The VHCA teaches enjoyable, interesting, and historically accurate sabre fencing based on the Italian Radaelli school as used by the Italian military in the late 19th century.

Classes are held on Wednesday nights in the School Hall of the Moorabbin Primary School in Worthing Road, Moorabbin. The class schedule is as follows:

7:00pm – 7:45pm: Beginner’s class
7:45pm – 9:30pm: Regular class
9:30pm – 10:00pm: Free bouting and individual lessons

Classes are open to those 15 and above, and 13 and above with a parent/guardian in attendance.

The beginner’s class teaches you all the basics of Italian sabre fencing, allowing you to get up to speed as quickly as possible and joining in with our regular classes. All necessary equipment is supplied. Your first class is free! Contact us to find out when the next beginner’s course is starting.

The regular class consists of a warm-up and light physical conditioning session; training and drills in specific theories and techniques from our source material and structured bouting (sparring with weapons), giving students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a coached oppositional environment. Private lessons may also be arranged on request.

Membership costs $50 a month ($11.50 per class), or you can attend on a casual basis for $20 per class. This covers rent of the hall and contribution to the equipment and infrastructure of the club.

The material for our syllabus comes from The Art of the Dueling Sabre (Christopher Holzman, 2011), an English translation and expansion of an Italian military sabre instruction manual from 1872. The original, Istruzione per la scherma di sciabola e di spada del professore Giuseppe Radaelli (Instruction for fencing with the sabre and sword by Professor Giuseppe Radaelli), was written by Captain Settimo Del Frate, a student of Maestro Giuseppe Radaelli, who ran a Milanese fencing school for the fencing instructors of the cavalry and artillery regiments in the Italian army in the latter half of the 19th century.

Other Victorian-era martial arts may be studied during the year as one-off workshops over several weeks, such as La Canne, rifle-bayonet, greatstick, etc.