A member of the 1996 Olympic fencing team. A three-time NCAA champion. A former top-ranked fencer in the United States. With those myriad career achievements behind him, Tom Strzalkowski now trains the next generation of fencers at Fencing Academy of Denver. Along with his fellow instructors, Tom designs programs for both adults and children of all skill levels. During group and private lessons specializing in sabers, foils, or épées, the coaches teach fencing fundamentals such as identifying target areas and performing basic lunges. Sessions aim to improve stamina and nimbleness, and also cater to each student's personal goals, from competing in national tournaments to rescuing a significant other from swashbuckling pirates.
With the help of Cheyenne Fencing and Modern Pentathlon Center, students can become world-class athletes. As a three-time Olympian, its coaches are uniquely positioned to train up-and-coming fencers and pentathletes. Whether pupils hope to compete in fencing alone or study the pentathlon's five elements?fencing, shooting, running, horseback riding, and swimming?the center's offerings provide an excellent introduction. In fencing classes and camps, beginners pick up basic skills, such as coordination and footwork. As they progress, they learn the details of blade work and strategy, preparing them to face down competitors and maleficent trees. Pentathlon students add to those skills with lessons in the other four sports, improving their strength and stamina in preparation for competition.
The Guild Academy keeps alive the ancient practice of HEMA—or Historical European Martial Arts— that helps students develop self-confidence and physical strength as well as dazzling swordsmanship skills. Head instructor Aindreas draws from centuries-old sources and manuals that span a wealth of different combat styles, such as the Fiore's Flos Duellatorum and Talhoffer's Fechtbuch. Equipped with a practice gear under the watchful eye of a seasoned trainer, students build dexterity and muscle tone as they master timeless weapons such as the shortsword and buckler, the dirk, and the spada longa.