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San Diego – Joins Top 15 Fastest Growing Fencing Divisions in the Nation for 2016-2017

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San Diego Division

With a vision to become the fastest growing USA Fencing division in the nation, the San Diego Division grew 16.2% in 2016-2017 in terms of local and regional fencer events generated by its members.  With growth about six times the national average, the Division was the 13th fastest growing Division in 2016-2017.

Abutting Orange County, the 3rd fastest  growing Division in the nation for fencer-activity, the San Diego Division is poised for further growth over the next three years. Growing at a compound annual rate of 6.5% since 2008-2009, the San Diego Division is currently the 18th fastest growing Division in terms of fencing activity over the past nine years. Generating almost 1,900 local and regional fencer-events in 2016-2017¹, the Division was the 20th largest Division in the nation for generating fencer-events. (There are currently 68 Divisions)

The Division is also home to six “Best Fencing Clubs” recipients for 2016-2017, Cabrillo Academy of the Sword (Epee/Saber), Lionheart  Fencing Academy (Foil), Golden Sabre Academy (Saber), San Diego Fencing Center (Saber/Epee), Spartak (Saber), and Team Touche Fencing Center (Epee/Foil).

The growth in fencer-events has been underwritten by saber’s healthy growth rate, which has grown at the compound annual rate of 15.3% since 2008-2009. This compares to the national average growth rate for all fencer-events of 4.4% per year over the same period. Epee and foil activity have trailed saber, growing at the annual rates of 7.9% and 3.5% respectively over the same period. The historical growth in fencer-events is illustrated in the accompanying graph. Saber’s share of the total fencer-events generated by Division members has grown from 24% in 2010-2011 to 34% in 2016-2017, while epee’s share has dropped from 38% in 2010-2011 to 36% in 2016-2017. Foil’s share has fallen from 38% in 2010-2011 to 29% in 2016-2017.

Club Activity

The number of local and regional fencer-events generated by a club is related to the number and profile of competitive members in the club, the approach of the club’s coaches regarding competitive tournaments and the quality and distance of nearby fencing competitions. Local tournament events include events that are organized by clubs, consortia of clubs and USFA Divisions. They do not include ROCs, RJCCs, SYCs, RYCs and Divisional Qualifiers which are all classified as regional tournaments. National tournaments include NACs, Championships, and the July Challenge.

The composition of fencer-events generated by the largest clubs in 2016-2017 is illustrated in the accompanying graph. The three largest clubs, Team Touche Fencing Center, San Diego Fencing Center and Lionheart Fencing Academy accounted for about 67% of fencer-events generated in 2016-2017. Fencers from Team Touche Fencing Center generated the largest number of fencer-events at 691, which were more-or-less evenly split between epee, saber, and foil. Just over half of the fencer events generated by the San Diego Fencing Center were saber and 34% were epee. Lionheart Fencing Academy, located in El Cajon, came in third with 229 fencer-events, 90% were foil, and 9% epee.

The growth in foil fencer-events generated by the clubs with the largest foil programs in the Division is illustrated in the accompanying graph. The graph clearly demonstrates that Team Touche Fencing Center and Lionheart Fencing Academy dominated the foil market in 2016-2017 with 260 and 207 foil fencer-events respectively. They accounted for 85% of all foil fencer-events generated in the Division.


Three clubs, Golden Sabre Academy, Team Touche Fencing Center, and San Diego Fencing Center dominated the saber market last year as illustrated in the following graph. The clubs accounted for 85% of saber fencer-events generated in the Division.

The number of epee fencer-events generated in the Division is more evenly distributed among the clubs as illustrated in the accompanying graph. The largest generators, Team Touche Fencing Center and No Fear Fencing Club accounted for 56% of epee fencer-events in the Division last year.

¹ Source: askFred.net

We recognize that askFRED.net data includes non-sanctioned USFA tournaments such as high school tournaments, private club tournaments, and a few tournaments associated with fencing camps. While the data is not perfect, it nevertheless allows for a comparison of medium to long term growth rates in fencer-activity across States, Divisions, and Clubs. Provided the inconsistencies are consistent over time we are able to get a trend, and therefore an average growth rate. Despite the data limitations, we are able to make valid comparisons on the performance of States, Divisions, and clubs. For strategic decision making, timely, consistent, and directionally correct information is more important than data that is one hundred percent accurate.

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