With fencing back in the spotlight during the Rio Olympics games, we’re turning the spotlight on local experts of the historically rich sport – the Bucks County Academy of Fencing (BCAF) located in Lambertville, NJ. BCAF was originally opened in New Hope in 1981 but moved to a much larger facility in 2003. Since then, BCAF has become the largest privately owned fencing academy on the east coast.
The academy offers a wide variety of levels from beginners to competition training programs. BCAF provides a program of group and individual training, paired exercises, footwork/conditioning sessions and practice bouting. Fencing classes are open to anyone ages eight through adulthood. BCAF even has had students over the age of 70! This is a great sport for all ages and does not take as much as a toll on your body compared to physical contact sports. Fencing not only strengthens your fitness abilities but also your self-discipline and mental agility.
Mark Holbrow and Lisa Martini are the husband and wife team behind BCAF. Mark is the Head Fencing Master and holds his fencing master’s certification from the United States Fencing Coaches Association and the Academie D’armes Internationale. For Mark, fencing started out as a recreational sport of interest. It was not until he served as an apprentice for Princeton University’s head fencing master that he really considered the sport as a lifestyle. Shortly after his apprentice he opened BCAF and it has been successful ever since. Lisa got involved after taking a few fencing classes and handles most of the business for BCAF. In addition BCAF has eight instructors that teach a variety of classes.
BCAF has a beautiful facility in Lambertville, a 19th century factory building with 14 Olympic size competition strips. Lounge areas that allow spectators to watch practices and competitions. In addition to the Lambertville location, BCAF has a second location in Hatfield, PA on Route 309 (on top of an office furniture store).
So if you’re feeling a bit of fencing inspiration after the Olympic games, click here to learn more about upcoming “Taste of Fencing” courses for beginners.