, point control, fitness/stamina etc. on my own, but more importantly, I want to fence.

What's the situation with regards fencing outside of a club? What would the reaction be if, for example, I rented a badminton court at the local sports centre, but fenced instaead of playing badminton?! (Not good I expect!)

Whilst I would feel happy fencing with my ex-champion friend, what advice would you give about two novices going off on their own? How long will it be before we would be considered 'safe' to this (given that we are not daft enough to try without suitable protection!)?

What about liability?


Boo Boo
-24th October 2003, 16:05
I fence regularly at 3/4 different clubs and also occassionally enjoy visits to other clubs. Clubs don't (or at least shouldn't) mind you fencing at other clubs. Coaches sometimes mind (especially if the fencer is competitively successful). Still, if your club only meets once a week, then they shouldn't mind you fencing elsewhere too at all (most coaches encourage their fencers to get more practice and to fence a wider range of people).

Hiring a badminton court at a sports centre to use for fencing is not normally a problem - however, it is normally good to expalin what you are going to use it for.

I hire a badminton court on a weekly basis to have fencing lessons from a coach on: my local sports centre have no problem with me doing that.

I have also hired courts to fence on in the past. The only resistance I have had is that they didn't like 6 to 8 people revolving around two electric pistes on one badminton court (nothing to do with safety/space, just they felt that we were getting too much "value for money"...). Still, they let us do it since we pointed out that we didn't need more than one badminton court, so why should we pay for more...?

There may be an insurance issue with fencing outside of a club. If you are not a BFA member, but fence within a club, then you are covered by the club's insurance. If you fence outside the club, then I don't think that you would be covered (unless you had your own individual BFA memberships).

You need to take the normal safety precautions that you would at any club: fencing jackets (breeches if fencing epee), plastrons, masks, gloves etc.etc.


-24th October 2003, 18:10
Thanks Boo.

-25th October 2003, 00:17
I try very hard to get my lot to fence elsewhere as well as Streatham (and a couple instead of).

I fence all over the place, no problem. Occassionally some of my lot fence on top of a row of shops as well - but there has always been a coach / experienced fencer present. So long as you both fence fence at your own risk, there shouldn't be an issue, but I wouldn't do it as novices.

-25th October 2003, 10:33
I've never had a problem hiring space outside the club to do extra training. As long as you tell them what you're hiring it for and are a BFA member there'll be no probs. I have been asked if we have insurance before, but just showing your BFA card is fine.
I don't see any problem with novices doing it, as long as you're both over 18. But I doubt you'd get much benefit from just fencing each other. Footwork routines etc might help tho.

Normally you only get problems training at more than 1 club if you're fairly high-flying in the rankings. Then only if you're getting lessons at more than 1 place. You may get the attitude from a coach that you're taking up coaching time but not representing their club. Understandable, but unusual in my experience.

-27th October 2003, 14:00
I currently attend 4 clubs at various points in the year (Uni terms or not) None of them have any particular problem with this as the 3 non uni ones I go to meet only one night a week and the 2 coaches involved both coach at one of the clubs.

The one problem is chosing which club to fence under at competitions, and I have stuck with the same club since I started competing, except for university competitions. However, if I trained at one club where there were no competitive women's sabreurs and one where there were several, I would fence under that club so as to use the club protection in the pool round of the competition.

I would also enter under the same club as a beginner or less experienced competitor from one of my clubs so that they didn't end up fencing someone they were convinced they were going to lose to.

I think most coaches accept that you will be looking for more than one night per week of fencing if you are reasonably serious or keen. Most coaches (unless you come accross some of the inter club rivalries that seem to exist at some weapons) are quite happy for fencers to get as much training as they feel that they need. The aim is to benefit the fencer rather than the coach after all