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Open Fencing

Renaissance Fencing Club has the highest level of open fencing in the region. Our fencers include former and current Olympic and World Cup Competitors, Youth champions, Veteran Fencing National Champions, College Fencers from Wayne State University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, and more.


Open fencing is for fencers who know the basics and have their own full equipment. The environment is relaxed and fun and you choose how competitive you want to fence. You'll be able to tell your friend that you got some fencing advice from an Olympian!  

Sabre: Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:45 - 9:30pm

Foil: Wednesdays 7:30 - 10pm

Foil: Saturday bouting practice 1 - 4pm

Floor Fee $15 with $35 annual registration fee; Saturday bouting $25




Introduction to Fencing by Private Lessons

We start all fencers with private lessons - in our 25 years of experience we have found this is the best way to teach the basic technique and tactics with immediate feedback and correction.  Our introductory package includes 4 private lessons (30 minutes each) and one group class.  It also includes our annual fee and use of equipment for these activities.  Students will learn the basics of this modern Olympic sport.  Students will learn how to hold the weapon and will start hitting the instructors from day one.  Our experienced instructors will work individually with each student.  Traveling a long way to the fencing club?  Consider scheduling the private lessons as two 1 hour blocks instead of 4 sessions. 

Fencing is an individual sport and the distance, timing, footwork, and blade control are critical - private lessons are the best way to start teaching these building blocks.   We will explain the basic rules of right of way, safety, and respect.  Use of needed equipment is included. Dress in sports clothing including sneakers and sports pants.  No Crocs or Sandals. Curriculum developed by three time Olympian and club manager Ann Marsh.  - Contact Ann at 248-515-0973 or to sign up.


At the end of this class students will continue into Beginning or Intermediate Foil or Intermediate Sabre based on their age and size.



Beginning Foil 

This class is geared toward fencers who finish the Introduction to Fencing lessons. This class will meet for 90 minutes one time per week. This class will not focus only on fencing but also on the physical skills necessary for fencing and used in many other sports.  This class will include games for physical development and development of essential footwork, introduction to tactics, improvement of blade work, drilling and bouting. Fencers will be introduced to electric fencing, including the equipment and scoring. Fencers will expand on their knowledge of priority and the rules of the game. Fencers may schedule private lessons to improve their ability.  Fencers graduate to Pre-Elite.  Fencers are required to start buying their own equipment and must purchase a mask, a pair of knickers, an electric foil and glove.  (90 minutes one time per week).

Intermediate Foil or Sabre

This class is geared toward fencers who graduate from Introduction to Fencing lessons and also those older fencers who graduate from Beginner Foil and wish to continue fencing at a recreational level.  This class meets for 1 1/2 hours once per week. This class will include games for physical development, as well as continued emphasis on tactics and improvement of technique. Drilling and bouting with electrical equipment will be emphasized. Fencers will continue to learn the rules of the game and will be encouraged to learn to referee. Fencers are required to start purchasing their own equipment and must buy an electrical weapon and glove at minimum.

Fencers will have the opportunity to compete at house cups (where they will be placed in pools with fencers at their level) or local competitions. Fencers may also schedule private lessons, or attend open fencing once they feel comfortable with right of way and basic bouting tactics.

(1.5 hours per week, year long class).

Sabre Lab

A weekly class taught by head sabre coach, Todd Dressell, that explores technical and tactical possibilities.  We cover footwork, blade work and bouting in a fun adult class structure.  Appropriate for both recreational and competitive fencers, Sabre Lab prepares fencers for the club or outside competition.  The labs are a must for the fencer who wants to learn and develop their skills in a fun and informative class. 



Competitive Programs

Pre-Elite Foil or Sabre

Prerequisite - Beginning Fencing - This is a competitive program that includes 2 - 3 classes per week, with an emphasis on tournament preparation. This program runs year round and culminates with the US Summer Nationals at the end of June. During this inclusive program, students will improve their footwork and blade movements through a rigorous program that includes drilling, bouting, as well as games and fun.


Students are required to participate in monthly pre-elite House Cups one Saturday per month. They are also strongly encouraged to participate in local and regional events. Fencers should plan to purchase a competitive US Fencing Membership - required for competitions and available at  Fencers are required to purchase their own equipment, both dry and electric to participate. Fencers are welcome to trial this class using club equipment while making a decision for a limited time. Fencers are required to demonstrate academic excellence, and are strongly encouraged to participate in the US Fencing All Academic program.    

Elite Foil or Sabre

Prerequisite: Pre Elite. This is an inclusive competitive program that includes 3 to 5 classes per week with an emphasis on preparation for national level fencing. This program runs from year round and culminates with the US Summer Nationals at the end of June.


Students further improve footwork and blade work and will expand their knowledge of tactics and technique. This will allow the fencers to improve on the skills that they learned in the Pre Elite program and to make the transition to fencing competitively in regional and national competitions and to prepare for fencing on the collegiate level. The fencers are expected to continue to compete in the monthly house cups. They are strongly encouraged to fence with the collegiate and national level fencers after class during open fencing. They are also expected to help the younger and developing fencers at the club, and to develop strong team spirit and sportsmanship.  Fencers are required to demonstrate academic excellence, and are strongly encouraged to participate in the US Fencing all academic program. 

All competitive equipment and US fencing competitive membership are required.  Elite Foil fencers are required to take private lessons.

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Fencing Camps

Summer 2024 Fencing Camps

Elite Foil Pre Nationals camps will be held from 12:30pm - 6:30pm Monday through Friday during the weeks of June 17 - 21 and June 24 - 28 of 2024.  These camps will be open for all fencers, even those not attending Summer Nationals 2024.  In these camps we will specifically work on development of technique, tactics, and bout experience for preparation for competitions, specifically Summer Nationals but are open to fencers not participating in the Nationals.   There will not be Pre Elite or Elite classes during these weeks.
RFC holds summer fencing camps in July and August. These camps are for all skill levels, and can keep your fencing skills sharp during the off-season. Come back in late spring 2024 for our camp's dates and times.

For more information, please contact us at
Fencing Camps
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