Our Mission 

Our mission is to teach our athletes fencing skills, while building self confidence and self esteem.  We teach dedication, discipline, perseverance and leadership through team work.  The club imbibes a fantastic “Esprit de Corps” as our young fencers build comradeship and lifelong friendships.  We encourage positive attitudes, healthy lifestyles, good sportsmanship and excellent work ethic.  We believe that by developing these traits our young people will not only become successful in fencing but also in life. 

 Beginner Program


Introduction to Fencing

The Beginner Program is provided for students of any age and physical condition who have never fenced before.  This fencing program introduces participants to the sport of fencing and will give them the basic fundamentals needed to start fencing and develop basic skills. 


  • Safety rules and sportsmanship

  • Introduction to fencing etiquette

  • Basic eye-hand-foot work - salute, on-guard, advance, retreat, and lunge

  • Basic distance control

  • Basic parry combinations - six, four, eight, and seven

Fencing New Zealand (FENZ)is the governing body of all fencing activity in the New Zealand .  


The Beginner Program runs for one term in a group session.

To participate in the program you should wear:

  • Long sport pants

  • Tennis shoes

  • T-shirt


$300 per term ( consist of approx. 8 lessons)


Intermediate Fencing

The Intermediate program is for fencers who have completed the Beginner Program or fenced before and need to refresh their skills.  

  • Intermediate level program covers:

  • Work on improving hand- and footwork

  • Better distance control

  • Improving technical skills

  • Parry reposts, disengages, beat and bind attacks

  • Introduction to electrical fencing

  • Better understanding of fencing rules

  • Increased drill exercises

  • Better offensive and defensive skills

  • Initial understanding of fencing tactics

  • Introduction to Fencing

  • Intermediate Program


This Intermediate Program consists of 2 group classes per week, which are 1 hour long each. 

It is recommended that fencers begin to take private lessons a few months into the program.

Each group lesson in this Intermediate level fencing class starts with a warm up, in which our coaches implement elements of a game depending of the age of the class. After warming up, the fencers will work on different elements of technique, drills, foot and hand work, target work, drills and fence using the electric equipment.

In addition, there is a lot of fencing against more advanced fencers, so fencers at the intermediate level are more challenged and develop better skills and confidence. 



The cost of intermediate level fencing program is $360/ Term 



In general, the Intermediate level fencing program lasts 2 to 24 months, but the coach will decide when to recommend moving the fencer on to the next level of advanced fencing based on athlete’s readiness (in physical, competence and mental levels).

Advanced Program

The Advanced Program is designed for fencers who have completed the Intermediate Program in our club or a similar type of program in another fencing school.  Typically, a fencer at this level has a good skill set, confidence and has participated in at least one regional competition before joining this level. 

 The fencers at the Advanced Fencing Level Program improve:

  • Advanced foot and handwork

  • Fencing techniques and skills

  • Physical condition, such as endurance, speed and strength

  • Understanding of fencing tactics and strategies

  • Competence at competitions

  • Analysis of performance at competition



The Advanced Program is scheduled 2-3 times a week for the group class. Each group class is 1.5 hour long. At this level the fencers take once a week private lessons as well as part of the program.


During the class, the athlete works on advanced exercises and drills and will focus on intensive endurance, strength, speed, and agility workouts with a good portion of the time fencing against opponents at the advanced and competitive levels.


Fencers are encouraged to participate in open fencing at least couple of times a month. Fencing with stronger opponents provides invaluable experience and opportunities to learn.




The Advanced Program starts after about 2 years of fencing, depending on athlete’s skills, physical and mental condition, and personal goals.


The coach assesses the fencer regularly and based on the athlete’s readiness recommend when to move on to the next level of competitive fencing. 



The cost of Advanced Fencing Program is $360per Term + extra lessons regularly + Saturday extra training

Competitive program

  • Tuesday 6.30-8.30

  • Thursday 6.30-8.30

  • Saturday : 9.00-10.30

  • Saturday 11-2.00 pm on scheduled days (Elite Group)

The Competitive Program is designed for advanced fencers who will complete at regional, national or international levels regularly.  Usually students that complete the Advanced Fencing Program at JFFS or similar level program at other clubs can enrol in this program.



  • Competitive fencing techniques and skills

  • Endurance, speed, agility and strength

  • Advanced fencing strategies and tactics

  • The ability to build a bout per opponent strength and weaknesses

  • Ability to dissect a bout and work on improving non-successful elements

  • Video analysis is a vital part of this program




  • The Competitive Program is composed of 2-3 group lessons per week for 1.0 hours each followed by free fencing,

  • Training program for Conditioning at home

  • Priority for private lessons (please note private lesson are$30 for 15 min )

  • In addition to the structured classes and private lessons, competitive fencers participate in as many open fencing sessions as their time allows at Academy ofFencing Epsom girls ( year fee $300)aim to fence 100-120 hits ( 10x10 hit bouts or 9x15 hits) there is no supervision on this training you will have to manage your time.


This is high intensity program that requires good physical condition and ability to sustain strong cardiovascular workout


The cost of Advanced Fencing Program is $360 per term + weekly private lessons + weekend extra sessions according to the schedule, open fencing at Academy ( Epsom Girls Grammar)



Competitive fencing lasts indefinitely.  Because of this, competitive fencing requires a commitment to the sport on a completely different level.  It requires more commitment to group and private lessons and open fencing.  Competitive fencing also requires a lot of discipline and significant participation in regional, national and even international competitions. 

Elite program

 The session offers technique and strategy clinics lead by Coach Fliszar. 

  • Advanced distance drills

  • Complex drill exercise

  • Improvement of fencing strategy and tactics

  • Initial action by opponent - what counter actions are available

  • Fencers will be taking notes on strategies and tactics as we progress with the camp day-by-day.




  • 15 Min Warm up

  • 30 Min Footwork & Conditioning

  • 45 Min Clinic - Every SESSION different topic

  • 60 Min Open Fencing

  • 30 min video analisys




Our Association:

Fencing North: www.fencingnorth.com

Fencing New Zealand: Affiliation click here

Gear Shops:


We fence according to the rules of the FIE. 

Here are links to the current rules.








Athlete Code of Conduct


As a club member, you are now an ambassador not only for your club but your school, region, country and the sport of ‘fencing’.  This means you will be held to the highest standard of behavior when attending any fencing events including trainings, competitions and related events.  We know that you will do your best to represent the  JFFS and NHFC in the most positive way and contribute to your team every time you fence.  Please review this Athlete Code of Conduct, outlining our expectations in regards to behavior, uniform and sportsmanship.


  1. All  JFFS and NHFC athletes will be expected to respect the coaches’ judgments and instructions.  You are expected to cooperate with teammates and other participants.  
  2. The following behavior will not be tolerated:
    1. The use of inappropriate language towards another athlete, coach, parent
      or spectator
    2. Lack or cooperation or willingness to participate positively in class sessions
    3. Bullying of any kind (physical violence or threatening behaviour)
    4. Poor sportsmanship or negative comments towards other competitors or teams.
    5. Please note: This policy also applies to all internet and or social media sites. 

2. No athlete/participant is to attempt or is permitted to teach any form of
fencing skills without receiving proper training, safety instructions and express permission from a head coach (this includes parents). 

3. No athlete/participant is to use electronic fencing equipment unless authorised by your coach. 

4. Missing team events for major illness or bereavement is acceptable. Please notify your coach ASAP should this occur. 

5. Should an athlete need to miss training for any reason, please notify the coach as early as possible in advance.  For significant calendar events, please notify your coach 2 weeks in advance.

6. Private lessons need to be cancelled 24 hours prior, giving another athlete the opportunity to take the opening.  (Frequent unannounced absence may lead to an athlete losing the opportunity to receive private lessons).

7. Our attendance policy is in place to ensure the progress of all fencers towards the attainment of their goals.  We understand that family time is important and we encourage fencers to have interests outside of fencing. We do however expect that athletes attend the trainings committed to.  

7.1 If an athlete is injured (depending upon severity – please discuss this with your coach) we still require them to attend, however; they may have a different training program for the time being.

8. Any athlete wishing to enter into a Competition or Training Camp outside of New Zealand must seek approval from Head Coach and where appropriate, the Secretary of FeNZ before entering.  In many cases nomination to FeNZ is required.

8.1 In the sport of fencing there are agreements and protocols between countries’ associations.  We may not be aware of this and may be transgressing an understanding between the fencing bodies of participating countries.  To avoid any misunderstanding, it is better to discuss participation with your Head Coach and jointly contact the secretary (FeNZ) for further advice.

9 Your Head Coach is your first point of contact when looking to enter any competition.  Remember, your Coach is your most knowledgeable supporter, with only your best interest at heart.  Certain competitions may be more appropriate that others to attend, your coach will advise accordingly. 

10. Training programs - Training camps.  Coaches are pleased to learn that athletes are prepared to invest more time training and improving their skills.  The coaches role is to assist and support you in achieving your fencing goals.  Given New Zealand’s geographical isolation, there will be opportunities to travel to camps/programmes in Australia, Asia, the US or Europe.  These countries often receive significant financial support from their governing bodies, enabling them to provide great fencing masters and facilitate longer camps with more fencers.  Please ensure you consult with your Head Coach, prior to enrolling in any fencing training camp or programme.

11.  Fencing Shoes or appropriate sports shoes must be worn in the gym at all times ---no bare feet, socked feet, or slippers.

12. Hair must be tidy (long hair tied back), Long pants (no shorts) are required at all times while fencing.

13. All athletes/participants must remove all jewellery before training begins. This is for your safety and the safety of those around you. 

14. NOMobile phones during trainings.  Please place your phone in the assigned ‘Mobile phone box or leave your device in your fencing bag during training.

15. All athletes/participants MUST sign-in with your coach for each class. This is a JFFS and  NHFC regulation so that we know who we have in the class at any given time should an unexpected event occur. 

16. Timeliness - Athletes should arrive 15 minutes in advance of their scheduled class time.  This you time to prepare and allows the training to commence on time.


Spectator/Supporter Code of Conduct


Thank you for choosing  JFFS and NHFC.  For Parents/Caregivers, we are aware of the commitment fencing can be and appreciate the support you provide for both your athlete, our staff and other club members as we work towards achieving their goals.  Our door is always open should you wish to discuss any aspect of your athlete’s progress and development.  We are best reached via e-mail or would be pleased to arrange a time to meet before or after training time.  You and your family are always welcome into our training facility.  While fencing is an individual sport, we are all part of the same club.  No athlete has ever made it to the pinnacle of their respective sport alone.  The JFFS welcomes and encourages families, supporters and spectators to attend competitions and events.

Please keep the following spectator code of conduct in mind when attending any practices, events or competitions. 


‘Esprit de Corps’

A feeling of pride and mutual loyalty shared by the members of our Team.


You are welcome to watch practices however; we ask that you adhere to the following rules and guidelines: 

  1. Please remain in the designated viewing area at all times.  Only fencers, coaches and appropriate officials are allowed in the gym or on piste areas.
  2. When younger children come along, please ensure that they are supervised and remain within the spectator area.  This is a safety issue. 
  3. Please refrain from communicating with fencers or coaches from the spectator area.  Encouraging fencers is welcomed, however DON’ BE A SIDE LINE COACH. 
  4. Respect the gym environment by leaving any viewing areas in a tidy state including picking up all rubbish and any belongings. 


  1. NHFC and JFFS ( JF Fencing School)encourages good sportsmanship.  Fencing is both an  INDIVIDUAL and TEAM sport. 
  2. Remember that all coaching decisions are made in the best interests of the athlete and the team. 
  3. We have ZERO TOLERANCE to spectators making negative or derogatory comments about fencers, parents, coaches, or any JFFS and NHFC committee member. This includes over all social networking sites. 
  4. Please ensure you are a role model for good sportsmanship by encouraging and supporting all fencers, teams and coaches.



  1. For our younger members, it is parent’s responsibility to stay informed. Check your email and website (Facebook page) regularly. If you aren’t receiving emails, please contact the secretary of NHFC. 
  2.  JFFS and NHFC values your constructive feedback, (both positive and negative).  We ask that you refer any issues, queries or questions directly to NHFC using the correct procedures. 
    1. For issues pertaining to fencer development, training, results or competition, please speak to your coach after class, or email.
    2. For issues regarding the organisation or club, please refer to the President of the NHFC.



  1. NHFC and JFFS Fencers and Fencing North recognise you may participate in social media in your own personal time. If, however, during your participation in a social media activity, you reference your association with NHFC an JFFS, Fencing North or any other related entity or make comments or include content about NHFC or JFFS, Fencing North, associated entities, affiliated person or any of their affairs, you are required to adhere to the following: 
    1. Do not post content that may damage the reputation or interests of NHFC , JFFS, Fencing North or an affiliated person, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
    2. Please be polite- avoid hostile communications or credibility attacks. Keep all comments respectful and informative. 
    3. Do not attribute any content or comments you may post to NHFC, JFFS, or any affiliated person nor represent any content or comments as being endorsed by same. 
    4. Do not post content or images that harass, are inappropriate, adverse, offensive, discriminatory, intimidating or are otherwise demeaning, defamatory or disparaging about any person or organisation. For the avoidance of doubt this includes videos, comments or images regarding falls, “fails”, accidents, physical injury and negative posts regarding competition results or outcomes. 
    5. Only post accurate and truthful content. You must correct any errors or remove any offending/inaccurate posts immediately if requested to do so. 
    6. Do not violate a person’s privacy. Do not post any one’s personal information or their image without obtaining their prior consent. 
    7. Do not use the intellectual property of NHFC JFFS, or any affiliated entity including any trade marks, logos, slogans, patents, designs, copyright materials or ideas in any content or otherwise online. 
    8. Do not start any page, group or forum of any kind for athletes or parents of NHFC, JFFS without written permission. 








 Financial obligations

The majority of the club’s cost are by way of coaching fees and facility hire.  Other expenses and purchases include: new equipment, maintenance of gear, club clothing set-up, compliance and the running of competitions.

Within the below headings, we have attempted to outline the various opportunities and costs associated with the sport of fencing in New Zealand.  We have completed this so that fencers and their families can more objectively take these opportunities into consideration when planning your individual goals within the club and the sport.

The Club Fees are reviewed and set by the JF Fencing School annual basis. 

Term fees  will be emailed out to each fencer.  Copies are available by request. 





  • BEGINNERS- Saturdays,  Mini Fencing under age of 10:  8.30-9.30 Am ( 60 min)        $260/ Term 

         -Saturdays Beginner over age of  10:  9.00-10.30 Am (90 min) $       260/Term

  •  INTERMEDIATES: Saturdays 9.00-10.30 Am (90 Min) $ 260


  • ADVANCED : Tuesdays and Thursdays 6.30-8.00Pm ( 2x90 min) $360


  • COMPETITIVE : Tuesdays Thursdays 6.30-8.00Pm and Saturdays 9.00-11.00 


  • ELITE: On those Saturdays when there is no competition we are running some Elite training programme for the top athletes . The attendance is strictly by invitation .

          Cost $ 100/ event 

         2017 Dates: 

  • 25 March 11.00 AM -2.00PM
  • 19 April 11.00 AM - 2.00 PM


  • OPEN FENCING  In JF Fencing $35 Flour fee on Tuesdays or  Thursdays


  • LESSONS: Private lessons are 15 minutes long cost $25 bookable with the coaches.

A 24 hour cancellation policy applies.  This means that lessons and private           classes cancelled within 24 hours will be charged and forfeited. 


Payment Options

Preferred Method: Internet Banking (cash and cheques are acceptable – paid to our Head Coach) 

JF FENCING SCHOOL : 12 3084 0296905 00

Include Fencers Christian & Surname, Term 1,2,3 or 4 fencing fee
(eg. Jo Smith, T1 fencing fee)

Due Date: On receipt of invoice



Fees paid are on a “per term” basis.  As such the club expects that you will attend trainings.  It is understood that everyone has obligations to school, work and other events that, on occasion do arise, however the club is generally able to administer “make up training sessions”.   The club remains obliged to pay coaches and hall hire.  Missed training dates are lost and do not entitle the fencer to a reduced term fee.  In cases whereby a fencer misses 50% or more of the committed training due to sickness or injury, (in both cases a doctors certificate would be required) a refund of 50% of the term fee would be made, less any outstanding monies owed to the club.

Members are paying a “term fee”, not a per training date fee, should you be unable to attend training dates throughout the term, then sadly, those days are lost. 


For those fencers who wish to take up private “one2one” lessons with our coaches, these are arrangement and are outside of the club, between fencer and coach.  Fees and payment are set by the respective coaches and are payable directly to them directly. 



We strongly encourage each fencer to take advantage of a “one2one” planning session with your Head Coach at the beginning of the year – mid-year – or each term.

The FDP is an athlete planning session.  Paid on the same basis as a Private Lesson, this is the opportunity to sit with your coach and plan your development as a fencer.  These sessions will include, however not be limited to:

  • Goal setting for the term – for the year – long term.
  • Training Session Plan – what you commit to (1,2 or 3 sessions per week)
  • Private Lesson Planning – frequency
  • What are you doing outside of the training sessions? (personal fitness – diet – recovery – your other commitments, how to fit things in)
  • Competition Schedule – which competitions are right for you – which competitions are you going to attend?
  • Other aspects of fencing – refereeing – coaching/mentoring – committee – helping run club competitions. 

For these sessions, fencers need only bring their notebooks and a great attitude.



We encourage all of our fencers to affiliate with Fencing North (and FeNZ).  For all fencers looking to compete in competition outside of the club, it is a prerequisite.  Fees need to be paid in March of every year and can be found on the Fencing North Web Site www.fencingnorth.com or by speaking to you coach.  

We have included the current fees in the attached Schedule of Fees.



Competitions are a great learning experience for our athletes and deliver the opportunity to build confidence, sportsmanship and show off the skills they have been developing.  Every year there are a wide range of competitions, appropriate to your individual level and experience.  

Every competition you attend will incur a competition entry fee.  This fee will vary depending upon the organizer.  Consult your coach as to these fees.



For all fencers attending Advanced classes  (Tuesday/Thursday training), you will require your own fencing gear.  This includes:

  • glove
  • mask
  • chest protector (Girls compulsory)
  • fencing jacket
  • fencing bag
  • body wire
  • foil
  • lame

For fencers competing in any competition outside of the club, additional equipment is required including:

  • plastron
  • breeches
  • fencing socks
  • mask wire (required for some competitions)
  • fencing shoes (recommended – not compulsory) 
  • spare foil and body wire (required for some competitions). 


NOTE-  There is a plethora of fencing equipment available, both new and used.  It can be found online, locally, from other fencers and from overseas.  Before purchasing, the NHFC strongly urges all fencers to consult with our Head Coach on the most appropriate equipment for you.  

Fencers and families need be aware that FIE (International Fencing Federation) rules pertaining to competition gear are constantly reviewed and change.  Purchasing gear without consultation can in some cases, be a costly mistake. 



When travelling to compete outside of Auckland (nationally or Internationally) the participating fencers are obliged to share the coaches costs. (airfare, accommodation, daily coaching fee)


Some larger competition organisers require at club or team to provide Referee(s), depending upon the number of fencers entering their competition.  In these cases, participating fencers are obliged to share these Referee cost as well. 



Camp is an exciting opportunity for Elite team members to spend more time in a focused environment.  This is the time when we can discuss goals and analyse the development of individuals.  Athletes have the opportunity to participate in fun camp activities and bond with their teammates. Camp is mandatory for all Elite level (Bronze to Gold graded) fencers.  If you are unable to attend camp for any reason, please notify your coach as soon as possible.

Please note: Athlete Grading and awards can be affected for athletes who do not attend camps.


The club is presently reviewing its Club Track Suits and be making some decisions moving forward.  A club identity creates a professional image, identifies our athletes and helps fencers develop that club spirit.

Please note – club members cannot create or sell your own JF Fencing School clothing or accessories.  All ideas for apparel and accessories must be approved through the coaches and management. 

Fencing Equipment


Personal equipment for competition fencers consists of a mask, glove, jacket, and a plastron - a half jacket worn under the jacket covering the sword arm and chest. Fencers traditionally also wear breeches and long socks.Weapons are connected to the scoring system through a bodywire inside the jacket. Foil fencers also wear a metalic target jacket over the top of their main jacket. This jacket is also connected to the scoring system. Ladies also wear a plastic breastplate.The club provides foils, masks and jackets for beginners, but after you complete the beginner’s course you are encouraged to start buying your own gear, if you intend to continue (we hope you will!).

Initially consider purchasing:

  • Glove
  • Mask (ideally an FIE 1600N one, but whatever you prefer. It’s only your face/neck/eyes/jugular at stake)
  • Weapon & bodywire (electric and with FIE blade, anything else is false economy, as FIE blades tend to last a lot longer than standard blades.)
  • Chest protectors for the ladies in your size, these must be worn.
  • Groin protectors for the men if you desire. Not obligatory, but recommended for obvious reasons.



  • Plastron 800N
  • Jacket 350N or 800N
  • Lame (electric jacket) & mask wire



  • Breeches 350N or 800N
  • Fencing shoes
  • Socks
  • Fencing bag
  • Additional weapons / body wires / misc.


The Newton rating on the clothes gives an indication of the level of protection they offer. A higher number is better, obviously. If you plan on fencing overseas, you will need 800N gear. The chances of being seriously hurt while fencing are very very low, but as we are hitting each other with metal weapons, it is better to be safe than sorry. Buy the best you can!

Fencing shoes are worth getting, but you don’t have to go too crazy. Even squash and badminton shoes are fine.

If you plan on competing, you will need at least two weapons and bodywires.If you are considering purchasing your own equipment, please feel free to talk to your coach, or another senior fencer.Equipment Vendors

There are a few equipment suppliers you can choose from.Most people have either Leon Paul or Allstar gear, but you will see brands like FWF, Uhlmann, Negrini, PBT, Jiang, Absolute and others.Leon Paul equipment is excellent, but expensive. Very easy to order. They also offer complete sets for people wanting to kit themselves out in one go.All of the German brands (Allstar/Uhlmann, FWF) are very good, excellent products at pretty fair prices.The Italian brand Negrini is great, but pricey. Not as easy to get hold of either.PBT from Hungary do some excellent equipment, not too expensive, but durability is questionable on some items from some reports.

Jiang from China do some ok stuff for club level fencers, but again durability is questionable.Absolute from the USA do some good stuff, but not seen that often in NZ.There is a local vendor as well, Mainland Fencing. A bit more expensive, but certainly convenient for things, especially if you need them in a hurry.At the end of the day most of the equipment we wear is to protect us from being seriously injured, so buy the absolute best you can afford. This is to keep you alive and fencing, and also save you money in the long term.All of the top level fencers will most likely be wearing Leon Paul, Allstar/Uhlmann, Negrini, or PBT.

Links to some of these vendors can be found in the Useful Links page.


Equipment Maintenance

You have to maintain your equipment as well. Please read the washing instructions on your items of clothing, and never use bleach.Lame jackets need to be turned inside out and allowed to dry thoroughly. These have metal threads in them and corrode in contact with sweat. You can hand rinse most of them (not frequently), but read the instructions that come with whatever you buy. Ideally hang them up inside out. Don’t fold them up, roll them if you must. Please don’t leave them with damp sweaty clothing, or they won’t last long at all!Keep your weapons and your clothing separate, you don’t want rust stains on your nice white fencing jacket. Nearly all fencing bags have two compartments for this reason.You will need some consumable things too, most often duct tape for the blade of your foil (not needed for epee). This is because of the way the electrical scoring system works. If you have no tape, you often get no point due to the blade grounding out on your opponents’ lame.If you’re not sure about how to look after your equipment or fix it, feel free to ask one of the more senior club members.


Ordering Equipment

Often it is best to talk to your coach or with senior club members about ordering things. Most of the time someone has an order pending, and it can seriously save on the shipping costs to order things as a group.If you do intend to order equipment from overseas, please be aware that you may incur GST and MAF charges upon import. This can be a bit hit and miss, but technically you are liable to pay GST etc. on any shipment valued at $400 or more (including shipping costs).



  • Allstar
  • Uhlmann
  • Leon Paul
  • FWF
  • Jiang
  • Negrini
  • ONTC
  • Absolute
  • and others...

Fencing is a great all round sport where there is a great emphasis on sportsmanship.
Fencing is a great form of physical activity that develops all round fitness, both aerobic and anaerobic.
It teaches athletes to be quick with both their feet and mind, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills while dealing with fluctuating emotions as they deal with success and failure. Most of all fencing is fun. Everyone participates. No one sits on the bench.

Some of the skills fencing teaches are patience; hand / eye coordination; confidence, self-discipline, the ability to think on your feet and sportsmanship. As the number of fencers in Auckland and nationwide is not overwhelming, those that attend local tournaments build great friendships that span years. On the piste they may be opponents. Once the bout has finished friendships are formed and flourish.

Practising lunges, footwork and hand movements outside of fencing classes will enable your child to improve their ability and technique. Set up a target board or hanging tennis balls to practise hitting a specific stationary or moving target. Attending training sessions at other clubs helps too, as it exposes fencers to different styles and different fencers. At your regular club, your child will fence the same fencers’ week in and out and become used to their particular style.

While your child may come away with the odd bruise or two to their arms or legs, fencing is a very safe sport so long as the correct protective gear is worn and fencers treat their weapons and those fencing around them with respect. All fencers wear a glove and mask while training. Typically they would also wear a plastron, jacket, breeches (or long leggings) and long socks. Females wear a chest protector irrespective of their age.
Shorts should never be worn for safety reasons.

There are three different weapons, each requiring their own set of gear: Epee, Foil and Sabre.
The entire body is the target for epee, whereas the target areas for sabre and foil is determined by the lame. The target area for sabre is the upper body (including sleeves) and mask. The target area for foil is the upper body (excluding sleeves) and groin area. While a lot of coaches can train fencers in all three weapons, NZ has some coaches who specialise in a specific weapon.

Chest Protectors: Chest protectors are plastic devices used to cover the chest and are part of the kit for all female fencers. A male version is also available. Plastron: The plastron is worn under the jacket on the foil arm and provides extra protection to the most commonly hit part of the body (target area). Jacket: The jacket is designed to protect the fencer and is constructed to prevent penetration of sharp objects (e.g. a broken blade) while absorbing the impact of hits of the foils. It has long sleeves and should be large enough to touch the hips and overlap the breeches. Lamé: Lamés are jackets with metal fibres woven through them to make them conductive and are the targets used for electric bouts to record hits in sabre and foil. Lamés are worn over the plastron and jacket. A foilists’ lame does not have sleeves. Epeeists do not wear lames as the whole body is a target. Breeches: Breeches have a high waist and go down to below the knee, overlapping the socks. They provide protection for off-target hits. Often track pants can be used instead. Socks: Long socks should reach above the knee and can be any colour other than black. Mask: Masks protect the face, sides and top of the head. Most masks are made out of mesh with a Kevlar bib. The bib covers the neck and the lower sides of the head and should cover the neck of the jacket.
Glove: The glove protects the hand and fore arm. Gloves are worn over the jacket and can be any colour other than black. The gloves should have a Velcro cuff which allows the body wire under the sleeve to easily connect to an electric weapon.
Gloves are typically sized as small, medium or large; or in individual glove sizes. Gloves that are individually sized will usually provide a better fit but tend to be more expensive.
Body and Mask Wires: Body and mask wires are required for electronic fencing and competitions. Not all competitions require mask wires to be used. Grip: A grip is the handle the foil is held by. You can purchase a blade and grip together or both separately. Foil grips can be interchanged with other blades.

Each fencer requires their own glove. Most clubs have gear for beginners to borrow however it is recommended the second purchase be a mask, so your child (for hygiene reasons).
Most competitions require the fencer to have their own gear. For local competitions your club may have gear that can be borrowed or rented.
Note: Outgrown gear in reasonable condition can be on sold. Check out what is available for purchase.

FIE approved equipment is a higher standard of protection and is expected to last longer than non-FIE equipment, but it is also more expensive. As a general rule if you are competing at regional competitions it is okay to use non-FIE equipment, but if you want to compete at national competitions or internationally you will need some FIE equipment.

Your coach may be able to recommend specific retailers and what your child needs to own first. Until they are ready to compete a whole kit is not necessary. Ensure you are purchasing the correct gear for the level your child is fencing (and competing) at while allowing room for growth and progress, otherwise you will be continually purchasing new gear as they progress. It is important left handed fencers have a left handed glove, foil, lame, plastron and jacket. Our New Zealand supplier, Mainland Fencing, attends the majority of Fencing New Zealand competitions (i.e. NZ U15 and U17 championships, North Island, South Island and Nationals) and can assist with finding the best foil/epee/sabre blade for your child. However fencing equipment and clothing can easily be purchased online from the following websites.
New Zealand: Mainland Fencing: http://mlfencing.com Overseas: Leon Paul http://www.leonpaul.com Absolute Fencing http://www.absolutefencinggear.com/shopping PBT http://www.pbtfencing.com Allstar http://www.allstar.de Uhlmann http://www.uhlmann-fechtsport.com

Note: Depending on the total cost of your order, you may need to pay GST charges before the equipment is released from Customs

A beginner may choose to train once a week at a club. If they wish to improve, learn specific techniques or enter competitions it is likely they will need to increase their training to two times a week and add in a private lesson. In general training sessions involve the whole group, and includes drills or footwork skills followed by general fencing bouts. A private lesson is an additional cost to the general training sessions and is usually a one-on-one session with the coach.
The duration and frequency of private lessons varies from coach to coach and different fencing clubs have their own approach and cost structure. Ensure you are aware of the costs and duration of the lesson and the goals the fencer and coach are working towards together. Those interested at competing at a higher level may choose to train three to four times a week. As well as fencing sessions, training at this level is likely to include other types of fitness work.

Competitions should be treated as another opportunity to learn, grow and have fun. Start at an age appropriate level.
In general your coach should let you know when your child is ready to compete. Feel free to ask the coach or trainer or other more senior fencers if you are aware of upcoming competitions that haven’t been mentioned. Fencing Norths’ website lists upcoming competitions on its home page.
Your child should also express an interest in competing. If you force the issue, no one will enjoy it.
Anyone can go along and watch a competition to see how they are run and this approach might suit your child if they are unsure whether they want to compete yet.

Individual Competitions Competitors are made up of round robin poules and then a series of direct elimination bouts. Before the tournament starts the Tournament Director will call out the fencers in each poule, the piste number along with the referee. Once completed all competitors head to their paste along with the mask, glove, foils, body wires and drink bottle. Your child will fence every other person in their poule to a total of 5 points (or 3 minutes).
At the conclusion of the poules, the fencers are ranked by their total score (number of victories compared to the number of points they conceded) ready for the Direct Elimination rounds. In Direct Elimination the fencer who is seeded number 1 will face number 32, number 2 will face 31, so on and so forth. If there are less than 32 fencers then some of the top fencers may get a “bye” and be automatically in the top 16. Direct Elimination bouts go up to 15 points and can take up to 9 minutes – 3 bouts of minute’s duration each with a 1 minute break between the first and second bout. The winner progresses to the next Direct Elimination round while the loser gets to socialise and enjoy watching the rest of the competition. This process is followed through the remaining rounds until the semi-finals. The winner of each semi-final progresses to the final while the losers usually place third equal. Occasionally they will have to fence off for third and fourth place. Unless the numbers are low the competitions are usually gender based.

It is a good idea to start at an age appropriate level and then broaden your child’s horizons. Fencing competitions are lots of fun and as long as competitors have realistic expectations everyone should have a great time.
Local clubs often run their own age group competitions for U9, U11 and U13 fencers. These are fun occasions where the fencer is guided by the coach and referee and the emphasis is on participation. Clothing and affiliation requirements for these competitions often differ from older age group competitions. As your child progresses ask your coach and check out the Fencing North and Fencing New Zealand websites tournament calendar.
If your child feels comfortable let them participate in appropriate older age group competitions so that they gain experience, grow their fencing skills and make a great new set of friends.
During the school terms two and three Fencing North runs an Auckland Secondary Schools competition which is open to any fencer attending primary or secondary school in the Auckland region. This competition has fencers participating at all levels and is a great way to start getting involved in competitions.

Your child can fence two age group levels above their age. The official age groups are U13, U15, U17, U20, U23, Open and Veteran. (Note some clubs may hold U9 and U11 competitions.) The age of the fencer is determined by their age on January the first of that year. Therefore if a competition is in April, and your child turned 15 in March, they are still eligible for an U15 competition that year. If your child is a competent fencer, they can ask for permission to fence one level above the recommended age group. Their coach must also agree to this. To fencer at higher level the fencer will need their coach’s agreement and special dispensation from the tournaments organisers. When competing overseas the rules of the tournament govern the age group that can compete. Local competitions may have different rules than FIE or Asian Championship competitions.

The number of entrants for each gender often determines whether the competition will be mixed of gender specific. Generally a minimum of 6 competitors is required for each gender to make it a gender specific competition. Mixed competitions are fun and can challenge and improve a fencers abilities.

Yes. Fencing New Zealand regularly posts information about upcoming overseas competitions and advises whether the competition is open to any fencer or a specific number of fencers that qualify for that competition.
They also recommend you google overseas clubs and national fencing bodies and follow their competition dates. Often your coach can recommend suitable competitions to attend overseas. Some competitions require competitors to be submitted by Fencing New Zealand while others have open entries. The entry form or associated information usually contains this information. Australia holds the Koala Champs, a friendly competition for U9, U11 and U13 competitors and while the entries have to go through Fencing New Zealand, the competition is open to anyone who wants to compete. At a higher level Australia hosts the Australian U15 and U17 competitions to which a number of New Zealanders enter. Note: Make sure you have the correct gear for the competitions you are entering.

Yes. Some clubs offer adult lessons and training sessions.