Respect aux Maîtres.
Honneur aux Armes.
On December 12, 2015, Maestro Martinez & Maestro Acosta-Martinez gave a workshop in Seattle on three universal concepts that apply to all combat but with a focus on how they apply to classical fencing namely: Redirection, Opposition & Interception. A small contingent of us had the honour of attending this workshop and working with the maestri and Prévôt Longino. While the majority of our fencers primarily train with the French Foil, we had the opportunity to not only look at how the French look at the use of these integral concepts but also how the Italians and Spanish employ them as well. For myself, I particularly enjoyed how our fencers who focus mainly on Redirection were able to quickly apply Opposition and Interception in the drills practiced and see their amazing efficacy in situations that commonly arise in assaults. Working with the maestri is always a wonderful way to reconnect with the origins of our tradition, receive feedback on the current state of our fencing, as well as glimpse and be inspired by the vast breadth and depth of what there still is to learn.
Respect aux Maîtres.
Honneur aux Armes.
On September 20, 2015, the Martinez Academy of Arms presented an exhibition of Classical Fencing to the general public in New Orleans. This Formal Academia followed two days of training, classes, and lectures on various weapons as well as aspects of fencing practice. Maestri, Provosts, Instructors, and students were selected to present assaults in a range of systems taught in the Martinez Academy. I believe Mr. Patrick Morgan echoes my own sentiments regarding the event when he writes, “I have never seen so much fencing talent and knowledge in one place." On a personal note, I was honoured to participate in assaults with Instructors Russell Hogg and Kim Moser in French Smallsword and Foil respectively. I wish to express a sincere thanks to Maestro Martinez, Maestro Acosta-Martinez, Prévôt Cecil Longino as well as the organizers of the event for this unique opportunity.
For those of you that were unable to attend, I hope this video can do some measure of justice to the great quality and variety of skill and artistry on display that day. Lastly, congratulations to Mr. Ezra Homison for his exemplary embodiment of the ideals of Classical Fencing as was adjudicated by the panel of the Formal Academia. Enjoy!
One of the people that I had the pleasure of meeting during my recent trip to the Martinez Academy Academia in New Orleans was Mr. Patrick Morgan who oversees Columbia Classical Fencing in Columbia, Missouri. I recently came across Mr. Morgan's blog post reflecting on his experiences of the Academia. Reading it certainly brought back memories for me. So, with his permission, I have decided to repost it here and share it with our members:
I would like to thank Mr. Morgan for sharing this article with us and encourage all of you to visit the Columbia Classical Fencing website as the other posts make for quite interesting reading.
I had the pleasure of taking part in the Martinez Academy Academia which took place in New Orleans this past weekend. Below are the links to the newspaper articles which covered this event:
As the end of summer was swiftly approaching, we were able to organize one more weapons workshop and visit to Seattle before our students' return to school in September. We began our day touring the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, WA where we were able to catch a glimpse of Chinook salmon making their way back from the Pacific and up the salmon ladder to their freshwater spawning grounds inland. This was followed by a hearty Italian lunch on historical Ballard Avenue and a quick visit to the local chocolate factory. After many delicious dishes and snacks, we were well-prepared for our afternoon workshop ahead under the watchful guidance of Prévôt Longino and Instructor-in-training Nelson.
On this particlar afternoon, our fencers were split into three groups to focus on the specific weapons that each person wanted to practice. These weapons included: foil & poignard, northern Italian dueling sabre, and poignard. Following a quick dinner at the neighbourhood Ethiopian restaurant, our evening continued with participation in French foil class where we studied the reprise and how it was to be employed tactically. Upon squeezing in a few final assaults, our fencers made their way back to Vancouver having filled the day with fun, learning, and practice. As always, I would like to express a warm and sincere thanks to our gracious hosts at Salle Saint-George for their time and hospitality.
On Saturday, June 22, 2015, the Renaissance Fencing Club took part in the annual Fiesta Days celebration in the West Point Grey community. Our fencers took part in the parade down W.10th Ave. as well as fenced in free assaults in foil, foil & poignard and spear at Trimble Park. The Fiesta Days have become a wonderful occasion for our students to share the art & science of fencing with the West Point Grey community and I would like to thank all the fencers, parents, and event organizers for making this day a welcome annual tradition. I would like to especially thank Mr. Kyle Harrison & Mr. Jeff Leong for their photos which I have included in this post.
On May 9th, 2015, many of our fencers took part in the second annual Concours Internationaux d’Escrime de la Jeunesse in Bellingham, WA. This international tournament sponsored by the Salle Saint-George and Renaissance Fencing Club was in Classical French foil. After taking part in the equipment check, participants fenced in a round robin format to assaults of three touches. Interspersed between foil assaults were also demonstrations of foil & poignard, Italian rapier, spear, longsword, and French small-sword. Six fencers were chosen to participate in a final pool of round robin assaults and awards were presented to the top three fencers for net touches made & received as well as an additional recognition for the fencer who most consistently demonstrated the classical ideal of fencing. Every participant endeavoured to uphold the ideals of the art & science of defense and I would like to send a special congratulation to the following fencers in particular:
Best Overall Fencer Ms. B. Lok
1st Place Mr. C. Leong
2nd Place Ms. M. Burnett-Thomas
3rd Place Mr. E. Tse
Furthermore, I wanted to thank all the organizers and volunteers especially Prévôt d’Armes Cecil Longino, Instructor Andrew Telesca, Mr. Tim Nelson, Ms. Laura Foster, Mr. Garrett Fuller, Mr. Bacchus Davis, Ms. Cory Holmes, Mr. Jherek Swanger, Mr. Ezra Homison, Mr. Andrew Forderer, Mr. John Clough, Mr. Andrew Chin, and Mr. Andrew Williamson in addition to all the friends, family members, and supporters of our fencers and of this event. It was truly a delight to watch the many young men and women who fenced share what they had learned on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.
For a video clip of the Commemorative DVD for the event, please click on the following link.
For a video clip of the various demos performed at the event, please click on the following link.
In recent years, it has become something of a tradition for our fencers to make at least one summer trip to visit our friends at Salle Saint-George in Seattle. Although this year was no exception, we were able to include a few additional activities this trip that made the experience stand out.
Due to the popularity of the earlier Poignard (French Knife) workshop that was held in March, we were able to arrange for a follow-up course with Prévôt Longino that was both a review of the concepts of Poignard as well as a look at tactical considerations for this weapon. At the end of the class, students also had the opportunity to fence in some Poignard assaults with Instructors-in-training: Mr. Andrew Chin & Mr. Tim Nelson.
After a short break, the evening continued with our fencers taking part in the Tuesday night French Foil class, participating in free assaults with different fencers, as well as receiving plastron lessons from the Instructors-in-training. Returning back to Vancouver a little after midnight, I believe that our students had gained new insights into the art of classical fencing and had g0tten to know each other just a bit better.
Once again, I would like to thank Prévôt Longino and the fencers of Salle Saint-George for their hospitality as well as the fencers and parents of the Renaissance Fencing Club for their support in making this trip possible.
One of the comments that I received from many of the participants and audience members of the Concours Internationaux this year was the variety of weapons that were demonstrated. Thanks to the footage taken by Mr. Sankey and Mr. Forderer that day; the Salle Saint-George has released a video featuring many of the demos presented. Below is a list of the weapons fenced and the fencers who took part in them:
French Small-Sword: Ms. Cory Holmes & Mr. Jherek Swanger
Foil & Poignard: Mr. Tim Nelson & Mr. Andrew Forderer
Longsword: Ms. M. Burnett-Thomas & Mr. Andrew Forderer
Late Italian Rapier: Mr. Andrew Forderer & Mr. Ezra Homison