The Texas Fencing Academy (TFA) is a non-profit educational organization committed to teaching excellence through the art form and rigors of the sport of fencing. TFA provides organized programs for adults, teenagers, and youths of ages 6 and older. These programs meet the needs of recreational participants as well as competitive fencers. The development of youth and junior fencing is of special emphasis at the Texas Fencing Academy. TFA also promotes the sport of fencing in Austin and within the state of Texas through course instruction and special developmental clinics/demos. TFA is a member of the United States Fencing Association Visitors are always welcome at TFA. You can join anytime. Fees vary according to type of membership, but TFA doesn't require a contract. Just drop by Parker Lane United Methodist Church Monday or Wednesday to observe youth, teen or adult classes or go to our location in North Austin on Tuesdays or Thursdays and find out more about our programs. TFA provides all equipment for beginning students, including protective jackets. Attire should consist of sneakers with sweatpants and long socks. (Our weapons are blunt-ended, but a poke on the leg can smart.) The majority of TFA's members are children, which is representative of fencings rapidly growing popularity among young people. In just central Texas, there are clubs in San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos and Georgetown; not to mention all the major Texas cities. Tournaments are held regularly in the state and across the county. The TFA program includes children all the way from elementary to high school. As part of membership in TFA, students are provided with weapons, masks, and other gear. As in any sport, it's possible to get hurt, but because of the masks and padding, fencing is actually a safer sport then soccer. Beside physical skill, fencing builds maturity. Fencing is not sword fighting. A fencing match looks nothing like a Zorro movie. There is tension and excitement in every bout, but no swashbuckling. Every good fencer is aggressive, but like karate or tennis or any other sport, fencing demands that the athlete direct and control his or her aggression. Of course, every sport is not for everyone and fencing is no exception. Some children take to it; some don't. Those who stay with it, however, truly love it. There is no such thing as an indifferent fencer. While not a team sport like soccer or basketball, fencing is learned through regular practice and there is a strong camaraderie among TFA members. When the club attends tournaments, coaches and students support each other as part of the TFA team. Ultimately, of course, each match is won or lost by the individual fencer, which is probably why fencing draws those committed to competing at their personal best; Fencing is suitable for girls as well as boys. Because size and strength are less important than speed and agility, girls often find it a particularly rewarding activity. TFA has a number of devoted female students. Last but not least, TFA coaches are supportive and friendly. They are very professional and while they demand similar commitment and seriousness from their students, class atmosphere is never stiff or intimidating. But don't just take us as our word, come visit and meet TFA's coaches and members yourself. We hope to see you soon!