BEGINNER'S CLASSES STARTING SOON!
(City of Alexandria Website)
The Olde Town Fencing Gang:
Home of the 2004 National Champion Senior Women's Foil Team
Starting September 20, 2010, the Olde Town Fencing Gang meets at the brand-new Charles Houston Recreation Center in Alexandria, Virginia (our previous locations have been the Mt. Vernon Rec Center and the Lee Rec Center). Olde Town has been a competitive and recreational club for more than thirty years, and is a member club of the United States Fencing Association. We welcome all levels of experience from beginner to serious competitor. Classes for beginners and advanced beginners are offered through the Alexandria recreation department, and are taught by competitive members of Olde Town. Come learn the basic principles of the sport and acquire the early stages of footwork, strategy, and technique.
- WHEN: The club meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 to 10pm.
- WHERE: We meet at
Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St.,
Alexandria, Virginia. It's basically between Wythe and Madison on Patrick St. (Route 1 north), just north of Olde Town. There is a parking lot on the Madison St. side of the building.
- HOW TO JOIN THE CLUB: just drop by and check it out.
If you decide to join, talk to Joe Hoffman. Olde Town can
be reached by phone at (703) 983-7687. Ask for Joe Hoffman.
- DUES: $100 for a year's membership or $30 for 3 months.
- MEDIA CONTACT: Wayne Bowman (703) 549-7451 (home);
(202) 203-4813 (work).
- WHAT: Beginner classes taught through the
Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (sign up here).
Classes meet one night a week for eight weeks. There are five sessions
- COACH: Private lessons are also available from club coach and former Olympic fencer Jun Liang-Smith.
- WHO: The Youth class is for ages 10-15; the Adult class is for anyone aged 16 and up.
- WHEN: Classes are held from 8 to 9pm Mondays and Wednesdays; click on link at top of page to find out when the next session starts.
- HOW TO REGISTER FOR CLASSES: Through
Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, or just show up at the first class. Either way, you'll have
to fill out the forms at some point.
- EQUIPMENT: We supply masks, jackets, and foils. Students should wear athletic
shoes with non-marking soles and bring a glove.
- DUES: Students in the class do not pay dues.
Worldclass fencer Jun Liang-Smith possesses national and international experience as a foilist, coach and referee. She is a two-time Olympian, competing on the 1992 and 1996 Chinese women's foil teams. Ms. Liang-Smith is also a five-time Chinese National Champion and has won two gold medals at the Asian Games and a bronze medal at the World Cup in Marseilles, France. As a coaching assistant at Penn State University (1998 - 2002), Ms. Liang-Smith was a major contributor in guiding the Men's and Women's Fencing teams to four NCAA Championships. Even though Ms. Liang-Smith has retired from competitive fencing, she picked up her foil one more time and fenced on the Olde Town Fencing Club's Women's Foil Team in the Summer Nationals in 2004. She proved her competitiveness by leading the team in bringing home the gold medal.
object of fencing is to touch your opponent, while not allowing your opponent
to touch you. Each of the three weapons in fencing (foil, epee, and sabre)
have specific target areas and rules. Foil is a "point" weapon, meaning
a touch can only be scored by landing the point of the weapon on your opponent.
Epee is also a point weapon; however, you are free to score anywhere on
your opponent's body, whereas in foil you are limited to the torso. Sabre
allows everything from the waist up as legal target, and you can
score with the length of the blade using a cutting motion.
are many nuances and curious rules to get used to, some of which are common
to all three weapons, and some which change from weapon to weapon. When
first starting out, beginners are usually taught foil. Foil is generally considered
the "training weapon," and skills learned with it will translate well to
the other two.
requires quickness of the hand, eye, and mind, as well as stamina, agility,
control, and coordination. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages,
giving a lifetime of personal fulfillment.
you're new to fencing, be sure to check out the links on the left of the
page. The USFA (US Fencing) site, in particular, is full of useful information and additional links. If you need to purchase equipment, check out the
Equipment Vendors list on the US Fencing site. However, you do not need to purchase equipment to take the beginner class at Olde Town.
contact the webmaster, click on the image below. For additional information about Olde Town,
click on: Mark Orton
call: (703) 983-7687 and ask for Joe Hoffman.
Last updated on September 19, 2010