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Bring a Friend Week: September 25-30

HSS Youth fencers play a fencing game

Bring a friend to Houston Sword Sports and they can help you defend a rope “castle” from invaders!

We’re trying something new this year: Bring a Friend Week! Bring a guest to any HSS class, September 25-30, and they can try fencing for free. They must be the appropriate age for the class: 6-12 for youth beginner classes, 8-12 for youth advanced classes, 13-18 for teen classes, and 18+ for adult classes.

If your friend signs up for a membership, you get a Starbucks gift card and they get 20% off their membership!

We know that you have someone in mind – a pal who thinks fencing sounds interesting, but you haven’t managed to get them to the club yet. Now’s your chance!

Email Liz@HoustonSwords.com if you have any questions, or to sign up your friend ahead of time! Check the Classes page if you need a refresher on the schedule!

Fine print: Eligible guests must not have attended classes at Houston Sword Sports before Sept. 25. To qualify for the promotion, they must purchase a membership by September 30.
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New, Permanent Houston Sword Sports Location at The Zone!

Fencing at the first practice we held in our new location.

If you’ve been following our Facebook, you’ll know that for the past couple of months we’ve been working on building out a new permanent location for Houston Sword Sports. It’s not fully done yet, but it’s done enough – we started holding classes there on Saturday! Today, Monday, April 17, most of our class schedule will move to the new location for good.

Here’s the schedule at the new place:

We will still have Tuesday classes at the Bellaire Rec Center! Youth Fencing, Tuesdays from 6-7, will stay the same as it has been. We will also have a class for adult and teen beginners from 7:30-9, taking the place of the old class. If you are an experienced fencer over 18 who likes to fence on Tuesdays, come to the Zone. If you are new to fencing and over 13, come to the Bellaire Rec on Tuesdays. Confused? Just email Liz@HoustonSwords.com and she’ll set you up.

Why we’re excited

We get to set our own schedule. For the rest of the spring we’ll keep basically the same schedule, because we know you have set aside specific times for you or your kid to fence. But when we are ready to set our own schedule, we don’t have to work around room availability at all.

We have a lot more space. We don’t have all the scoring machines set up yet but we do have eight strips, as opposed to the maximum of four before. The strip lines are painted on the floor, so now we can enforce rules about staying on strip! We’ll have room to do private lessons during classes. Folks also have room for their bags.

We have a permanent place to store gear that isn’t Coach Liz’s garage. In between classes, we can hang up the gear to let it air out. In the bad old days (last week) everything went into a bag for at least an hour or two before we hung it up. You’ll smell the difference.

Most – not all – of the equipment. Swords not shown.

What’s still to come

A nice entryway. Our raised plywood floor presents some challenges, so we’re going to make sure that the entryway looks nice and allows people with bags and in wheelchairs easy access. We saved the entryway for last so we’d have somewhere to play with saws and polyurethane without having to protect any floor we planned to keep.

Overhead reels, more scoring machines, repeater lights. We’ll be able to run eight strips all at once. It’ll be a little snug but better than waiting on the sidelines for a strip to open up!

More furniture. We are still assembling everything we need, especially for the office, coaches’ lounge, and armory. We also need benches and other seating, shelves for gear storage, and a counter for the reception area.

More branding. Ordered big stickers with our logo today! We need a directional sign for the street and some signs for inside The Zone, too.

Building this club has been a labor of love. It’s a lot of work, but now the payoff is here. Come see us! Register on our Classes page today!

Two Years at Houston Sword Sports

Hi guys, Coach Liz here.

January 2017 marked the two year anniversary of our club’s first classes. We had so much going on in January – from bringing Benoit on board to scheduling our summer camps, plus a few things still in the works – that we sort of forgot to celebrate. But let me say that the last two years have been a total blast, and I am so thrilled to see where things end up.

One of our very first practices at the Bellaire Rec Center, January 15, 2015.

When we first started, we were holding three classes a week at the Bellaire Rec – one kids’ class (for ages 8-18), one adult class in the evenings, and another in the afternoons. We also had two afterschool classes going – one of which, at Herod Elementary, is still going strong in its fifth semester.

Our first semester at Herod. There were about twelve kids.

 

Our second semester at Herod, there were almost twenty kids.

We closed our first year having seen huge growth. We went from two coaches with one scoring set and a nice website, to a robust club with enthusiastic fencers, four qualified coaches, three strips, and equipment for about 20 fencers. Some of our classes were small – many times, the teen class only had one fencer in it. But other classes, especially our evening adult classes, were about as big as they could get.

Camp Cutlass was a week-long camp we did in Galveston, in partnership with Galveston Fencing Club.

Early 2016 saw even more growth. We added two middle school classes through a grant with Citizen Schools. In February, we started holding Saturday classes at The Zone. Our first classes there were free intro classes and we had about a dozen kids and over seventy adults try fencing. Our teen classes grew bigger and so did our youth classes.

The crowd at our first Saturday class plays the Advance-Lunge Game.

In Fall 2016 we added a second teen class, so we now offer classes four nights a week at the Bellaire Rec, plus Saturday classes at The Zone. Every age group has at least three classes they can attend per week. We keep adding new schools, with a total of six after-school programs and several more planned for Fall 2017.

Kids at Presbyterian school practice the lunge. We started teaching classes at Presbyterian in Fall 2016 with twenty-three students – our biggest class yet.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, we have some really exciting stuff still in the works. As soon as we know more, we’ll be sure to tell you! We hope to do more of everything – more classes, more schools, more camps, more tournaments, and overall more fencing. Houston Sword Sports is growing. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.