On the north side of Dickinson, just south of Tuscan Lakes and west of Marbella, children as young as six and adults in their sixties meet to cross blades with one another. After nearly two decades, the Clear Lake Fencing Club continues to teach the mastery of centuries-old skills and encourage their members to cross blades in friendly sport employing 21st century technology. They are elementary, high school and college students. They are professionals, many from the aerospace industry.
Some are “recreational fencers,” who simply seek one or two evenings each week to enjoy fencing with club-mates. Others are competitive fencers, participating in various tournaments. Last October, CLFC fencer Martin Rodriguez, a UH student, finished in 5th place, out of a field of 167 competitors in foil at the North American Cup competition in St. Louis.
On a more local level, CLFC fencers recently competed at the Bruno Invitational, an epee tournament and social at the Bruno & George Winery near Beaumont. Clear Lake fencer Don Cravey took 2nd place, while colleagues Jesus Nino and Robbie Mettetal tied for third.
On May 11, the club will hold its annual Clear Lake Open tournament.
The club met for years in the Ed White Youth Center in Seabrook until Hurricane Ike caused the space to be condemned. They then met at a League City dojo, in Clear Lake Park, at the Clear Lake Church of Christ on El Dorado Blvd., and finally at the Galloway School in Friendswood. After nearly two decades renting space from churches and private schools, CLFC now has a space of its own along Dickinson Avenue (FM 1266.)
Once at the mercy of their hosts’ schedules, the club now seeks to rent out daytime use of their space to others in search of an open space, such as yoga, Pilates, zoomba, fitness and martial arts oriented groups. With fencing classes largely held after school and work hours, a large part of each weekday is available.
The club also seeks to engage with the community. Home school students can use fencing as their physical activity. For CCISD students, fencing at CLFC can serve as an alternate, after school PE credit.