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Academy Levels Explained

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I’ve joined the Academy! How does this work?

Beginner fencers come with energy and enthusiasm. Helping to shape a fencer means listening and understanding why they’ve chosen the sport. People join fencing for lots of reasons.

Our coaching staff discuss the progress of each and every one of our students, how they’re fitting in, and what, if any, adjustments need to be made as they forge their own path in sport fencing.

Level 1 Youth: Introduction

Level 1 is about seeing if you like the sport and learning about how your body works as you connect to the fencing footwork, blade work and general game. We also look for social skills of being able to work in groups and with partners.

Folks in Level 1 can stay here for a few months or longer. It depends on a few factors.

Level 2 Youth and Adult Academy: Choice

Level 1 introduces fencing via the weapon of foil. At Level 2 and including All Teen and Adult Academy classes, classes become more “weapon-specific.” That is, the class is taught as either a foil, an epee, or a saber class. This allows everyone to try out all three Olympic fencing weapons and maybe help you decide if there is one you’d like to explore more independently.

Transitioning from Forge Academy Level 2 to Beyond …

We understand that scheduling and availability may play a role in the decision making process. There is no rush! The idea of Youth Level 2 and our Adult Academy is to explore. Our calendar is updated regularly and you can select Academy as an option to make it more easy to read. We add new classes frequently, and look for special classes around the holidays. We make adjustments to accommodate membership growth typically in September, January, and June.

Individual Lesson Training

Many students love this sport and find they like a peer group or are drawn to a particular weapon: foil, epee or saber. For teens and adults, this could mean transitioning out of the Academy into “open bouting” where you purchase your own gear and dive into the community. Often individual lessons help supplement community open bouting for this population of fencers. Our High Performance group is appealing for those looking to train more seriously. Many of our fencers go on to compete for an NCAA team or represent Team USA internationally.

If you or your child is ready for more, we encourage you to first enroll in ongoing 1:1 lessons. In order to schedule a lesson email Let Coach Jen know an available window or two in your schedule. Usually private lessons are scheduled around the times your student will be attending classes, either right before or right after, for the sake of convenience.

Level 3 Youth

Prerequisites include: having fun, obtaining most (or all of your own gear, when able) and be on some sort of individual lesson plan. You will need to talk to your coach to figure out what schedule works for you. All foil and epee folks must have and maintain their own electrical fencing weapons, mask and glove. Saber folks will need their own electrical mask. Fencing pants and jackets can be bought from outside vendors or found at our semi-annual SWAP meet. Obtaining your own gear before participating in our annual Priority on Youth events is advised.

Read more about when to start to compete for youth fencers. Adults are ready when you are ready!

Still have questions? Reach out to us at