To be honest, I didn’t really know much about fencing until my trial class this week. I mistakenly thought it was jousting as seen at The Renaissance Festival or Medieval Times, when it’s actually more similar to the light saber battles of Star Wars! I’m so used to bringing my girls to fun places and activities, that I was pleasantly surprised and a little nervous that I was the person getting to try a class at Alliance Fencing Academy. In a one-hour introductory class, I can tell you I worked physically and mentally harder and focused more than I have focused on something in years. While it was a serious work out, it was also surprisingly stress-relieving as it required such intense focus and precision that the thousands of other things running in my mind each day were totally gone! On my drive home, I thought about all of the things I learned or observed others learning. I was able to easily brainstorm the 25 traits that I really think are learned and developed during a fencing practice (and I was only there for an hour!) While fencing is certainly a sport to encourage the physical development of your child, I really feel like it will benefit their social, emotional, and cognitive skills as well. If your child is interested in trying a new sport or has always wanted to try fencing like his/her favorite Jedi, you’ll want to check out Alliance Fencing Academy’s summer camp or year-round club!
Skills

What does Alliance offer? They offer competitive fencing club/classes, awesome summer camps for a whole week of each summer month, PE classes for homeschoolers, and even birthday parties for your children (perfect idea for the Star Wars lover!)

Why Alliance Fencing Academy? “Alliance (ALL) is the largest Epee club in Texas with over 300 members. We also have 108 of these members with a Rating of E or Higher. Rating are used to classify the fencers during events and A is the best rating you can get. We currently have over 30 A rated fencers.” My coach told me that he wholeheartedly believes “Alliance Fencing Academy may be the best fencing club in the United States. With 2 Olympians and multiple World Cup champions, it is definitely the program to check out if your child is interested in fencing!” We also couldn’t help but notice the wall overflowing with college pennants of all the former Alliance Fencers who are now collegiate fencers; pretty much speaks for itself. Check out this article to read about the owner and head coach of Alliance. He also coached the Women’s Epee Team in the Rio 2016 Olympics where two Alliance fencers medaled!

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Is fencing right for us? Has your child begged you to have endless light-saber battles like Star Wars? This could be a start; your child can have a pretty epic battle of their own in the safe environment of Alliance. Ms. Thow, the manager of Alliance, told us “you’ll never know if they’ll like it until they give it a try which is why they offer a thorough trial package so students can really get the full idea if it’s a good fit or not”. Any parent who has ever done one trial class and not been 100% sure will appreciate the opportunity to try out 2 or 3 classes before a big investment.

Who can enroll in fencing at Alliance? Anyone ages 6 and up can enjoy a fencing program at one of their locations (Houston/Memorial or Woodlands)! It truly can be a family sport since nearly all ages can enroll. You can visit iQuriousKids to browse through & enroll for Alliance Fencing Academy‘s Summer Camps & Classes.

What’s Special? The coaches are top notch. The coaches are as skilled in technique and ability as they are knowledge and teaching skills. I could tell the fencers were both extremely respectful of and close to their instructors, who could be observed fencing, giving assistance and gently giving constructive feedback. In my class, the coach tirelessly worked with me with kindness, patience and direct feedback to make sure I learned properly. He was really kind and forgiving considering I am no athlete and definitely not the champions he is used to working with! Another special feature is that students begin fencing the first day and they practice fencing during every practice session; students won’t grow impatient waiting to truly engage in their new sport. I really appreciated that the sessions were so organized; every minute the students were there to practice, they were practicing!

“Bonus” Features: The waiting area is roomy and comfortable for parents who wish to wait while their child practices. With televisions and multiple couches and sitting areas, it is arguably one of the best parent waiting areas that I’ve been to. The location is right around the corner from many restaurants and Memorial City Mall so it’s convenient to grab lunch or run some errands during long practice sessions.

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Things to Consider: My coach told me the long-term cost of fencing is worth consideration, but luckily Alliance offers a few sessions so that your child can really “try it out”. The beginner classes for children are very affordable and basic fencing equipment is provided!

Fencing is featured in many movies and shows.  In the comments, tell us your favorite fencing film!

By Mary West
About Me: Mama of 2 girls, wife, sister, daughter, teacher & tutor.
Here’s a picture of this mama fencing!IMG_9468

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