Training For Adult Beginners

We have all seen the films, Zorro, Three Musketeers, Prisoner of Zenda, Princess Bride, even James Bond got in on the act, and felt the excitement and thrill that comes from those deftly manipulated blades! It was Zorro (the 1960′s series…) that inspired me to start fencing at age 11. And I am still at it…

Now you too can learn the skills, join the battles and have fun!

Just click the + signs below to reveal more information (includes our terms and conditions)

What does Fencing do for you?
Fencing is an excellent exercise for body and mind. It will let you escape the pressures of everyday life and work off the stress. It is good for your heart, your head and your physical health. It is, of course, an international sport and you can compete all over the country, and the world, if you wish!

Films use stage fencing for dramatic effect. Modern fencing is based on efficiency of movement, stealth and tactics but is still as exciting and Fencing is Fun!

Fencing is a Sport for All . We are a fully inclusive club for a fully inclusive sport.

Fencing is A Sport for Life! We have fencers of all ages from 8 to 80, once learned, like riding a bike, it is not forgotten and many fencers come back to it if life has forced then to take a break. For me the break was 14 years long.

The Adult Beginners Course
We have been running these since 2008 and they are very popular so you need to book asap. A £50 deposit does the trick. (see below)

Courses start in September, New Year and after Easter (see News for dates) Max of 12 per course.

All classes start at 7.30pm at Blackheath High School, Vanbrugh Park, SE3 7AG. Directions to the club and a map can be found on our Where and When page

Who is it for?

Men and Women aged 17 or over with little or no experience and any degree of fitness. Those under 17 would be better joining the Junior group ( The Blackheath Musketeers).

Several disabilities can be catered for provided it does not impact safety. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Course Outline

We offer a 6 week introduction and  9 week ‘thorough grounding’ courses which aim to give you competence in fencing with the foil, one of the three weapons in modern fencing and the original training weapon.

With the 9 week course, your membership continues until the end of the term to enable you to fence other members and receive 1 to 1 coaching, all included in the fee.

If you are on the 6 week course you can extend membership to the end of term for £30 and receive further coaching and most of the elements of the 9 week course. The 6 and 9 week courses include:

  • A full time, qualified coach
  • All the equipment required
  • History and background to the three weapons
  • Clothing and safety guidelines
  • The armoury and care of equipment
  • Fencing etiquette
  • Footwork skills and tricks
  • Simple and compound attacks
  • Parries and other defences
  • Fencing with others from day one

The 9 week course will additionally cover

  • Introduction to tactics
  • More types of attacks (eg balestra, fleche)
  • More defences
  • Judging and refereeing
  • Electric fencing including a trainees competition
  • Introduction to epee and sabre, the other two weapons
  • Full membership included with one to one coaching in the final 3 weeks of the term 
A typical evening will consist of:
  • Five to ten minute warm up and stretch (avoids common muscle injuries and gets you ready for action!)
  • Revision of the previous week’s activities for reinforcement and for those who may have missed them
  • Group instruction and practice on an attack, defence, footwork, distance control or tactics. Usually two or three new ones each week
  • A period of free fencing with other trainees practicing the moves you have learned
  • Later in the course, fencing some intermediate level fencers and a mini-competition
  • Warm down
What if you miss a few weeks?

We all have busy lives and we appreciate it can be difficult to attend every week but you do need to attend at least one of the first two weeks to cover safety and the basic moves and at least 5  of the following weeks (on the 9 week course) to get some  value from the course. If you cannot make the first session you may start the following week.  After that it will be difficult for you to catch up with the other course members.

Your Coaches

All British Fencing registered they will be Alan Grafton, Andrew Nisbet or Ben Warner with the assistance of senior club members at times. You can find out more about them on our Coaches page.


The club provides all the fencing equipment you require for the course. All you need to bring are trainers, T-shirt (and bring a dry one to change into after), loose fitting or stretch trousers/leggings, a bottle of water or juice and lots of enthusiasm!

At some point you will want to buy your own kit. We get discount from suppliers and can advise what to buy.

Secondhand items are often available through the club. Do not buy online, new or secondhand, without advice!

Safety and Insurance

Fencing is very safe. You are covered by the club’s membership of British Fencing for 10 weeks. If you have any other concerns have a look at Is it Safe? on our About Fencing page which will answer any questions you may have. It opens in a new window/tab which you can close to return here.

Your fees

The Tuesday only 9 week course is £90 per person. £50 Deposit and the balance payable 10 days before the start of the course. For full-time students and unwaged it is £70.

The Thursday only 6 week course is £60, payable in full in advance with extension to full membership £30 payable at any time.

Our standard fees are £80 and £60 per term for concessions respectively


Your fee or deposit will be refunded only if we can replace you with another applicant. Only 12 places are available and are allocated on a payment-received basis.

Not sure if fencing is for you?

Come to a taster session held on the first day of every term. Check News for dates.

If you only register for a Taster we cannot guarantee you a place on that term’s cuourse, as they may all be booked by then, but we can book you into the following course if that is the case.

How can I pay?

Internet Banking, Cheque, Paypal, Cash. Details will be given at the end of the course registration and sent you you in the Registration Confirmation email

OK, I'm up for it. What do I do next?

To attend a Taster or apply for an Adult Training Course press the blue button!

Register On-line


“An exciting course in a sociable and welcoming atmosphere. Looking forward to coming back next term.”  Stuart (beginners course Autumn ’12)

Out of 48 adults trained Sept’12 to Easter ’13,  19 have become full members!