Perhaps as a tribute to the timeless nature of the sword, the Worcester Fencing Club began as a small class held at the Higgins Armory Museum, a collection of arms and armor from medieval Europe and beyond. There, Doug Jacobs—a United States Fencing Association–certified instructor—began imparting his knowledge to a handful of students, giving them a small taste of the age-old sport that, over the years, had become unfairly associated with bullies popping balloons in the streets. Still, many of his students wished to extend their training, and—upon a suggestion of the mother of some of his students—Doug expanded his academy in 1998, forming the Worcester Fencing Club. Today, the school continues to draw fresh blood, introducing students of all ages and experience levels to modern- and Olympic-style fencing in classes still often taught by Doug himself.
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Scott Ferguson may be a high-school math teacher, but he's also a serious history buff. He brings his passion for studying the greatest medieval and Renaissance swordsmen to his role as chief instructor at Swords of Chivalry. There, he instructs kids and adults in the finer points of swordplay as well as the history of weapons fighting, answering questions about why maces and morning stars were used in certain battles, and foam pool noodles in others. Students are closely monitored to ensure safety and to foster a respectful attitude toward combat.
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The professionally trained fencing instructors at Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club seek to develop their students' mind, body, and character through participation in the centuries-old sport. During the academy's classes, students of any skill level may choose to learn on all three Olympic weapons: foil, sabre, and épée. The one-hour sessions generally last for six weeks and each builds on prior material to help students improve their skills on the strip. Two meetings are composed entirely of competition with fellow classmates, allowing students to show off their newfound skills, and the last session is a class tournament.
Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club, which originally operated as a two-location enterprise, consolidated into one 12,000-square-foot full-time professional fencing studio in March of 2012. The air-conditioned facility features 15 electric strips and zero chandeliers from which swashbuckling fencers may swing. Though the sport finds its roots in the practice of sword fighting, modern fencing is much safer, and the academy has advanced equipment and instructors that hold CPR certification just in case.
Inside Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship’s training facility, students of all ages work in groups with instructors to learn the fine techniques involved in Japanese swordsmanship and foil fencing. The Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship instructors also lead classes in stage combat, teaching techniques used by stage and film actors during fight sequences. Once students are comfortable controlling foam practice swords with their minds, they can join the Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship crew on interactive play adventures, such as the Wizards & Warriors summer camp. The live-action role-play events integrate medieval themes with lessons in historical weapons and self-confidence.