20 October 2016

Goodnight for 2016.

We've had the Duel at Dawn and the AGM, so the club is now closed for the year. We'll start again in February 2017. Watch this space (or our Facebook page) to see what's happening. If in doubt, you can always ask.

Also check us out on Facebook!

13 October 2016

Duel at Dawn and AGM!

This Saturday is the Duel at Dawn, our traditional end of year event. We'll gather in New Regent Street at 10:30am, ready to fence. After an hour or so, we'll pick a café and hold our Annual General Meeting to see who will run the club for 2017. See you there!

25 August 2016

Temporary movage.

Sorry for the late notice, but there's electrical work going on in our normal space on Saturday, so we're moving a few buildings over this week. We'll be in DA02 (still on the Dovedale campus, here's a map to help you find it), still at 10:30 this Saturday morning. We'll be back to our normal spot in the Jack Mann Auditorium on the 3rd of September. See you there!

27 June 2016

More holidays!

There will be no coaching at our club session this coming Saturday (2 July). That means 2 hours of free fencing! Vik will be back on 9 July to untrain all those bad habits we've picked up. I wish him luck with that.

19 May 2016

The Eccleston's nearly here!

We're gearing up for the Eccleston One Hit Épée tournament this Saturday. This is a brilliant tournament for beginners and experienced fencers. When you fence to one hit, anything can happen! Well, usually someone gets hit, but you know what I mean.

Entry is $5, with épée gear available for non-members of UCFC for an additional $5. See the flyer for entry details, and the About section for the location. See you there!

12 April 2016

Finally, it's the holidays.

This weekend and next, there will be no coaching at our club sessions. That means 2 hours of free fencing! You can still ask a senior fencer for some tips and advice, so your learning doesn't have to stop. Vik will be back again on 30 April to show us what's what.

5 March 2016

Hello 2016!

Today was our second session for 2016, and we had a great turnout. There's a good crop of new fencers and a bunch returning for more punishment. That makes for a good, healthy club, and it's great to see.

31 January 2016

We're gearing up for 2016!

Come and see us at Clubs' Days on 23 and 24 February. We'll have all the info you need, plus some posters and fencing gear to show you what you're in for.

Once you're signed up, you can come along on 27 February for our first session. See you there!


We practise the ancient art and modern sport of fencing at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. We have people of all skill levels and welcome beginners, experienced fencers and anyone in between. Our coach is Vik Manuge, one of New Zealand's most successful fencing coaches. We're one of the oldest fencing clubs in New Zealand, having run continuously since the 1920s.

We're an épée club, which means that points are scored by hitting with the point of the sword only, and the whole body is target. We have the odd foilist and sabreur around, but the club only has gear for épée. Wikipedia gives a good basic description of épée here if you'd like more information.

We take having fun very seriously. Fun is the only reason we turn up, and we recommend that you make it your main aim in fencing. If you have an idea to make the club more fun, talk to one of the committee members and we'll see what we can do.

Where: DW1, Jack Mann Auditorium on the Dovedale campus.

When: Saturday mornings, 10:30 to 12:30, March to October.

We usually go to a café afterwards for a drink and a gossip, especially with van Dam's so close by.

The Jack Mann Auditorium, where we train these days.


If you'd like to get in touch with us, send an email to one of the people below. If you're asking a question, please check the Frequently Asked Questions first, it could save everyone some time.

President: Chris Knowles

Official enquiries, tournaments, etc.

Secretary: Brett Davis

General enquiries, joining the club, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not a university student. Can I join?

Yes, you can. No problem. You can come along and see what it's like free, with no obligation.

My son/daughter is in primary/high school and wants to fence. What should he/she do?

That's great news! We always love to hear that more people want to fence. Since most of our members are aged 18 to 20-something, your son/daughter might not enjoy our club as much as one with more people their own age. You're welcome to come along to one of our club sessions and try it out free, although you might have more luck at CFA or United (see our links section for contact details), since their members have a wider range of ages.


The club shuts down over summer, so we're sorry, but you'll have to wait until it starts again in February 2017.

If you're desperate to fence now, try one of the other clubs in our links section. They might still be going.

Show up and talk to us, it's that easy. Your first lesson is free, so you can find out if you like it with no obligation. If you decide you do like it, fees for 2016 are:

  • $120 for the full year
  • $70 for half a year.
A membership form is available for download here. Print it out, fill it in and hand it back with your money. If you prefer, you can deposit directly to our bank account: 01-1821-0034878-00, using your name as the reference so we know who the money's from.

The fee includes gear hire and professional instruction from one of New Zealand's best fencing coaches. We realize that students can have trouble getting together this amount of money, so if the cost puts you off, come and talk to us and we'll see what we can do to help.

What to wear/bring for fencing:

  • t-shirt
  • comfortable, sturdy shoes
  • trousers, preferably track pants (the whole body is target in épée, so shorts probably aren't a good idea)
  • water bottle and a towel (optional).


We have annual events and special one-offs. In recent years we've piled into cars and gone to fencing tournaments in places as far flung as Dunedin. We also keep talking about having movie nights, involving fencing-themed movies, of course. We're open to ideas for events, so if you think of anything you'd like to do, let us know and we'll see what we can sort out.

Event Calendar

Here's what's coming up for the UC Fencing Club.

We have the Jack Mann Auditorium booked every Saturday morning through until the end of lectures in mid October, and we will be running continuously until then, unless the Students' Association changes its mind. We have free-fencing sessions (no coaching) during the hoildays, on:

  • 16 April
  • 23 April
  • 3 July
These sessions still run for the full 2 hours, and everyone is welcome.

We finish for 2016 on 15 October.

Our annual events are:

Eccleston Épée

This yearly tournament honours former national épée champion David Eccleston. He likes to do things differently, so his tournament is a one-hit round-robin. We hold it during a club session, and it's usually finished in an hour. Everyone is welcome.

Ecky himself comes down from Nelson now and then to check that we're running it properly. He hasn't complained yet.

The Eccleston Épée underway.

Mochi Shield

The Mochi Shield honours the contribution of Italian fencer Gianfranco Mochi to Canterbury fencing in the 1990s. We hold a series of tournaments during club sessions throughout the year to decide who gets the honour of having their name on the hallowed tropy.

First awarded in 2012, the Mochi Shield is already adorned with the names of some fine épéeists. Be sure to check out their mug shots on the Wall of Fame. Will you be next?

The Mochi Shield in all its glory.

Duel at Dawn

Here at the UC Fencing Club, we like to go out with a bang. So, at the end of the year, we hold the Duel at Dawn. Don't let the name fool you: nobody has died yet, and we can't be bothered getting up at dawn. Noon is more our style. Anyway, we dress up like idiots and run around with swords in public. We've been doing this every year for the last few decades. We've had very few arrests, and it always turns out to be a lot of fun.

We have very high embarrassment thresholds.


Here are some fencing-related sites that you might find useful or interesting.

Edna and the Dragon: A totally brilliant movie we made a few years back.

The UCSA issued a challenge to clubs to create a two minute promotional film including the words "session", "winter", and "dragon". STARRING: Rachel van Heugten as Edna, James Litchwark as Mysterious Man and Screaming Man, Rachel Hanover-O'Connor as Flatmate and voice of screaming man, Piece of Cardboard as THE DRAGON, Josh's knee as Josh's knee.