Maestro Johnson (in black), Headmaster of the Mississippi Academy of Arms and a few of his senior students.

A Welcome Message from our Maestro

"I want to personally welcome each of you to our website and to the Mississippi Academy of Arms. The Mississippi Academy of Arms is my Salle d'Arms. I run it very much like the original traditional fencing salles of the historical and classical eras. I teach the traditional Western martial arts, utilize the traditional teaching methodologies, and emphasize traditional values.

All of the Instructors and Assistant Instructors at the Academy love Classical Fencing, Historical Swordsmanship, practical methods of self-defense and games involving the development of strategy and tactics, like Chess and Wei Chi (Go). We have dedicated many years of our lives to the study and teaching of these arts and have been blessed with a great bunch of students who have become like a family to us. We hope that you too will come to understand and enjoy these arts and the traditional values as much as we do.

The Academy offers two main tracks of instruction, Western Martial Arts and Practical Self-Defense, each of which have several martial arts, with their own sub-arts and complimentary activities. You can read more about each these by linking to them from the main page. However, right now I want to tell you briefly what makes us different from other fencing clubs and what sets apart from the modern fencing crowd.

As a Traditional Fencing Academy, our focus is on the original historical and classical martial arts of swordsmanship, not the modern competitive sport version. Unlike modern sport fencing clubs where the primary goal is competing in tournaments, beating people, winning medals, and increasing one's USFA rating, the goals of traditional fencing schools are self-improvement, character building, and perfecting one's ability to perform the original fencing techniques which allowed Aristocratic gentlemen to survive real duels with sharp swords. Traditional Fencing is the only type of fencing which still preserves the character of a courteous and honest encounter with sharp swords between gentlemen. The Mississippi Academy of Arms is the only source of Traditional Fencing instruction in Mississippi.

In our School of Practical Self-Defense we apply this same philosophy. Our focus is not on unrealistic katas based on animal movements, nor on sports competition. Our goals are not to learn how to score points in a karate match or win tournaments. Instead, our focus is on self-improvement and our goals are to develop good character traits while learning a viable means of self-defense which anyone can use quickly, intuitively and effectively on the street in a real attack. The Mississippi Academy of Arms is the only source of Goju-Shorei Weapons instruction and Eskrima instruction in Mississippi.

The most important thing I want you to know is that in fencing and other martial arts, as in life, the real winner is not the person who defeats another human opponent, but rather the person who defeats his own inadequacies, who develops self-discipline and self-control over his own thoughts, tongue, attitude, and actions. Who aspires to continually improve himself to become a better fencer or martial artist, and more importantly a better person, by developing the traditional Christian virtues and character traits of honesty, integrity, courtesy, reliability, loyalty, patience, perseverance and genteel manners. Who chooses to live his life, in all he does, both public and private, honorably in accordance with this code of conduct. This is the true meaning of The Code of Honor. Without this Code of Honor fencing and other martial arts are reduced to a mere sport with no inherent life-changing values to contribute. That's why I consider this Code of Honor to be paramount in my salle and why I have committed my life to producing in my students this type of winner at the Mississippi Academy of Arms.

If you too highly regard and aspire to these ideals or want to see them developed in your children then we extend to you this welcome to join the Mississippi Academy of Arms and walk with us down the 'ancient paths and along the good ways' "

Rez Johnson, M d'A

"Teaching in the manner that the Master taught."
Since 1980

If you have any questions after perusing these pages please contact me and I will reply as soon as possible.

"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it..." Jeremiah 6:16a (NIV)

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Mississippi Academy of Arms