1000 West Crosby, Suite 134
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Serving the Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex
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Safety & Club Rules
Who Can Fence?
Board of Directors
Safety is everyone's responsibility. Although fencing is a combat sport, observance of some simple rules will prevent most injuries.
• Never enter the strip area without your mask.
• Always wear your mask when bouting or taking lessons.
• Always wear your protective equipment (underarm protector, proper clothing, breast protector, etc.)
• Examine your weapons and protective equipment prior to bouting.
• Make sure your strip surface is clear of all debris, weapons, masks or other items which may cause trips, slips or falls.
• No horseplay on strip and never attempt to make contact with someone who is bouting on another strip.
• Never enter or exit the fencing area by crossing a strip where bouting is occurring. Always use the walkway, but be aware that fencers may come across this area at any time.
• Come physically prepared to fence. Fencing requires vast amounts of energy and uses tremendous stores of body fluids and nutrients. If you have been ill, or are not feeling well, don't fence.
• Warm up before bouting or lessons.
• Practice good fencing techniques, posture and footwork to prevent bad habits which lead to injuries.
• Bout only when a coach or instructor is present, and only under qualified supervision.
FIT Safety Policy for Children under the age of 10 and Unattended Children:
No one under the age of 10 shall be allowed to participate in Competitive Team practices without written permission from a FIT Fencing Master. Written permission shall only be granted in cases where the safety of the fencer and the safety of other participants will not be compromised, and the fencer has passed stringent tests of skill and attention span abilities.
No children under the age of 10 may be unattended in the salle. Parents or siblings who are participating in classes, private lessons, or bouting are not considered "in attendance."
Attended children must be confined to the front area by the tables and couch. They must be escorted to the rest room area and may not be allowed to play in the hallway or bathroom, or allowed outdoors unattended.
All drink and food items are to be confined at the table area. All trash pertaining to these food items must be removed and deposited in appropriate trash receptacles, and the area cleaned prior to leaving the club (this includes under the table area, also).
"The novice may possess great aptitude - he may even possess some extraordinary, God-given gifts. But any suggestion of instinctive fencing ability is sheer nonsense. Therefore, the fundamental importance of good mechanics cannot be overemphasized. You will never become a fencer until you have mastered them. Yet, fencing is so perfect an art that once you have accomplished this, your skill as a fighter will depend primarily upon your individual genius. You will get out of fencing exactly what you put into it. Make no mistake about that."
— Aldo Nadi, On Fencing
The staff and instructors of Fencing Institute of Texas believe that anyone who has the desire to learn should have the opportunity to fence. Even those with health problems or physical limitation have the opportunity to learn fencing. Our coaching staff will assist you in developing a program around any limitation you may have.
Why Your Child Should Fence (excerpted from an article of the same name written by Richard Cherry for the USFA magazine, "American Fencing." Coach Cherry served as the Junior Olympic Chair for the Oregon Division and coaches young fencers.)
"Fencing is a skill sport. It requires a special kind of athlete who can satisfy the physical and psychological challenges of head to head combat. Fencing is one of the few sports where boys and girls compete against each other on equal terms, no special concessions granted.
Fencing demands self-discipline. Win or lose, the fencer alone is ultimately responsible.
Fencers forge friendships with their opponents off the strip. After all, they frequently train together.
Fencers learn to accept authority. Referees (directors) are always "correct," even when a "bad call" eliminates an athlete from a tournament. At the same time, fencers learn to respectfully question authority.
Fencers acting as referees (directors) learn to make decisions with confidence. They learn to explain their decisions intelligently and control the action on and off the strip, all the while under the critical eye of their peers and an audience.
Fencers learn to share. They share equipment and knowledge. A winning fencer will often share what went wrong with the losing fencer's game. More experienced fencers will share previous successful strategies against specific fencers, even though this knowledge may lessen their chances for victory.
Fencers develop the ability to establish long-term goals. In fencing, an athlete doesn't have to win to be successful. Many young fencers know they don't have the knowledge or the experience to beat a particular opponent or win a tournament; but they learn to set personal goals for themselves, one touch against each opponent for example.
Fencers can, and do, learn to be winners before they ever get a medal at a tournament.
Many students use fencing for Off-Campus Physical Education credit. All FIT Fencing Masters have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in physical education with emphasis on fencing. We also have a program for home schooled athletes; however, students must register in advance for the home school programs.
The Board of Directors of FIT is part of a team of educators which includes you, the parent, the school teachers, and the fencing instructors. The Board of Directors has established the following guidelines for the success of our school age fencers.
We can help your child be successful in school by forming a partnership with parents and teachers.
If your child is having difficulty in a subject, let their Coach or a Board member know. We can provide extra encouragement and, perhaps together, help your child be successful in school.
A positive reinforcement system works better than negative attention. At no time will a child be embarrassed by public display of poor grades (either through posting or announcement). We would like to know of your child's achievements either scholastically or through their community activities. We try to create a positive environment, one in which we brag about our successes and ignore those little stumbles. If your child has made the honor roll or done an outstanding job in their work, let us know. We would like to showcase successes on the "Wall of Fame" and in our newsletter.
We believe that children perform up to the standards expected of them.
We hope that this will encourage commitment and initiative in our children to achieve success. Success in school is more important than success in fencing. If your student needs a little extra time for homework, they are welcome to bring their books to the fencing center and complete the work in the student lounge. Older students and parents often provide guidance and assistance in a variety of subjects.
Pride in the academy and pride in themselves will help your child be successful in fencing and life. Your children may be asked to assist the staff members in emptying trash cans, sweeping floors or other housekeeping items. This is not used as a punishment task, but to give students a sense of ownership, pride and belonging in the fencing academy.
We expect our team members to have clean uniforms and practice good personal hygiene. Fencing uniforms, and especially fencing bags, can get rather smelly. Your fencer may be asked to take their things to the laundromat before returning to the salle. (No fencing clothes should be left in lockers after Saturday.)
We want you and your child to be happy and feel comfortable at the FIT academy. If there is a problem of any kind, please let a Board member know.
We attempt to guide students to the instructor most suited to their weapon, fencing style and personality; however, should your child want to switch to a different instructor, this is not a problem. Talk to us and we'll be pleased to accommodate your family.
One of the goals of the Fencing Institute of Texas is the development of world-class and Olympic competitive fencers. Only a handful of fencers ever make it to this level; however, there are numerous competitions locally, in the North Texas Division, and in the Southwest Section for all fencers to compete, beginner to Olympian. The FIT Team travels to competitions in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and throughout Texas during the fencing year. All of our fencers are encouraged to join these team trips, but there is no requirement to attend any of them.
Special tournaments are held for children (Rising Stars for Youth 10 - 14; Regional Youth Circuit for Youth 12 - 16) and adults (Veteran's tournaments). Fencers should sign-up for trips at least 4 weeks in advance.
Coaches are assigned to the team trip if 5 or more fencers commit. The fencers attending the trip pay "coaches fees." These fees reimburse the coach for lodging, meals and travel expenses, and are collected from all fencers attending the trip. The more fencers attending, the less the expenses to the individual. Fencers are welcome to travel and lodge with the team or with their parent, this has no effect on coaches' fees. Other staff and team representatives may be sent on various trips to act as coordinators for the team. These people will be identified prior to the trip announcement and may consist of parent volunteers, FIT staff, or other interested parties who are going to the tournament anyway and will not usually receive reimbursement. If a very large team is going to a tournament, one or two of the adults who are planning on attending may be asked to act as team chaperones and may receive reimbursement for their lodging. (Team chaperones usually are asked to share a room with 2-3 youth/junior fencers.)
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