The Martinez Academy of Arms is a unique school distinguished by its living tradition of European fencing arts. The structure of the Academy reflects the ideals of 19th Century classical fencing academies. Entering the Academy, one steps into another era where students not only exhibit a serious dedication to the practice of fencing as both an art and science but also carry themselves with a polished level of etiquette and sensibility. Training remains focused on personal combat, as if one were preparing for a serious encounter. In this formally rigorous environment, students receive instruction in classical and historical fencing systems from dedicated professionals of a traditional fencing lineage.
The instructors were phenomenal and really got into teaching us the basics of fencing! It's a great class to get to know more about the history of the martial art, as well as to get an introduction!
Class was super cool, unusual and fun. The teachers were great and we had lots of personal attention. Highly recommend to people looking for a unique sport to discover!
Really wonderful and informative introductory experience. A good balance of individual attention, instruction, and playfulness. If you've ever wondered about this, this is a good class to take. Not very physically demanding to start with, so it's OK if you're not marathon ready.
It wasn't really what I was looking for in an introductory / beginner's class, I think. A bit more detail below, but essentially I would avoid this if you're looking for a more relaxed, casual introduction to the art. Like most of the courses I look for on here, I was looking for a more casual introduction to fencing, something my girlfriend and I could try to get a general feel for it, to see if it's something that we'd want to pursue more of. Instead, this seemed to be a much more serious class, something you'd only want to take if you already had a serious interest in fencing and were ready to put in the time and effort to work on your conditioning and technique before doing much with a foil. It also wasn't really a discrete beginner's class, either - we came to an evening class, and were the only two new people among many much much more experienced students. We were set up in the middle of an ongoing practice session for the more experienced students, and assigned an instructor who would come by periodically to check in on us, assign a new exercise, or critique our form. These exercises were focused on developing our posture, footwork, and balance. I'm sure these are core, critical skills to develop as a fencer, but I didn't really feel like they really piqued our interest that much. The overwhelming majority of the class had us slowly doing what were basically shallow squats, or slowly walking through the steps of how to get into the correct stance. Admittedly, we did get to pick up practice foils for a short time - but it was really just to practice our grips, and slowly step though a very basic thrust with very little supervision or attention. Maybe it's the nature of fencing, but in other martial arts classes I've taken (archery and longsword-style fencing) part of the introductory class was actually getting do the activity as part of a whole class of beginners, which was much more engaging, and frankly, a lot more fun.
The instructors were well-meaning and bet knowledgeable, however they seemed unorganized and unprepared for the three beginners that were on the class alongside very advanced students. Attention was split, we 3 were left on our own too much without guidance. I felt half bored, half annoyed.
What a great class! I signed up with my partner and we were taught the fundamentals of fencing with a lot of attention and support. I hadn't expected to have so much fun and learn so much, but I did. I'd recommend this class highly. Although it's not required, I'd also suggest wearing dark comfortable shoes and comfortable grey pants or sweatpants that you can move easily in.
It was fine. I wish I knew about the shoe requirement as well as the color of pants to wear. Both seemed to be an issue when I came to the class. I didn't know about either of those based upon the class description.
Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. The training was good; the instructors were patient and shared not only the techniques but also the history and rational behind things.
This was the best thing I've done in a long time. After the first class, I had to keep taking classes at this school. The maestros are fantastic, the community is welcoming, and the instruction is completely individualized -- each student is taught one-on-one. I was the only female student as well as the only complete newbie who attended any of the weeks that I was there, but I never felt weird or out-of-place or anything besides welcome. Even though I don't live in New York, I'm trying to work out a way to travel up from D.C. regularly just to continue taking lessons here.
Van T. gave this class 5 out of 5 CourseHorse stars.