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BEGINNER PROGRAM

If you are interested in starting the exciting sport of fencing, our beginner program is the course for you. The following list of Frequently Asked Questions should tell you everything you need to know about becoming a beginner. If you have questions about fencing in general, try our Fencing FAQ page. If you are ready to sign up, follow this link to our registration.

What can I expect to learn? How do I register?
Is there any age limit? What is it going to cost?
What can I do if I want to start before I am old enough? What does this cost include?
Where are you located? What else will I need?
What are the days and times of the beginner classes? Are there other costs?
When do the classes start? What happens after the course is completed?

What can I expect to learn?
Basically, our Beginner Program is designed to introduce you to the sport of fencing. We would like you to get a sense of the excitement that we feel when we fence. We would also like you to understand what is involved in learning a martial art like fencing. We hope to give you enough information so that you can decide if you want to continue with the sport.
We will teach you some of the basic skills that every fencer needs (footwork, attacks, and blocks/parries). We will also explain about important concepts like timing and distance. You will get to do some sparring with other fencers.
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Is there any age limit?
Generally, we don't start people in sabre before the age of 10. We find that younger people don't have the necessary wrist strength to be able to control the sabre. This makes it very difficult for them to learn the skills. So, they get frustrated and drop out quickly.
You should also be aware that we don't separate classes by age. Our classes can have people from age 10 to whatever (our oldest beginner, to date, was 61 years of age). There is some separation by virtue of the time slots for our classes. If you have concerns, we can try to move people to other classes to accommodate their requirements.
We do try to separate our classes by age at the novice level. We also offer special advanced classes for our youth, cadet and junior members.
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What can I do if I want to start before I am old enough?
Good question. We have had a number of people ask about programs for younger people. So we will be offering a special Beginner Program for those 6 to 10 years of age.
There will only be one class per week to start. It will be on Tuesday evenings (6:00 PM to 7:15 PM). These classes will be in foil initially. As you progress, you will be moved into sabre as soon as is practical.
If there is sufficient interest additional classes may be added.
Make sure you specify your age when you sign up.
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Where are you located?
The Beaches Sabre Club
is located at:

45 Densley Avenue
(near Lawrence Ave. West and Keele St.)
Toronto, Ontario
M6M 2P5

What are the days and times of the Beginner classes?
Beginner classes are offered:

  • Monday through Friday evenings (7:00 PM -- 8:30 PM)
  • Saturday at noon
  • Monday to Friday afternoons (4:30 PM -- 6:00 PM)

Our evening and Saturday classes are the most popular and fill up the quickest. Please check our detailed schedule to find a convenient day and time slot.
Beginner classes are once per week, for 6 weeks. We will adjust the program around holidays so there will always be a make-up class (we can also try and schedule an extra class if you are away or there is bad weather).
We reserve the right to combine or cancel classes to ensure a minimum class size.
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When do the classes start?
We are now offering Beginner Classes starting 8 times each year (twice each season). There are two sessions per season. Generally speaking the schedule is:

Session
Starts week of
Finishes week of
Registration Closes
2008 Winter #1
January 14th

February 18th

January 7th
2008 Winter #2
February 25th
March 31st
February 18th
2008 Spring #1
April 7th
May 12th
March 31st
2008 Spring #2
May 21st
June 23rd
May 12th
2008 Summer #1
June 30th
August 4th
June 23rd
2008 Summer #2
August 11th
September 15th
August 4th
2008 Fall #1
September 22nd
October 27th
September 15th
2008 Fall #2
November 3rd
December 8th
October 27th

Advance registration closes about a week prior to the start of classes to allow us time to contact the students to confirm class times/days. It also gives us some time to rearrange the classes if registration is too heavy or too light in any given class.
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How do I register?
You may register for these classes either by email (preferred) or by .
Registration continues until the start of the first class. SORRY, there is no late registration for any of the Beginner classes. If registration is too low, you will be given the opportunity to select another class before your class is cancelled. If your class is cancelled during the first two weeks, your fees (less an administration charge) will be refunded. If you are ready to register, please click here.
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What is it going to cost?
The cost for the beginner program is based on what it costs us to run the club. We want you to try the sport for a minimum cost; hopefully you will want to become a member later on.

Final cost:
$175.00 (plus GST) or $185.50.

Special rates on membership for family members!
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What does this cost include?
This includes access to the facilities (salle d'armes), the cost of the instructor and the rental of your fencing equipment (sabre, mask and jacket). We recommend that you bring some kind of glove (work glove, gardening glove or even a winter glove is just fine).
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What else will I need?
You will need to wear some kind of loose fitting pants (track pants are recommended - jeans are not), running shoes (preferably with light coloured soles) and a T-shirt (again, white is recommended).
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Are there other costs?

As part of the registration fee, you will also become a recreational member of the Ontario Fencing Association (OFA). The cost is only $5.00/year and it is included. This is an insurance thing with the OFA. We also encourage you to become a member of the national association, the Canadian Fencing Federation, which costs $10.00/year. You must register yourself online at www.fencing.ca.
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What happens after the course is completed?

If you are still interested in the sport of fencing, then you can become a member of the Beaches Sabre Club.
You will be considered a "Novice" fencer at that point. So, NO, you can't take the beginner program over again. Actually, there really isn't much point. All you were supposed to get out of the Beginner Program was the understanding that your were interested in learning more about the sport. If you have made that decision, then you are no longer a beginner. You should:

  • Take a look at our class schedules; here you can pick convenient days and times for your training
  • Now take a look at our fee structure to see how our plans fit with your budget
  • And then, come back to the club ready to start working. You can start the next week if you like. Now, the fun really starts.
  • Oh yeah, you will have to plan on buying your own equipment. You can borrow club stuff for a while but the next crop of beginners always get first pick on the club equipment. And you will also have to look into the cost of competitions and private lessons to round out your training.
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