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Knoxville Academy of the Blade:

A Passion for Excellence in Sport and Historic Fencing

Modern Sport Fencing

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     At KAB, our primary focus is on modern sport fencing, like you would see in the Olympics. We fence all three weapons: the foil, epee, and saber regularly and several of our members compete in these weapons as well.    We offer classes for all ages, though we do tend to ask for members of our our Beginner classes to be at least 10 years of age. There is no upper limit on age, either, which makes fencing a perfect sport for families!

     John Farmer is our head Sport Fencing coach, with Tom Farmer and Michael Petherick as his Assistant Coaches.


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     We've recently expanded our skill set to include KidFence!. KidFence! is a program designed especially for children 6 to 10 years old and included special, lightweight gear. KidFence! will not only give them the groundwork they will need to take Advanced Lessons later, or even compete, but it will also strengthen and condition them so that they will be able to safely and effectively fence with the normal weight swords once they hace developed the strength and dexterity to do so.

     Stephanie Farmer is the KidFence! coach.

Italian Renaissance Rapier

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     At KAB, we don't just teach modern fencing. We teach a variety of Historic Weapons (also known as HEMA, or Historic European Martial Arts) as well. The first one we added to our curriculum was the rapier of Renaissance Italy. We teach the use of the rapier and various "companion" weapons, such as the dagger, the buckler, and the cloak. In addition to learning to fence with the weapons of the Duelists, participants will learn about the history of the weapons. Our rapier curriculum draws from a variety of sources, including: Camillo Agrippa, Salvador Fabris, Nicolo Giganti, and Giacomo DiGrassi.

     Joel Davis is our Head Rapier Coach, with Tom Farmer as his Assistant.

Dueling Saber

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   In addition to teaching our students modern, competitive saber, we also offer a class in the dueling saber of the 19th Century. This weapon is heavier than its modern descendant, but many of the actions have a core of similarity. This weapon comes from a time when the Victorians were codifying the rules of dueling and practicing, and so it is a much stricter weapon than the rapier or other swords that came before it. We teach primarily out of Alfred Hutton's work, but also draw from the work of Henry Angelo, Richard Burton, and even the 1906 US Navy Cutlass manual.


     Tom Farmer is the Head Dueling Saber Coach

German Longsword

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     The most recent addition to our offerings is the German Longsword. We are proud to have two of the first ever "Moniteurs d'Escrime Historique" awarded in the United States here in our club. The German Longsword is a vastly different weapon from the others we offer. It is heavier, larger, and requires much more discipline to use safely. Even so, fighting with the longsword is still "fencing" in the original sense of the word. Our students learn the timing, distance, and even tactics of this surprisingly graceful weapon. Hans Lichtenauer is our main source for the longsword, and we also teach material from Hans Talhoffer, Hanko Döbringer, and even Alfred Hutton's brief touching on the longsword.

     Tom Farmer and John Farmer are both co-Head Coaches for Longsword.