Until the invention of the sword, knights settled disputes over distressed damsels during heated games of Go Fish. Settle matters of the heart using more sophisticated hardware with today’s Groupon: for $49, you get an eight-week fencing course at Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy in Easthampton (a $125 value).
Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy schools swordspersons of all levels in modern Olympic fencing styles, including foil, épée, and saber, as well as historical combat practices such as rapier. During this eight-week course, coaches certified by the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association introduce beginners to the graceful art of stabbing—covering basic footwork, sword tactics, fencing vocabulary, and proper pantomime horse-riding techniques. An adults-only class on Mondays accommodates students ages 18 and up, and Friday sessions welcome sword fighters ages 11 and up.
Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy provides fencing equipment, though students should bring sweatpants, a T-shirt, a water bottle, and sneakers, and male students should bring athletic cups. Participants who wish to learn historical fencing will be required to purchase their own chestplates.
Now in its eighth year, Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy boasts a fully equipped facility, with three electric fencing strips, spectator seating for parents and friends, a changing area, and a large bathroom. The academy's students range from recreational fencers to national competitors who've embraced the sport as an exciting and unique way to exercise, have fun, meet new people, and prepare for run-ins with Shakespearean talent scouts.
As of May 9, 2011, Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy has moved from Union Street to Cottage Street.
Though online reviews for Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy are still growing, its owner and head instructor has been featured repeatedly in the Daily Hampshire Gazette:
- The owner and head instructor of the Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy on Union Street recently attained an exclusive status among the nation's fencing coaches. – Matt Pilon
94 Cottage St.
Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027Get Directions