In 1998 the Academia della Spada began offering instruction to those interested in exploring 16th Century historical Italian systems of sword play, which at the time was an area of study barely touched upon by most in the fencing community. Today, the academy has greatly expanded its curriculum to include classes covering a greater range of earlier European weapons: Sword & buckler, longsword, rapier and French smallsword.
With the opening of our permanent school, Salle Saint-George, we are able to offer additional in-depth classes in classical fencing and the science of self-defense. The salle’s instructors are formal students of traditional masters in European defensive arts and have years of practical teaching experience.The school’s structure reflects the ideals of the 19th Century classical fencing academies where the focus on training is serious, as though one were preparing for a personal encounter. This formal environment encourages the growth of a student both as a fencer and an individual through a refinement of manners, etiquette, self-confidence and self-control.
In 1771, the French fencing master, Monsieur Olivier commented that among the numerous benefits fencing imparts, that it is the very cultivation of this art that imprints respect, gives true valor, good nature and politeness, thus making one fit for society.
Our salle is named in honor of Joseph Boulogne, le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was considered the finest fencer in all of France during the late 18th Century as well as being an exceptional violinist, talented composer, skilled equestrian and soldier.
An account of Saint-George was given to U.S. President John Adams, “He is the most accomplished man in Europe, in riding, running, shooting, fencing, dancing, and music. He will hit the button – any button on the coat or waistcoat of the greatest (fencing) masters. He will hit a crown-piece in the air with a pistol-ball.”
May he serve as an inspiration and reminder to us of the limitless potential we all possess.