the art, practice, or sport in which an épée, foil, or saber is used for defense and attack
The Madison Fencing Academy (MFA) opened its doors on a rainy night in 2004. On that first night we had one fencer. Since then, we've moved to a larger facility, purchased more gear, and hired more coaches. We've trained hundreds of fencers, conducted coaching, fencing, refereeing, and armory clinics, and hosted tournaments.
The MFA trains fencers in the safe and effective use of the modern foil, epee, and saber. We are not historical reenactors, nor do we practice classical or historical fencing. We train hard to compete in modern, Olympic fencing.
The MFA is a three-weapon club
While there are many single-weapon clubs in this country offering highly focused training, we like the diversity of the three-weapon environment and our fencers find observing and training with a variety of athletes enjoyable and productive.
The MFA welcomes children, beginners, and advanced fencers
Everyone has to start somewhere and we've all been beginners. If you're new to fencing, we'll strive to introduce the sport in a fun, engaging way that cultivates your enjoyment, builds confidence in your abilities, and helps you establish a solid foundation of technical fundamentals. We train fencers as young as eight and as old to, well, there's really no upper limit.
If you're a more advanced fencer looking for a competitive edge, we start with a thorough assessment of your technical and tactical capacity, physical condition, and temperament. Your lessons will be a combination of technical refinement and tactical consideration. We'll uncover balance and alignment challenges that may be holding you back and design training plans, including strength and conditioning routines, to address your unique situation.
We'll work collaboratively with you to plan your competitive season, realizing that some tournaments are nothing more than a chance to refine aspects of your game in a room filled with uncooperative partners, while other tournaments are approached with the goal of placing in the top eight, or higher.
We train to fence
Our lessons, drills, and homework are designed to help our fencers create success on the competitive fencing strip. We work up a sweat, but that's merely a nice side effect; our goal is to become better fencers.
We train fencers with individual lessons, not group classes
We believe that one coach working with one fencer provides the best return on the fencer's investment of money, time, energy, and effort. Fencing classes, usually one coach in front of twenty people, can only scratch the surface of this complex and challenging sport. In contrast, a proper fencing lesson allows the coach to make immediate and insightful corrections to form, balance, alignment, and technique. The lesson also allows us to concentrate on true improvement, and not the mere appearance of fencing. No one can merely "go through the motions" in a one-on-one lesson.
We're nice to each other
Our fencers take their training seriously, value their lessons, and fight hard for each touch... and still lend body cords, help replace epee tips, and give each other rides to practice and tournaments.
We maintain memberships in our professional associations
The Madison Fencing Academy is a member of USA Fencing and through this national governing body, carries $1MM of insurance coverage. Also, our coaches are members of the United States Fencing Coaches Association.
Fencing age limits
We train fencers as young as eight with no upper limit on age. It is our firm policy that minors will be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times during practice sessions and competitions.
The physical side of fencing
Fencing shares many training techniques with dance, gymnastics, a few martial arts, and yoga. Also, musicians tend to be good fencers as they understand rhythm, tempo changes, and syncopation. If you're interested, give the sport a fair chance. One or two lessons won't do. Ideally, a new fencer should train at least once a week for several months to make an educated decision about the sport.
Fencers come in all shapes and sizes, and in varying degrees of physical ability. Our Head Instructor, Mike Garrison, has taught hundreds of students, including the young, old, blind, and deaf. Please don't think you need to be an Olympic athlete to start fencing.
The MFA has a 24 hour lesson cancellation policy. If you cancel a lesson within 24 hours of its scheduled time, you'll be expected to pay for that lesson. The 24 hour window was chosen to allow your coach time to fill that now-open lesson slot.
Location and schedule
We fence Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Eagle School, 5454 Gunflint Trail, Fitchburg, WI. We publish a list of the very few No Fencing dates well in advance, so please check back before planning your visit.
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