While fencing is one of the safest sports your child can participate in (see “How Safe Is Fencing?”), we take it one step further by anticipating any potential hazards and eliminating them. Our goal is to create a fun, nurturing and SAFE environment for your children.
Safety on the strip
At Academy of Fencing Masters, we never forget that epees and foils – as protected as they are – still are weapons, and we treat them as such. Every student undergoes rigorous training on how to treat his or her sword, proper handling, and respect for the weapon and opponent. We’re sticklers for making sure that all equipment is in solid working order and regularly inspect them. Foils and epees are to be carried point down or hung on the rack when not in use, such as when students are putting on their fencing attire. The only time we allow students to raise the point is during the specific exercises or blade work drills, when all participants are outfitted in protective gear.
When you walk into Academy of Fencing Masters, the first thing you’ll probably notice is our attractive red, grey and blue tile-patterned floor. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but we had the floor constructed with every safety precaution we could think of. Instead of the traditional raised wooden floor which can be slippery and cause injuries, we selected a special non-skid surface. Beneath the overlay of the floor is a layer of rubberized cushioning similar to the kind of material used in aerobic studios which is designed to absorb the shock from high-impact sports. The cushioned layer adds a spring to the floor which helps minimize injuries to joints, knees, and legs.
Keeping our audience at a safe, viewable distance
Our audience has their own room located 15-feet above the main floor where they can watch the classes. This is unique to many fencing studios which often house their audience right in the same area as the strip. We feel the separation is extremely important for two reasons:
1) Keeping the audience at a distance from the floor will lessen distractions, preventing injuries that can occur when a student isn’t paying attention;
2) It also protects small children (or adults) from mistakenly tripping over the wires during the electronic fencing segments of the class and from being in proximity of weapons.
Our parents and family members love using our upstairs room for watching the classes. To make them comfortable we provide cushioned chairs, desks with outlets and wi-fi. That way they can get some work done while watching their children during the class. In fact, some of our career parents began volunteering to bring the kids to class when they realized our upstairs lobby provided a nice, quiet space for working!
Adhering to a strict code of conduct
While fencing is an incredibly fun and spirited sport, we understand the serious nature of using weapons and stress the importance of following a strict code of conduct. It is important to take care of our weapons and gear, and to treat our opponents with respect. For instance, before each match, opponents will salute each other and the referee as a sign of respect. Same thing at the end of the match, followed by a handshake between opponents. This further instills a sense of good sportsmanship.
Our coaches also are adamant about warming up and cooling down. Every class – no matter how advanced – starts with a warm-up to loosen muscles and get the blood flowing. Warming up is essential to prevent injuries such as pulled muscles, cramps and strains. It’s also a great way to get the students pumped up about the day’s class. Warm ups target the specific muscle groups that will be used during the session and strengthen muscles used in fencing. Our coaches are very creative with the warm-ups and cool downs. One class Coach Natasha ended by turning on some music and telling her students to dance around. They had a blast! (Check out the moment captured on video)
We strive to do everything in our power to create a safe and controlled environment for your child so that he or she can focus on the beauty and joy of learning how to fence.