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The Metro Tacoma Fencing Club

Meet your community at the end of a blade

Photo credit: William Joyner

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Whether you're young or old, fit or still getting there, fencing can be a great physical activity - one that not only develops cardiovascular fitness, balance and strength, but also engages your mind. Perhaps you've never picked up a sword, sabre or foil, but it doesn't matter. You too can be the next Errol Flynn (or at least you can enjoy some casual fencing) right here in Tacoma with the Metro Tacoma Fencing Club.

The Metro Tacoma Fencing Club (MTFC) was founded in 1998 and merged with another club called the Blue Steel Fencing Club, which was formed in 1977. The club strives to offer a safe and friendly environment for everyone to learn, practice and teach, but also to offer different levels and types of ways to get involved. If you'd like to learn a bit and stay casual, you can do that. If you'd like to get involved with competition, you can do that, too. MTFC hosts both in-house competitions as well as USFA sanctioned events.

"Fencing improves the mind, develops the body, teaches concentration and tactical thinking," states the MTFC website. "Like chess, fencing develops problem solving skills. It's no wonder that fencing is sometimes termed physical chess."

For military servicemembers, joining the MTFC can also be an excellent way to jump into the local community. Since MTFC has been around for a while, there's a very active base of community members of all ages involved. Active-duty servicemembers are also eligible for discounted rates on beginner classes, as well as monthly and annual memberships. Law enforcement officers and firefighters are also discount eligible.

MTFC offers a variety of classes in foil, epee and sabre instruction. Foil, epee and sabre refer to the types of weapons used in fencing classes and competitions. Foil and epee are both scored only by points made with the tip of the blade, where sabre allows points to be scored with the sides of the blades as well.

Beginner's foil classes start the first Wednesday and first Saturday of each month, and are limited to just 10 students. The cost is $125 for four sessions. Equipment is provided for the beginner class students. If you've got some fencing experience under your belt, contact the MTFC to see which class would best fit you.

Children 8 to 13 can also join in the fun with youth classes, which take place each Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Classes are filled with both brand new fencers as well as kids who have gone to competitions, and classes are often divided up so that instructors can work closely with students where they're at. Classes are $70 per month, but students can start at any time and take advantage of prorated fees.

Classes take place Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Friday 7 to 9 p.m. at 1106 S. 15th St. in Tacoma. For more information about classes, teaching or otherwise getting involved with the club, go to www.tacomafencing.com, call 253.830.4127 or visit the club.

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