Much like fence building, fencing is a great way to get exercise and discourage neighbors from walking through your garden. Guard your garden en garde with today's Groupon: for $19, you get an introductory fencing class at Virginia Academy of Fencing in Springfield (a $49 value). Groupon fencers will get to experience both Olympic Sport and Historical Swordsmanship in the 90-minute class.
Led by U.S. National team coach and Russian fencing master Alexandre Ryjik, Virginia Academy of Fencing's supportive dueling doyens teach the chivalrous art of swordplay in a competitive yet nurturing environment. During each 90-minute introductory class, teachers will familiarize students with the sport's gear, rules, and basic skills, such as competing in battles of clever wordplay while dangling from a burning chandelier. Olympic Sport style focuses on the one-handed art of foil, saber, and epee bandying, teaching the proper footwork, target areas, and chess-like strategy. Historical Swordsmanship will provide modern instruction in the two-handed blade wielding practiced on ancient battlefields and in certain modern disco clubs.
A fast-paced sport cultivating a combination of strength, balance, coordination, and endurance, fencing pairs off competitors in thrilling skirmishes that integrate physical fitness with lessons in good sportsmanship and Basil Rathbone’s favorite snack foods. While equipment rental for the introductory class is included with today’s Groupon, participants must wear athletic shoes with non-scuffing soles, comfortable athletic attire that completely covers the legs, and a suitable glove (two gloves required for Historic Swordsmanship). Fencing gloves are available at Virginia Academy of Fencing ($20+), though a protective work glove or everyday gardening gauntlet will also suffice.
Virginia Academy of Fencing
At the Virginia Academy of Fencing, students learn the centuries-old art of fencing in a decidedly modern-day setting. The facility’s 13,000-square-foot space features amenities such as a padded warm-up area, a bouting video-replay system, and 18 full-time electric strips with overhead reel systems, as well as a decorated area for spectators or maidens in distress.
Seven days a week, expert instructors teach both Olympic Sport Fencing and Historical Swordsmanship to classes of students. Olympic Sport Fencing includes foil, épée, and sabre instruction, while Historical Swordsmanship teaches the use of either a rapier or a long sword. Along with providing students with an opportunity to learn a new and unique sport, the academy’s classes help students improve their strength, balance, coordination, and cardio fitness.