1st Sword

Academy of Fencing

Le Premier Escimeur

Club founder and Fencing Master Tom Jobson has over half a century of fencing experience. For over ten years he trained under French maître d'armes Stanley St. Pellicer. Stanley St. Pellicer received his Master of Arms from Giorgio (George) Santelli. Mæstro George Santelli was a fencer and fencing master who was the largest mid-20th century influence in raising the quality and popularity of fencing in the United States.

Tom gave private lessons at the Circle D'Escrime Fencing Club and taught accredited Fencing Classes for the Junior College District of St. Louis during this time. He has also taught Fencing in Oklahoma University, Trenton State College in New Jersey, Doylestown YMCA in Pennsylvania, and Fairfax Virginia for 25 years.

We take the Montessori approach to teaching. The classes are small and a mixture of new students and experienced fencers. New students learn from both the coach and experienced fencers. We believe anyone can learn to fence! It is one of the few sports in which people of different ages, builds, and genders can compete on equal terms. There are international competitions for fencers as young as 8 as well as those over 65. Our students can start fencing as early as eight years old, and no one is ever too old to begin. Students learn to attack with the intent to hit, and to defend with the intent not to be hit. This integrates the mind fully with the actions of the body. We sometimes refer to fencing to a Western form of Karate. The blade is an extension of the forearm and the point the fist, but you only have to hit with 500 grams of pressure. Fencing is considered one of the safest sports in the Olympics.

Girl Scout Fencing IP Badge

Tom received a commendation from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital, after putting more than 600 Girl Scouts through the IP Program.


Frederick County Parks and Recreation

1st Sword is currently offering cources through Frederick County Parks and Recreation.

Friday 20 Jan 2023 - 10 Mar 2023 @ 5:00pm - 6:30pm

Jim Barnett Park Recreation Center, Lord Fairfax Room
1001 E Cork St
Winchester, VA 22601

Registration through Winchester Parks and Recreation (WPRD)
(Chrome Browser Required)

Eight Week Frederick County Sessions Year Round
Adult Class: Sat 11:00 to 12:30 (classes overlap 1/2 for open fencing)
Tuesdays 6:30 - 8:00pm and Saturdays 10:00 - 11:30 am

Gainesboro Elementary School
4651 N Frederick Pike
Winchester, VA 22603

Eight Week Frederick County Sessions Year Round

Two twice weekly classes:

Fencing Club

If you would like to help start a new fencing club in the Winchester area, contact me at the email address below.

The club space is also available for open fencing and practice sessions.

Lesson Fees

Please email TomJ@1stSword.com or click ONLINE REGISTRATION above to enroll for classes.

Semi-Private Lessons → $90

Group of 3 or 4 people for six 1 hour lessons.

Friends & Family Special rate 3 for the price of 2.

Equipment Rental Fee → $15

Additional Rental Fee for Group and Private Lessons

Students expected to have their equipment after 1st set of lessons.

Used equipment may be available for sale or students may order new equipment from Absolute Fencing Gear.


Tom Jobson - TomJ@1stSword.com