Am I too old to start fencing?

I get this question a lot and I see it online all the time. Sometimes parents will ask if their children are too old to start fencing. Without asking how old you are, I can tell you the answer:

You are never too old to start fencing.

I started fencing when I was 18 years old as a freshman at Clemson University. Through the fencing club there, was able to travel to multiple collegiate fencing events around the country. In my time there, I medalled in a North American Cup, the Summer National Championships, and 3 USA Collegiate Fencing Club championship events. Now, I’m still fencing today - even though I spend more time coaching rather than competing.

Olympic fencing is a lifelong sport. Sure, the odds of winning an Olympic medal in fencing is going to decrease if you start in your mid-40s. But, at least in the United States, there are age categories for a wide variety of competitive age groups, including adults.

Age categories in the US:

Youth 10 & Under
Youth 12 & Under
Youth 14 & Under
Cadet (16 & Under)
Junior(20 & Under)
Veteran 40 & Above
Veteran 50 & Above
Veteran 60 & Above
Veteran 70 & Above
Veteran 80 & Above

Senior (13 & Above)

Each age group’s eligibility is based on the athlete’s birth year. You can see the requirements for each age group online at USA Fencing’s site here:

Beyond Competition

While there is a competitive outlet for all age groups in fencing, there’s also a community that’s welcoming of athletes of all ages and backgrounds! Fencing is all about improving yourself one step at a time, and that’s a journey that can start any time.

Get Started

Emerald City Fencing Club has options to start for all ages as well. In addition to our youth and cadet beginner classes, we have beginner fencing classes for adults as well.