The Galveston Fencing Club began in 1999, but its fencers continue a legacy far older.
Modern Olympic fencing is actually three related, but distinct, sports: foil; epee; and sabre.
Foil was created in the late 17th Century as a training tool for the small sword. The fencing sabre is descended from the military dueling sabre (as opposed to the cavalry sabre). The epee developed from the dueling sword of the 19th Century.
Recognition is also given to the sword arts of the past. From the broadsword of the Middle Ages to the Victorian sport of singlesticks, GFC enjoys exploring their sport’s roots.
Local fencers Matt Graham and James Guthrie began last spring working on a piece of broadsword choreography originally created by Keith Ducklin, of the Royal Armories at Leeds, England.
More recently Jessica Bullard and Kaitlin McGraw of Texas A&M — Galveston have been mastering a variation of this piece.
In February of 2012, the GFC hosted the first singlestick competition in Texas since before WWI. They have since entered into talks for a second tournament to coincide with Dickens on the Strand.
Closer to the present, the club is gearing up for their Naomia Abbott Memorial Tournament, Texas’ only continuously held women’s fencing tournament, March 23. The tournament is named for a Galveston fencer of the 1950s.
Beyond tournaments, the club seeks to generally bring the sport of fencing to a wider audience. Currently the club has about six fencers in the age 6-8 range working on foil and epee.
On the other end of the spectrum, the club has four members over 55 and hopes to reach out to more of those who wish to take up a new game in their senior years.
The Galveston Fencing Club meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings in the gym at the O’Connell School.
Classes for elementary school aged students run from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Classes for teens and adults are from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Membership in the club is $60 per year for adults and $30 per year for students.
Students of the O’Connell School and Holy Family may receive classes free of charge.
The club can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call John Trojanowski after 6 p.m. at 281-507-3564.