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166 Swashbucklers


Member of the
United States
Traditional Fencing

Group classes and private instruction held in Jackson, Madison, Ridgeland, & Brandon.


Letters about the Mississippi Academy of Arms

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If 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) feel free to use the following form. In order for your letter to be posted, all of the blanks must be filled in and you must use YOUR real full name, real organization (fencing club/business), real location (city/state), and real e-mail address. Your e-mail address will not be revealed on this website.
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Letters about the Mississippi Academy of Arms

May 15, 2009

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 in.

John Webster
College Student
Madison, Mississippi

April 17, 2007

My name is Emile Stanford, and I have had the honor of studying western
martial arts under Mr. Rez Johnson's expert instruction for several years.
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.

Emil Standford
Ridgeland, Mississippi

March 27, 2007

The 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.

Donna Peyton
Madison, Mississippi

October 16, 2006

Joining 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.

Mia Stanford
Ridgeland, Mississippi

August 10, 2005

Hey Rez!

Its 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

Atlanta, Georgia


I 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 in 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 is a 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 the 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.

The 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.

If you have any questions please feel free to call me. <phone # deleted for privacy>

Daniel Drennen
Madison, Mississippi


We are quite fortunate to have such a qualified Classical Fencing instructor 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 Association and the Academie d’Armes Internationale. He has also passed three of five rigorous written and practical exams toward his USFCA Fencing Master certification.

I 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.

My 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.

In 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.

In conclusion, please consider this as a very positive recommendation regarding the Mississippi Academy of Arms and headmaster Rez Johnson, Md’A.

Sherryl Webster (Mother of John Webster, student)
Madison, MS


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Mississippi Academy of Arms


"Preserving the character of a courteous and
honest encounter with sharp swords




Copyright © 1980 - 2004 All Rights Reserved.
Mississippi Academy of Arms