Pan American Fencing Academy

Better Fencing Through Better Coaching

Musketeer Program

The 5 level PAFA Skills Development Program is designed for competitive and recreational fencers age 10 and above with an emphasis on skill development.  This program is consistent with the American Development Model Stages II through V

But our skills development efforts have not addressed the increasing number of younger fencers, age 10 and below, who fit in Stage I Discover, Learn and Play.  To provide recognition for these fencers we have developed a program with goals similar to that of the Blazon program of the French Fencing Federation.  Our new program is the PAFA Musketeer Program, described below:

Program goals:

  • to help develop youth fencers with an understanding of fencing, good technique, and positive values about our sport.
  • to provide incentives for development and retention for young fencers.
  • to provide instructors a way to recognize young fencers who strive to be good fencers and good members of the sport.

Four grades: Musketeer (Mousquetaire) (Red), Sergeant (Sergent)  (Blue), Lieutenant (Lieutenant) (Silver), Captain (Capitaine) (Gold).

Grades depend upon:

1.  Length of time and rate of attendance in the fencing program of the awarding sale, club, or community program.   Excused absences for holidays, family commitments, vacations, etc. are permitted, but extensive absences, such as for a summer, a school semester, or the season of another sport extend the time requirement on a month for month basis. 

(1.a.)  Musketeer - 4 months of at least once a week attendance

(1.b.)  Sergeant - 1 year of at least once a week attendance

(1.c.)  Lieutenant - 2 years of at least once a week attendance

(1.d.)  Captain - 3 years of at least once a week attendance

2.  Demonstration of the values of fencing: honesty, good sportsmanship, fair play and adherence to the rules, being a good class and team member, courage, respect for each other and for the history of the sport, etc.

(2.a.)  Musketeer - ability to repeat the Musketeer's code of conduct.

(2.b)  Sergeant - ability to model good sportsmanship, respect, and adherence to the code of conduct.

(2.c.)  Lieutenant - ability to teach new fencers the courtesies of the salle and the strip.

(2.d.)  Captain - ability to teach new members the history of fencing and of the Musketeers

3.  In the grades of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain increasing leadership ability.

(3.a.)  Sergeant - be able to lead teammates in basic warmup drills as assigned by the class instructor.

(3.b.)  Lieutenant - be able to referee youth fencing bouts in the club.

(3.c.)  Captain - be able to organize class bouting or a class tournament as assigned by the class instructor.

4.  Respect and care for the weapon and the uniform.

(4.a.)  Musketeer - wears clean jacket, cleans the mask after use, and cleans the blade to prevent corrosion.  Knows the parts of the weapon.

(4.b.)  Sergeant - correctly wears the approved club fencing uniform with appropriate patches.

(4.c.)  Lieutenant - able to assemble a weapon from its parts.

(4.d.)  Captain - able to teach new fencers basic care of the weapon and the uniform.

5.  Knowledge of the rules of fencing.

(5.a.)  Musketeer - the strip, scoring, time limits, right of way or priority.

(5.b.)  Sergeant - rules specific to the weapon, penalties.

(5.c.)  Lieutenant - completion of score sheets, keeping of time, referee signals.

(5.d.)  Captain - organization of competitions.

6.  Acquisition of basic skills of the sport.

(6.a.)  Musketeer - basic footwork, simple attacks, simple parries.

(6.b.)  Sergeant - compound attacks and compound parries.

(6.c.)  Lieutenant - counteroffensive actions.

(6.d.)  Captain - attacks on and takings of the blade.

7.  In the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain, ability to fence in club level competitions.

Awarded by: 

  • Salles, clubs, and other fencing programs who register and agree to adhere to the program standards. 
  • Instructors awarding the grades must be USA Fencing Professional Members and have either a professional certification by the United States Fencing Coaches Association or equivalent academy of arms or an established record as a fencing instructor.

Award elements include a certificate and patch.  The patch is white in color, with crossed harquebus and rapier, the name of the rank in French, and the letters PAFA, in the color of the rank.