Learning to fence at a club is all very well but fencing is a combat sport and competing serves to both test your performance against others and to learn. Whether you win or lose its important to ask the question ‘how’ and ‘why’ did that happen?
You can take competing as far as you like. Its probably best to compete against club mates at first and, if your club arranges it, take part in friendly competitions against other clubs. Team competitions are particularly good at the beginning as it allows you to get used to the competition atmosphere while having the support of your team mates.
Once you are reasonably confident then make the move into the world of competition at regional, national and even international level.
Competitions for Under 18s.
London Region Youth Championships. This is the main event in the London Region Calendar for young fencers. It not only identifies the regional champion in each age group but acts as the qualifying event for the British Youth Championships normally held in Sheffield over the May Day bank holiday weekend. The LRYC is organised by London Region during February/March each year. Age groups are under 12,14,16, and 18 for all 3 weapons. Under 10 BYC are organised by British Fencing and details are also at the BYC link.
Leon Paul Junior Series (LPJS). The longest running series of competitions for young fencers. Age categories range from under 9 to under 17. Organised by local clubs and sponsored by Leon Paul, points are accumulated at each competition towards a national ranking and the top 8 at the end of the year receive a prize. Each competition is for a single weapon but there are events nationwide for foil, epee and sabre. Most of GB successful fencers stared competing in the LPJS.
Academy Cup series (U10, U12, U14). A series of four foil only individual and team events held in London with cash prizes for points gained throughout the season. Organised by the Fencing Academy club.
Newham Swords Junior Challenge Series Recently established this foil series is organised by Newham Swords Fencing Club and all events are held at their venue at SportsDock. There are 4 or 5 events in the series and like the others points are accumulated towards an end of series trophy and prizes Age groups are under 10 to under 16
Elite Epee Junior Series An epee series similar to the foil series above. Age ranges are under10 to under 17. Events take place across the country.
England Youth Championships Usually held in June each year this event is open to all members of England Fencing who are under 17.
Cadet and Junior Ranking Competitions For the more experienced young fencer these are events which accumulate ranking points towards selection to represent great Britain at international competitions. Cadets are under17 while juniors are under 20. Competition here is fierce.
Please note for all these age group competitions age is taken at 1st January in the year of the competition.
BF regulations allow fencers aged 13 upward to compete in adult competitions.
Open Competitions are just that, open to anyone both nationally and internationally. The top 100 fencers earn points. Enough points and you may be invited to join the British team. Open competitions vary tremendously in quality. There are 3 or 4 events each year where the top fencers in the country compete and there are many more which are small friendly and attract mainly local fencers, although some international fencers may attend. All open competitions are shown on the British Fencing calendar along with other events such as National Championships and international events hosted by GB
Novice and Intermediate. London Region organises friendly competitions twice a year for those new to fencing or who do not usually attend opens. The aim of these is to provide a fun days fencing in a friendly atmosphere. These are usually in January and July.