Red Sun Classical Fencing

Red Sun Classical Fencing is a traditional Italian Sala di Armi (fencing school, lit. “room of weapons”) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Red Sun Classical Fencing is a traditional Italian Sala di Armi (fencing school, lit. “room of weapons”) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a member sala of the Classical Fencing Society.

Operating as usual

Photos from Fencing Masters Certificate Program's post 07/05/2022

An announcement, but first, how we got here:

I've been fencing since 2000, and teaching fencing since 2006. In 2010, I decided to begin undertaking the certification process for the commonly recognized certifications in fencing instruction; Instructor at Arms, Provost at Arms, and finally Master at Arms.

I obtained the first two in relatively quick succession (in 2011 and 2013, respectively). While I didn't set foot upon the path without the intention to reach the end, the intervention of unexpected life events (a divorce, and then later a job loss), and the desire to remain in the competitive fencing space, threw a wrench in my plans, and put me in no mood to move forward with the requirements and study needed to pass a Fencing Master's exam. So I just kept teaching, and fencing, and along the way I also became a competitive ballroom dancer.

Then Covid hit, and I could no longer do those things for a was then I decided, because I would never have this kind of time again, that I would, in earnest, devote time to completing my thesis, as well as the practice, study, and discipline required to take the Masters exam. Despite all the adversity, I've finally made it.

With great pride, it is my honor and pleasure to announce that, after nearly a dozen years spent in pursuit, on Sunday July 3 2022 at the Sonoma State University Fencing Masters Certificate Program (headed by Professor John Sullins, Military Master at Arms, Director of the Program), before a board of 5 Masters at Arms, I successfully passed the final examination for the certification of Master at Arms.

Thank you to everyone who helped, encouraged, and mentored me along the way; my teacher David Achilleus and my dear friend and colleague Maestro Charles Dobbs, Instructor Sean Newton, and innumerable others (including Maestro Jared Kirby and Maestro Ramon Martinez); and to the other examining Maestri (David Coblentz, Dori Coblentz, Kevin Murakoshi, and Puck Curtis), and not least, my student for most of the exam, Provost Tony Barajas, for putting up with me the whole week.

I am now merely the latest in a long line of fencing masters...I hope I can do the tradition, and all who came before me, proud. I know that while I've reached the end of one path, another begins.


Classical Fencing Colleagues:

As promised in a previous post, a website for the Red Sun Classical Fencing 10th Anniversary Tournament, to be held on Saturday October 22nd, is now up!

Registration is now OPEN for the tournament! For complete details, including Rules and Regulations, as well as to register, please visit the following site:

We hope to see you here!

Events 06/08/2022


Classical Fencing Colleagues:

I wanted to post a preliminary notice for this event on October 22, 2022, so that travel plans can be made if you want to attend. A website containing complete rules, regulations, and registration should be up within the next couple of weeks at this website:

October of this year will mark 10 years(!) since the founding of Red Sun Classical Fencing. In celebration of this occasion, much as we did for our 5th anniversary, we will be holding a tournament. Since there haven't been a lot of such events over the last few years due to Covid, I'm hoping that this will be a welcome break from that.

Here are the preliminary details for the event:
What: Red Sun Classical Fencing 10th Anniversary Tournament
When: Saturday, October 22nd 2022
Where: Red Sun Classical Fencing (located within Duke City Fencing, 2840 Girard Blvd NE, Albuquerque NM 87107)
Covid19 policy: We are currently a "face covering optional" facility. However, we feel that the responsible thing to do is attempt ensure the safety of attendees to the best of our ability, therefore, proof of Covid19 vaccination/booster(s), a negative Covid19 test result taken just prior to the tournament, or proof of recovery from Covid19 within the 90 days prior to the tournament is required.
There will be a fee to register for the tournament (likely around the $30-$40 range, with a discount for members of Classical Fencing Society schools); the number of weapons a participant wishes to fence will factor into this.
Once registration opens, it will remain so until two weeks before the tournament (October 8th).

Format (high-level): This time around, we are opting for a traditional Classical tournament; there will be 3 weapons; Foil, Epee, and Sabre. Competitors may elect to fence in any or all weapons. Each division will be fenced in a Round Robin, but if there is a high number of competitors, we may resort to a double elimination format. The prize for 1st place in each weapon will be a gift certificate to Rockwell Classical Fencing Equipment (amount TBD). If there is a large number of competitors, prizes may additionally be given for 2nd and 3rd place.

If you have questions in the meantime, feel free to respond to this post....otherwise another notice will be posted when the website is up.

Events Visit the post for more.

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy Certificate: Practical 04/07/2022

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy Certificate: Practical

Here is the link to register for the SSUFMCP summer intensive. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with others of our community, and receive a great deal of instruction. Exams are held during these sessions. Of note, Provost Mank will be attempting the Master level practical examination at this session.

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy Certificate: Practical This course is designed to prepare participants in fencing practice, pedagogy, and coaching. Fencing is one of the ...

#1168 KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy: Theory 04/07/2022

#1168 KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy: Theory

Registration is up for the SSUFMCP courses. This one is for the theory course, typically taken before the summer intensive and practical exam.

#1168 KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy: Theory Please note:This class will have synchronous online meetings to be determined by students' availability. This class i...


Due to planned (& unplanned) absences this evening, and that Provost Mank is having to deal with a few personal matters (and thus won't be present), tonight's (Tuesday 3/15) class session is CANCELED.

See you Thursday if you'll be attending.

Apologies for the short notice.


New Mexico's indoor mask mandate was lifted by Gov Lujan-Grisham, effective Thursday 2/17/22.

In consideration of this announcement, training at Red Sun Classical Fencing group classes and individual lessons will now be "face covering optional".


Due to treacherous driving conditions throughout the Albuquerque metro area, the scheduled training session for tonight (Thursday 2/3/22) is CANCELED.

Stay off the roads if you can, and stay safe and warm.

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy Certificate: Practical 12/10/2021

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy Certificate: Practical

Here is the registration link for the SSU FMCP winter session. Provost Mank will be in attendance.

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy Certificate: Practical This course is designed to prepare participants in fencing practice, pedagogy, and coaching. Fencing is one of the ...

Christopher Holzman - Books and Publications Spotlight | Lulu 11/27/2021

Christopher Holzman - Books and Publications Spotlight | Lulu

For anyone looking to purchase any of those publications translated by Chris Holzman, this is one of the better discounts; the last time a discount like this rolled around, Provost Mank completed the set (see picture on Page).

Christopher Holzman - Books and Publications Spotlight | Lulu


This was supposed to to be a Milestone post, but it seems like Facebook likes to change how to do that for Pages every year, and this year it wasn't worth the effort, so it's being done as a regular post this year:

Red Sun Classical Fencing 9th Anniversary

October 31 2021 marks the 9th anniversary of the founding of Red Sun Classical Fencing. 2021 saw the continuation of regular training with minimal interruption by health orders. While currently we are required to wear face coverings again, we are glad that we have been able to train without significant impediment. This year also saw the return of Fencer examinations, with student Katie Lundebjerg passing her exam in late August; this exam was the first held since well before the pandemic. This year also saw the return of some events, such as CombatCon, at which Provost Mank was once again requested to run the Classical Foil Tournament, though with the rise of the Delta variant of Covid, some events may once again be up in the air, but we must hope for the best. Classical Fencing Society leadership has been meeting somewhat more regularly once again, to keep our confederation of schools aligned, and share ideas with which we can best serve our respective communities, most important of those currently is the re-establishment of the St. Louis branch, Trovare di Spada. We look forward to next year, which will mark the 10th Anniversary of the school, to be celebrated with a tournament, and (hopefully) Provost Mank's investiture as a Master at Arms.

Red Sun Classical Fencing updated their business hours. 11/07/2021

Red Sun Classical Fencing updated their business hours.

Red Sun Classical Fencing updated their business hours.

Photos from Fencing Masters Certificate Program's post 10/18/2021

Materials present at a sabre workshop in Rome attended by M. Sullins.


Serafino Fratelli Italian Dueling Swords

Exquisite examples of Parise-era dueling swords.


Red Sun Classical Fencing is pleased to announce that student Katie Lundebjerg has successfully passed the Classical Fencing Society Fencer's exam, and as such has gained all associated rights and privileges, including the right to bout and begin training in other weapons. This examination contains written, verbal, practical, and combat elements. Congratulations to Katie!


By NMDOH order, effective this Friday (8/20/21), face coverings are required when within indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

As this is pretty broad, our sala at DCF, of course, qualifies as such a space.

Therefore, beginning this Saturday's private lessons, as well as all our group class sessions during the week thereafter, face coverings are (once again) required to be worn by all participants during training sessions, regardless of vaccination status.

The current NMDOH order is scheduled, at this time, to last until 9/15, at which time the Covid Delta situation will be re-assessed.

Photos from Fencing Masters Certificate Program's post 08/03/2021

Looks like this year’s RASP seminar was well-attended. Thanks to all the teachers and participants for putting in the work!

Photos from Red Sun Classical Fencing's post 07/26/2021

Thank you to all the participants of the Combat Con Classical Foil Tournament! Congratulations to Collin Vredenburg for his first place finish, receiving a prize of a new smallsword supplied by Rockwell Classical Fencing!

I hope to see you all again next year for CombatCon’s 10th anniversary!

Top photo (left to right):
Provost Ryan Mank, Tournament Director
Collin Vredenburg, 1st Place
Sarah Potratz, 2nd Place

Bottom photo (left to right):
Provost Ryan Mank
Yuhan Guo
Thomas Levine
Collin Vredenburg
Stephanie Krutz
Sarah Potratz


Red Sun Classical Fencing is pleased to host Maestro Antone Blair of Destreza Pacifica School of Arms during our upcoming Thursday (7/29/21) session, during his post-CombatCon travels to New Mexico!


Sone excellent advice regarding fencing measure.

Photos from J.A. Arnanz Swords's post 07/14/2021

Here is the finished piece that was previously posted.


Another possible smarra option; similar options from this vendor had been posted a while back. Looks like good quality for the price!

Italian smarra. Soon more photos of the finished sword.

Smarra italiana. Pronto más fotos de la espada terminada.


One month left to register for the CombatCon Classical Foil Tournament!


Per CDC and New Mexico Dept of Health guidelines, face coverings are no longer required under fencing masks for training at Red Sun Classical Fencing if the participants are fully vaccinated.

Please still wear them when entering DCF, but they may be removed once our training session begins. Temperature checks are also no longer being administered upon arrival at DCF.

Reading Radaellian Saber Texts 05/04/2021

Reading Radaellian Saber Texts

Instructor Sean Newton, my friend and colleague, has led 2 workshops in Radaellian sabre here at Red Sun; here’s further reading on the subject in his blog.

Reading Radaellian Saber Texts It seems like the Radaellian saber has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. Next year’s Saber Slash will focus on Radaellian saber as its main topic, for example. There are also…

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy: Theory 04/15/2021

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy: Theory

The SSU FMCP is holding the theory class at the end of May. This is the course that one typically takes in between the two practical in-person intensives for each level of instructor certification.

KIN 311 Fencing Pedagogy: Theory This class is the theory component of the Fencing Pedagogy Certificate Program. In this course students will become acqu...


Coupon available on Lulu for Chris Holzman’s books.

If you haven’t noticed, Lulu has been a bit stingy with coupon codes this year. The current code is READER15 for 15% off good through the 26th.

If you haven’t gotten a copy of F.A. Marcelli’s “Rules of Fencing” from 1686, or if part I and II of Giuseppe Morsicato Pallavicini’s “Fencing Illustrated” from 1670 and 1673, you’re really missing out on key texts from the Italian tradition. Likewise with Rosaroll & Grisetti’s “Science is Fencing”, from 1803, which includes some of the best described grapples and counters that I’ve seen in a fencing book.

Get these and more at:

Rapier and Saber Pedagogy | Decatur School of Arms 03/21/2021

Rapier and Saber Pedagogy | Decatur School of Arms

Here’s the registration link for this year’s Rapier and Sabre Pedagogy seminar.

Rapier and Saber Pedagogy | Decatur School of Arms Please join us for our fourth annual Rapier and Saber Pedagogy Retreat on July 29-August 1st. We are eager to welcome you back to beautiful Georgia after a long year for everyone – here is some footage from last year’s event.


Here’s a nice coupon for ZWA.

The Naked Swordmaster: Classical Fencing (#10) 03/14/2021

The Naked Swordmaster: Classical Fencing (#10)

Here is some excellent “straight talk” commentary from Maitre Adam Crown on the nature and definition of what we call Classical Fencing. I found it thought provoking; even after having practiced it for over 20 years.

The Naked Swordmaster: Classical Fencing (#10) If you have been involved in the Classical Fencing community for more than a few minutes you already know that not everyone agrees on the definition of Class...

Episode 7: French vs Italian 02/16/2021

Episode 7: French vs Italian

Some great commentary by Maitre Adam Crown. Having been trained in both French and Italian styles, I found it particularly enjoyable.

Episode 7: French vs Italian Episode 7: French vs ItalianA common topic in the fencing world, especially the classical fencing world. Maître Crown offers his take on the differences betw...


Pre-Made Item Sale | Zen Warrior Armory

For those of you wanting one of ZWA’s classical fencing jackets (like a few of our members have) for a discount, have a look at the white ones and see if available in your size.

Pre-Made Item Sale | Zen Warrior Armory

Timeline Photos 02/01/2021

Another possible smarra source, though the blade would need to be changed.

A nice looking piece regardless!

Modern interpretation of an italian smallsword inspired by some models of the late 18th and early 19th century. The guard is made as described in some treatises like "La scienza della scherma" by Rosaroll Scorza and Grisetti Pietro (Milano-1803).
Stainless steel hilt, iron pommel, and hand carved oak handle.
Total lenght 106,5cm
Blade length: 90cm
PoB: 10cm from the cup
Weight: 550g
Precio: 250+shipping

Interpretación moderna de un espadín italiano inspirado en diversos modelos de finales del s.XVIII y principios del s.XIX. La guarnición está basada en las descripciones de algunos tratados como "La scienza della scherma" por Rosaroll Scorza y Grisetti Pietro (Milano-1803).
Guarnición de acero inoxidable, pomo de hierro, y puño de roble hecho a mano.
Longitud: 106,5cm
Longitud hoja: 90cm
Puno de equilibrio: 10cm
Peso: 550g
Precio: 250€+envío



Example and commentary on Italian dueling swords pre-“epee” style.

ANTICO FIORETTO MARCATO S.I.B. BRESCIA DA SCHERMA ? | eBay Le migliori offerte per ANTICO FIORETTO MARCATO S.I.B. BRESCIA DA SCHERMA ? sono su eBay ✓ Confronta prezzi e caratteristiche di prodotti nuovi e usati ✓ Molti articoli con consegna gratis!


This ought to make The Art of the Dueling Sabre happy. I call it “The Chris Holzman Collection”, and I’m sure that it must be said in some sort of snooty accent.

Everything above Art of the Dueling Sabre arrived today as a result of me irresistibly taking advantage of LuLu’s 30% off coupon during Black Friday.

But I thought it was worth pulling out the rest for a group photo.


The Art of the Dueling Sabre

Some wise words from Barbasetti, in relation to recent discussions in class.

From Barbasetti's notes in his copy of the 1876 Del Frate: "Molinelli with a lunge

The greatest difficulty for the exact execution of the blow with the lunge is that of the precise tempo in which the student must lunge. For the lunge to be advantageous, the foot must touch the ground a moment after the blow has touched. If the student lunges before the tempo, the maestro will make him understand that [?] only delays the movement, but with a time hit to the arm or to the body he will persuade him that he shows himself exposed."


Per the Governor's updated health order, which takes effect Wednesday December 2nd, we are allowed to reopen.

The next scheduled class session will be Thursday December 3rd.


Per the latest public health order of the Governor of New Mexico in response to the surge in Covid cases, Red Sun Classical Fencing must close for 2 weeks beginning Monday November 16th.

The next possible class session will be Tuesday December 1st.

Updates will be posted as the order is amended. Stay safe over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Videos (show all)

CSP Dance Studios Demo, 6-29-18
Here's some found video from our trip to Arcata CA in April. This was during our last night as we visited Maestro John S...
Here's some found video from our trip to Arcata CA in April.  This was during our last night as we visited Maestro John ...



Private lessons - $30/hr (discounted to $20/hr for members of the school)

Group Classes - $80/mo (discounted to $60/mo under certain conditions)



2840 Girard Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM

General information


Members are required to sign a waiver of liability upon joining the school or when taking private instruction.

Tuition is payable to the school 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, purchase of new equipment, and costs associated with any seminars, workshops, and tournaments the school sponsors.

–The base membership tuition is $100 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 $80 per month (a 20% 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. has two or more family members enrolled in the school.
5. possesses fencing equipment (mask, jacket, underarm plastron/protector, glove, and Italian foil) suitable for training.

–Prospective members will receive their first lesson at no charge. This lesson will be an individual lesson covering the most basic elements of fencing.

–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 regularly scheduled classes are available from the Head 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.

Basic Equipment Information:

The school will provide any required fencing equipment (mask, underarm plastron/protector, jacket, 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 (w/long socks), 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.

–Anatomy-Specific Protection
For men: An athletic groin protector is highly recommended.
For women: 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 Structure:

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 or sexes. 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 Head Instructor. All members will also participate in formal assaults, in order to learn the skills of judging and directing fencing bouts.

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 Instructors, or any visiting fencer that is deemed capable of fencing safely.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 7:30pm - 10pm
Thursday 7:30pm - 10pm

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