THE club for fencing lessons in
St. Louis, Belleville, Collinsville,
Columbia, Fairview Heights,
and the entire Metro East.

Equipment For Beginners

Underarm Protector aka 'Plastron'

Notice to the right we suggest a beginner not spend the extra money on FIE branded equipment. If we were to backtrack on that statement it would be for an FIE plastron. The plastron is very important protective equipment and FIE branded clothing is stronger than that typically seen in U.S. domestic competition. If you will be fencing with high school or older males you might want to step up to the stronger FIE grade for your plastron. Against younger children without the weight and power behind their attacks, the stronger FIE material is less important.


Plastic Chest Protector

The chest protector is required for women of all ages but is optional for men. We suggest younger children, female or male, use a chest protector. We have seen some older males wear one, but it is rare. There are a variety of designs to choose from.
*NOTE* Beginning with the 2018/2019 season, there is a new kind of chest protector for foil fencers that has a padded exterior surface.

epee glove


The stretch material jackets are much more comfortable than the cotton material jackets. Jackets come in left handed, right handed, or back zip. Back zip can be used by either left or right handed fencers. Don't buy a back zip. It sucks to need help getting dressed!

epee cord

Pants and Long Socks

The stretch material pants are much more comfortable than the cotton material pants.

Long socks are required that cover any skin not already coverd by the pants. Fencing vendors sell fencing socks but long soccer socks work just fine.


Standard Glove

A washable fabric glove is best for the beginner. They are inexpensive and will last for a year or so of average use.

epee glove

Foil Mask

A foil mask has a partial electrically conductive bib that is required for competition. A beginner's first few competitions will likely be in foil. We don't have a strong opinion on this. If you want to save a little bit of money, an epee mask will be a little cheaper but can't be used in a foil competition. The entry level masks sold by fencing vendors will be just fine. No need to purchase a more expensive version at this stage in your fencing career.

foil mask


A practice foil will not have the electric bracket, electric tip or wired blade the competition foils have. Practice foils are also less expensive.

The blades come in a variety of lengths. Fencers under ten years old should get a #0 (30 inches long) or #2 (32 inches long) blade length. Older than that should get a #5 blade (35 inches long).

Foils come with a choice of a variety of grips. The most popular grip for foil fencers is the Visconti, followed by a Belgian but there are many others. French grips are very common among beginners but almost never seen in use by competitive fencers. Before you decide on the style of grip, we suggest you try a few of the grips we have in the closet. Most grips come in a variety of sizes as well as slight variations among different vendors' versions. You won't know if a grip works for your hand until you try it for a while. Grips come in left or right handed versions.

We suggest you spend an extra dollar or two to get the rolled edge bell guard. These last longer.

The vendor might have an option for different types of bell guard pads. We don't think it matters. Get whatever you like.

foil foil


Yes, we absolutely do fence in a cornfield! Literally at Bluff Grange, a farmers' coop building in the corner of a cornfield on the bluffs over the Missisippi River Valley near St. Louis in Southern Illinois.

We have both recreational and competitive fencers of all ages.