Classical Fencing
HistoricalSwordsmanship
Cane Fighting
Goju-Shorei Weapons
Modern Self-Defense

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


 

Academy Programs


The Mississippi Academy of Arms is composed of three academic schools:

The School of Classical Fencing

The School of Historical Swordsmanship


The School of Classical Fencing

Classical Fencing is the style of fencing taught by the French and Italian Fencing Masters in the mid to late 19th century (aprox. 1850 - 1892). It was during the Classical era that fencing, dueling, and swordsmanship reached the pinnacle of perfection, after hundreds of years of refinement.

Unfortunately, in the late 1800s and early 1900s fencing increasingly fell victim to the strong emphasis of that day placed on athleticizing all arts. This along with the demise of dueling, a greater emphasis on competition over self-defense, the introduction of electric fencing equipment, and a continuous change in the rules, reduced the martial art of fencing into a mere sport.

However, a few masters refused to dilute the original martial art and continued to teach Classical Fencing as well as Historical Swordsmanship in their salles and academies. Their legacy continues on today in the few Traditional Fencing Salles and Academies which remain.

The primary weapons of the classical era are the Foil, Epee, and Sabre.

The Academy offers instruction in Classical French Fleuret (The Academic Foil), Classical French Epee d' Combat (The Dueling Sword), Classical French Sabre (The Academic Sabre), and Classical Italian Sciabola de Machette (The Italian Dueling Sabre). Fleuret is prerequisite to the other Classical Weapons


The School of Historical Swordsmanship

Historical Swordsmanship encompasses the styles of swordsmanship taught by the English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German Fencing Masters in 16th through 18th centuries.

Historical Swordsmanship gradually declined and by the Classical Fencing era was only taught by a few fencing masters and then only to advanced or select students. Unfortunately, in the late 1800s and early 1900s fencing increasingly fell victim to the strong emphasis of that day placed on athleticizing all arts. This along with the demise of dueling, a greater emphasis on competition over self-defense, the introduction of electric fencing equipment, and a continuous change in the rules, reduced the martial art of fencing into a mere sport.

However, a few masters refused to dilute the original martial art and continued to teach Historical Swordsmanship as well as Classical Fencing in their salles and academies. Their legacy continues on today in the few Traditional Fencing Salles and Academies which remain.

The Academy offers instruction in English Short Sword and Buckler, Backsword, Long Sword, Two-Handed Sword, English Short Staff (Quarter Staff), Italian Rapier, Spanish Rapier, French Smallsword,
and Bayonet Fencing. Italian Rapier is prerequisite to the other Historical Weapons
.


The School of Modern Self-Defense

The Academy also offers instruction in practical, effective self-defense using the Gentleman's Cane, walking stick, and umbrella. The walking cane is the only weapon of self-defense which is still completely legal to carry anywhere in the world: on an airplane, in a court house, school, or church, to a restaurant or sporting event. When attacked by one or more assailants the walking cane becomes a great equalizer for able-bodied persons as well as for the elderly or the handicapped. For these reasons the walking cane is the perfect weapon for self-defense in our modern age and is increasingly being carried by people of all levels of ability and disability.




Rez and Master Dave McNeill

Rez Johnson, the Headmaster of the Mississippi Academy of Arms has been practicing the Cane techniques taught by the Weapons Branch of Goju-Shorei Karate since 1999. Later that year he started teaching cane fighting technques to two of his private students. In April of 2004, due to the overwhelming number of requests by his fencing students for a group class, he began teaching a Goju-Shorei cane fighting classes two nights a week at the Academy. He became the personal student of Goju-Shorei Weapons System creator and founder, Grand Master Dave McNeill and has tested for all of his rank advancements directly with Master McNeill. In 2004 Master McNeill recognized the Mississippi Academy of Arms as an official Goju-Shorei Weapons System affiliate school and authorized Mr. Johnson to teach the weapons curriculum of the Goju-Shorei Weapons System. Mr. Johnson was the first person authorized to teach the Goju-Shorei Weapons System in Mississippi and the Mississippi Academy of Arms was the first affiliate school in Mississippi. Master McNeill teaches Goju-Shorei workshops and Self-Defense workshops at the Academy.

Students in the Goju-Shorei Weapons System measure their progress through seven colored belt ranks and eight black belt ranks. Cane Students Ranks.

We also offer an Eskrima class which teaches Hand to Knife, Knife to Knife, Hand to Hand, Single Stick, Double Stick and an intuitive form of empty handed self-defense against a surprise knife attack called Reactive Knife Defense.

Our School of Self-Defense also offers Tai Chi for Health and Relaxation and Wei Chi (Go) for Intelligence Building and Tactical Skill Development, both free of charge as a service to the community.

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


 

 

 



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Mississippi Academy of Arms