about the Mississippi
Academy of Arms
you would like to post a public letter about your experiences
at the Mississippi Academy of Arms, or about the Academy's
Fencing Master, Rez Johnson, (and his assistant instructors)
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the Mississippi Academy of Arms
For the past 6+ years, I have trained in
Foil (a classical dueling arm) at the Mississippi Academy of
Arms. Also, I have trained in Longsword for roughly 3 years.
This training has taught me a lot about the technical aspects
of the aforementioned weapons. My formality has truly benefited
from the training I have received. It has also provided me one
of the most social experiences of my life to date. Rez is ever-patient
with his students. And though; from a physical standpoint, fencing
and Longsword stand as 'odd' arts today, they truly stand as
the greatest and most enjoyable activity I could ever take part
My name is Emile Stanford, and I have had the honor of studying
martial arts under Mr. Rez Johnson's expert instruction for several
It is difficult to put into words the value of that training,
but I shall
endeavor to do so.
From Classical Fencing, I learned much about rapid, precise movement. The
ability to observe a situation for only a split-second, and make a good
decision about the correct action, is most valuable. This sport is much like
chess, and very athletic at the same time. There is also a good deal of
formality involved. Things such as respect for your fellows and superiors,
integral to any martial art, are emphasized. Classical fencing improves
one's character like few other sports can.
My personal favorite style Mr. Johnson teaches is the German longsword as
taught by Johannes Lichtenhauer. This is not a duelling weapon; It is a
weapon of war. Regardless of the weapon studied, having the skill and
ability to use it properly imparts the confidence to back away when fighting
is not the answer, and the strength to fight when neccessary.
There is something about staring an opponent in the eye, and feeling your
hand grasp the grip of a good sword, that resonates with the chivalric ideal
the knights of old were held to. In a time when our society no longer values
honor and responsibility for one's actions, people like Mr. Johnson who
still teach these ancient arts are valuable indeed. While eastern martial
arts are usually very good to learn, the ideals behind them do not quite
resonate with the western mind. If you have the opportunity to study these
things, do so. You will gain real fighting skill, and much more.
Mississippi Academy of Arms is a great place to learn the fine
points of swordsmanship and honor. It is a great place for character
building and intellectual stimulation in an environment that works
both the mind and the body. However a more important aspect of
our fencing salle is its Christian atmosphere. It is very uplifting
to be part of a group that enjoys Christian fellowship and to
have an instructor whose Christian values are the perspective for
his life. Rez has created a fencing salle that is welcoming and
encouraging to all.
the Academy has perhaps been the best decision I have ever made.
The training I recieve there not only makes me a better fencer,
but a better person altogether. I get to meet and work with the
finest people and recieve some of the best instruction anywhere.
Mr. Rez, in addition to being a fine Christian, is a very kind
and patient maestro. I have never had a dull or boring class,
and I learn something new everytime. Fencing is quite often the
highlight of my week, but it's not just the training I look forward
to(which by the way, is unbelievable exercise). It's the principles
and values I learn there, and in turn apply to my everyday life.
A bout or match is quite often won;on your honour, meaning we
don't cheat or lie just to win. We also learn perseverance, because
you don't become a fencing master overnight. You have to work
at it, and have a true passion for what you do. The members of
the Mississippi Academy of Arms have that passion.
been a long time, sorry if this is not the right place to say
hi. It looks like the Academy is
doing well. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for all that
you have done for me. I mean I would not be where I am now if
it weren’t for you. You were the one to get me into fencing,
the greatest sport (and martial art) ever. Anyway, I hope we
will get to see one another again one day. You were the best
coach a student could ask for. Well right now I’m living
in Georgia, and fencing there. Fencing has really taught me a
lot in the years. Hope your Academy keeps up the good work.
Robert Spanial, (Former Student)
Lotus Fencing Academy
have been a member of the Academy since September 2002.
During that time Rez has been a gentleman,
Christian, and professional with impeccable honesty and
fair play. He has been a mentor to all the Academy members
establishing honor and gentleness to the art of Classical
Fencing during a time when these important characteristics
are being replaced by insincerity and harshness in Sport
Fencing. Besides his honesty and fair play, Rez is conscientious,
responsible, and respectful of others and their property.
He shows everyone respect and treats the equipment and
the facilities with care. Organized and industrious, Rez
good businessman and is always fair and willing to be financially
creative. As a Christian, Rez demonstrates his faith to
the membership, yet does not proselytize. He demonstrates
love of Christ in his heart and always shows compassion.
He is an attentive listener and assists people as an active
Christian with problems and conflicts.
two years that I have been with Rez and the Academy has enriched
my professional and spiritual life. I recommend to you Rez
Johnson as an outstanding mentor, friend, citizen, businessman
and master of the craft of Classical Fencing.
you have any questions please feel free to call me. <phone
# deleted for privacy>
are quite fortunate to have such a qualified Classical Fencing
in the Jackson metropolitan area, along with the Mississippi
Academy of Arms. Rez has been a fencing instructor since
1980; he is certified through the United States Fencing Coaches
and the Academie d’Armes Internationale. He has also
passed three of five rigorous written and practical exams
toward his USFCA Fencing Master certification.
have been especially impressed with Rez’s patience with
his students, and with his calm nature. He provides a wonderful
example of honesty, courtesy, and respectfulness; and I hope
that John, my son, will learn some of these qualities from
him. I have also found Rez to be very dependable.
15 year old son, John has been one of Rez’s Classical
Fencing students for approximately 2 years. Classical Fencing
is a wonderful activity for a teenager who is not involved
in team sports such as football or basketball, and who has
few hobbies other than video games. It provides good exercise
and it provides social interaction. It teaches discipline and
a code of honor which includes honesty, integrity, courtesy,
respect, courage, loyalty, etiquette, patience, and self-control.
In addition to fencing classes the Academy hosts tournaments
which give students extra practice in what they have learned.
Rez also promotes camaraderie by encouraging “Swashbuckler” gatherings
which are pot-luck dinners for the students and their families
along with the viewing of a fencing oriented movie.
addition to Classical Fencing classes, the Academy currently
offers Cane Fencing (self-defense with a walking cane), the
(cane is the) only legal weapon for self-defense in public
anywhere in the world. John does not take Cane Fencing classes,
however, I have observed the Cane class while waiting to pick
up John from his class and have been very impressed in seeing
how useful it can be. In addition to foil and cane, Rez has
also offered epee, saber, rapier classes.
conclusion, please consider this as a very positive recommendation
regarding the Mississippi Academy of Arms and headmaster Rez
Sherryl Webster (Mother of John Webster, student)
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- 2006 All Rights Reserved.
Mississippi Academy of Arms ™