Training sessions are held in the large multipurpose room at the University Sports Centre on the West Cambridge site.
Due to space limitations and the size of our membership, training sessions are divided up by ability into either Advanced (subdivided into Development and Elite), Intermediate or Beginner. These pages outline the sessions we run and who should attend which, although some movement between sessions as we get to know new fencers and they get to know the Club and progress is bound to happen.
Anybody who has fenced competitively before and wishes to do so at Cambridge should attend the Development sessions, unless specifically invited to the Elite sessions. We ask that social fencers or those with only limited previous experience attend the Intermediate sessions, and those who have not fenced before or not more than a handful of times please attend the Beginner sessions. More details on all of these sessions can be found by clicking the relevant tab below.
The beginners sessions are open to anybody with little to no experience of fencing. For those with no knowledge, fencing is a fast, high-intensity and tactical combat sport which originated from dueling. Learning to fence not only improves cardio fitness but improves your concentration and tactical wits.
The sport of fencing is divided into three different weapon groups: Foil, Epee, and Sabre. Each weapon has its own specific rules, as well as being governed by the more general rules that characterise fencing. These rules enshrine the etiquette that makes fencing such a enjoyable sport to participate in.
All our beginners start out learning foil, as it is the best weapon with which to master the basics of the sport and provides a good grounding for progressing to either epee or sabre. Our beginners course lasts for the whole year, enabling us to provide everyone with a thorough grounding in footwork and bladework technique as well as competition tactics. There are also opportunities to take part in friendly competitions both within the club and against other clubs in the area during the course, and culminating in our Novice Varsity Competition against Oxford in Easter Term.
What to wear: Please make sure you wear clothes you can move freely in. Specifically, we require that you wear trainers and long trousers/leggings. The club will provide all other necessary equipment.
For any further details please contact our beginners’ secretary (contact details here).
Both sessions will cover the same topics each week, so due to high attendance rates please only attend one session per week, though you're welcome to switch sessions as fits best with your timetable.
The membership fees for each group depends on the amount of training time and club equipment use allocated to each group. Information about the fees and how to pay will be sent round via email soon after the freshers fair. The first two weeks of the beginners sessions allowing you to try out fencing and see if you enjoy it.
Arguably, the best part of the CUFC beginners’ course is Novice Varsity. Every year the best beginners of valiant Cambridge and dastardly Oxford, form teams and compete for the vaunted Summerbell-Jones trophy. Selection for Novice Varsity takes place during Easter term and it the perfect incentive to train hard throughout the year as there aren't many opportunities to defeat Oxford in a Varsity match!
Below are a number of videos which show the very best of fencing and differences between each weapon.
Men's Foil and Women's Sabre