Beginner Classes

Fencing Club of Asheville Welcomes Beginners!

One of our main goals at Fencing Club of Asheville is to spread our love of the sport in Western North Carolina.  We are excited to teach beginners of all ages (10 and above) and athletic ability.

New Beginners will start Monthly for 2023. We feel we can provide a better experience to first time students if they all start together at the beginning of a 4 week cycle.  Classes in 2023-24 will start on the following dates:

Wednesday, August 30th 2023

Sunday, October 1st 2023

Sunday, November 5th 2023

Sunday, January 7th 2024

Sunday, February 4th 2024

Wednesday, March 6th 2024

Wednesday, April 3rd 2024

Wednesday, May 1st 2024

Location: 12 Culvern St Asheville NC 28804 – Asheville Catholic School Gymnasium

Cost: First class is free.  Please come try fencing.  The rate for the beginner classes is $60 for a one month class which includes equipment rental.  We also require Free USA Fencing Trial Membership.

Who: Ages 10-99 and everyone is welcome regardless of athletic ability.   Unfortunately, we do not take kids 9 and younger.  While kids can start fencing quite young, we can’t provide a good experience and a safe experience for kids under 9, they will have to wait until they turn 10.

What to bring:   Clean athletic shoes.  We recommend basketball, tennis, volleyball or indoor soccer shoes.  Avoid black soles and of course cleats that might mark mats/floor or things like hiking boots (I know it’s Asheville, but please don’t bring any kind of boots, hiking shoes or sandals).

Wear athletic apparel you can sweat in.   We recommend sweatpants or warm ups.  Shorts must be accompanied by knee high socks.

Women and girls should wear an athletic bra in order to be able to use either type of provided chest protector.

A water bottle.  We have a fountain but you will be much happier with your own water in the gym.

Things NOT to wear:  Sandals including hiking or “sport” sandals, or any other shoes with openings.  Jeans or other pants that don’t stretch well are bad choices to fence in as are pants that fit very loosely and could snag blades.

Paperwork:   Please complete the USA Fencing Trial Membership online and email the completed pdf to  The text of the waiver can be read here.  If any of the links here change you should be able to find the newest versions of the forms on the USA fencing website.

How we Teach:  Fencing is traditionally taught in as boring a manner as possible.  At Fencing Club of Asheville we are part of a movement in modern fencing that is convinced this doesn’t actually produce better fencers who can win at tournaments.  We want our very first class to be FUN!  Beginners will learn to use the sword and hit people their very first class.  You will line up against a real opponent your second class.  This involves being hit, so safety gear in your size will be provided.  We start all our beginners in Foil.  Students will be able to switch to Epee after 4-8 weeks if they want to and are 14 years old or older.

After Beginner Classes:  Our beginner class lasts approximately 4 weeks.  After beginner classes, students will move on to intermediate classes and then open fencing.

Please Email us with Questions, at or Call Bren at 301-537-0211.  We love talking to new people about fencing!

16 thoughts on “Beginner Classes

  1. Jason

    Hello ,
    I am moving to Franklin area in late January and am very interested in learning fencing. Are there any classes taught near there?


    1. BrenFCAsheville Post author

      Hi Jason, As far as I am aware there isn’t much in the way of fencing near Franklin, NC. I’ve heard of a fencing club near or part of Western Carolia University in Cullowhee. Unless that club is active, I don’t know of any clubs closer than an hour or so.

    1. BrenFCAsheville Post author

      Thanks for asking.

      We don’t start 8 year olds with our beginners unfortunately. The best way to find success and fulfillment in Fencing is to really enjoy and love the sport. To do that, a student’s first club should be a great experience. Currently, our club just isn’t a great experience for 8 year olds or kids younger than 9-10. Fencing is a sport where you compete head to head with other fencers, and for an 8 year old, competing with 10 year olds (or teenagers, or adults) isn’t very fun. No matter how technically sound, you can’t have much success due to the age gap.

      Due to constraints of available practice time/space, we can’t run classes just for younger kids. Our experiments last year mixing them in with older students did not provide the younger kids with a good experience. They mostly didn’t have fun and chose not to continue fencing.

      On the whole, I think it would be better for an 8 year old to try another sport for a year or two and try fencing at age 9 or 10. Many Olympians in fencing have started in their teens, so there is no rush.

  2. Amie

    First of all I absolutely LOVE your link to who fencing is for. Fantastic and a wonderful laugh. <3 I would like to ask just a few questions. First, are the classes every Wednesday for the beginners in the odd months? Is a full month's class, or you said 8 weeks before a beginner would advance to the next level? Is it just simply $40 for the full beginner's class or just for the first day? Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. BrenFCAsheville Post author

      Hi Amie,

      The first class is free. Beginner classes start next on 5/4. Dues are $40 per month, most beginners start paying on their second class. Classes are held every Wed.

      There is an 8 week series of lessons that I really prefer beginners to try to commit to, although missing one class isn’t a big deal, beginners who attend sporadically typically remain beginners. After 8 weeks our training methods become more diverse and less scripted, with students advancing in the sport at their own pace depending on how much effort and time they choose to put in.

  3. Michelle Ballard

    Wow, my kids are really interested in this, and it sounds affordable. I just wish it were not on Wednesday

    1. BrenFCAsheville Post author

      Generally our classes are about 1/3 adults and teenagers and 2/3 kids under HS age. Our open fencing group, which adult fencers typically graduate too after the 12 week class, is primarily adults and teens.

      Sorry for the late reply.

    1. BrenFCAsheville Post author

      When pandemic counts are low enough that the fencing mask situation doesn’t seem kinda gross, we will resume beginners classes. We can’t predict these variants, but we will be back sooner or later.

  4. Jessica Patton

    Would you consider starting a beginner class again for people who invest in their own mask? I see some on Amazon starting at $60.

    1. BrenFCAsheville Post author

      We are still in physical distancing mode, so we don’t have room for beginners even if the mask issue were resolved. Amazon masks are not a good idea for beginners. When it’s safe to squeeze in together and run beginners again I will make an option for people to buy their own mask and provide a link to a better supplier.


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