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Our Mission

Since 1980 the Staten Island Fencing Center, a not-for-profit club has been dedicated to providing classes in the Olympic sport of fencing to the Staten Island community. Fencing is a great way to incorporate exercise into your life with this fast paced and intense physically demanding sport.  We will help you with your focus, concentration, and discipline. Building on these skills can improve other aspect’s such as judgement, anticipating situations, intuition, relieve stress and improve your balance, speed, hand-eye coordination, and self-confidence.  If your aim is to compete, we will help guide you to join high school and college teams as well as USA Fencing tournaments.  We encourage our fencers to socialize and make new friends.

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What is Fencing


Fencing is a group of three related combat sports. The three disciplines in modern fencing are the foil, the épée, and the saber; winning points are made through the weapon's contact with an opponent. Fencing was one of the first sports to be played in the Olympics and has been in every Olympic event since 1896. Based on the traditional skills of swordsmanship, the modern sport arose at the end of the 19th century, with the Italian school having modified the historical European martial art of classical fencing, and the French school later refining the Italian system. There are three forms of modern fencing, each of which uses a different kind of weapon and has different rules; thus, the sport itself is divided into three competitive scenes: foil, épée, and saber. Most competitive fencers choose to specialize in one weapon only.

Competitive fencing is one of the five activities which have been featured in every modern Olympic Games, the other four being athletics, cycling, swimming, and gymnastics.

The Weapons



The foil is a light thrusting weapon with a maximum weight of 500 grams. The foil targets the torso, but not the arms or legs. The foil has a small circular hand guard that serves to protect the hand from direct stabs. As the hand is not a valid target in foil, this is primarily for safety. Touches are scored only with the tip; hits with the side of the blade do not register on the electronic scoring apparatus (and do not halt the action). Touches that land outside the target area (called an off-target touch and signaled by a distinct color on the scoring apparatus) stop the action but are not scored. Only a single touch can be awarded to either fencer at the end of an action. If both fencers land touches within a close enough interval of milliseconds to register two lights on the machine, the referee uses the rules of "right of way" to determine which fencer is awarded the touch, or if an off target hit has priority over a valid hit, in which case no touch is awarded. If the referee is unable to determine which fencer has right of way, no touch is awarded.



The épée is a thrusting weapon like the foil, but heavier, with a maximum total weight of 775 grams. In épée, the entire body is a valid target. The hand guard on the épée is a large circle that extends towards the pommel, effectively covering the hand, which is a valid target in épée. Like foil, all hits must be with the tip and not the sides of the blade. Hits with the side of the blade do not register on the electronic scoring apparatus (and do not halt the action). As the entire body is legal target, there is no concept of an off-target touch, except if the fencer accidentally strikes the floor, setting off the light and tone on the scoring apparatus. Unlike foil and saber, épée does not use "right of way", and awards simultaneous touches to both fencers. However, if the score is tied in a match at the last point and a double touch is scored, the point is null and void.


The saber is a light cutting and thrusting weapon that targets the entire body above the waist, except the weapon hand. Like the foil, the maximum legal weight of a saber is 500 grams. The hand guard on the saber extends from hilt to the point at which the blade connects to the pommel. This guard is generally turned outwards during sport to protect the sword arm from touches. Hits with the entire blade or point are valid. As in foil, touches that land outside the target area are not scored. However, unlike foil, these off-target touches do not stop the action, and the fencing continues. In the case of both fencers landing a scoring touch, the referee determines which fencer receives the point for the action, again with the use of "right of way".

Age to Start Fencing

The SIFC starts children at 7 years old. At this young age, fencing class consists of basic footwork and blade work drills, exercises to improve hand-eye coordination, games to foster coordination skills.  All classes conclude with supervised fencing bouts where our coach will continuously teach. Lessons in directing a match is also included.  Children love the opportunity to fence each other and use the skills they learned in class.


Our Musketeer, Knight, Cavaliere & Dueler classes are designed to provide an introduction to one of the most fascinating, exciting, and safest sports. Fencing develops:

  • Discipline

  • Balance

  • Coordination

  • Quick reflexes

  • Mental acuity

  • Good sportsmanship

Fencing can help your child get into college

Fencing gives extra advantage when applying to higher education and shows that student is well-rounded. Majority of the best universities in USA have fencing programs. All Ivy League schools, Stanford, Duke university, Notre Dame, and many others. Colleges are looking for strong fencers who will contribute to their fencing teams. Fencing will help your child to be accepted to best schools or get scholarship from universities where athletic scholarships are available.

Benefits of Fencing

There are many benefits to participating in youth fencing:

  • Develop good sportsmanship

  • Instill self-discipline

  • Acquire healthy competitive spirit

  • Achieve healthy body

  • Practice strategic thinking

  • Opportunities to visit different countries and learn different cultures

  • Get accepted to top universities

  • These benefits from fencing help children reach their potential in many areas other than fencing. Fencing allows children to have fun while they learn these important life skills.

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Equipment Needed

All equipment is provided for a student taking beginner group classes and private lessons here at SIFC at no charge. Once you are ready to commit to long-term fencing you will need your own equipment.

The fencer should be adequately protected, and the uniform should allow freedom of movement to properly perform the necessary skills.

The following is a list of required equipment:

  • Mask

  • Chest Protector (mandatory for women, optional for men but ask boys to use them)

  • Underarm protector called plasteron

  • Jacket

  • Lamé, the metallic vest used for scoring in Foil & Saber

  • Knickers

  • Glove

  • Long socks (white, must reach bottom of your knickers- soccer socks work well)

  • Fencing shoes or track or running shoes.

  • Electric Foil weapons, we recommend using a pistol grip.

  • Minimum two working body cords

  • Fencing Bag (to carry your equipment)

  • We will give you a list of our recommended fencing supply companies

COVID-19 POLICY                       


Wearing a mask is optional and we ask that you use your best judgement.

Our first priority always is the health and safety of our fencers & parents

Our equipment is wiped down and uniforms washed

We follow CDC, New York City & State Guidelines

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