The Fencing Club, with an expert fencing master and a varied membership comprising superior and less advanced fencers, provides the ideal conditions for the pursuit of the sport of fencing. This is so, because the basic techniques of fencing can only be mastered by lessons, exercises and fencing bouts. As the stance, footwork and finger play in fencing do not come naturally to most people, certain muscles have to be developed in a way different from that required by other sports or for normal movement before the fencing moves can be made automatically as required.
The fencing master is the soul of the Club, because he/she is the only way to lay the foundation of a sound technique. He/she is also the leader who inspires and develops the members. Even when a fencer has mastered the basics and advanced to a higher level, he/she still needs lessons to maintain his/her standard, to refine his/her techniques and to have his/her faults corrected.Fencing is hard to learn, because considerable application and practice are necessary for the development of the sense of touch and the feel of the blade (sentiment du fer). Therefore, fencing bouts with fencers of different levels are necessary. Fencing with the best fencers as well as the less advanced ones enables a fencer to learn to keep the right distance, to adjust the cadence and speed, and to develop a variation of tactics.
Though fencing is hard to learn, once it is mastered, the fencer can fence well and derive much enjoyment and many benefits from the sport for far longer than one can practise most other sports. And gender and age make no difference. Women can fence against men, because the secret of success in fencing is the ability to think and act immediately as required by the situation at any given time and at the speed required, combined with spirit and good physical condition rather than greater physical size and strength. Children can fence against adults, and an older fencer, even one well on in years, can hold his/her own successfully against much younger and faster opponents by dint of experience, technique, strategy, and tactics.
Vancouver Theatrical and ModernFencing Club (formerly Jericho Fencing Club) founded in 1976 by Maître Bac with the support of West Point Grey Community Centre is one of the oldest fencing clubs in British Columbia. Membership ranges from children as young as the age of 8 to seniors in their 70's. The membership includes practised fencers who have been members for over 15 years, intermediate and advanced fencers who have been members for under 10 years, newcomers who have completed one of Maître Bac's beginners' courses, and experienced fencers who have come from other clubs. The members also come from all walks of life, from students to professionals to homemakers to retirees. Despite all the differences and the multiethnicity particular to the population in Vancouver, all members feel a sense of camaraderie. Every fencer takes an interest in helping one another by working out together, bouting, discussing tactics and sharing pointers on technique. This is all done under the supervision and guidance of Maître Bac. With his training and fencing heritage, and his long years of teaching and competitive experience, Maître Bac is highly competent in initiating novices, training good recreational fencers and elevating competitive fencers to championship class.There is also a strong sense of belongingness. It is not uncommon for members to bring their family members to the Club to learn to fence. And members who have been away would upon their return to Vancouver, come back to the Club to resume fencing or simply to visit.The Club is open in the evening on Monday and Wednesday and in the afternoon on Saturday, every week of the year. Even when a popular holiday such as Christmas day or new Year's Day falls on either one of the three days, the Club is still open and Maitre Bac in attendance so that avid fencers do not need to miss their fencing. Besides these regular fencing sessions, the Club also holds an annual meeting, a children and an adult tournaments annually, and quarterly social gatherings.