The Down East School of Fencing offers age group classes for youth, teens and adults. Beginners of all ages are welcome. Please come and try it out for free for your first time. New fencers are instructed in foil as the traditional weapon for establishing fundamental fencing skills. After initial foundation training, fencers may also explore epee and sabre. Basic equipment is available for use to new fencers. It is expected that students will purchase their own equipment as they progress. Classes include stretching, blade and footwork drills, lessons on rules and nomenclature, and bouting practice. Fencing games, tactical analysis and the rudiments of refereeing augment each progressive level. Our fencing school provides for recreational fencing and competition training. Fencing events are planned throughout the year in our local area for fun and practice. Students are encouraged to fence in local tournaments upon attaining proficiency. Competition training is available for those fencers who desire to aspire to compete regionally, nationally or even on the international circuit.

Youth Fencing Class (Ages 8-12):

Runs for 1 hour and involves warm-up and fencing games to develop general athletic skills, footwork, basic stretching, fencing skills practice and recreational bouting. Youth classes are primarily held in foil. Youth younger than 8 years old may try it out, but must be able to develop the ability to concentrate in class for the full hour. Please contact us if you would like your son or daughter to try out fencing. There is no charge for all ages the first class in order to try it out. Our primary goals for youth fencing classes is to develop an enjoyment of the sport of fencing, to develop safe and quality fencing skills, and to develop fundamental fitness and athletic skills. Fencing safety equipment (jackets, chest and underarm protectors, masks, gloves) and foils are provided for youth classes.

Teen Fencing Class (Ages 12-17):

Runs for 1.5 hours and involves warm-ups to develop general athletic skills, footwork exercises, a complete stretching routine, fencing skills practice and bouting. Teen classes are held with foil, epee and sabre diversity. Our primary goals for teen fencing classes is to maintain an enjoyment of the sport of fencing, to perfect the quality of the fencing skills, develop bouting strategy and to improve athletic skills. Fencing safety equipment (jackets, chest and underarm protectors, masks, gloves) are provided for teen classes if needed. Most teens will purchase their own fencing equipment as they progress. Teens are encouraged to particpate in local events to improve their fencing skills with others.

Adult Fencing Classes (with competitive teen fencers):

Runs for several hours in the evenings. More to come....

Advanced Epee Class (requires permission of instructor):

Taught by Assistant Coach and Moniteur Thomas Bowcock, the class meets 5:00-8:00 p.m. every other Monday evening in Belfast. In-depth training in tactics and execution.



Classes are currently offered at the following locations:

Tuesday: The Neighborhood House, 1 Kimball Road, Northeast Harbor

  • Youth, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Teen, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Adults/Competitive Teen, 6:30-9:00 p.m. (Warm up is 6:30-7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday: Herbert Sargent Community Center, 342 Bennoch Road, Stillwater (Old Town)

  • A general three-weapon class for all ages, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Advanced Epee Class (with permission of instructor only), 6:00-8:00 p.m. 

Thursday: Jewett School and Community Center (stage area next to the gym), 66 Bridge Street, Bucksport

  • Youth, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Teen, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
  • Adult/Competitive Teen, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Friday: Waterfall Arts Building, 256 High Street, Belfast
  • Competitive Foil Group (emphasis is on competitive strategy and technique; by invitation only), 2:30-4:00 p.m. 




Fees are $20 per individual class, or save and purchase a punch card of eight classes for $125. Punch cards may be used for novice and progressive instruction courses or competitive training groups, and are good for multiple DESF locations. Cards will be honored up to one full year from purchase date. 

Family or College Student Group Class Rate

As a way to encourage families and college students to share the experience of learning to fence, a discounted rate of $10 per fencer per class is available. To obtain this rate, a minimum of three fencers must attend as a group on a consistent basis.

Private Instruction

Private instruction is available for competitive fencers and adult students who show commitment and a strong interest in improving skills. The cost of a lesson is $20 for a 45 minute session. Lessons are available by appointment only. 

Tournament Coaching

Strip coaching is available to competitive fencers at the following fee scale:

  • Maine tournaments. Coaching is free. The coach's travel expenses (gas and tolls) are paid by the competitor(s).
  • Regional tournaments (New England and New Brunswick). Coaching is $30 per tournament event. The coach's travel expenses (lodging, gas, tolls, etc.) are paid by the competitor(s). 
  • National tournaments. Coaching is $50 per tournament event. The coach's travel expenses (airfare, baggage fees, lodging, ground transportation, etc.) are paid by the competitor(s).

Coaching Training/Accreditation

On occasion, DESF will host a coaching training and accreditation session through the auspices of the USFCA. Information on future sessions will be announced as it becomes available. 









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