Yes, that’s little Lindsay Lohan falling into the watering trough in The Parent Trap. No, this isn’t gonna happen at BMFA. But here’s a couple of things that parents should know about their kids’ fencing endeavors at our club.

You might, for example, wonder:

What do we need to bring to BMFA Beginners Fencing Class?

A water bottle (with water, of course), long pants, athletic shoes that provide some support and traction. Long pants, such as sweat pants, need to be worn to protect your kid’s shins from the occasional scrape of a foil blade.

No shorts. No sandals. No shoes with velcro ties or blinking lights.

(You’d think we wouldn’t have to say that, but go figure…)

What should remain in the car or at home?

Equally simple: Any electronic devices, such as phones, iPods, ear buds, turn tables, remote-control drones. While in class, your kid won’t need to post pictures of his or her lunch to Snapchat, or LOL, ROFL or LIKE their school friend’s duck face (boy, are we dating ourselves…), and hopefully you’re either in the room or keeping an eye on the clock as you run errands. No need for distractions. And we’re neither responsible nor liable for any damage or loss to anything your kid may bring in. (<—we’re serious.)

Should we practice stuff at home?

Practice makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Fencing relies on precision and balance, so chances are that your child may acquire bad habits that are hard to get rid of while practicing at home.

Should I hover over my child in class and during bouting, remind him/her of “form” and provide other useful advice and inspiration?


Does it hurt getting hit with a foil?

Adult epee? Sure. Competitive saber? Sometimes, if a flat hit wraps around your back.

Kid’s foil — no.

They will be wearing plastrons and thick fencing jackets and use very flexible blades with a plastic button at the tip. They will be fine.

If they’re doing it right, however, they should be feeling sore every Thursday or, at the latest, Friday.

What are good general exercises we can do at home?

We’re partial to jumping rope, mountain climbers, walking lunges, running in general. Small weights, if any. Fast-twitch muscle exercises.

Why is the Blakefield Experience online payment system so needlessly cumbersome?

Frankly, we don’t know. We just teach here.

I can’t understand a word Coach Larbi says.

Just ask Coach Chris. If you can’t understand him, ask Coach Larbi.

We’re standing in front of Wheeler Hall and there’s a Loyola party/play/conference/lecture going on inside. WHERE ARE YOU?

We got reshuffled. Try the Performance Gym or one of the four courts in the Four Court Gym in the Loyola main building, Knott Hall (second driveway, head for the bell tower.) We try to notify everyone prior to venue changes via our Facebook Group or this website, but sometimes, notice is just too short.

Should I go out and randomly buy equipment for my kid?

You can. This is America. But check with Coach Larbi first. We may be able to get you some discounts on decent equipment from reputable vendors.

Where can I enjoy the exclusive, online, social media camaradery of other BMFA parents while staying up-to-date on club news, location changes etc.?

Join the BMFA Members FB Group

This fencing stuff looks GREAT! How can I learn fencing so I can be a role model to my child?

Ask Coach Larbi or Coach Chris. BMFA has an adult program as well.

Will there be a trophy in it for my kid at the end of the Beginners Class?

Yeah, see here…


Any trophies will have to be earned and fought for during your kid’s fencing career at many, many local, regional, and national tournaments.

But we’re profligate with high fives!