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.
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 end of the month based on actual number of private lessons taken in this month. If 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 charged 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). In that case AFM will allow a last-minute cancellation. 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 cancelled 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 the student can book one of these slots using online scheduling software.
Make-up Fencing Classes
- 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 literally impossible. AFM will not schedule make-up classes for all misses because it could jeopardize the experience of the students in the classes used for make-ups.
- AFM will attempt to provide a make-up class if the fencer misses due to sickness (not vacation, competition, school activity, or other event). However, in the case that all classes are full with no slots for additional fencers, AFM will not provide a make-up option.
- If a make-up class is allowed, the student may attend a class at his/her level or one level down. In the case of a make-up class, the make-up is not for hours of training but for number of classes missed. For example, if the fencer misses one competitive class that is two hours long and then attends a 1.5 hour advanced class as a make-up, the make-up is considered to be taken in full.
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 AFM based on these and other factors.
- Local (no hotel required) – $40 per event
- Local Travel (hotel required) – $80 – per event
- Travel (flying required) – $160 – first event, $80 – each additional event
All strip coaching fees are to be paid in cash before competition, and will be charged automatically (+$5/event late fees) after the competition if not paid on time. 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.
1. For an absence of three weeks or fewer, monthly tuition must be paid in full.
2. For an absence of 21 days or more:
2.1. In order to guarantee your spot in the same level/class when you return, the class fees will be 50% of the regular class fees for the same level.
2.2. If you do not meet the above criteria, you effectively cancel your class and club membership.
3. If you cancel your class and club membership:
3.1. AFM will not be able to guarantee your enrollment into the same class or level.
3.2. If you are able to re-enroll in an open class, you will be charged a registration fee of $100.
3.3. Any such cancellation should be communicated by email to the club prior to your long-term absence. 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 before the end of the previous class to not be charged. There is no withdrawal fees or a requirement to provide a longer term notice than before start of the next month. There is no prorated payment for the month when customer wants to finish, so the fencer can attend the classes until end of the month the fees were paid for.
However, as all AFM classes are capacity limited, if the customer decides to withdraw after the monthly class fees were charged there is no refund for these fees, including partial refund based on prorated duration.
Membership Fees and Levels
AFM provides different discounts for different AFM membership levels. It is recommended that the new customers choose 1 month of membership when they first join AFM. After some period of time members can upgrade/downgrade their membership to meet their individual needs.
When members cancel their membership they are considered to be AFM members until their membership level expires. AFM membership fees are not refundable, except as stated in AFM Terms and Conditions.
AFM provides a discount when multiple children from the same household join the club. Any second or third child from the same household is eligible for a 15% class discount. The discount does not apply to private lessons and beginner classes.
It is parent’s responsibility to apply a sibling discount coupon and verify that it was applied during the checkout process. In any case, any discount coupon can be applied only starting from the next billing cycle. Sibling discount coupon or any other discount coupons cannot be applied retroactively to the payments already made, and no refunds or credits will be available for such payments.
AFM is closed on holidays and some days during Summer Nationals per the published schedule. There is no prorate 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 are part of the competitive program and fall on an AFM holiday. Private lessons that are not part of the competitive program will not be held and will not be charged.