Red Sun Classical Fencing is a traditional Italian Sala di Arma (fencing school, lit. “room of weapons”) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Red Sun Classical Fencing is a member sala di arma of the Classical Fencing Society. Our focus is upon the Italian dueling weapons of the 18th and 19th century, the spada (sword) and the sciabola (sabre); though all students begin with the classical Italian foil, the instrument with which the techniques of the Science are taught and learned. Preliminary training at Red Sun Classical Fencing follows a course similar to that detailed in Maestro William Gaugler’s text, The Science of Fencing, as well as the curriculum developed by the Classical Fencing Society for over 15 years. Ongoing training focuses on practical combat and additional weapons.
Unlike sport/modern fencing organizations in the area, Red Sun Classical Fencing is a school of fencing, not a club. This difference means that complete understanding of the systems of defense is our principal objective, not scoring points. We follow a classical pedagogy of a traditional system; the process is logical and focuses on the practical combative techniques passed down to us through the lineage of fencing masters. Rather than adopt unnecessary rules and distort techniques, we maintain the precise and efficient use of dueling weapons.
This is fencing as it was intended; a fighting art and training for a duel. If competition, scoring points, being ranked, or using the modern weapons only as instruments for those goals is important to you, then you’ll probably find a sport/modern fencing club more to your liking. However, if you like swords and want to learn how to use one properly, if you like the history of swords and fencing, if you want to be a part of a western martial arts tradition that goes back for centuries, or even if you want to complement your sport fencing techniques, then Traditional/Classical fencing is for you. This is a martial art, not a sport; here, there are no whippy instruments, cables, blinking lights, or contorted body movements used only to get points…there is only the Science of Fencing, and your personal application of it.
Tuesdays: 19:30- 21:30
Thursdays: 19:30- 21:30
Sundays: 19:30- 21:30
Tuition is payable directly to the Instructor before the first class of the month. Accepted forms of payment are cash, check, or PayPal. Tuition covers rental of the space, insurance costs for fencing-related activities, use and care of equipment provided by the school, and purchase of new equipment.
-The base membership tuition is $75 per month. This entitles the member to usage of school equipment and weekly group lessons, as well as a discount on private individual lessons.
-A reduced tuition of $50 per month (a 33% discount) applies if the member:
1. is a student enrolled at an academic institution.
2. is an active or retired member, or veteran, of the US Armed Forces.
3. pays at least 3 months’ worth of membership in advance.
4. possesses fencing equipment (mask, jacket or plastron, glove, and Italian foil) suitable to use for training.
-Prospective members may participate in one class at no charge.
-For fencers who are not members of Red Sun Classical Fencing or the Classical Fencing Society, there is a floor fee of $15 per class. This fee does NOT include usage of school equipment; equipment is for the use of the school membership only.
-Individual private lessons outside of the regularly scheduled weekly classes are available from the Instructor for members and non-members of Red Sun Classical Fencing, for a separate fee (reduced for members). Fencing equipment will be provided to the student during these lessons if needed. If interested, please contact the Instructor using the contact info on the Contact page to discuss place, time, duration, and fee.
-Members of Red Sun Classical Fencing are insured through the HEMA Alliance. New members must sign a HEMAA Waiver in order to be be covered by the insurance.
Basic Equipment Information:
The school will provide any required fencing equipment (mask, plastron, glove, and Italian foil) for members. All participants are responsible for following these other clothing recommendations/requirements:
Pants that are not too baggy, provide complete leg coverage, and do not limit movement are acceptable. Examples include fencing knickers, athletic pants, yoga pants, karate/judo-style gi pants, or sweat pants.
Examples of pants that are NOT permitted: Shorts (no lower leg protection against errant blades), jeans (they limit mobility and proper body positioning), excessively baggy yoga or sweat pants (blades can get caught and break).
Any shoes that are flat, low to the ground (thin sole), have non-marking soles, and not slippery are highly recommended. Examples include fencing shoes, wrestling shoes, indoor soccer shoes, or even Converse. If nothing else, basic tennis shoes will work.
Starting off, for basic body positioning and footwork (the first few sessions), a regular t-shirt will work. However, once bladework begins, it is recommended that students wear a shirt with long sleeves.
For men: An athletic groin protector, while not required (since for foil groin is not target), is highly recommended.
For women: No matter the weapon used, torso is always target. Chest protection is REQUIRED, either by extra layers or by using plastic chest protectors of some kind (a limited number of these are available from the school).
Class material will consist of the practice of proper fencing body positioning, footwork, and bladework. All students begin with the Italian foil, as this provides the basis for all theory and technique. As proficiency grows with the foil, and some bouting experience has been gained (usually after several months of regular training), other weapons will be taught.
The class format will mainly consist of group lessons; this is where the majority of the class time will be spent. All members of Red Sun Classical Fencing will receive the same instruction during a group class; there is no segregation between ages, sexes, or experience levels. Individual lessons will be given during class as time allows. Time designated for an Advanced Class will be used to teach other weapons and advanced techniques. Free bouting is allowed when permitted by the Instructor.
Bouting is not permitted until the member has completed the initial training curriculum and tested for their bouting privileges. This test includes written, verbal, practical, and combat elements, and is designed to show that the member has learned the terminology, theory, and techniques of the Science of fencing, and can apply them correctly and safely. Depending on how consistently the member attends regular training, bouting privileges will be conferred approximately 6-12 months after beginning training. After that time, the member may freely bout with any other member that has their bouting privileges, the Instructor, or any visiting fencer that is deemed capable of fencing safely.