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:
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.