Beginner Lesson Detail

Please Note: Cincinnati Recreation Membership apply to all fencing activities. Membership listed below is correct as of April 24, 2018. Please confirm their fees here.

This document outlines the specifics of our beginner's class. Please read this document first to answer any questions that you might have.

Contact information to be added to the queue for the next starting class is at the bottom of this page.

Beginning fencing classes are taught by the Cincinnati Fencing Club at the Clifton Community Center on Monday evenings.

Classes are on Monday nights at the Clifton Community Center 320 McAlpin Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220 (513) 961-5681 , Dress for athletics – gym shoes, shorts or sweatpants, t-shirt, no loose hair or jewelry. Make sure that the Center is open (be sure to check with them before coming for the 1st time). Show up around 7:05 pm for the first class to get the paperwork done, 7:20 for subsequent classes. We meet in the gym on the lower level. Enter through the doors from the parking lot, ask somebody in the gym for the beginning fencing instructors (Dale Allen, Dick Males, Kim Miller). We do not enter the gym until the prior karate class has finished. Classes start at 7:30 and  typically run to 8:30 or 8:45. You are welcome to observe at any time.

Classes are team taught by volunteer members of the Cincinnati Fencing Club. On the first attendance evening, instruction in the basics is given separately to all 1st night students as a group. On subsequent nights, you are grouped with all the other students, so, as you progress, some will be more advanced, some less advanced. You may be fencing with older/younger/male/female fencers. We do not have age-segregated classes. Class sizes vary depending upon how many students have signed up (and show up), varying from 3 or 4 to as many as 14. Fencing is a lifetime sport, the older members of our club are in their 80s. We also have many parents and children in our classes. In general, for the group classes, we prefer to teach age 8 and up, but will evaluate younger students on an individual basis.

The beginner class will emphasize technique, safety, and practice. A typical class starts with legwork (practicing basic fencing movements), followed by instruction and drill on one or two new techniques at each class, followed by fencing bouts to practice what has been learned. The goal is to provide you with a rapid introduction to the fundamentals of the sport. It is important to remember that fencing is a lifetime endeavor  – we cannot create a polished fencer in only 7 hours. This class is to give you the basics and hope that you will choose to pursue further study.

Please advise the instructors (privately if you desire) of any medical conditions (e.g. asthma) we should be aware of before teaching you or your child. Note that the gym is heated in winter, but is not air-conditioned in summer. We can only have water in the gym and we take frequent breaks on hot evenings.

The fees are as follows:

Cincinnati Recreation Commission membership (one time per year), fees are $2 for youth 17 and under, $10 for adults (18-24), $25 for adults (25-49), and $10 for all persons over 50, payable at any recreation commission facility. You must have a membership to participate in any fencing activity.

Instructional fee is $45 for the 7 sessions, payable to the Clifton Community Center, tell them you are signing up for the beginning fencing class. Equipment rental is $20/person for use of equipment (mask, jacket, glove, foil) during all of the sessions (NOT each session), payable one time to the Cincinnati Fencing Club. Note that you do not take this equipment home with you, it is distributed first-come first-serve at the beginning of each class. The net cost per youth student is currently $67 (10-17 years old), $75 (18-24 years old), $90 (adults 25-49), and $75 (50 years and up).

You are buying 7 classes, not 7 weeks, people can miss individual classes, we keep track of attendance.

To continue with the club after the beginning lessons, students will become members of the Cincinnati Fencing Club. The cost of membership is $50.00 for adults and $25.00 for youth (under 18) or students (including college and university). 

To be added to the queue for our next available beginner level class, please email Richard Males at He can give a more specific and accurate estimate as to the next starting date for classes. Thank you!

While email is preferred, you may also reach him by phone at his work number 513-871-8566 or at his home number 513-321-9240.