Price Changes Effective September 1st

To help cover rising staff and facility costs, we will need to increase our prices for classes and lessons as of September 1st. This is our first price increase in two years. While we want fencing to remain affordable for everyone, we do need to cover our expenses, and we are confident that we are still price-competitive with the other clubs in Western Washington.

Group Classes

Our small group classes for intermediate and competitive fencers will remain at their current price. To allow the coach to provide more individual attention to each fencer, these classes will not exceed 8 students.

Group class prices per month:

  • Small group class, 1x/week: $120
  • Small group class, 2x/week: $240
  • Beginning class: $160
  • Regular continuing/intermediate class (up to 12 students): $190

For all students, we recommend purchasing your own equipment once you know you’re going to continue classes. We have beginner uniforms in stock, and there is a 15% discount when you buy 4 or more pieces of equipment. If you choose to keep using club equipment, after your third month of classes or lessons there will be a $15/month equipment rental fee to cover increased maintenance and sanitation costs.

Class Discounts

In the past, we have offered an annual package with a 10% discount for fencers who pre-pay for an entire season of classes. For fencers who purchased an annual package at the start of the 2019-2020 season, we have extended those packages by two months. Ten-month packages will expire on August 31, 2020; 12-month packages will expire on October 31, 2020. These packages are eligible for small groups, online Zoom classes, and open fencing sessions.

Due to the continuing uncertainty in our schedule and what classes we’ll be able to offer from month to month, we are not offering annual packages for the 2020-2021 season. We are increasing the family discount on class memberships to $15 per family member. Regular and small group classes are eligible for the family discount.

Private Lessons

As of September 1st, the following prices will apply to private lessons:

  • One-time drop-in: $40
  • 4-lesson card: $150 ($37.50 each)
  • 8-lesson card: $280 ($35 each)
  • 20-lesson package: $650 ($32.50 each)

Fencers currently taking private lessons may, in addition to their current lesson card as of August 31, purchase one renewal per family at the old price. Please contact membership@raincityfencing.com for assistance with that.

Online Zoom Classes

Our online classes will continue in the new season, with Conditioning/Footwork on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Technique/Tactics on Tuesday and Thursday. Starting in September, there will be separate memberships ($75/month each) for these two classes. Individual sessions of any online class may still be purchased for $15 each.

Open Fencing

While our open fencing schedule remains tentative, sessions will be on a $5 drop-in basis. Once the schedule firms up, we will look at reinstating a month open fencing membership.

Open Fencing Rules – Phase 2/3

Updated September 29, 2020

The following rules apply to all open fencing sessions at RCFC during Phase 2 and Phase 3. We will update these rules as more guidance updates from state and county governments become available.

  • A maximum of 6 fencers per session are allowed. A coach will always be in the same room (possibly giving a lesson) while open fencing is going on.
  • Reservations through the online calendar are required, so that the maximum attendance can be enforced. Sessions are divided by weapon, age, and skill level.
  • Fencers who are enrolled in classes or who have an annual package membership from last season are eligible for open fencing at no additional charge. Please remember to select your membership when making your reservation. You may reserve up to 6 “prime-time” sessions (Tuesday/Thursday) and up to 6 “off-peak” sessions (other days) each month.
  • For fencers without a current class membership, there is a $5 drop-in fee per session. Contact us to reserve drop-in dates.
  • Fencers should follow the same check-in process used for classes and lessons:
    • Check in at the front desk.
    • Temperature check and COVID-19 symptom screening.
    • Wash or sanitize hands before going on the floor.
  • Note that locker rooms remain closed. Please come dressed in appropriate athletic wear, including long pants. If you practice in fencing pants (which is recommended), either come to RCFC in your fencing pants, or wearing something you can wear fencing pants over.
  • Minimize contact with shared items. Turn machines on and off with the tip of your weapon. No remote controls are to be used.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after handling reel cables, after every bout.
  • Six fencers means up to three pairs fencing with one fencer on deck. Pairs should leave one empty strip in between, to increase distancing.
  • When you unhook, leave your cable end hanging free – do NOT hang it on the wall or clip it to itself. Cable ends hanging free are the ones we know we need to disinfect at the end of the day.
  • Fencers should remain in “practice mode” as much as possible – control actions, control distance, avoid corps-a-corps and infighting.
  • Please do not reserve for more than one session per day, to allow other fencers access as well.
  • If demand increases, we will look for additional times for open fencing sessions.

New Phase 2 Guidelines

Effective August 10th, 2020, Washington State has announced new guidelines for fitness businesses. These new guidelines include occupancy limits based on space available, and allow us to expand our offerings somewhat.

The complete revised guidelines are available on the Governor’s website.

Some important changes that are included in these guidelines:

  • The maximum number of athletes in a room is one per 300 square feet of space, not counting coaches. While this would theoretically allow us to have up to 24 fencers in our main gym and 20 in the north gym, we feel that those numbers would not be prudent at this time. We will be limiting our activities to approximately half of those numbers so that fencers in group classes can spread out further.
  • Spectators are not allowed in the room at practices under these guidelines. Everyone not actively participating in an activity on the floor (parents, younger siblings, and fencers waiting for their class or lesson) should wait in the lobby, upstairs, or outside.
  • We will be scheduling some limited-capacity open fencing sessions – one hour long, with a maximum of 5 fencers per gym. Reservations through the online calendar will be required. More details will be forthcoming soon.
  • The new guidelines allow exercising without facial coverings as long as participants unmask immediately before exercise and re-mask immediately after. However, RCFC will continue to require facial coverings for everyone at all times, including under the fencing mask.

At this time, fencing competitions do not look possible any time soon. We will follow the policies of the Western Washington Division of USA Fencing regarding the feasibility of starting small local tournaments.

We appreciate the cooperation of all our fencers and parents in helping to keep everyone safe. Thank you!

Private Lessons are Coming Back!

As part of King County’s Modified Phase 1 status under Washington’s “Safe Start” plan, we are preparing to reopen RCFC for some activities. As soon as we have all the necessary safety measures in place, we will resume private lessons and limited retail sales by appointment.

We have updated our list of COVID-19 mitigation measures on our website. Many of these requirements come from the Washington State Health Department; others are additional measures we are taking to reduce risk of transmission. One state requirement is that all students will need to sign a COVID-19 waiver form acknowledging the risk and agreeing to abide by all of our safety policies. This waiver will be provided through our membership system and can be signed online.

One measure we are taking is to space out the private lesson schedule. While the average lesson remains approximately 20 minutes, we will schedule lessons with each coach to start every 30 minutes. The additional break time between lessons will allow for hand washing, review of COVID safety measures, and will allow fencers to enter and leave the club without as much cross traffic. This additional time does mean that our previous lesson schedules will need to be adjusted.

If you have taken private lessons before, please let us know via email (for each student) your preferred day, time range, and coach for a recurring lesson. Please indicate your first choice as well as one or two other options. We will attempt to accommodate everyone’s first choices as much as possible. Note that other days and times besides our previous schedule may now be available, including mornings, early afternoons (before 3:00) and weekends. If you would like to try an alternative time, let us know.

If you have not taken private lessons before but are interested in trying them instead of group classes, let us know the student’s name and preferred days and times, and preferred coach if you have one. We will try to accommodate everyone’s wishes and match up students to coaches appropriately. Check out the Private Lessons page on our website for more details about lessons.

We hope to start up private lessons as soon as the end of this coming week. As we understand different people have different levels of risk tolerance, if you would like to wait a while before resuming lessons, please let us know your estimated start date as well.

At this point we are not allowed to provide any activities other than one-on-one instruction. Groups of 5 fencers or fewer will be permitted once King County reaches Phase 2. We will update you via email and our website when we are ready to provide group activities.

As always, feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or comments. We’re looking forward to getting back to fencing!

Greg Jones
Rain City Fencing Center

COVID-19 Mitigation at RCFC

Last updated June 13, 2020

We are planning to reopen RCFC for in-person activities soon. During King County’s Modified Phase 1 of Washington’s “Safe Start” phased approach policy, we will be able to provide private lessons and retail sales by appointment only. Starting in Phase 2 we will be able to add group instruction with 5 students or fewer. Larger classes will be part of Phase 3.

We have prepared the following protocols which we plan to follow to minimize the risk of exposure for students, parents, and coaches. This list is a work in progress, and is based on specific requirements and recommendations from local, state, and federal agencies. We will continue to update it as ideas come out of further discussions among the coaches, and any further recommendations from state and local governments are released. We will also continually evaluate these protocols for feasibility and effectiveness, and adjust them as necessary.

Note that while we will attempt to minimize risks as much as possible, there is no way that risk can be completely eliminated. Members of high-risk populations should still stay home. Clients will be required to sign a waiver agreeing to our COVID-19 mitigation policies. An email containing a link to a brief safety reminder video will be sent prior to each lesson (WA state requirement).

Surfaces and Objects

  • High-contact surfaces (including but not limited to door handles, faucet handles, machine controls, reel cable ends, etc.) will be disinfected at the end of each day.
  • All of our staff will wear appropriate PPE including face coverings at all times. There will be a transparent barrier at the front desk to help minimize risk of transmission.
  • We strongly recommend that customers pay their bills online through our membership system. In person, our credit card terminal supports contactless payments such as tap-and-go and Apple Pay. When paying in person with a credit card, signatures are not required.
  • When possible, we will keep our entry doors propped open during class and lesson times so that contact with door handles is not necessary and to increase air circulation. This may change based on how heating and air conditioning are affected.
  • Doors to the main restrooms will be propped open to avoid contact with door handles.
  • Lockers, changing areas, and showers will be closed until state guidelines allow them to be reopened. Only restroom use and hand washing will be permitted in those areas.
  • Because changing areas are closed, fencers should come to the club dressed in athletic wear appropriate for under a fencing uniform.
  • Street shoes will not be permitted on the fencing floor. Please bring your athletic shoes with you and put them on in the lobby.
  • All students should bring water bottles with them. Please put your name on your water bottle! At our water fountains, there will be no drinking by mouth, only filling water bottles. Water bottles left behind at the club will be thrown away.
  • Once open fencing reopens, scoring machines should be turned on and off with the tip of the weapon if possible. For now, remote controls should not be used.
  • We will be installing no-touch soap dispensers and faucets in all restrooms as soon as they are available to us.
  • The weight room will remain closed until Phase 2. Once it reopens, sanitizing equipment before and after use will be required, using the sanitizing spray provided.
  • There will be no shared tools available in the guest armory. Please bring your own tools to work on your equipment.
  • For now, props for games (balls, pool noodles, etc.) will not be available.
  • Because the wood floor is where the most strenuous activity takes place, fencers should avoid doing stretching and fitness exercises on the floor. Bring a yoga mat, or use the carpeted areas instead.

Distancing

  • All staff and customers should maintain 6-foot distancing at all times.
  • A maximum of 2 people will be allowed in each main restroom at a time.
  • Students should check in at the front desk, and wait upstairs or outside for their class or lesson.
  • If possible, parents and other non-fencers should wait in their vehicle or leave after checking in their child and come back at the end of class. Otherwise, parents should wait upstairs. If possible, only one non-fencer should accompany a minor fencer into the club.
  • When going upstairs, use the front stairs. Come back down via the back stairs.
  • Enter through the front doors only. When possible, exit through the double doors between the two gyms.
  • We will set up our new furniture in the lobby and on the mezzanine with appropriate distancing. No more than 5 people should gather in any one common area.
  • Group class sizes will be reduced– maximum 5 students per group in Phase 2, maximum 10-12 students per gym in Phase 3.
  • When students are lined up for warmup and footwork exercises, one fencer per strip instead of two.
  • For practice drills we will have one pair of students on every other strip, and minimize rotations.
  • When sparring becomes permissible, open fencing will be on odd-numbered strips only on some days, even-numbered strips other days.
  • Starting in Phase 2, we will offer free trial sessions for up to 5 members of the same household.
  • After saluting: no handshakes, high-fives, or elbow bumps.
  • Lessons and classes will have staggered start times and extra time between sessions to minimize students’ exposure.

Hygiene and Screening

  • All standard CDC recommendations (hand washing, control coughs and sneezes, stay home if any symptoms, etc.) will be in place.
  • Fencers and parents should self-monitor symptoms and check their temperature before they leave home. We will conduct a no-contact temperature check of everyone who enters the club. Anyone with any COVID-like symptoms or a temperature over 100 will not be allowed in the club.
  • Parents should check their child in at the front desk.
  • Students should wash their hands on arrival. They may do so in the restrooms or using the kitchen sink upstairs. Coaches will verify hand washing or sanitizing before starting a class or lesson.
  • Hand sanitizer, tissues, and trash cans will be available throughout the facility.
  • Students should come for class a few minutes earlier than usual to avoid backups in the restrooms.
  • To minimize exposure time, please do not arrive more than 15 minutes early for your class or lesson, unless you’re accompanying a family member who has an earlier class or lesson.
  • All employees will be screened for symptoms daily.
  • Cloth or surgical masks will be required for everyone while in the building. This includes underneath the fencing mask.
  • Coaches will wash and/or sanitize their hands before and after every lesson or class.
  • Please do not bring food to the club, to reduce hygiene risks and the time required to clean up between classes.

Fencing Equipment

  • Fencers who have their own gear should bring it, use it, take it home every day, and wash/disinfect it after each use.
  • Fencers who have their own gear are not allowed to borrow any club gear. The club gear will be locked down during competitive classes and open fencing.
  • We strongly recommend that students purchase their own gear, or at least their own glove and mask, after their first month of classes. We will do our best to maintain our retail inventory at appropriate levels.
  • Retail uniforms which are worn to check for size and not purchased will be kept out of active inventory for at least 24 hours.
  • For students who do not have their own gear, each student will be allocated their own set of club gear, which will remain at the club. All club gear is labeled with index numbers, which will be recorded for each student. We will place each student’s set of gear in a separate spot (possibly in separate fencing bags or plastic bins) where they can access it before class and return it afterwards. Each student only wears one particular set of gear, and each piece of gear is only worn by one student.
  • Club gear will be washed/sanitized weekly, then put back out into bags or bins.

Class and Lesson Offerings

  • We will look into expanding our class and lesson schedule, earlier in the day and more days per week, to allow for more and smaller classes.
  • Private lessons will be available as an alternative to group classes, depending on coaches’ schedules.
  • Private lessons are by appointment only; no drop-in lessons are permitted.
  • We will offer semi-private sessions (30 or 60 minutes as appropriate), consisting of 1 coach working with up to 4 fencers from the same household.
  • In group classes, we will employ longer-distance, no-contact games and exercises to minimize student contact.

RCFC Closure Extended through May 31st

As part of Washington State’s continued Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative, we expect to be closed at least through May 31st. As you can see in Washington’s “phased approach” plan, we should be able to reopen as part of Phase 3. When the state reaches Phase 2, the coaches and staff will be working to develop appropriate safety protocols for when we reopen.

We will update this page as schedule updates are made available. Meanwhile, stay healthy!

RCFC Closure Extended to May 4th

Due to directives from the State of Washington and USA Fencing, RCFC will remain closed at least through May 4th. All monthly memberships have been placed on hold for the month of April. We will update our website as conditions change. Stay healthy!

Rain City SYC Cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Rain City Super Youth Circuit. Read on for more information.

More info

March Tournaments Canceled

Per a directive from the USA Fencing national office, all local and regional tournaments through April 8th are cancelled. This includes the following events at RCFC:

  • D & Under Foil #2 – Mar. 19
  • RCFC Youth #5 – Mar. 28
  • Western Washington Foil/Epee Challenge #6 – Mar. 29

We will reschedule the March 29th event to June if the situation eases. We will update the status of April and May events as things develop.