The Washington Fencing Academy ("WFA"), located in Issaquah, Washington (just 15 minutes east of Seattle), provides Olympic-style fencing classes, lessons, events, and practice sessions for children and adults of all ages. We were founded in 2002 and are a fully sanctioned member of the United States Fencing Association. Our entire coaching and administrative staff are "professional members" of USA Fencing. For more about our staff, see our Coaches & Staff page.
Our club is conveniently located in Issaquah, with numerous in-house programs, classes, camps, and events. We offer very affordable classes for anyone wanting just to try the sport, and we also teach a variety of "satellite" fencing programs around the greater Seattle/Eastside area in schools and municipal facilities and organizations such as the French-American School, Issaquah Parks & Recreation, and the Bush School, to name a few.
See our Classes & Instruction for more information about all of our programs.
In addition to the main fencing floor, our club has a lounge area with free WiFi, a small kitchen, and a viewing room where you can sit quietly and watch fencing while working on your laptop or just relaxing! Whether you're a parent catching up on work while your child is fencing, or you're a student looking for a quiet area to do homework, you'll find our facility warm, friendly, and accommodating.
The WFA also has established and growing "sister club" affiliations with clubs and schools in the U.S. and abroad, and we host collaborative experiences and events with them--including traveling to various locations to participate in events, and having their members visit us for training and competitive events.
Fencing is an exhilarating, safe, and very fun sport suitable for nearly all ages of kids, teens, and adults. It actively engages the mind and body, and encourages honorable and respectful sportsmanship. It is an excellent activity to aid in college entrance and, in some cases, scholarships. The fencing community is generally well-educated and our club is an excellent environment suitable for both athletics as well as academics.
The WFA was created and declared itself a club in 2002 by Kevin Mar, Serge Timacheff, and Amy Timacheff. The idea for the club came from Serge and Amy's son, Alexander, who asked his Dad, "Why can't we open our own club near home in Issaquah, since we're driving all the way into Seattle a few times each week to fence?" Within a few months, we opened the club (with Alexander as a member), with support and help from Genie Rivers (a former top-level epeeist and corporate attorney). The WFA began by teaching in Eastside community centers, municipal parks & recreation centers, health clubs, and schools, with Kevin Mar as the primary--and sometimes only--coach. Kevin trekked from Covington to Lynnwood to teach classes weekly.
The club spent about a decade teaching at various locations without ever having a fixed or permanent "home" of its own. Nonetheless, the club gathered many early members, supporters, fencers, instructors, and shareholders in the club including Eugenio Salas, Rachel Hughes, John McDonald, Patrice and Don Shearer, Marj Oliver, and Newel Rice, who are all still involved with the club today.
During this time period--the mid-2000's until 2011--Kevin built a substantial fencing student base, and Serge developed his career as an Olympic and world championship fencing photographer with the International Fencing Federation (FIE). Amy also became an Olympic and world fencing photographer, and worked as a board member. A little later, Kevin also joined the international fencing scene as an FIE referee.
In 2011, the WFA opened its own location in Issaquah, near the Hilton Garden Inn, where it began building a true membership base. The other classes, such as at community centers, continued and the club began referring to them as "satellite" programs. Many current members and very successful fencers began in these disparate locations.
The club moved in February, 2013 when its location was to be razed and replaced by a new hotel. The new location--the current one, on Issaquah's Mall Street (home to several other sports venues)--has turned out to be significantly more visible and accessible for everyone.