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Frequently Asked Questions
Can absolute beginners take part?

The club welcomes new members, but insists on newcomers to the sport completing a beginners course before they can take out membership. Beginners courses are run three times a year, starting in January, May and September, and further details are available on our Taster Sessions and Beginners Courses page.

Does it hurt?

The answer to this question has got to be: “Not if it’s done properly”! Hits do not have to hard to be seen by referees and this is especially true when electrical scoring apparatus is used. The rules of fencing include penalties to be applied to fencers who indulge in heavy hitting, even going so far as to exclude them from competitions. We emphasise to beginners that it is not necessary to hit hard to win fights: indeed, it is counter-productive because subtle blade movements are quicker and more accurate and therefore are more likely to score hits.

Our Equipment Officers also ensure that properly maintained protective jackets and masks are available for newcomers to the sport and we insist that no-one fences who is not wearing both, even for coaching lessons.

What does it cost?

The Club charges subscriptions through annual and weekly fees - the current rates are shown below. Our membership year starts on 1 November and new members who join after 1 May in any year pay half the annual fee. Visiting fencers from other clubs who are not members of West Lancashire Fencing Club pay a surcharge of £1 on their weekly fees. The fees for beginners courses are shown on our Taster Sessions and Beginners Courses page.

All Fencers £25.00 £6.00* £7.00*
* plus a £1.00 charge for the use of any club equipment borrowed on the night.

Do I have to become a member?

We do not allow fencers to become members of the Club until they have completed one of our beginners courses. Fencers who complete the beginners course successfully must become members if they wish to continue fencing at the Club.

Becoming a member entitles a fencer to a number of privileges, such as being eligible to take part in the running of the Club and being able to compete in its annual championships.

We also insist on fencers being members of the British Fencing Association so that they have insurance cover while fencing. Free Introduction membership is available for 90 days, including the period of a beginners course. After that, Starter Membership of the BFA costs £12 a year for Under 18s and £18.50 a year for Over 18s.

Is there an age limit?

There is a minimum age limit of 12 years old, in line with BFA recommendations, but no upper limit!

What do I need to bring?

The Club has a stock of all the basic fencing equipment - swords, masks and protective jackets - to fit (almost) all sizes. Newcomers to fencing should wear tough, loose-fitting trousers which will allow them to stretch (tracksuit bottoms and jeans are ideal), and should wear trainers with light-coloured soles: the Club will supply the rest.

Fencers are expected to buy an underplastron (a protective undergarment) soon after joining the Club as this is a personal item of clothing - the cost is around £30, but they last for years! We also hope that members will buy more of their own basic equipment once they have decided to try the sport for a longer period so that the Club’s own stock becomes available for the next group of beginners.


For more information, contact Stephen Hodges by e-mail at

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