FAQs

Gah... I'm too busy to read all this, can I just talk to somebody?

Call Michele (Mich) directly at 406-570-9887 or email

Where are you located?

We are at 15 Tai Lane (downstairs) in Bozeman. 15 Tai Lane refers to the entire building. Turn off Lincoln at Granny's Doughnuts/The Wash House. It is the second (southern) commercial building in that parking lot. We are on the NE corner of that building, the opposite end from Spectators. Orangish door, blue sign on the door. Go downstairs.

Can I Try Out Fencing For Free before I commit?

We offer periodic Try Out Fencing Free Days throughout the year. These are designed for kids ages 8-17. Depending on the number of participants, we may be able to accommodate adults wanting to try it out as well. The next one is September 20, 4:30-5:30pm.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are the most effective way to personalize your learning, allowing you to progress fastest and at your own pace. You can proceed learning with just private lessons or use the lessons as an adjunct to classes and/or open bouting. Private lessons can generally be worked around your schedule.
Fencers are expected to have warmed up and stretched prior to the lesson. Effective warm-ups can be covered in the first lesson.

Lesson fees include use of some club equipment until you are able to purchase your own higher level equipment as is a non-competitive US Fencing Association membership

The cost for a private lesson is $30/ half hour or $60 for a full hour or $115 for two hours in a week
The cost for a new beginner private lesson is $20 for half and hour, $40 for an hour

There is an $65 annual registration fee.

What is the "season" for fencing?

The 2019-2020 season is August 19 - Summer Nationals at the end of June

What's the schedule during holidays and the summer?

No regular classes: October 31 for Halloween, November 11 for national tournament and Veteran’s Day, November 27-29 Thanksgiving, probably December 9 -January 10 Winter Break, February 17 President’s Day, March 16-20 Spring Break, and May 25 Memorial Day. Competition level classes and open bouting dates will be scheduled over the winter break for all those who wish to compete nationally in the winter/spring and for all teens/adults who wish to train with us.

There may be other classes cancelled for tournament travel as needed.

Summer Schedule: As classes get smaller in the summer, we generally hold fewer regular classes in June. Stay tuned for updates. Summer Break: June 25-August 20 or so. It's time to go to Nationals, play outside, cross-train, hike, bike, swim....

Beginner and Jedi Fencing in the Summer: Call Michele (Mich) directly at 406-570-9887 or email to get on the list if you’re interested, our schedule will be set in the spring.

are the Age Ranges for classes flexible?

Our age ranges are guidelines. If you have questions about which class(es) are likely to be the best fit, feel free to ask.

do you have any discounts?

There is a 10% discount for multiple family members for monthly regular and competition memberships or a 5% discount for paying for 6-9 months at a time. Or a 10% discount on monthly fees and $35 registration fee for card-carrying MSU students. Only one discount can be applied per membership. No discounts for drop in or open bouting fees. Remind me if you think you should be getting a discount and I forget.

what should I wear and bring for a beginner Class?

Beginner students should wear socks, clean athletic shoes, t-shirt, and pants that come below the knee and allow movement (jeans with some stretch or enough room to move in are ideal, no shorts) and bring a water bottle.

Beginner class fees include the loan of the basic equipment that you will need. Beginner kit includes: epee, mask, plastron, jacket, glove, and for children under 10 and women and girls over the age of 11 and older boys who wish it, also a plastic chest protector for comfort. It is important that your equipment fits well, so please measure carefully!

Jedi class fees include loan of a plastic epee with rubber tip, a mask and jacket.

How should I wash the equipment I am loaned?

You are responsible for the care of the equipment that is checked out to you on the first day of class. All gear is generally left in the salle. Make sure your name is marked on our gear with tape. Make sure any gear that belongs to you that you leave at the salle has your name marked with permanent marker and that it is stored neatly in the “changing” room. Everything should be hung up neatly at the end of class. Please do take your whites home to wash as needed in cold water. Do not machine dry and do not bleach!

How does the equipment thing work?

No special equipment is needed for beginner classes other than what we loan you. Upon completion of beginner classes, fencers will begin to purchase their own equipment. Fencers beyond the Jedi and Beginner class levels are expected to start purchasing their own jacket, glove, plastron, chest protector, knickers and mask, epees and body cords. If cost is an issue, we may have used equipment for sale and it may be that you can spread out the purchasing of gear over time, please ask. If the regular schedule of obtaining your own equipment causes an undue financial burden on your family, please let me know and we will work with you as best we can. If you are interested in selling, donating, or purchasing used but still good gear, please ask. Your registration fees contribute both to loaner gear when you are getting started and that you use as spares during tournaments and to the upkeep of the electric scoring systems and the purchase of those little screws and springs that make epees and foils work and the time and effort of your friendly armorers.

OK, It's time to buy our own equipment- What should I get?

Here's the overview. Most beginner class fees include the purchase of your own glove. We may have plastrons available for purchase. You may be able to purchase items used. In short, the bulk model starter kits may not be the best deal around. But they give you an idea of what all is involved. Please talk to us before you place your order!!!

Recommended Beginner Gear Rated to 350 N

  • $278+ add-ons and shipping

  • Read the sizing guidelines and do the measurements! Front zip jacket adds ease (+11.90)

  • Choose AF Vis grip (orthopedic style, check size first) or French grip (the straight style)

  • For ages 10 and under - upgrade to Size 2 Wired Epee

  • For all other students - upgrade to Size 5 Wired Epee

  • Select Pants

  • Select German point upgrade ($7 add-on)

  • Request a switch from AF body cord to Uhlmann or Allstar body cord

  • Select chest protector if you have been using one ($22.95)

Thanks to the armory efforts of Rab, Atty and Kai, we are currently able to loan some electric equipment for your first few tournaments. Even once you have your own electric epee, you will still need a spare epee and cord for a tournament. Your registration fees contribute to these efforts.

What is a USFA Membership and why do i need one?

A 2019-2020 non-competitive USFA (United States Fencing Association) membership and the time involved in obtaining and tracking your membership is included in your registration fees and is required for all fencers in the United States. It is a requirement for insurance for all USA Fencing sanctioned classes and other activities. As you become more experienced, you will wish to upgrade to a USFA competitive membership to compete in sanctioned tournaments, fence in national level events and/or earn ratings.

What are all these age classifications and ratings?

USFA Age/ Classification Charts

How do you earn a rating?

Senior or Open or Division I, IA, II, III Born 2006 or earlier

Veteran/ Veteran Team VET/VTM Born 1980 or earlier

Junior/Junior Team JNR/JTM Born 1998-2006

Cadet/Cadet Team CDT/CTM Born 2003-2006

Youth 14/Youth 14 Team Y14/Y14TM Born 2005-2008

Youth 12 Y12 Born 2007-2010

Youth 10 Y10 Born 2009-2012

Drop-Ins

Coming from out of town? We welcome visiting fencers. Contact us before your arrival to arrange. USFA membership is required. Registration and class fees are not required to drop-in on one week of classes. Fees will be charged for fencers joining us for a longer period of time.

Using our equipment for a drop-in is $15 if it is available and must be pre-arranged.

Refund Policy

If you withdraw from a class or camp up to one month prior to start date, there is a full refund. From one month through the day before the class or camp a 90% refund. On the first day of class/camp there is a 30% refund. There is no refund thereafter. There is no refund of registration fees.

We're homeschoolers- do you have a class for us?

Fencing is a great addition to homeschooling and can meet your physical education needs in a fun way. Homeschool classes are available during the typical school day by request for a minimum of 6 kids and/or parents for ages 6 and up. Cost is dependent on the size and length of class, number of sessions, and whether we are providing equipment. We encourage a minimum of 4-6 classes for beginners. Many homeschoolers also fence in our after school classes.