How do you afford fencing?

Discussion in 'Parent's Corner' started by chrisoplum, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. chrisoplum

    chrisoplum Made the Cut

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    My son loves fencing, and has been fencing for 4 years or so. In the past couple years, he has gone to NAC's and JO's. As you all know, this is all costs- and even to get to some big RJCC's a flight may be involved. We try to make it to as many as we can, but we can't get to all of them on our budget (both of us parents work full time)...so my question is, how does everyone make this work?
     
  2. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    This is being discussed on the college admissions thread.
     
  3. paulfriedberg

    paulfriedberg Rookie

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    Best to save your money and go to more local tournaments, or even spend a weekend where your son can fence in a few clubs in a bigger city. Summer camps are also a great way to concentrate bang for buck. Your son should only go to larger / further tournaments if he can win no fewer than 4 bouts in 7 person pool.
     
  4. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    The more I think about Paul's suggestions, the more I like them. They pretty much apply for any age and location. I'd make a partial exception for Summer Nationals, where a young fencer can enter multiple events over several days and experience a really big event.
     
  5. robert

    robert Made the Cut

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    Fencing tournaments can be fun, competitive and even recreational. I have raised three fencers into adulthood have sent them off into the world so I can now actually spend fencing money on myself again after 20 years. So I also know what multiple airfares, hotels, entry fees and gear will run. If your son or anyone's child/youth/teen is competitive they should be working with a coach and the tournaments should be selected as part of thier development plan. If the child is younger then the focus should be on the components of long term athlete development and learning fencing skills and sense. If the goal is college or a national team then the qualifying system will dictate the tournament choices.

    The point of winning sufficient matches to succeed in the pools is a good one and often some success is critical to the encouraging fencers to continue. Some youth fair OK fencing up an age catogery while others don't so it depends on the fencer. Fenicng takes a combination of lessons both group and individual, bouting, free fencing and practice. Tournaments are part of the learning process so is doing other sports and cross training. Local tournaments often offer almost all of this without the cost and pressure of travelling.

    Remember it is Fun First!
     
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  6. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    Good points.
    Probably expecting to win 4/6 in a pool of 7 is. If everyone expects that, most will be disappointed. At the same time, the fencer has to be prepared to expect to win some -- to look at it another way, to be disappointed to win none.
    (Should the coach tell the fencer what to expect: "The top fencers here are going to kick your butt (you can learn from them), but you can do OK against a lot of others.) ?
    Fencing up in age is different. What is there to lose?
    But one of Paul's points needs reinforcing:
    (depending on where you are,) you might be better off spending a week on one of the coasts and fencing in clubs every night than attending a NAC
     
  7. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    (Colorado Springs, Colo.) – During the 2018-19 season, USA Fencing will launch the International Regional Circuit for junior, cadet and youth fencers as a pilot program...The first-ever IRC tournament will be held in Wuxi, China from Dec. 30, 2018 – Jan. 1, 2019 and will include events in the junior, cadet, Y10, Y12 and Y14 age groups in all three weapons.
     
  8. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Oh dear.
     
  9. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    is this supposed to make an old thread more affordable?
     
  10. AndI

    AndI Rookie

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    My 12-year old son does downhill skiing, tennis, and learns to fly airplanes (like Cessna 172, 182). He dragged me into tennis, and might eventually drag me into flying. I thought these were expensive hobbies before he started fencing 6 weeks ago. Fencing is a completely different size of a money pit. Gear costs more than skiing gear, and private lessons, even at a beginner level, run from $80 to $100 an hour. I have a PhD and I am not payed nearly as much per hour. I hope he will not stick with fencing for too long. I told him, do fencing for a year, I will support all Leon Paul gear and all trips to tournaments you want, but next summer we will sign up for membership in a table tennis club and will play together. If you continue fencing, there will be no money left for your college :)

    It sometimes feels like fencing is a giant money making machine.
     
  11. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    As a private pilot, aviation makes me appreciate just how (relatively) inexpensive fencing is.

    (A C172 rental with an instructor averages around $240 an hour in the Bay Area these days)
     
  12. AndI

    AndI Rookie

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    In our club in Oregon, plane rental is from about $120 to $180 an hour (wet), depending on the type of the plane (C182 with G1000 being the most expensive), and instructor time is $50 an hour. My son likes C172 with steam gauges the most, and it is around $140 for him (as he is a member of the aviation club). Five half an hour private fencing lessons a week cost in the same ballpark as a flight training session. But flying is more fun.

    I looked up how much money I spent on purchases at LP just in the past 5 days, and it is over $1000. I hope the spending rate subsides in the future :)

    Yes, I know. If you know how to fence, do it as a recreation activity, have all the gear, you only pay annual membership in the club and a modest fee for open bouting. You come to the club with friends once or twice per week, and this costs you maybe $30 per week maximum. This is not expensive. It is when you new but try to make progress quickly, that you feel the heat. It may be even worse if you are a competitive young athlete who travels to national level tournaments around the country at your own expense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  13. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    Sold my plane. Wished I could have flown out of MacArthur instead of crawling on the Long Island Expressway's post-tournament traffic.
     
  14. robert

    robert Made the Cut

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    It depends on your competitive level and the club business model with any associated coaching fees.

    So I can say as a parent of three former competitive travelling fencers who also played soccer, hockey or golf is that fencing apart from airplanes and hotels is cheap. Ice time is more expensive then floor time and the travel and camp costs are the similar across all sports. Club and green fees for golf are more then fencing. Hockey equipment is pretty costly when compared to the same level or quality of fencing gear.

    In the community based and primarily youth club where I coach it is less than $250 annual dues for club membership, plus $95 for National and provincial fees and a $50 refundable deposit for your equipment (full kit) ....all in Canadian dollars. No extra for floor fees, no monthly fees, no extra for group lessons and each additional family family is half price on the club fee. Hence you can fence for under $300 USA per year before tournaments, travel, or any equipment purchases. Sure we are a community club and use a school gymnasium, we provide all your gear, all four coaches are certified (2 paid, two volunteer) and we full full armoury support in club. We receive no grants or outside funding and are all membership funded. The club has been running since 1974 so much longer than I have been around. What makes a difference is coaching and facility costs as we don’t have to have to generate a a living wage for a coach or support a permanent facility. We do have access to the provincial competitive program where for extra fees additional services are available.

    Again just to repeat it depends on your competitive level and the club business model with any associated coaching fees but every town or city has a different environment based on what club choices are available.
     
  15. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yes, although $120 - $180 an hour, 6 hours a day, 5 days a week would generate rather more than a "living wage" in the vast majority of areas of the country. Even 4 hours a day 3 days a week would yield more than I ever made when I was working.

    Anyway, I'm not sure that most coaches in the country charge that much for lessons. Also, I don't think that I have ever seen anyone give a 1-hour lesson; usually it's 15, 20 or maybe 30 minutes. I used to pay $20 for a 15 minute time slot.

    I suspect that it's the facility costs that really eat up the money.
     
  16. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    My kids have played baseball, basketball, TKD, and floor hockey. When we needed to get their own gear, except for basketball (court shoes), they were more expensive than fencing (my equipment). A decent aluminum bat is approx. $80. Hockey stick, pads, helmet combo runs about $100; goalie stuff is more. The TKD uniform alone is nearly $150.
    Fencing coaching is about $175/month, with one weekly lesson and open floor time.
    The single most expensive fencing equipment that I own is my mask. I figure I don't have a $60 head.
     
  17. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    If your son is just “trying out fencing for a while” and you were encouraged by your club or coach to outfit him with a full LP kit, I would be sad. Beginning recreational fencers do not need that kind of kit right off the bat :)
     
  18. AndI

    AndI Rookie

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    ReadyFence, no worries, the club sells Absolute Fencing gear, offers club gear to use during entry level classes at no fee, until they move up to the next level, and totally does not encourage students to buy anything from LP. While some things sold by LP are very expensive, others are reasonably priced, for the level of quality that one gets.
     

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