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!

New for 2020: Text message alerts

Starting soon, we will be able to make important announcements such as lesson cancellations and weather closures via text message. All you need to do is make sure your mobile number is entered into your profile in Zen Planner.

For lesson cancellations, we will send the message to the student’s mobile number. (The system doesn’t provide a way to send the message to multiple numbers for one person.) If you are the parent of a student and would like to receive these notifications, make sure you put your own mobile number in the student’s profile. If the student has a mobile number as well, you can put that in one of the other phone number fields.

We will only use text messages for important, time-sensitive notifications. Announcements of tournament schedules, upcoming events, and other activities will continue to go out in email. We will also announce lesson cancellations and closures through email.

If you do not want to receive text message alerts, just move your phone number from the Mobile Number field to one of the other phone number fields.

To set up your profile information, log in to our membership portal at https://raincityfencing.sites.zenplanner.com. Select My Profile from the menu on the left, then Edit Profile at the bottom of the list in the middle. To access other family members, select My Family from the list in the middle and follow the same steps.

Feel free to send an email to membership@raincityfencing.com if you have any questions.

Fall Class Schedule

Time to gear up for the new season! Our fall classes start September 3rd. Check out our class schedule and sign up online!

RCFC Garage Sale and Swap Meet

You know how fencing gear hides in closets and garages? Bring it out and introduce it to someone! We will have another fencing garage sale and swap meet on Saturday, November 2nd from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (during open fencing). All RCFC resale equipment will be on sale, with some clearance items deeply discounted. We’ll also be selling tournament and summer camp T-shirts, older fencing gear and parts, and lots of other interesting stuff.

Have fencing gear you’d like to sell? Bring it in and find someone who needs it! This is an opportunity to find a new home for that uniform you’ve outgrown. No commissions or fees to sell your stuff!

The details:

  • All RCFC retail equipment will be on sale, 10% off regular prices. This does not apply to items already discounted, such as our beginner set discount.
  • Selected items will be on clearance sale. Discounts apply only to stock on hand, no rain checks.
  • Fencers are welcome to bring used gear to sell to other fencers. Please stick to fencing-related items, it’s not a general-purpose garage sale!
  • If you’re selling used fencing gear or buying someone else’s, RCFC is not a party to the transaction. We strongly recommend cash only for such transactions.

2019 Summer Schedule

Summer Camps – July 8 through August 30

We still have room in our summer camps! Continuing camps are appropriate for students who have had 1-6 months of classes or a beginning camp. The Intermediate/Competitive camp is for fencers with a year or more of experience. Beginning camps are for kids and juniors with no previous experience – tell your friends how much fun fencing is!

More info

Summer Continuing Classes – July 8 through August 28

For Continuing level fencers who can’t come to a summer camp, we are offering sessions of our Continuing classes on Mondays and Wednesdays in the afternoon and evening. Kids meet at 4:30, juniors at 5:30, adults at 6:30. The class fee includes Tuesday/Thursday open fencing for the month.

More info

Last day of classes – June 21

The last day of regular classes for the season will be Friday, June 21st. We will have open fencing the last week in June, then we’re closed for a week for Summer Nationals.

Pre-Nationals Camp – June 24-27

This camp is designed for all fencers who are going to Nationals, all ages and all weapons. There will be warmup, footwork, some technical and tactical drills, and bouting and lesson time. We will work from 5:00 to 8:00 PM each day.

The fee for the camp is $120 per fencer. This will include at least one lesson for each fencer during camp time. If you plan to attend the camp, please pre-register on FRED so we have a rough idea of how many people are coming.

Summer Open Fencing

From July 9th through August 29th, we will have open fencing Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 PM. Open fencing is $90 per month, free for students enrolled in a camp. For summer private lessons, talk to your coach about schedules.

Summer Nationals!

Welcome home and congratulations to all of our fencers who represented Rain City at Summer Nationals in Salt Lake City! We are so proud of the many strong showings we had over the week including bringing home two medals! Here are some of the highlights:

Davis Carvey – 2nd Vet 70 Men’s Foil
Sylvie Troxel – 5th Div II Women’s Foil
Jerry Chang – 10th Div I Men’s Foil, 13th Div I-A Men’s Foil
Louise Tang – 16th Div I Women’s Foil
Austin Li – 12th Div I-A Men’s Foil
Dan Berke – 9th Vet 40 Men’s Foil
Jeff Johnson – 13th Vet 50 Men’s Epee
Johannes Klein – 12th Vet 60 Men’s Foil

Congratulations to everyone for a fantastic season, and special congrats to our two medalists! Take some time to relax and then it’s back to the salle for next season!

 

Six medals at Richmond NAC!

SIX! Our fencers brought home a whopping six medals from the NAC in Richmond. Make sure you give a hearty pat on the back to:

Davis Carvey – 2nd place Vet-70 Men’s Foil (also earned D16!)
Jeff Johnson – 3rd place Vet Men’s Epee
Ana Brainard – 7th place Vet-50 Women’s Foil
Cyndi Glover – 8th place Vet Women’s Epee
Johannas Klein – 8th place Vet Men’s Foil
Catherine McLellan – 8th place Vet-50 Women’s Epee

Welcome home to our fencers and special congratulations to our SIX medalists!