British Fencing (BF) is the sport’s national governing body in this country. They are responsible for the accreditation of coaches, setting performance standards and defining weapon syllabuses, amongst other things.
The weapon syllabuses (syllabi) are made up of 9 grades or achievement awards. For fencers who pass the tests both paper certificate and cloth badge are available for purchase.
To pass a grade you have to be able to perform the required actions in both lesson and club bout settings, as well as passing the oral part of the test.
The study for the first few gradings is mainly done in a group lesson setting with some individual tuition provided to each student. As pupils progress to the higher gradings a higher proportion of individual lessons and partner practice is required. The later grading are also more demanding and you must expect to spend longer acquiring the necessary skill to be able to pass the tests.
The keys to success are hard work, keep trying even when the going gets tough and ask as many questions as you need to get a good understanding of what’s required for success. When you practising with a partner or the coach remember to ‘Train like to need to perform in a bout’ so you’ll be able to ‘perform in the bout just the way you’ve already trained’.
Details of the individual gradings can be found via the menu at the top of each page.
Good luck to all those working towards their next grading. As always, hard work gets results, the harder you practice the luckier you’ll get!