Is Fencing For The Rich ($350 to Start As Recreational Fencer)

Fencing was created by aristocrats, and over 40,000 people died in fencing duels between 1600 and 1789.

Is fencing for the rich? Fencing is a sport for the rich due to coaching and club fees. You can afford fencing by working on fencing-related tasks like refereeing or part-time coaching in the club or non-profit like Peter Westbrook Foundation. Being a club insider will allow you to learn to fence, and even become a full-time fencing instructor.

Fencing in Fencing Club

There were 2 online Reddit users that claimed they managed to learn fencing by assisting the coach in free group classes and lesson and even refereeing.

Another Reddit user was born to 2 doctor parents and people in his club are doctors, lawyers, engineers, flight controllers, and other upper professions. 

How much will I incur when my child or myself fences?

There are several components to the costs you will incur when fencing:

  • club membership dues vary from $10/year non-competitive to $1200/lifetime),
  • basic fencing equipment you buy is around $130 for the mask, jacket, glove, and weapon,
  • the number and type of tournaments you enter in, and how frequently you travel to tournaments, and
  • professional coaching fees are around $200 to $400/day or $200 to $500/month for group fencing classes.

How much does fencing cost?

Similar to gymnastics, dance, martial arts, or any other specialized individual sport, the costs varied depending on recreational or profession.

Your total costs to start fencing with club fees and coaching fees can range

  • from $350 to $650 for a recreational fencer with your own basic fencing equipment and group classes, to
  • upwards of $2,000 a month for a competitive fencer with good fencing gear, competitive membership dues, private coaching lessons and other chargeable group classes, tournament fencing fees, and travel expenses. 

What is the difference between competitive and recreational fencing?

Competitive fencing is, of course, much more expensive, simply because you need to invest in coaching, and you need to travel to tournaments during the fencing season. Recreational fencing or even being a full-time coach will be much easier in the pocket without traveling or private coaching.

What are membership fees?

Different clubs charges differently. USA Fencing charges

  • non-competitive membership ($10 a year),
  • access ($25/year for the local sanctioned tournament),
  • competitive ($85/year for all USA Fencing sanctioned tournaments),
  • coach $120/year (which include personal liability insurance, safe coach training),
  • lifetime ($1,200).

What is Competitive Membership?

Competitive membership allows your fencer to compete at all US Fencing sanctioned tournaments during that season.

How much does US Fencing charge for a national championship?

US Fencing charges entry fees (around $55 to $85) and a registration fee of $5 and event fees (around $20/event). If a fencer participates in 2 events, then that fencer pays the per event fee X 2.

What are strip coaching fees?

Strip coaching fees are incurred when the coach attends a tournament to coach your fencer during bouts.

How much does a club charge?

Recreational clubs vary greatly in how they charge for dues and coaching, and you should speak to the individual clubs to figure this out.

Fencing compared to other sports

Another Reddit user compared fencing to synchronized swimming. 

Fencing is not especially expensive with regards to many sports. When I was little, my neighbour did synchronised swimming, and our parents used to chat about the cost of sports. Apparently fencing is way way way cheaper than synchronised swimming. Between pool fees, a new bathing costume for every performance, private lessons, etc.A big cost in fencing is the travel to get to tournaments, which will happen in any sport at a comparable level. 

A Quora user also shared that some non-profit will give the poor an opportunity

The Peter Westbrook Foundation is a non profit dedicated to getting fencing to underserved communities, and has been incredibly successful in doing so.

Therefore, fencing is a sport for the rich or people who have passion and access to the fencing club.


Fencing is expensive even for a recreational fencer, and get really expensive if you go all-in with private coach lesson and tournament expenses. Therefore, do start slow as a recreational fencer if you want and remember the fees go up considerably if you really want to commit to be the next Olympian fencer.

Sky Hoon. About
Martial Art Fan
He started his love on martial arts by watching MMA and Angela Lee. He then started this blog to learn more about the different martial arts.
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