AFM Policies


The Academy of Fencing Masters (AFM) policies are defined to set expectations between AFM members and AFM in such areas as private lessons, make-up lessons, and long absences. These policies are subject to change without further notice at any time.

This document summarizes AFM’s policies in the following areas:

1.         Private Fencing Lessons Policy: scheduling, cancellation, make-ups

2.         Make-up classes

3.         Vacation notice and payments

4.         Holiday schedule (group lessons, private make-ups)

Private Lessons Policy

1.         Private fencing lessons are provided to students only at the discretion of AFM and are subject to availability of the coach and space at AFM. AFM reserves the right to discontinue private lessons for any student at any time. AFM does not typically revoke private training, but may exercise this right due to unusual circumstances.

1.1. Private lessons are provided to youth fencers only when they are active members of one of the classes. Private lessons cannot be taken when a student does not participate in a group program.

1.2. For adult fencers private lessons can be taken only when an adult fencer has a current AFM membership

1.3. The only exception from this rule is when a fencer is injured and temporarily cannot participate in a group class or activities due to medical reasons.

2.         Please note that your private lesson slot is reserved specifically for you and AFM does its best to keep it unchanged throughout the entire season (Aug 1 – July 31 each year). As the club grows it becomes increasingly difficult to schedule and reschedule the lessons and it becomes more important that fencers show up on time, keep their scheduled time slot, and avoid cancellations within reason.

3.         All private lessons are managed via online software and it is responsibility of a fencer/parent to manage cancellations and makeup lessons per AFM policy.

4.         All private lessons are paid at the beginning of the month based on the actual number of private lessons taken in the previous month. If a fencer or parent forgot to cancel a private lesson in the system it will be charged in full and no makeup or credit will be given. It is a responsibility of a fencer or parent to cancel private lessons on time to avoid charges for non taken lessons.

5.         Cancellation policy:

5.1.         All private lessons must be cancelled at least 24 hours in advance.

5.2.         Sometimes, it is unavoidable to cancel a lesson on the same day (for example, in case of sudden sickness, family emergency or work related issues). In that case, AFM will allow a last-minute cancellation as long as it is canceled before the lesson’s start time. This type of cancellation is only allowed up to two times per fencing season (August 1 – July 31 each year).

5.3.         If the student repeatedly misses or is late to his/her private lesson, AFM will reconsider providing private lessons to that student.

6.         Tardiness. Students are expected to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the private lesson to allow time for warming up and stretching. If the student is late, the lesson will be shortened accordingly. If the student is more than 10 minutes late, the lesson will be canceled and considered an unexcused cancellation. No make-up will be given.

7.         Make-up private lesson:

7.1.         In general if there are existing free slots in the coach’s schedule (in regular club hours such that the coach does not need to make a special trip to the club for the lesson) then the student can book one of these slots using online scheduling software.

Make-up Fencing Classes

  1. Make-up classes are when a fencer attends another class to make up for missing his/her regular class. In general, AFM does not offer make-up classes. AFM fencers constantly attend competitions and providing make-up classes for all of them is impossible. AFM does not consider missing class while attending competition as a reason to request a make-up class. 
  2. AFM does not guarantee the availability of make-up class options. However, AFM will attempt to provide a make-up class if the fencer misses due to sickness (not vacation, competition, school activity, or other event). 
  3. Make-up classes are specially designated classes on Fridays 4pm-5:30pm or 7pm-8:30pm in our Sunnyvale facility. No other class can be attended as a make-up.
  4. Make-up classes can only be taken in the current season and while the student is an active member of one of the classes in AFM, no roll-over is allowed to the new season or when a fencer quit AFM. If a fencer did not succeed to complete a make-up lesson before the end of the season, which happens on July 31st of each year, this lesson is considered to be forfeit. No credit or refund will be given for any and all missed regular classes for which the make-up classes that were not taken in the current season or while being an active member of the AFM . 

Strip Coaching

Strip Coaching is part of Fencing Education and Coaching, and it’s not an option – you cannot opt out! This is an important part of success and learning for fencers.

AFM will decide how many coaches and who among coaches will go based on the number of fencers participating in the competition. The decision is solely of the AFM based on these and other factors.

  • Fees
    • Local (no hotel required) – $50 per event
    • Travel (hotel required) – $200 – first event day, $100 – each additional event day

All strip coaching fees will be charged based on the events a fencer registered at the time of the competition withdrawal date.  This is a critical aspect of competitive fencing, or else we would not insist on it!


Vacations and Long-Term Absences

AFM aims to provide an adequate experience to all fencers at all levels and strives to create a balance of occupancy, scheduling, and instruction in each class. AFM charges full month tuition for all months during the school year and does not put classes on hold due to vacation or school breaks. The only exception that AFM makes with putting an account on hold is:

  • If a fencer is injured and cannot attend classes longer than 3 weeks due to the injury
  • If a fencer is a Senior student that must take a break to work on college applications during the months of October through December

During summer vacation time classes can be put on hold, prorated or paid per attendance based on the fee schedule which is published in May of each year prior to the school summer break.

Any cancellation or change in a summer payment plan should be communicated by email to the club prior to your long-term absence at least by 15th of the previous month.  Any fees that are collected due to your failure to notify via email will not be refunded and no credit will be issued.

Automatic Payments for Classes, Withdrawals and Refunds

All AFM classes are charged automatically at the beginning of the month. If a customer desires to withdraw from the class he/she must notify in writing before the 15th of the current month to not be charged for the next month class. There is no withdrawal fees . There is no prorated payment for the month when customer wants to finish, so the fencer can attend the classes until the end of the month the fees were paid for.

However, as all AFM classes are capacity limited, if the customer decides to withdraw and notifies on or after 15th of the current month, then the next month’s fees will be charged, and there is no refund or credit for these fees, including partial refund or credit based on prorated duration. The customer will be withdrawn from the month after that, and he/she can complete the training in the month that was charged.

Please also note that there might be some additional charges for services that were provided before withdrawal and their charges were not submitted yet. This might include charges for weapon repairs, private lessons, or strip coaching fees for competitions that the fencer registered for. Usually, these charges are made several weeks after the appropriate service was provided after the invoices for these services are received. 

Holiday Schedule

AFM is closed on holidays and some days during Summer Nationals per the published schedule. There are no prorated fees or refund for the classes that happen on these days.

There are no make-ups for any of the group or private lessons that fall on AFM closed days.