Maestro de Armas Ramón Martínez
Ramón Martínez is a traditional master of arms, teaching classical and historical fencing. He studied with the late Maître d’Armes Frederick Rohdes in New York City for ten years. Maître Rohdes was one of the last fencing masters to teach fencing as a martial art. During that time Maestro Martínez became assistant and protégé of Maître Rohdes and was the only one of his pupils permitted to teach with full authorization at the Rohdes Academy. In late 1982, shortly before his death, Maître Rohdes conferred the rank of Fencing Master on Maestro Martínez.
Maestro Martínez is an inheritor of a “Living Tradition” generations old and a highly respected scholar of historical fencing. He has devoted nearly four decades to the study, practice and teaching of classical and historical fencing. In addition to the instruction in historical fencing that he received during his training with Maître Rohdes, he has also done and continues to conduct extensive research in historical fencing. Maestro Martínez has spent years researching many of the detailed treatises of the schools and systems left by some of the most prominent masters of the past in his effort to accurately reconstruct some of these systems. These historical forms are then taught as authentically as possible. His goal and responsibility is to teach, promote, and preserve these rare martial arts.
He is the world’s preeminent authority on the Spanish school of fencing La Verdadera Destreza. He has brought more international recognition and respect for the Spanish school than any other master and swordsman within the last one hundred and fifty years. He has specifically devoted over a quarter of a century to the research, reconstruction and resurrection of this unique school. In association with Palpable Hit Productions, Maestro Martínez has created two instructional DVDs for rapier fencing: a two volume set for the Spanish School La Verdadera Destreza: The True Art and Skill of Spanish Swordsmanship and another two volume set for the Italian School La Scherma Italiana: The Basics of Italian Rapier Fencing which have gained international attention becoming top sellers.
Maestro Martínez is the director of the Martinez Academy of Arms in New York City. He is on the Board of Directors of the Association for Historical Fencing, founded to promote, preserve and revive classical and historical fencing. He was one of the original founders of the International Masters at Arms Federation and currently fencing advisor to the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts.
Maestro Martínez has made himself available for lectures, seminars, workshop demonstrations and presentations worldwide. He collaborated on the translation of Gran Simulacro by Capo Ferro, published in 2004 by Greenhill Press. As president of the AHF he has been instrumental in the republication of fencing works by Dover Publications and has written the forewords for Old Sword Play, Cold Steel: The Art of Fencing with the Sabre and The Sword Through the Centuries all by Alfred Hutton. These republications also include Schools and Masters of Fencing: From the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century by Egerton Castle.
Maestro de Armas Jeannette Acosta-Martínez
Jeannette Acosta-Martínez is a traditional master of arms, teaching classical and historical fencing. She began her training in 1982 under the tutelage of Maître d’Armes Frederick Rohdes, and after his death in 1984, continued with his protégé Maestro Ramón Martínez. In all, Maestro Acosta-Martínez has spent nearly three decades studying traditional fencing, both classical and historical. In 1995, she became an instructor at the Martínez Academy of Arms, the Academy’s business manager, and the chief assistant at all Maestro Martínez’s demonstrations and seminars.
In preparation for her Provost and Master certification, Maestro Acosta-Martínez devoted herself to learning the art of teaching, as well as extensively researching the fencing treatises of the classical and historical periods. In January 1999, she was instrumental in orchestrating a historical fencing exposition at St. Peter’s College, New Jersey, which had international participation and featured demonstrations not seen in public for more than 100 years. In May of 2000, she received her Master’s certification from the International Masters at Arms Federation and a second certification from the Martínez Academy of Arms the following November, thus becoming the only other Master certified to teach the Rohdes system of classical fencing and the Martínez system of Spanish rapier fence. Maestro Acosta-Martínez is also on the Board of Directors of the Association for Historical Fencing and was one of the original founding members of the International Masters at Arms Federation.
Maestro Acosta-Martínez has annotated and translated various works of classical and historical fencing over the years. She collaborated on the translation of Capo Ferro’s Gran Simulacro, published by Greenhill Press in 2004. She annotated and created some additional illustrations for the appendix of The School of Fencing by Domenico Angelo, published by Greenhill in 2005. In association with Palpable Hit
Productions, in 2009 she created a three-volume instructional DVD on the French school of small-sword, L’École Française: A Practical and Combative Guide to the French Small-sword.
In addition to being a master of arms she is also a professional restorer of antique furniture who specializes in works of the 17th and 18th centuries. This, together with her interest in antique weapons, led her to the study of fencing.
Provost Andy Baiman
Following his introduction to modern sport fencing via an undergraduate Physical Education class at Queens College, Mr. Baiman pursued fencing in various venues, including several years at a local YWCA under the tutelage of former Pan-American Games champion Ed Ballinger, who was himself schooled by one of the last classically-trained masters of the previous age, Giorgio Santelli. Always seeking to study fencing as a true martial art rather than a sport, Mr. Baiman’s quest was realized upon meeting Maestro Martínez while training at the Tai Chi school of Master C.K. Chu in New York, and he has studied with Maestro Martínez ever since, a span of over two decades.
A former New York City high school English teacher and owner/operator of an industrial hardware and mill supply business in Manhattan, Mr. Baiman now resides in Connecticut, where he divides his time between selling plumbing supplies, road cycling, sea kayaking with an emphasis on traditional ancient “qajaqs” and techniques (always the traditionalist,) and teaching classical fencing.
Mr. Baiman has assisted Maestro Martínez in several demonstrations and exhibitions including the Cloisters Renaissance Fair and a demonstration for the Brigade of the American Revolution in Huntington, Long Island. He became an instructor at the Martínez Academy in 1998, and earned the rank of Provost in January of 2001. Mr. Baiman currently teaches classical fencing in Connecticut, and participates in a local fencing club (unplugged, and with classical technique and form only) where he has seen some significant success in sharing the Martínez classical fencing wisdom with those new to fencing, as well as with experienced sport fencers. Mr. Baiman takes special interest in discovering solutions to the mystery of guiding students through that troubling transition between academic knowledge of technique and practical application in the assault, long a source of consternation for teacher and pupil alike.
Instructor Antone Blair
Antone Blair began fencing in 1995 while studying Anthropology and Classical Mediterranean Civilization at Beloit College in Wisconsin. Finding that he was more interested in fencing as a martial art, he began seeking information on the rapier and the dueling sword.
In May 2001, Mr. Blair attended a seminar on the art of Spanish rapier taught by Maestros Ramón Martínez and Jeannette Acosta-Martínez. He immediately developed a passion for the Spanish school of fencing and soon thereafter became a student of the Martinez Academy of Arms. In January of 2006, Mr. Blair earned the rank of Instructor in French foil and dueling sword, and, in June of the same year, he earned the rank of Instructor in Spanish rapier. In January of 2012 he earn the rank of Instructor in Italian foil and dueling sabre. In October of 2013 he earned the rank of Instructor in Italian rapier, Traditional rapier, French small-sword, poignard and Contre-Pointe.
Mr. Blair also studies and trains in the use of the Spanish navaja under Maestro James Loriega of the Raven Arts Institute, and trains in wing chun kung fu under Sifu Kurt Saenz. He is the fencing instructor at Humboldt State University, where he teaches French foil, and for advanced students, French dueling sword, Spanish rapier and navaja technique. He also offers fencing instruction at the
Destreza Pacifica Fencing Club in Arcata, California, where students are taught the art of defense with an emphasis on universal principles of self-defense.
Instructor Russell Hogg
Russell Hogg began his fencing career in 1993 in El Paso, Texas, training in the modern competitive sporting form until 2000 under instructors Marietta and Bill Towry, Gary Murray, and the late Maître Gerard Poujardieu, Jr. In 2003, Mr. Hogg became a student of traditional fencing at the Martínez Academy of Arms. Always intrigued by fencing’s long heritage, Mr Hogg was drawn to the Academy, where the whole of that heritage is particularly honored. Mr. Hogg has served as Chef de Salle, in 2008 earned his Instructor’s rank in French foil and in 2012 earned his Instructors rank in dueling sword. He has also assisted the Maestros in a number of workshops and demonstrations.
Mr. Hogg’s primary interest lies in the evolution of French fencing, from its appearance as a distinct school in the mid-17th century. He thus devotes much of his attention to French foil, dueling sword, and small-sword, as well as rapier. He continues to research fencing of the baroque and classical eras, and has published articles on fencing in the 1800s and early 1900s. As a researcher and teacher of anatomy, Mr.Hogg is also very interested in human anatomy and kinesiology as they relate to fencing (especially the teaching of fencing) and the martial arts in general. He currently resides in the Naples/Ft. Myers area in Southwest Florida, where he runs the Côte du Golfe School of Fencing and is also available for private lessons.
Instructor Jared Kirby
Jared Kirby first became involved in Western Martial Arts and Combat for Stage & Screen in 1995. Beginning his studies of historical fencing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mr. Kirby moved to Scotland in order to study with Maestro Paul Macdonald. He then moved to New York in 1999 to study at the Martinez Academy. In December of 2003 he earned the rank of Instructor in Spanish and Italian rapier, 2008 in French foil, 2011 in Italian foil & dueling sabre, January 2012 in dueling sword and March 2013 in French small-sword. In October of 2013 he earned the rank of Instructor in Traditional rapier, poignard and Contre-Pointe.
Mr. Kirby has traveled extensively to assist the Maestros at seminars and workshops such as the Redwoods Rapier Camp. He also teaches at a variety of workshops such as the Paddy Crean International Art of the Sword Workshop, the International Swordfighting and Martial Arts Convention (ISMAC), and the Western Washington WMA Workshop. He has been asked to teach across the US and in countries around the world, including Canada, England, Scotland, Finland and Italy.
Currently the fencing instructor at SUNY Purchase, he also teaches a Combat for Stage and Screen class in New York City. He continues to serve as the co-coordinator of the International Swordfighting and Martial Arts Convention in Detroit, Michigan. This workshop, created in 2000, brings together the finest instructors from around the world for one of the largest annual Western Martial Arts workshops. Mr. Kirby is the editor and one of the translators of Italian Rapier Combat, the first complete, professional translation of Capo Ferro. He wrote the introduction for, and edited The School of Fencing, one of the most popular fencing treatises of the eighteenth century, authored by Domenico Angelo and annotated by Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez.
Instructor Sagar Krishnaraj
Sagar Krishnaraj grew up in New York City, and first became a student at the Martínez Academy of Arms in January 2000. He was drawn to fencing because of the combined esthetic of beauty of movement and lethal reality. His primary focus has been on the French School, and he is currently studying French dueling sword, among other weapons, at the Academy. Having served as the chef de salle for several years, in March of 2008, he also earned the rank of Instructor in French foil. In his efforts to contribute to fencing beyond the school, he has translated the Manuel D’Escrime of 1877 with Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez and is also a certified tournament judge for the Association for Historical Fencing. He works for the City of New York.
Instructor Cecil Longino
Starting his formal martial arts training under Grand Master Kyu Il Cho in the early 1980’s, Cecil Longino was exposed to a strict and formal training environment that began to built his appreciation for tradition and the importance of its maintenance. In later years, while living in Germany, Cecil became intrigued by historical European weapons. His experiences in Europe led him to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Literature (focusing on Elizabethan stagecraft) with a minor in history from the University of North Florida.
Founding the Academia della Spada in 1998, exploring earlier systems of Italian swordplay, guided Mr. Longino to seek out professional instruction in fencing when confronted with the complexity of this subject. By 2003, Mr. Longino had become a formal student of Maestro Ramón Martínez and Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez, training in both classical and historical weapons. It was this formal training in classical fencing that rekindled his love of traditional methods. He has earned the rank of instructor in French foil, French small-sword, Spanish rapier, Italian rapier, Traditional rapier, poignard, Contre-Pointe, Italian foil, dueling sabre and dueling sword with the Martínez Academy of Arms in New York and continues to instruct in these methods at the Salle Saint-George in Seattle, WA.
Striving to educate the public about classical and historical fencing, Mr. Longino serves as president of the Association for Historical Fencing, an organization dedicated to preserving these fencing arts. In conjunction with Academia della Spada and Salle Saint-George, he has successfully organized fencing tournaments and demonstrations, and has hosted the highly acclaimed 4W (Western Washington Western Martial Arts Workshop), the first major classical and historical fencing symposium hosted in the Pacific Northwest.
Instructor Kim Moser
Kim Moser began studying at the Martínez Academy of Arms in 1990. After visiting the Academy to view a class, Kim found himself rollerblading to the school on a regular basis. A freelance computer consultant, he was also the designer and webmaster of the Academy’s Web site. Mr. Moser spent the first several years of his training acquiring a thorough comprehension of French foil, later studying French dueling sword and Italian dueling sabre. He has also studied French small-sword and Spanish rapier. Mr. Moser has performed demonstrations of classical and historical fencing at several public events and on national television.
In February of 2000, Mr. Moser earned the rank of instructor in French foil and dueling sword (épée), and, since then, has been teaching privately in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, and Tequesta, Florida. He currently offers fencing instruction at Palm Beach Classical Fencing.
Instructor Michael Wen-Sen Su
Michael Wen-Sen Su began studying Classical and Historical Fencing with Maestro Ramón Martínez and Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez in 1996. He took his first fencing class in high school, then competed for his university fencing team for several years. Always drawn to the elegant precision of fencing, Mr. Su’s fencing education only truly began upon his discovery of the living legacy of Classical and Historical Fencing at the Martínez Academy.
Michael was born in Taiwan, raised in San Francisco and Pasadena, and then moved to New York City. In 2008, he earned his rank as Instructor of French foil at the Martinez Academy. His long involvement with Classical and Historical Fencing led Michael to take on a bigger role within the fencing community as Treasurer of the Association for Historical Fencing. As a member of several AHF committees, Michael has worked on the organization of numerous AHF events. Now, as AHF Treasurer, Michael draws upon his experiences of acting as university-residence treasurer for 2 years and running a real estate management business for the last 15 years.
In addition to being a fencing instructor, Michael is also Visiting Professor and Thesis Coordinator in the School of Architecture at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Although he has studied and acquired multiple degrees in Physics and Architecture, Michael finds his continuing study of fencing to be the most spiritually rewarding discipline in which he is engaged.
Instructor Keena Suh
Keena Suh began fencing at the Martínez Academy in 2002, where she has focused on studying the French School for foil, small-sword, and dueling sword. She has also trained in Italian foil and Spanish rapier. In 2008, she earned her rank as Instructor of French foil at the Martínez Academy. Ms. Suh is also a certified tournament judge for the Association for Historical Fencing, and works on several of its committees. She is a tireless promoter of historical and classical fencing. She has participated in fencing demonstrations both for the Martínez Academy of Arms and the Association for Historical Fencing.
In addition to studying and teaching at the Martínez Academy, Ms. Suh is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Interior Design department at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and works as an architect in New York City.
Instructor Andrew Telesca
Mr. Andrew Telesca lives in Seattle, WA and has been fencing at the Salle Saint-George since 2006. Andrew originally began training in classical fencing in 2001 with the study of the Italian fencing system of the Scuola Magistrale Militare di Roma under Maestro John Sullins. From 2002–2005 Andrew ran the Whitman Classical Fencing Club under the guidance of Maestro Sullins. Also in 2003, he began training with Maestro Ramón Martínez and Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez. By January of 2012, he earned the rank of instructor in Northern Italian dueling sabre through the Martinez Academy of Arms in New York. In October of 2013 he earned the rank of Instructor in Italian and French foil. Andrew instructs in dueling sabre at Salle Saint-George as well as the finer points of military sabre.
Through fencing Andrew has developed a passion for the combination of discipline, vigor, precision & intellect found in martial arts. This led to a broader interest in the historical aspects of martial arts, and in particular a desire to better understand how the context of a martial art – that is, its purpose within the society in which it developed – affects its teaching and practice. This interest has been further fueled while training in other martial systems, such as Navaja and Ninjutsu. Andrew has since come to believe that the great majority of personal conflicts can be resolved more easily if the effort is made to discern the context of both parties’ arguments.
Outside of the salle, Andrew is a Systems Engineer at The Boeing Company. He holds a B.A. summa cum laude in Mathematics from Whitman College, a graduate certificate in Sustainable Enterprise Management from Willamette University, a professional certificate in Decision Analysis from Stanford University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Systems Architecting and Engineering from the University of Southern California.