Russell Swords Ltd provides coaching to Cardiff Academy of Fencing, running classes across the city for both adults and kids, catering for everyone from beginner to international competitor. Come and learn the exciting modern sport of fencing in one of the largest and most successful clubs in Wales! Click below to find out more...

fencing shot

New to Fencing?

‘What is fencing?... It is a violence refined into beauty; combat curbed to sweet art and crystal science.’

Fencing is a modern Olympic sport with historic roots going back hundreds of years. Its mix of sport and art, science and athleticism, make fencing a truly unique activity. A fencer must use their mind as well as their body to defeat their opponent, drawing on a host of techniques, tactics and tricks. It’s this mental aspect that makes the sport so engaging and accessible. Exercise becomes fun and rewarding, whilst adults and children alike can develop their co-ordination, reflexes, balance and flexibility in a fun and safe environment.

Want to know more?

Parents of younger members should take the time to check out our Parent's Guide to Fencing here. Alternatively, below are some questions frequently asked by new fencers:

Does it hurt and is it dangerous?

No. When performed correctly a hit in fencing does not hurt at all. Fencing is also not dangerous, it records proportionally far fewer injuries than sports such as football, badminton and tennis (you can find a full comparison here). Special clothing and masks ensure that you are completely safe.

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Is it expensive?

No, fencing actually cost far less than most martial arts or fitness classes. Monthly fees are just £20 which includes all basic equipment hire!

If you want to invest in your own equipment it can cost you a fare amount. However, you can still get a full set of basic kit for around £150 that will last many years and maintain a good resale value.

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How old/young do I need to be?

You’re never to old to start fencing, people regularly continue to practice the sport well into their 70’s and even 80’s.

We don’t take children below the age of 5 due to safety considerations. Fencing is, however, the ideal sport for children – developing their co-ordination, balance and fitness whilst building social skills and confidence. There's also the potential for children to compete in various age group events and even represent their country at Cadet level events!

Older fencers may be interested in the vibrant Veterans Association.

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How fit do you have to be to start?

You don’t need to be particularly fit to start fencing – your fitness level will improve with your training. The majority of the training is done at your own speed allowing you to push yourself as much as you like. You do however need to inform us if you have any medical conditions that may effect you during training.

If you would like to combine fencing into a fitness regime our coaches will be able to offer you advice about complimentary exercises and approaches.

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How do I start?

Getting into the sport is easy – we run regular beginners’ courses where you can pick up the basics beofre joining the main class. Visit our clubs page to find a venue near you.

The course consists of three 1-2-1 lessons with one of our expert coaches. These lessons introduce you to all the fundamental strokes and principles of the sport, allowing you to join the main classes. The course is just £40 which includes all equipment hire. You can find details of upcoming courses and sign up online here.

You may also wish to purchase a copy of our one of our DVD's (available here). These are a valuable resource that will support you in your training. Explaining in detail all the fundamental strokes and principles of the sport.

Please note that participants must abide by the CAF members constitution and when applicable our private lesson terms & conditions here.

Buying your own kit

We provide all the equipment you'll need to start fencing, but most people like to get their own kit eventually. For a full guide to what to buy as well as a host of other information you'll need check out our Parent's Guide to Fencing. Although aimed at parent's of younger fencers, it's also a useful resource for our older members.

We can recommend the following manufacturers:

  • Leon Paul - Top quality equipment. Great for the more serious fencer.
  • Allstar - Another top quality brand.
  • PBT - A more mid-range supplier, but still good quality and usually at a lower price.
  • 2020 Alpha - Mid range brand. Good for retro-fits for foil masks.
  • Bladesbrand - Another mid range brand

The first things you need to get after your beginners' course are:

  • A pair of breeches (fencing trousers)
  • An electric weapon
  • A bodywire (and headwire)

These are required for competing and using the electrical scoring equipment in club. Again, it's best to contact us for advice if you're new to the sport. All other equipment you can continue to borrow until you are ready to invest in your own.


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