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Q. Does it hurt if I am hit?

A. Sword fencing is a contact activity, the object of which is to score points by hitting your opponent with a metal blade. It would be astonishing if the sword fencers engaged in a bout did not collect bruises and small cuts from time to time. However, the protective equipment is very effective and the blades of the weapons are flexible, so injuries more serious than abrasions and bruises are rare. The rules of etiquette also assist is reducing the risk of injury, as sword fencing is a respectful and gentlemanly (though vigorous) pursuit. Likewise, if the sword fencers do not warm up properly, pulled and strained muscles will result, but the warm up at HPFC usually prevents such injuries.

Q. Is the club insured in respect of injuries sustained during a sword fencing session?

A. Yes, but you are invited to take out your own insurance with the British Fencing Association through HPFC.

Q. Must I have my own insurance?

A. Yes, we encourage you to take out a minimum of Social Membership of the BFA, which we can assist you with. This will be at your own cost and is currently 10 per annum.

Q. Is age (old, young, middle) a disadvantage or advantage?

A. No, unless you intend to train for the Olympics. There are expert sword fencers of all ages.

Q. Do I have to be very fit?

A. No, it is more important to be agile and flexible (than to be able to run a marathon) in sword fencing, but general fitness helps.

Q. If I sign on for a year, can I leave during that year?

A. Yes, but it might not be possible to give a refund of fees paid. Each case will be decided on its own facts.

Q. If I leave the club, can I return?

A. Yes, provided that the membership list has not been closed due to a large number of new members having joined, in which case your name can be placed on a waiting list.

Q. Do I have to buy my own kit?

A. Initially HPFC will lend kit to you, so that you can try sword fencing and decide if it is for you. However, if you join the club, you will be expected to purchase your own kit, possibly in stages; to spread the cost HPFC can sometime secure a discount on kit from certain suppliers.

Q. How much does the kit cost?

A. That depends on what you buy and from which supplier. As a starting point and an example, a basic steam foil, under plastron, jacket, mask and glove will be about 150-200 in total from a British supplier.

Q. What will it cost to join HPFC?

A. For adults, fees for each person are 35 per year payable in advance, and a nightly charge of 3.00 per night. For juniors (under 17) fees for each person are 17.5 per year payable in advance, and a nightly charge of 1.75 per night. If you attend as a non-member and nightly fee of 4.50 for adults or 2.50 for juniors is payable.

Q. What does the Club do to look after children?

A. The Club has a Child Protection Officer and coaches are all checked by way of the Criminal Records Bureau. Any one can raise concerns with trained Club officers named in a pamphlet given to all people coming to the club. The Club has adopted the BFA policy .