FENCING: A Martial Art; A Modern Sport; A Lifestyle
Fencing today is a regulated sport like any other. Our national governing body is the United States Fencing Association (USFA), often referred to as USA Fencing. For administrative purposes, the USFA is broken into geographic "divisions." We are in the Guf Coast Texas Division, which includes not only Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, but Houston, Galveston, Huntsville, College Station, Victoria and Corpus Christi. Many fencers are "recreational fencers," who largely participate by going to their club weekly to fence with friends. Others are "competitive fencers," participating in the large number of tournaments held within our division and around the country. It is common among both groups for families to fence: parents, children and siblings. Additionally fencing is an activity you can enjoy your entire life. In the competitive fencing milieu there are competitions restricted to fencers age 10 and under, as well as some for age 70 and above. Wheelchair fencing has been a sport since the end of WWII. In a few places, fencing for the blind has been developed.
The primary purpose of this club is to introduce folks to the sport of modern fencing and, once some have taken the course a few times and become comfortable with the sport, to provide a venue for the continued enjoyment of a friendly "bout" (which means you keep score) or "assault" (which simply means, you do not). Nothing more is required of our students. There are no tests beyond that which is always tested anytime two fencers cross blades. Fencing can be as intellectual or as physical as you wish and no two fencers fence the same. This is why the sport never grows old.
Some fencers will enjoy the natural competition of vying against the skills and strategy of another swordsman. Such fencers will find a world of competitions available to them: small and large, local, regional, national and international. For those students we will provide guidance, to direct them to the competitions most suited to their development. Such fencers outgrow the local, community club. Fortunately, the nearby Houston area has elite level coaching available and, while by no means inexpensive, can carry a rising fencer to the next level.