US Fencing San Francisco Fencing Clubs : Epée

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Margot Putnam Delaney, May 17, 2018.

  1. Margot Putnam Delaney

    Margot Putnam Delaney Rookie

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    Hi --

    I am a new transplant to the San Francisco, working in Soma and living in Lower Pac Heights. I am looking for a social place to do bouts most nights, and the occasional formal lesson so that I can brush-up on technique. A place similar to my old club in London, full of retirees and professionals who were focused on enjoyable exercise and camaraderie.

    Most of my online searches have turned up clubs focused on preparing children for Ivy League applications/Olympic training, or foil and sabre.

    Does anyone have recommendations in San Francisco for an épée fencer?
     
  2. Privateer

    Privateer Podium

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    I presume you checked out SFFC, Xcel, Halberstadt, and Golgen Gate?
     
  3. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Probably based on your comments your best choice is Halberstadt Fencing Club (HFC) which is the oldest fencing club in the San Francisco Bay Area (621 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110). Monday nights starting at 8: PM is the busiest VET evening. Though they are trying to re-establish Thursday nights at 8: PM and Saturday at noon as VET times. Unfortunately since Cole Harkness left to coach at Massialis there hasn't been as much of the after fencing pubbing. Suggest you connect to [email protected] to get messages about when/who is coming.

    There is also Golden Gate Fencing Center which is a larger establishment in the same general area. But they "claim" to be more focused on competitive activities and younger fencers. Though I understand there are a few VETs among them.

    I would suggest dropping by and checking both out.

    My understanding is that SFFC and Xcel are more youth and foil or saber oriented. But am open to being corrected on that score.

    If your competitive juices are wont to flow, you might consider East Bay Fencing Gym in Oakland which is not terribly far from the main downtown Bart station.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  4. Margot Putnam Delaney

    Margot Putnam Delaney Rookie

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    I am looking for guidance on which of those clubs are best for an adult, non-competitive fencer.
     
  5. Margot Putnam Delaney

    Margot Putnam Delaney Rookie

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    Thank you, jjefferies!
     
  6. epee.amnesiac

    epee.amnesiac Rookie

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    Hi Margot! I know I'm finding this post quite late, but I moved to SF in June, not long after you. From the recommendation of a friend, I started fencing at GGFC and love it. I'm pretty non-competitive (though looking to change that over time), and it's been a good environment for me. I'll be honest, it's mostly teenagers, but the large amount of female fencers is what first attracted me. But there are a good amount of adults as well, though we have to coordinate a bit. Tuesday nights we can get a group of 5-6, sometimes the same on Wednesday if we're lucky, and we sometimes go out for food afterwards. Most of the adults are non-competitive, and most are in their 20's, with one vet woman.

    Jjefferies was right in that GGFC can focus on youth and competitive, but the nightly structure is pretty freeform and mostly bouting, so that sounds right up your ally. You also mentioned you were looking for occasional formal lessons - they have that too. The one thing you're going to have a hard time with in San Francisco is an older crowd of fencers. TFC in San Jose is better about that (big vet crowd), but it's a trek.

    I hope you've found a place to fence in the meantime, and if not, you should swing by and say hello. In fact, the club is letting me host a women's epee open bouting session on December 8th 1-3 pm to try and encourage camaraderie and improve our skills. Best of all, it's free (you just need at least a non-competitive USA Fencing membership for insurance purposes). Hope to see you there, and let me know if you have any more questions.
     

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