FAQ: Carlisle Fencing Club

The Carlisle Fencing Club was established by Tony Alvarez in January 2010. It is a sabre-exclusive club that meets year round (except August) at the Stuart Community Center in Carlisle, PA.

Class Info:
All classes meet on Fridays, year round (except August).
8 week Beginners classes start periodically throughout the year. Call the Stuart Center for current class dates: (717) 243-3318.
*Beginners meet 6:30-7:30pm.
*Club members (intermediate level) meet 7:30-9:00pm.
You can join the club after completing the Beginner's session. A USFA (US Fencing Assoc.) membership is required to join the Carlisle Fencing Club. Here are some links:
www.usfencing.org USFA homepage.
www.usfencing.org/membership-faq UFSA Membership FAQ.
www.usfencing.org/us-fencing-membership USFA membership page.
Who teaches the class?
Head Coach: Tony Alvarez. Tony has a long history of involvement in fencing and competes frequently at the sectional and national level.
Do I have to be in great shape? Is there an age limit?
There are advantages to being physically fit when starting out, but it is certainly not necessary. In fact, many people start fencing to become fit since it is an interesting and challenging sport.
Most of our younger beginning students are about 10, and older beginning students can be into their 60’s and beyond!
Do I have to have any previous fencing experience?
Not at all! CFC has members from different skill and experience levels, from absolute beginners to recreational fencers to competitive fencers.
Do I need my own fencing gear prior to starting a new session?
No, we provide most of what you need to get started: Mask, jacket, and a sabre (weapon). The glove is included in the Beginners class fee. After completing the Beginners class, if you continue on and join the club,you will need your own fencing gear. We have a club discount with Absolute Fencing Gear www.absolutefencinggear.com and can give you assistance with choosing items.
Is fencing a dangerous sport?
Generally no, it is a safe sport due to all of the protective gear, and by following the proceeding requests. Like other sports, there are inherent risks such as bruises, muscle strains, and aches and pains. Flesh wounds, and worse, can occur, but they are extremely rare.
Is there anything that I should bring, wear, or not wear to class?
Yes! Fencing is a sport, so proper clothing and gear is very important. We care about our students, their health, and reducing the possibility of injury. The following requests are in the best interest of all students.
Please bring:
          1. Water always.
Please wear:
          2. Properly fitting warm-up pants, not overly-long and loose baggy pants as they obscure body positioning. They can cause faulty and dangerous footwork.
          3. Slim fitting sneakers with laces, and a flatter sole, not Velcro sneakers with 2” spring-loaded soles and excessive upper materials. These types of sneakers lead to loss of balance, possible injury, and improper footwork.
          4. Ladies- a sports bra as fencing is a highly aerobic activity.
Please do not wear:
          5. Shorts, especially when you progress to bouting. Even though the legs are not a target area in sabre, attacks landing off-target are prevalent, especially with beginners. You will not participate in blade work if shorts are worn!
          6. Jeans, they don’t allow for proper leg range of motion, especially when lunging. Looser fitting styles provide opportunity for off target hits to become entangled and cause unnecessary injury.
          7. Any kind of footwear that is not a proper sneaker, i.e.: sandals, flip-flops, Croc’s, slip-on’s, street shoes, work boots, etc… Anyone wearing such footwear will not be permitted to participate in class at that time.
I’m interested in checking out a class before signing up …
We strongly encourage visits to CFC to meet us, watch classes in progress, and to ask questions. Just stop in during the regularly scheduled class times. If you want to let us know that you will be visiting us, refer to the contact info below.
What is the cost?
The fee is determined by the number of classes in each session. Sessions are 2-3 months, usually consisting of 8-12 classes. So, a typical fee for a 2 month session (consisting of 8 classes) is $80/R, $88/NR.
Payment can be made in person, or online, and is due no later than the afternoon of the first class of a session. Link for registering online: Carlisle Pa --
I have more questions, who can I contact?

  • For Beginners Class start dates or payment questions: Stuart Community Center @ (717) 243-3318
  • For fencing club questions: Tony Alvarez:  aralvarez.alvarez@gmail.com