Instructors

Maestro de Armas Ramon Martinez

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-Martinez

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 over 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.

Maestro Antone Blair

Maestro 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 2006, Mr. Blair earned the rank of Instructor in French foil, French dueling sword, and Spanish rapier. He earned the rank of Prévôt d’Armes (Provost of Arms) in November of 2013, and Master of Arms in November 2016.

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 of the Augustine Fong wing chun lineage. He is the fencing instructor at Humboldt State University, where he teaches classical and historical fencing. He also offers fencing instruction at the Destreza Pacifica School of Arms in Arcata, California, as well as classes in Spanish navaja and wing chun kung fu.

Maestro Jared Kirby

Maestro 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 his first instructor ranks, becoming Provost of Arms in November 2013 and Master of Arms in November 2016.

Mr. Kirby has traveled extensively to assist the Maestros at seminars and workshops. He teaches in the tri-state area and is currently the fencing instructor at SUNY Purchase and Sarah Lawrence College in NY. He teaches a variety of workshops across the US and around the world including Canada, England, Scotland, Australia, Finland and Italy. He has taught at the Paddy Crean International Art of the Sword Workshop, CombatCon in Las Vegas, the International Swordfighting and Martial Arts Convention (ISMAC), Redwoods Rapier Camp and the Western Washington WMA Workshop just to name a few.

Mr. Kirby also teaches Combat for Stage and Screen class in New York City and is a Fight Director who has worked Off-Broadway, Regionally, in London and Australia. He 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. Most recently Mr. Kirby edited "The Gentleman's Guide to Duelling: Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels" which is an updated version of Vincentio Saviolo's original work featuring the most comprehensive biography of Saviolo ever published.

Maître d’Armes Cecil Longino

Maître d’Armes Cecil Longino

In 2003, Mr. Longino was accepted as a formal student of Maestro Ramón Martínez and Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez, training in both classical and historical weapons. He earned the rank of Prévôt d’Armes (Provost of Arms) in November of 2013 and was later elevated to Maître d’Armes (Master of Arms) in November of 2016. He is certified to instruct in all weapons taught at the Martinez Academy of Arms in New York and continues to instruct in these methods at the Salle Saint-George in Seattle, WA. Mr. Longino is also a student and affiliate instructor, working toward full instructorship, under Maestro James Loriega of the Raven Arts Institute.

Weapon certifications by date: French foil (September, 2007), French small-sword, (September, 2007), Spanish rapier (July, 2009),traditional rapier (January, 2012), Italian rapier (January, 2012), contre-pointe (June, 2013), poignard (June, 2013), dueling sword, Italian foil and Italian dueling sabre (October, 2013).

Striving to educate the public about classical and historical fencing, Mr. Longino serves as the 2nd Vice-President of the Association for Historical Fencing, an organization dedicated to preserving the fencing arts. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Literature (focusing on Elizabethan stagecraft) with a minor in history from the University of North Florida.

Provost Andy Baiman

Provost Andy Baiman

Andy Baiman, a former New York City high school English teacher and former owner/operator of an industrial hardware and mill supply business in Manhattan, now resides in Connecticut, where he divides his time between road cycling, X-C Skiing, sea kayaking with an emphasis on traditional ancient “qajaqs” and techniques (always the traditionalist,) and teaching classical fencing.

Following his introduction to the ubiquitous Olympic-style 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 a former Pan-American Games champion, who was himself schooled by one of the last classically-trained masters of the previous age.

At about this time, in pursuit of something with less of a sporting aspect and more of a martial one, Mr. Baiman began what was to be a three-year study of Tai Chi Ch'uan with noted New York-area Tai Chi Master C.K. Chu. It was here that he met Maestro Martínez, himself then a student at the Tai Chi school, who was giving classical fencing classes in space provided by Master Chu. Mr. Baiman has studied with Maestro Martínez ever since then, a span of over two decades.

Prior to earning the rank of Provost in January of 2001, Mr. Baiman had 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 Martinez Academy in 1998.

Now residing full time in Connecticut, he teaches classical fencing at a local fencing club, where he has seen some significant success in sharing the Martínez classical fencing wisdom with those new to fencing and experienced “sport fencers” as well, some of whom have seen their “future in fencing in the past”, and some of whom continue to excel in the sport competitive venue and yet unstintingly give credit to the newly acquired classical technique which informs and improves their fencing.

Aside from his particular interest in the small-sword, 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 bout, long a source of consternation for teacher and pupil alike.

Instructor Benjamin Bowles

Instructor Benjamin Bowles

Mr. Bowles began fencing in 2005 at Humboldt State University through Antone Blair. He met Maestro Ramon Martinez and Maestro Jeannette Acosta Martinez that same year and has trained under their tutelage ever since.

During his career at Humboldt State University, Mr. Bowles participated with the HSU Fencing Club and held the offices of Armourer and Teacher's Assistant for multiple years, as well as Club Secretary and President. He was a founding architect of HSU's annual tournament, the Redwood Coast Assault of Arms in 2008. In the summer of 2013 Benjamin earned the rank of Instructor in French Foil through the Academy and opened the Golden Gate School of Arms in San Francisco.

Upon graduation with a Bachelors of the Arts in English in 2009,
Benjamin remained in Arcata and established Benjamin Arms to manufacture high-quality, American-made classical fencing equipment. Entering into an apprenticeship under Maestros Martínez and Acosta-Martínez Benjamin has been taught the traditional assembly techniques, proper handling, care, and maintenance of multiple weapon types. His armouring knowledge and expertise continues expanding in tandem with his catalogue offerings.

In 2009, Mr. Bowles founded Benjamin Arms to manufacture high-quality, historically accurate fencing equipment. His catalog includes French and Italian foils, epees, and sabres and continues to expand with his knowledge and expertise. Under Maestro Ramon Martinez Mr. Bowles has been taught the traditional construction techniques, handling characteristics, and care & maintenance requirements for multiple types of weapons. He is the only holder of an Fourbisseur's (Swordmaker's) Brevet through the Martinez Academy of Arms.

Instructor Russell Hogg

Instructor Russell Hogg

Instructor Hogg began his fencing career in 1993 in El Paso, Texas, training in the modern competitive sporting form until 2000. In 2003, Russell became a student of traditional fencing at the Martinez Academy of Arms. He was drawn to the Academy because of the way it honors the deep heritage of fencing. He has served as Chef de Salle at the Academy, where he has earned the rank of Instructor of Arms in classical French foil and dueling sword as well as French small-sword. He has also assisted Maestros Martínez and Acosta-Martínez in a number of workshops and demonstrations. 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.

Although he has a broad interest and background in traditional fencing weapons and styles, Russell’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 professor of anatomy he 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 is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Performance at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Instructor Sagar Krishnaraj

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 saber, 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 Kim Moser

Instructor Kim Moser

After visiting the Martinez Academy of Arms in 1989 at a friend's suggestion, Kim found himself taking classes from Maestro Martinez on a regular basis. A freelance computer consultant, he was also the designer and webmaster of the Academy’s first website.

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 the West Palm Beach area of Florida, including Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Tequesta, and Greenacres. He currently offers fencing instruction at Palm Beach Classical Fencing.

Instructor Tim Nelson

Instructor Tim Nelson

Mr. Nelson began fencing at the Salle Saint-George in 2008 while attending the University of Washington in Seattle, where he studied history, Latin, and music. Under the tutelage of Provost Longino, Mr. Nelson became fascinated with the living traditions of classical fencing. The demand for precision, consistency, and the cultivation of character integral to the program at the salle impressed upon Mr. Nelson the importance and value of endeavoring to maintain these rare arts.

In 2013 Mr. Nelson earned his B.A. in history from the University of Washington, and was accepted into the Martinez Academy of Arms Instructor in Training program. He was certified as an instructor of French foil in December, 2015, and currently teaches fencing at the Nelson School of Arms in Alhambra, CA.

Instructor Bruce Sielaff

Instructor Bruce Sielaff

Mr. Bruce Sielaff began the study of classical and historical fencing in January 2007 at the Salle Saint-George, under Maître Cecil Longino. Having previously studied sport fencing at university, Mr. Sielaff found that he was much more drawn to the classical forms of the art, in particular to the French Small-sword. He was impressed with the twin goals of conveying a martial skill, while simultaneously imparting noble form, bearing and temperament. While studying at the Salle Saint-George, Mr. Sielaff served as Chef de Salle from 2010 until 2013, when he was accepted into the Martinez Academy Instructor In-Training Program. He was certified as Instructor in both French foil and Small-sword on December 11th, 2015.

While Mr. Sielaff’s focus has been on the study of fencing weapons, he is more broadly interested in the western martial tradition. He has studied traditional pugilism for several years under Tim Ruzicki, and since 2010 has been actively training in La Boxe Francaise Savate.

Upon graduation with a Bachelors of the Arts in English in 2009,
Benjamin remained in Arcata and established Benjamin Arms to manufacture high-quality, American-made classical fencing equipment. Entering into an apprenticeship under Maestros Martínez and Acosta-Martínez Benjamin has been taught the traditional assembly techniques, proper handling, care, and maintenance of multiple weapon types. His armouring knowledge and expertise continues expanding in tandem with his catalogue offerings.

Mr. Sielaff holds a Master Of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Indiana University. He currently lives and teaches privately near Southampton, UK.

Instructor Michael Wen-Sen Su

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

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

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.