If you’ve never fenced before, are new to Des Moines, or are coming back to the sport after a hiatus, you are welcome to stop by during one of our regular practice times to see how things work at our clubDue to the coronavirus/COVID-19 spread, we ask that anyone who is not a club member or parent/guardian/family member refrain from visiting the club. Please call or email us and we’ll find a time for you to get started.

If you decide you’d like to join, it’s pretty simple. For $60 per month, an individual may attend as many age-appropriate practices as they wish. We offer instruction in epee, one of the three Olympic fencing weapons (the others being foil and saber). We currently accept new students any time. We collect dues during the first week of practice each month, and we accept cash, check, or credit card.

During the summer, when personal schedules tend to be more erratic, we offer punch cards. Each lesson or practice session is one punch. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have offered the same punch cards as an option instead of monthly memberships to help encourage people to stay home when sick or quarantining.

Some of the RDF gang before the Open event at our first Equinox Epee tournament.

Other Costs


Most people who want to fence in tournaments will need to join USA Fencing. USA Fencing membership is required for almost all the tournaments we attend outside the club, as well as some of the tournaments we host at the club. We highly encourage all of our fencers to compete at some level. The current membership season runs Aug. 1, 2021-July 31, 2022 and the cost of a competitive membership is $85. New for the 21-22 season is the Access level of membership, which is $25 and allows fencers to compete in local events (but not regional or national events – those listed as RYC, SYC, RJCC, ROC, or NAC).

Tournament entry fees usually range from as little as $20 for smaller/local events, to upwards of $200 for national-level competitions.

Sioux City Women's Epee medalists
RDF fencers take 1st and 3rd in Women’s Epee at the 2014 Sioux City Challenge


RDF provides some equipment for members’ use at no extra charge, but purchasing your own equipment is strongly recommended, once you decide what you like. We have more information available at the club, and coaches and more experienced fencers are always happy to help figure out what gear is right for you. It’s always much more comfortable to fence in your own personal gear rather than borrowing from the club.



Due to the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, our primary activity is now private lessons. Contact us to get started!


Day Camps, Clinics, and Special Events

Contact us or check the announcements on the home page.

Past Events:

January 14-15, 2021: Referee Seminar with Ivan Lee – $75 ($50 reimbursement for RDF members if you pass the exam!)

January 18-20, 2020: Coaching Workshop with Gary Copeland from NCF

July 29-30, 2017: Coaching Workshop with Gary Copeland from Northern Colorado Fencers

July 26-28, 2017: Youth Epee Day Camp with Gary Copeland from NCF

November 12, 2016: “Div 1.5” Training Event for D & Up Fencers – FREE!

May 2-3, 2015: Competitive Epee Camp with Gary Copeland from Northern Colorado Fencers

Sept. 13-14, 2014: Referee Clinic with Jon Moss – FREE for USA Fencing members (Iowa Division only), $75 for everyone else.

Floor fees (for non-members)

Cost: $15/day per person

Fencers visiting from out of town, please contact us. Floor fees are not charged for day camps, clinics, and special events.