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.