There’s an idea in fencing (as originally told by Gary Copeland, I believe) that says there are three types of clubs: champion clubs, recreational clubs, and money clubs. A champion club is the kind of place that produces high-caliber athletes and national champions like clockwork. A recreational club is where a couple of the boys will go to after work to socialize, hang out, and fence. And lastly, a money club is where the ownership wants to just collect enough cash that they can swim in it. It’s an interesting idea that provides a high level overview of picking a club based on competitive preferences, but I figured I’d break it out into a few more steps.
According to the United States Fencing Association (USFA) website, there are approximately 330 registered fencing clubs in the country. Every club offers a unique set of people, coaches, and facilities to satisfy a particular fencer’s needs. These criteria should help you evaluate the club that is (or isn’t) right for you: