I’m going to have to be a lot nicer when writing about the Martinez Academy of Arms in the future. I went to watch a class last night, and it has to have been the friendliest martial arts studio I’d ever been in. Yes, I could have started up a conversation about Babylon 5 or Star Wars card games with anyone in the place, and yes, Maestro Ramon Martinez does use “Maestro” in his name, a practice which I equate with a non-MD calling themself “Doctor”, but, they were really nice.
Plus, the weapons were absolutely beautiful. The foils I’ve seen at other fencing schools are unexciting chromed metal, with about as much panache as an extendable blackboard pointer. These foils, however, were handmade, with blades from Italy and (in most cases) antique hilts and pommels. I held a dueling rapier from the 1880s that gets used every day in practice, and it was really cool.
There’s enough old-school “academy of arms” schtick here to film a Cyrano movie, too, with Spanish phrases to say for each move: “ti ti!” to advance, “ti ta!” to retreat, “zut!” on a lunge. It sounds kind of embarassing written here, but it works in the studio. The whole dangling-wrist thing seemed okay there, too.
My only hesitation is that it’s a big commitment of time (3 hours a class!) and money ($25.00 a lesson), and I’d only be able to go once a week. So I’m gonna check out the Ukranian Cyborgs on Thursday evening.
I haven’t met the Fencers’ Club teachers yet, so I can still poke fun.