Olympic Sport - Viginia Academy of Fencing
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Olympic Sport

The Olympic Sport fencing program includes group classes and private lessons in foil, sabre, and epee. Classes are offered in five different levels, allowing you to take classes with fencers who have similar skills and goals.

For those new to fencing, VAF offers introductory and preparatory classes year-round, for both youth and adults. After completing the preparatory classes, students may be eligible for VAF Membership and proceed to the Intermediate level in their weapon of choice.

Foil

Foil fencing classes explore proper footwork, attack, and defense actions, and the ability to analyze opponents.

Most fencers take foil in their beginning classes, and most fencers will continue with foil. Foil has this status due to its history.

Back in the days of combative fencing (when people fenced to kill) it was developed as a training to weapon, and therefore it is still the best weapon to start training in.

In foil fencing if both fencers hit each other in the same action, there are rules of "right of way " that determines which fencer gets the point. The goal of fencing a combative duel was to stay alive. The rules of right of way force the foil fencer to make the decisions that would keep them alive in a duel. The person who made the better decision would get the point.

"Right of Way" states that a fencer should defend against an attack rather than attack back into it. After a fencer successfully defends an attack right of way switches, and the fencer who started the attack now needs to defend himself.

The target area in foil fencing is the opponent's torso. To score a point in foil you must hit your opponent in the torso with the tip of the blade, as point attacks were the most deadly.

Epee

Discover the epee, the descendant of the dueling sword. Sword techniques imitate actual combat, with all the safety equipment and rules of a modern sport.

Epee is derived from the sword that was used in dueling - the rapier. It is the least aggressive of the sport weapons. In epee fencing, any part of the body is a legitimate target.

Points are scored with a thrusting action. To score a point you must hit your opponent with the tip of your epee. Epee is the one sport weapon that does not have Right of Way.

Sabre

The sabre is the modern equivalent of the cavalry sword, with both slashing and thrusting attacks. It is the most aggressive of the sport weapons. Students learn techniques involving footwork, handwork, and strategy.

Anywhere above the opponent's waist is a legitimate target in sabre fencing. Most points are scored with a slashing action.

Click here for a schedule of upcoming sport fencing classes.