DVFC's classes are built on the understanding that students learn best through games. Fencing is an incredibly fun sport, but learning to master anything, including fencing, is work. Games make that work fun, rewarding, and memorable so students are excited to learn what comes next and, at the same time, come to love the dedicated pursuit of excellence. Games give students a safe environment in which to take risks, make mistakes, and find successes.
Fencing is fun. Success is fun. In pursuit of that fun, DVFC's students develop skills that serve them well in the rest of their lives - mental engagement, creative problem-solving, tactical understanding, concentration, discipline, and a strong work ethic.
While DVFC's games satisfy fencers' competitive side, the class progression allows students to slowly build and combine the unusual skills that fencing requires. The cyclic nature of this curriculum reinforces previously learned skills, while also developing new ideas. Grouping different levels of fencers together lets them learn from and help teach their peers, cementing their skills and helping them make new friends. Testing gives a goal that students can easily see and attain.
Beginners train in a two-month cycle. The footwork month answers the question "How do I get close enough to hit (without getting hit)?" Students play a series of tactical distance games to learn how to lure their opponent in and attack at the right moment. The bladework month focuses on "What do I do once I'm close enough to hit (and get hit!)?" Students learn how to block and evade their opponent's blade. Throughout these classes, students begin to build an athletic foundation through a focus on basic movements and gross motor control.
Advanced learn how to combine their bladework and footwork ideas in controlled drill situations, and also begin bouting.
Competitive students play more advanced games with an increased focus on learning how their actions relate to tactics, and spend more class time applying these drills to bouting. They learn how to use electric scoring equipment and begin competing. They may also have a chance to try out epee and sabre.
Depending on the time and space available at each locatation, more advanced students may have the option of individual lessons.