Houston Sword Sports: Year Three
We held our first classes in January of 2015, which makes this month our third anniversary. Happy birthday to us! Check out our 2017 Year in Review.
January 31: Benoit Signs On
On January 31, Benoit Bouysset joined Dan and Liz and became an owner of Houston Sword Sports. Since then, he’s been at the helm of our epee program, our competitive fencing program, and our coach development program.
February 11: The Second Brash
On February 11, we hosted the second annual Brash Invitational. We’d hoped to find cooler weather in February but were thwarted by record highs. Fingers crossed that, with this winter being colder in general, Brash 2018 will have nice cool temperatures.
March 3: Lease Signed
On March 3, we signed a lease for our own space inside The Zone, a facility where we’d been having Saturday classes for about a year. We took over the back two pitching tunnels and the last batting cage.
March 7: Buildout Begins
A few days later, we got started turning batting cages into a fencing club. Here’s our first load of lumber. Since we were still running classes, we had to haul a lot of fencing gear too. Good thing we had a bunch of extra cargo room.
April 15: First Classes in the New Space
On April 17, while we weren’t totally done with the buildout, we were ready to start having classes in the new space. I can’t actually find a date where we declared ourselves “done” with the buildout, because we are still adding and changing things little by little.
May 5: School Championships
Our first big event in the new space was our School Championship tournament. Fencers from our afterschool and evening classes came to see the new space and try their hand at competitive fencing. It was a great debut for the new space!
May 12: Grand Opening
Our next big event was our Grand Opening. We celebrated the new space the only way we know how – with a fencing party!
June/July/August: Summer Camps
Our camps grew this year, and we met a lot of new people! We offered full-day camps for the first time, to make things more convenient for busy working parents.
August 24-28: Hurricane Harvey
The end of August was not kind to anyone in the Houston area. Once the storm passed, while the city was still starting to get back to normal, we had free open fencing a couple times to let everyone get their frustrations out.
September 15: Wieck Memorial
Over the summer, Stewart Wieck passed away. Stewart was one of our founding club members and a close friend of many years. In September we had a memorial with open fencing and a memory book.
October 7: Armory Clinic
We’re very fortunate to have a world-class armorer in our club. In October, Michael gave a clinic to help us better troubleshoot and repair our weapons.
December 2: School Championship
In December we hosted our Fall School Championship. Attendance was much higher: in Y8 alone, we had 23 kids! We also introduced a traveling trophy, the Golden Mask, for the school with the best overall result. Lycee International de Houston won the Golden Mask; who will win in May?
December 9: Light Saber Class
To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we did a light saber stage combat class of our own. Participants learned the fundamentals of stage combat and then created their own fight scenes.
(Sad you missed it? We’re doing another on Feb. 9!)
December 29-30: Winter Camps
We wrapped up the year with winter camps. Our youth camp was a full day, with fencing in the morning and stage combat in the evening. The adult camp was an afternoon full of tactics and techniques for competitive fencers.
And on to 2018!
It’s been a very full, and generally good year. We’ve added new classes and a lot of new fencers. We’ve added afterschool programs in two new schools and started working more closely with our college programs. There’s still a lot of room to grow, and that’s what we’re looking forward to in 2018. We hope you’ll be part of making 2018 bigger and better than 2017!