Evening Beginner Courses

Evening Beginner Courses in the Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Area

** Currently we are not running beginner sessions due to hall capacity limits at venues due to the Covid restrictions.  Feel free to contact me and I can then send details when new beginner courses can be re-started **


We will be running beginner courses to allow new beginners to fencing to learn the basics of the sport to an Intermediate level so that they are then able to join the main Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Epee club (as it does not take on total beginners to the sport).

Details of any currently arranged courses are detailed below and if those dates are not suitable for you, please email chrishowser@hotmail.co.uk so that we can add you to our mailing lists and we can then let you know when new dates are set for future courses. If you do have a group of 8 to 12 friends that all want to learn how to fence we would be able to discuss dates/times to suit your timetable

New Dates – tbc

Rather than taking on new beginners through beginner courses, our Stamford Session is accepting new beginners within the main club session, so you can learn the sport without attending a specific beginners course. – Contact chrishowser@hotmail.co.uk for details

Duration 5 weeks

The courses will cover

  • Introduction to the sport of fencing
  • Safety in Fencing
  • Warming up for fencing
  • How to kit up ready to fence
  • Basic Footwork and Bladework skills
  • Basic Tactics
  • Use of the electric scoring equipment
  • How fencing bouts/competitions work

Attendance to the course will teach those attending to an intermediate level so that they will be welcome to join either of the main Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Epee Club sessions.

These evening courses are targeted for teenagers and adults, however if you are a family and wish to bring younger kids along (generally a minimum of 8 years old), please simply get in touch so we can discuss the logistics. Fencing is very much a sport for people with a wide level of fitness levels and ages, however if you do have any underlying medical condition it is advisable that you check with your doctor before commencing fencing

We are going to be running daytime holiday/weekend taster days set up specifically for slightly younger children (8 to 13 years old), please see the specific section on the site for daytime taster days for kids for more details. In addition, if there is sufficient demand for sessions for 6 to 8 year olds using ‘Mini Fence’ equipment we would be happy to run courses accordingly.

Course Price
Detailed on Application form.

If you wish to withdraw your application more than 1 week prior to the course your payment will not be cashed. Refunds after that point will not be given, however we would offer you the chance to transfer to a future course in cases of injury/illness which would cause you to miss 2 or more consecutive sessions.

What do you have to bring
Those attending these sessions will need to bring a drink as you may well get warm when taking part. You must wear full length track-suit bottoms, t-shirt, trainers with socks. We will supply all the actual fencing kit required for the sessions.

Course Numbers
Courses will generally be limited to a maximum of 12 to 14 fencers per course (will vary depending on coach availability and venue space) so it is imperative for you to apply for the courses as early as possible to avoid missing out. If there is the demand we may bring in additional coaches/experienced fencers to allow a larger group.

Continuing fencing after the beginner course
All those who have successfully completed the beginner course will be welcome to attend the OPS epee club in Oundle on Thursdays or the Peterborough sessions on Monday evenings.

Please see the OPSs page for details of the club/costs etc.

For more information and to be added to the OPS Epee Club mailing list email eliteepeeevents@hotmail.co.uk or call on 07887 522714.

Kids Taster Days

Kids Introduction to Fencing – Taster Days

No Dates set currently – If you are interested in learning to fence, please get in touch

Yarwell Village Hall – contact eliteepeeevents@hotmail.co.uk for more details –
If you are interested in attending taster sessions over the Summer holidays, please let me know suitable dates for you, so I can try to arrange dates to match.

Dates and venue

Subject to interest, we are planning to be running courses over 1/2 term and main holidays in to give all that want to attend the opportunity to attend a taster day around their holidays etc. If the dates initially available do not fit around what you already have planned, please let me know as if there is sufficient demand, extra taster days can be organised, simply email me at chrishowser@hotmail.co.uk and I will email you dates/venues as any others are arranged.

The course will consist of a session starting at 9am and finishing 1pm. Between these times there will be a number of short breaks to allow drinks etc to be consumed Please ensure you arrive on time or slightly early as having to repeat things to late arrivals is very inconvenient.

The courses will cover
Warm up/ Games to start
Introduction to the sport of fencing
Safety in Fencing
Warming up for fencing
How to kit up ready to fence
Basic Footwork and Bladework skills
Basic Tactics
How to use the electric scoring equipment
How fencing bouts/competitions work

Attendance to a full taster day over the summer will teach those attending to a level so that they will be welcome to join the main Oundle. Peterborough & Stamford Epee Club. The club will not be taking on complete beginners so doing one of these beginner taster days is the best route into the club. See the O.P.S. tab for more details regrding the OPS Epee Club.

These courses are targeted for kids going into year 3 at school in September (approx 7 year olds) to 14 year olds, however some flexibility on both eds is possible. If your child is close to these ages, please get in touch and we can see if these taster days would be appropriate.

Course Price
Costs of this Taster/Introduction to fencing day is £TBC for the day and this will cover use of all required kit, coaching etc.

What do you have to bring
Those attending these courses will need to bring a packed lunch and drinks. They must wear track-suit bottoms, t-shirt, trainers with socks.

Course Numbers
Courses will generally be limited depending on available staffing on each day and space in the venue, so it is imperative for you to apply for the courses as early as possible to avoid missing out. I will mark above if courses are full. If we do receive an application for a booked up course you will be contacted and offered a new date or if no available date works for you we will simply destroy your form and your cheque will not be cashed. If there is not enough interest for a session and it is not practical for a day to take place, you will be offered a place on another day or we can destroy/return your cheque.

The Coaching Staff
The lead coach will be Chris Howser who is a British Fencing Registered Coach with CRBs, First Aid and Child Protection documents filed with the British Fencing (the Governing body for the sport in the UK). If you wish to check this, feel free to look on the British Fencing Coaches register – www.britishfencing.com/academy/academyskilldevelopment/coach/ (link to up to date register on bottom of that page). Chris is a coach of 20 years coaching experience and has trained fencers from total beginners to Commonwealth medallists and currently coaches reigning British and England Age-Group Champions (who he started fencing as beginners) so will give you your best opportunity to learn and develop in this exciting sport.

For more information and to be added to the Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Epee Club mailing list email chrishowser@hotmail.co.uk or call on 07887 522714.

Private Lessons

Chris Howser is available to give private 1 to 1 lessons in Yarwell (PE8 postcode area, 3 minute drive off A1/A47 Junction near Peterborough).

Individual lessons are £60 for a 1 hour session.

This rate covers the hour of coaching, hall hire (in our local village hall) as well as any kit that may need to be borrowed for the lesson.

If there are several people coming together for consecutive lessons or you wish to purchase a group of lessons in advance, rates may be able to be reduced, please contact Chris for details..

Chris is available to travel to you to give lessons, however there would be an additional charge for travel time/fuel etc.

For more information, or to book a lesson, please call Chris on 07887 522714, or preferably email chrishowser@hotmail.co.uk..


Background – Chris Howser

Chris Howser was the 2005 British Epee Champion and has won medals at the Senior British Championships on 4 occasions in total. He has been ranked as the British Number 1 in epee and has won silver medals at 3 Commonwealth Championships. With over 30 years of fencing experience, of which he has been a qualified coach for 20 years, he has a great experience in Epee fencing to pass on to his pupils and is still highly competitive having been in the Top 20 in the British Ranking in January 2013, has been the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Northamptonshire Champion as well as reaching the top 8 of the British Championships in both 2012 and 2013.

Chris initially qualified as a coach in 1990 and steadily improved his qualification and is now a Registered England Fencing Coach (Level 4). In total Chris’s fencers have won 10 British Epee championships ( from Under 12 to Senior level between 2002 and 2011) as well as a similar number of England Youth Championship Epee titles.

After several years working in the financial sector in the City of London, Chris started to coach full time in the 2001/2002 season and developed a very successful training set-up in the Redhill & Reigate area of Surrey, creating links between school clubs and the Redhill & Reigate Epee Club which Chris founded. In 2009 Chris had over 250 fencers doing the sport in the local area within schools and the club which Chris organised/coached at.

Between 2001 and 2010 the level of fencers in the Redhill & Reigate area has improved steadily to a point that in 2011 Epeeists from the Redhill & Reigate Epee Club (www.redhillandreigateepeeclub.com for details) won 2 out of the 6 England Youth Epee Championships that took place and had an additional 5 medallists from the club. In total the club fencers won almost 30% of the medals on offer (7 out of 24). Both of the club’s England Champions as well as 2 other medallists were fencers that were personally coached weekly by Chris at that club.

Having been a Pentathlete as a teenager, he has a great understanding of the different tactics used in one-hit Epee, as used in Pentathlon, and has coached many Pentathletes in the South East and East Midlands areas. Over the last 9 years Chris’s fencers have won numerous fencing events at the British Pentathlon/Tetrathlon Championships (well over 20 in total) as well as a similar number of overall Pentathlon/Tetrathlon National Championship titles. In 2009 fencers from R&REC won 5 titles at the British Youth Pentathlon Championships (out of only 8 age catagories) and most of those pentathletes were at the top of their fencing events which had a great effect on the overall titles.

In 2010 Chris moved up to Yarwell (East Northamptonshire), just near the A1/A47 junction close to Peterborough, and is now starting to develop the same structure of fencing in the local area that he had so much success doing in Surrey since 2001. Though Chris does not travel to Surrey very often to see the set-up there, he is still involved with the management of R&REC and keeps his links with his former pupils through support at events and running training camps etc in Surrey from time to time.

In 2017, well over a dozen fencers that Chris has started in their fencing path or currently coaches have respresented Great Britain at International Level as part of GBR Epee or Pentathlon teams. At Cadet Internationals this year there have been events that 25% of fencers on the GBR team fall into this category (8 out of 32). Probably the most impressive results for athletes that Chris has coached was Jess Varley winning 2 Bronzes at the European Under 23 Pentathlon Championships.

Holiday Training Days

We are run some Elite Epee training days over some holiday periods around my Northamptonshire base subject to venue and coach availability.

These training days will have Chris Howser or invited guest coach as lead coach with appropriate coaching support depending on numbers at each course from other local coaches/experienced fencers.

The detail of what groups of fencers are targeted for each course and course themes are detailed on each application form.

Fencing Themed Parties

Why not give your child a very different birthday party by having the 2005 British Epee Champion, Chris Howser, introduce them to the sport of fencing.

In a 90 minute or 2 hour session we can take a group of kids (aged 6 to 14) from total beginner level to be able to fence matches on the electronic scoring kit.

The maximum number of party-goers will be dependent on age, coach availability and venue size. Please contact Chris for details. 

We supply all the equipment for the session and those attending just need to come wearing t-shirt, full-length track-suit bottoms, socks and trainers.

Costs – These do depend on group size and location, please contact Chris for details.

For more information and to see if we are available for your preferred date, email eliteepeeevents@hotmail.co.uk or call on 07887 522714.

References from past parties are available on request.