When to Start?
At your first competition you’ll be fencing people you don’t know, in an unfamiliar place, at a different time of day, using strange scoring equipment.
Quite likely you’re very nervous – mostly about whether you’ve missed hearing your name called or might be standing in the wrong place.
Very few people are happy with the way they fence at their first competition, regardless of how soon or how late they start.
The prospect of entering your first competition, and maybe not fencing very well, can actually become more terrifying the longer you wait. There’s a good argument for entering when you still feel you have nothing to lose.
However you should make sure you feel comfortable with basic techniques, equipment and the rules of the sport. In order to learn and improve from your competition experience, you need to have something to improve on first!
For younger fencers, it is also very important to consider their developmental level, and choose an appropriate competition for their age.
The single biggest thing you need to be able to do before entering your first competition is to be able to lose.
As a guide for juniors, we do not recommend competition for U7’s, and U12’s should only fence in competitions with children of similar ages (+/- 2 years).
The goal for your first comp is not to win, not even to win bouts. It’s entirely about gaining some competition experience (which is very different to club training), and setting a benchmark for you to improve on.
Where to Start?
This depends a little on your personality, what you want to achieve and your current level of fencing skill.
However as a general rule we recommend the Fencing Victoria Novice competitions for adults & teens, and age-based competitions for juniors U13 or Veterans aged 40+.
These provide a (relatively) gentle introduction with a good chance of fencing other people in the same position as yourself.
Club competitions are a good way to learn the basic format of a competition, but the experience of fencing outside the club environment is very different.